The Sonoran Desert Toad
From locklin Wed Apr 7 17:14:58 1993
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1993 17:14:56 -0400
From: locklin (Lupo the Butcher)
Subject: SmOkIn' ToAdZ
Doing a bit of research in various alt.drugs files, and some textbooks I discovered that Bufo alvarius (Sonoran Desert or Colorado River Toad) has a venom in its parotoid gland that contains from 6-16% of 5-MeO DMT. Having experienced this (or a related) drugs once before, I was exited at the chance of obtaining a readily available supply of it.
After consulting with the local herpetologist, and checking with several biological supply houses, I discovered that B. alvarius is a common enough toad, but not available this time of the year. The price for a B. alvarius is generally around $10 plus $25 (US) for shipping.
Luckily for me, the local pet-shop had three specimens. Since they were rather exorbitantly priced, I decided to have a go at conning them out of some venom. I used the story that I was a biochemistry student interested in certain indole alkaloids present in the venom of Bufo alvarius . Basically, I told them the truth. After checking with the management, they gave me the go ahead.
Extracting the venom was somewhat problematic. Venomous Animals and their Venoms gives a procedure where the toad is pressed firmly down with one hand and the parotoid gland (behind the "ear") is squeezed firmly with the other. A piece of glass is suspended above the toad to catch the viscous venom as it squirts from the toad. I found this method awkward. The best way (after brief experimentation) I was able to discover was to hold the toad in one hand, squeeze the gland with the other, and have an assistant hold some glass in the firing line of the parotoid gland. This should be repeated once after the toad is allowed to rest for 20 minutes or so [actually 30-40 minutes]. You must apply a considerable amount of pressure to release any poison; I was hesitant in this as I was afraid I would injure the toads (especially with the manager standing next to me). Because I didn't apply as much pressure as I should have, I only obtained 80-100 mg of venom from the three toads. According to Venomous Animals and their Venoms I should have obtained something more like 400mg per toad.
In any case, after letting the poison dry, I scraped it off the glass, obtaining a fine crystalline substance. I took 1 gram of Harmala seeds for my experiment (I weigh 160 lbs) and a friend (who weighs 260) took 1.7 grams of the same substance. We also smoked one MJ cigarette. Instead of freebasing the 5-MeO-DMT (as would have been most efficient) we mixed it with some MJ and smoked it in a pipe. The taste was unusual, but not intensely unpleasant. Halfway through smoking the quantity, we stopped. I noticed an odd feeling and slight buzz from the MJ, the friend noticed nothing. We continued smoking, and after finishing both noticed some rather extreme effects.
Objects appeared extremely distorted, colors were intensified and facial quirks were magnified, giving people a clown-like appearance. Perception of distance was extremely distorted; objects within arms reach seemed miles away. Height perceptions were also distorted, one minute I seemed like a giant compared to those around me, the next minute I seemed a dwarf in comparison. Light sources provoked an unusual reaction; they seemed surrounded by moving, prismatic colors. Walking was problematic; the sidewalk reminded me of the famous films of the "galloping gertie" bridge in Washington state. I felt as if I was surfing rather than walking. Observations of the facial expressions of the passersby seemed to indicate that my manner of walking was no different than that of any of the other pedestrians that night. My friend (who was, for the record, rather out of shape) claimed to experience racing heart, but I had no such difficulties.
After walking for approximately 15 minutes, the intensity of the experience subsided, and we felt able to go to the bar as we had intended. We were both rather strongly intoxicated for the next hour, drinking several beers in that time. Paranoiac feelings, and some mild visual/auditory hallucinations persisted for approximately 2 hours after taking the substance.
Conclusion: the venom of B. alvarius seems to contain the quantities of 5-MeO-DMT that are claimed for it in the various publications. Its use with harmaline seemed to powerfully increase the already present marijuana intoxication (unlike LSD, which often has an antagonistic effect with THC), as well as provoking uniquely powerful visual hallucinations. The steroidal poisons in the venom may have a toxic cardiac effect when the venom is smoked, or (more likely IMHO, due to my lack of similar reaction) the heart-racing may have been due to the effects of the THC intoxication, or the effects of the 5-MeO-DMT itself. It would probably be a very bad idea to ingest this substance orally in conjunction with harmaline as a kind of animal ayahuasca; the steroidal poisons are doubtless much more harmful when an orally active dose is taken, due both to the greater quantity that would be required, and to the lack of steroid pyrolysis in an oral dose.Further experiments will be undertaken under different, more controlled circumstances.