Bufotenine, 5-HO-DMT, a substance of the tryptamine class. Structurally similar to serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain. It is an alkaloid found in the skin of some toads, some types of fungi and other plants and animals. The term bufotenin comes from the name of the Bufo toad genus (lat. Bufo), such as the Colorado toad and cane toad.
On the skin of South American toads of the species Bufo marinus (toad aha, sea toad), a hallucinogenic enzyme is released, close to the effects of the drug LSD. The glands of the toad do contain bufotenin, a hallucinogen that causes intoxication, short-term euphoria. During excavations in Mexico of the ancient cities of the Maya, archaeologists found whole heaps of the remains of toads near the walls of the temples. It is assumed that the Maya had a way of extracting toad venom, which they used not to kill, as previously assumed, but to achieve a narcotic effect that creates the illusion of bliss. This drug was used in religious rituals involving human sacrifice.
Breeding and use
To obtain substances, poison is usually milked from the poisonous glands of the toad. The milking procedure does not harm the toad - it consists in tapping the toad on the chin in order to provoke a protective reflex with the release of poison. Once the liquid poison has been collected and dried, it can be used to produce psychedelic effects. It takes about a month for the glands of the toad to refill with poison, during which the toad will not produce poison. Some merchants sell dried toad skin, which is not necessary as the poison can be harvested without harming the toad. Toad venom is often used recreationally
Smoking toadskin or its products can prevent poisoning by the numerous additional toxins present in the secretion of the glands, since these toxins are destroyed by heating. Many of these toxins are peptides and macromolecular compounds.
Rumors and misunderstandings
A rumor dating back to the 1980s claims that groups of hippies or just teenagers are licking psychoactive toads to get high. The first version says that in the hills of California, hippies are chasing toads in the thickets, and go crazy
Another version is that the natives and just hippies of Australia tend to lick the infamous Australian cane toad. These stories were replicated in many sources, including lectures on substance abuse, at least one paper book, in USA Today in 1988. The idea of toad licking was even used as the plot of an episode in the television program L.A. law. Such stories were never true.
In fact, toads have a number of toxins in their skin that protect them from predators. If someone actually eats or even just licks the toad skin, they will become seriously ill or even die. There was a report of an Australian youth who died after eating toad roe.