Colorado River Toad



The Colorado River Toad, also known by the names of Sonoran Desert Toad and Bufo alvarius,

Bufo alvarius is a species of toad living around creek beds and streams flowing through the Southern United States and Mexico.

This toad secretes a venom through pores on its back that contains a high concentration of 5-MeO-DMT — one of the most potent psychedelics on Earth.

Just a few milligrams of the venom is enough to completely blow your mind. It’s one of the rare substances that can reliably induce a religious experience with a single puff from a vape.

But the effects are incredibly short-lived — lasting as little as 7 minutes (up to 45 minutes).

Here, we’ll explore psychedelic toad venom. You’ll learn how it works, how it’s used, and what safety considerations to keep in mind before trying it yourself.

There are also some ethical considerations you should know about before getting started with this powerful animal-based psychedelic.


(Bufo alvarius — formerly Incilius alvarius). Colorado River Toad

The Colorado river toad (AKA the Sonoran desert toad) is a species of toad found in the Southern United States and Mexico.

This toad is the largest species of toad in the United States, with the exception of the non-native cane toad (Rhinella marina). These toads can grow to be as large as 7.5 inches (190 mm). what does colorado river toad eat

The venom secreted by the Colorado River toad is used to repel predators. It contains both psychoactive compounds, as well as a deadly poison. When an animal tries to eat the toad, it’s given a powerful dose of poison strong enough to kill a large dog.

Animals that aren’t killed by the poison suffer from the effects of the psychoactive compounds — which can last anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes — which effectively incapacitates the animal by placing them into a powerful psychotic trance.

Animals living in the region appear to have learned ways to avoid the venom secreted by these toads.

For example, racoons have been reported to drag these toads from the water by a limb, flipping them on their back to avoid exposure to the venom, and only eating the belly of the animal (away from the venom).

It’s common for dogs to try and eat these toads, which is often fatal.


You can get or find live colorado river toads online right here at Psyttraxx . And the name of this animal gives a clue as to where they live. You can find these toads abundantly around the Colorado River, as well as the Gila River, and throughout parts of Arizona, California, and New Mexico.

As a toad, it requires a steady supply of water to keep hydrated. It prefers standing areas of water near streams, rivers, canals, ditches, and artificial bodies of water. visit WWW.PSYTTRAXX.COM

Why is Toad Milking More Ethical?

Some people believe collecting the venom from the animals with a method called “toad milking” is more ethical because the animals are then released back into their environment. But even this isn’t without its problems. The toad relies on this venom as protection, and it can take a while for released venom to replenish. If the toads are “milked” and later attacked by an animal, they no longer have the defenses required to survive the attack.


This substance is 5-MeO-DMT, and it is four to six times more powerful than its better-known relative N,N-DMT. The effects of the two substances are quite different, too. While DMT is more of a transgalactic hyperdimensional visual trip, 5-MeO offers a much more intense emotional roller coaster with spatial transfigurations, deep realizations, and a blinding sensory overwhelm to boot.

Compared to N,N-DMT, its effects can be quicker acting, with a peak after a few minutes only, and the entire experience over after ten to fifteen minutes. This information refers to smoking isolated 5-MeO; the toad’s venom, however, is a cocktail, which usually offers a longer, more balanced trip.

At about 15% substance volume, Bufo alvarius venom is quite rich in 5-MeO-DMT content. But 5-MeO is not only found in the venom of Bufo alvarius. Its use is an ancient tradition among South American indigenous people, , who would crush the seeds of yopo (Adenanthera peregrina), a perennial leguminous tree found in the Amazon rainforest, and snort the powder through a tube. It was used as a purgative for the sick and by shamans as a divinatory tool helping to diagnose causes of illness, similar to another well-known Amazonian concoction, ayahuasca.

To find legal bufo alvarius retreat centers, check out Third Wave’s vetted Psychedelic Directory of providers worldwide.


Aside from 5-MeO, the venom of the Colorado River Toad also contains 5-HO-DMT. This substance is also known as bufotenin, the name obviously derived from the toad’s Latin alias. With more than 285 Bufo toad species classified, only the Bufo alvarius is known to possess bufotenin at a high enough concentration for it to be psychoactive.

As a tryptamine of similar structure, the effects of 5-HO-DMT and 5-MeO-DMT are complementary. 5-HO tends to have a stronger visual/auditory component, making the trips an intense sensory experience. It also takes a bit longer to kick in than 5-MeO (a few minutes), the peak comes on later (at around the ten-fifteen minute mark – just about when the 5-MeO effects are subsiding), and the whole trip can last for a much longer time (up to two full hours).


Together, the Sonoran Desert Toad venom contains quite a potent mix of the two molecules, providing an intense, yet balanced trip that integrates both the psychedelic and hallucinogenic effects.

The experience itself is, as with all entheogens, difficult to put into words. You may sense a distortion in your perceived body image or notice the world shrinking or expanding. You may notice that colors seem brighter and more beautiful than usual. And, most likely, you will experience a euphoric mood interspersed with bursts of unmotivated laughter.”

Plenty more trip reports can be found on Erowid and in James Oroc’s book, Tryptamine Palace – 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad.


Unlike ayahuasca, which demands a complex preparation, acquiring the venom of the Bufo alvarius and getting it ready for smoking is quite straightforward. The venom is basically “milked” from the live toad by gently squeezing the base of its paratoid glands – the distinct elongated bulges located just behind the toad’s eyes.

The venom that is excreted should be collected on any smooth, non-porous surface, and allowed to dry until it hardens or crystalizes. At this point, the water content, which makes up about 50% of it, evaporates, and the dry matter left is smokable. Being much more potent than N,N-DMT, a substantially lower dose is needed. On average, 3-5mg should be sufficiently psychedelic, and 5-10mg should provide a full-on trip.

Please note that only smoking the dried Sonoran Desert Toad venom will produce a psychoactive effect. Following the massively popularized idea of licking the toad to get high can only get one hospitalized; some curious pets have found this out the hard way. Also, the “milking” process must be approached gently, both for yours and the toad’s sake. The venom can squirt in any direction if not squeezed out properly (you definitely don’t want it in your eyes), and the toads can get hurt by improper handling.

Remember that you need to be mindful of the law, as there are some restrictions surrounding these animals, let alone the restrictions on, and consequences of possessing a Schedule I substance such as 5-HO-DMT or 5-MeO-DMT.


In New Mexico Bufo alvarius is currently designated as a “threatened” species, and catching or possessing one is illegal. California, the species has the “endangered” status, which, again, means that capturing and owning them is illegal. In Arizona, where Bufo alvarius are abundant, it’s legal to catch up to ten toads (a fishing license is required)… However, it’s still illegal to ship them out of state or otherwise carry them over state borders. Also, if it can be in any way determined that the possession of a Colorado River Toad can lead to using the venom for recreational purposes, criminal prosecution awaits.

Manageability of the Colorado River Toad

The use of “toad medicine” is a venerated ritual among both indigenous peoples and psychonauts alike. However, increased popularity in Mexico, the United States, and in some countries in Europe and South America has put a strain on the toad population.

The Colorado River Toad is not currently list as a protect species in the United States, but there are ongoing efforts to add it to the endanger species list. It is consider imperile in New Mexico and possibly locally extinct in southern California.

In addition to endangering the population, venom harvesting is also causing the toad to become a victim of black market trafficking as well as inhumane breeding and “milking” practices in captivity.

The destruction of the toad population can be avoid by using synthetic 5-MeO-DMT instead of vapor from the toad. Many people believe toad medicine is superior because of its “purity”. But there is no evidence that 5-MeO-DMT derived from toads produces a better/different experience or outcome than synthetic 5-MeO-DMT.

Cultural Appropriation of Toad Medicine

As of this writing, a small number of indigenous cultures originally from the Sonoran Desert. And have started promoting the use of the substance as an effort to revive their cultural identity. It’s not clear if toad medicine was used in these cultural practices prior to Ken Nelson’s discovery of the toad’s psychoactive effects in the 1980s, but in either case. It’s an effort to reclaim the tradition of ancestral medicine in Mexico.

Small scale, local use of the toad-derived 5-MeO DMT in indigenous practices is much more likely to be sustainable and arguably more ethical, especially when considering many of these populations don’t have access to alternatives. But beyond local use, where plant-based and/or synthetic alternatives are more easily accessible. Therefore it’s difficult to argue for harvesting the toad-derived compound at scale.

Frequently Asked Questions About Psychedelic Toad Venom

If you have any questions about psychedelic toad venom that haven’t been answered in this post or in the FAQ below. feel free to reach out to us. We’d love to answer any of your questions. Email us at contact@psyttraxx.com

1. Is Toad Venom Addictive?

There’s no evidence that toad venom is addictive.

Most people who use the venom, only do it once. There are some people who use it on a consistent basis, but rather than being on a daily, or even weekly basis. But most people who use the venom consistently do so with several weeks or months between each dose.

Addiction is defined as a compulsion to use a substance or perform an activity despite clear negative implications.

This is simply not something that happens with psychedelics, including psychoactive toad venom.

2. Where Can I Find Colorado River Toads For Sale?

While it’s not illegal to possess a psychoactive species of toad — it is illegal to possess dried venom.

You can order toads from places like psyttraxx.com

If you live in the state of California. Bufo alvarius is consider endanger and it’s illegal to own the toad in any form. This is including wild-caught or captive-bred Colorado river toads. You only order discretely online with www.psyttraxx.com

3. Is There A Difference Between Toad Venom & 5-MeO-DMT?

This is an ongoing debate.

There are only two definitive psychoactive compounds produced in the Bufo alvarius toad venom — 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin. Bufotenin is present only in trace amounts. And on its own has been repeatedly shown to produce a much more negative set of effects than positive.

There are plenty of other ingredients in toad venom, but the vast majority are non-volatile. Which means that when we smoke or vape it. Only the 5-MeO-DMT, and trace bufotenin is evaporated and inhaled into the lungs.

From a scientific standpoint, there is no difference between the effects of synthetic 5-MeO-DMT and toad venom.

Some people argue the toad venom feels different. However, it’s debatable whether there’s actually something in the venom that makes the experience different. What’s more likely is the human contribution to the experience.

When we know something is “natural” or came from a living, breathing organism. It changes the way we perceive the effects of the substance. This changes the experience, even when there’s no chemical difference between the two.

Some might argue there’s a spiritual difference between synthetic compounds, and equivalent animal or plant-based sources.

The Future of Colorado River Toad Venom

The Bufo alvarius toad (AKA Colorado river toad, Sonoran desert toad). The secretes one of the most psychoactive compounds on earth — 5-MeO-DMT. The venom is collected, dried, and smoked to produce an intense but short-lived psychedelic experience.

As this road continues to grow in popularity. There’s an ever-growing risk of damage and eradication of the animal from its wild habitat. Between poachers, climate change, and the destruction of natural habitats, wild toad populations are declining at an alarming rate.

If we want to preserve this sacred species? We need to start using the synthetic version of the substance much more often than the raw toad venom.

The active ingredient in toad venom, 5-MeO-DMT, is already legal in many parts of the world. The synthetic version produces the same set of effects. So the costs much less and doesn’t have any negative effects on wild toad populations.


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