Smoking Colorado River Toad Poison Is Now A Thing

The hallucinogenic effects apparently start within 15 seconds of inhaling.
Sonoran Desert Toad Hutterstock582564223
Sonoran Desert toad or Colorado River toad. Photo by Shutterstock

The poison of the Colorado River toad is a schedule 1 drug, and people have been licking the toads for more than 100 years, apparently to achieve a hallucinogenic effect. Now, actually smoking the toad toxin has become a thing, with Mike Tyson, Christina Haack  and other celebrities pparently smoking it. In vapor form, the poison apparently creates a psychoactive effect within 15 seconds after smoking it.

“People have known about this for almost 100 years that there’s a psychedelic element,” Dr. Martha Rosenthal, professor of neuroscience and physiology at FGCU told NBC 2 News. “But I think there’s great interest in this and we’re seeing more people be open about it, more people using it. And there’s some really interesting therapeutic potential.”

However, she says the toad poison is illegal to possess. “It is schedule 1. It’s illegal, “Dr. Rosenthal told NBC 2. “So how do you know what the source is? How do you know that it’s safe? Because every toad secrets a different amount. How do you trust what it is?”

Rosenthal says while the poison might have some therapeutic potential to alleviate things such as depression and anxiety, smoking it and possessing it is against the law and using it can cause problems.


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“Blood pressure goes up, heart rate goes up, your face gets purple, nausea, vomiting, sweating, drooling, headache,” are all part of the potential side effects of smoking the poison, Dr. Rosenthal said.

About the Colorado River Toad

The Colorado River toad, also called the Sonoran desert toad is North America’s largest native species of toad. It can grow from 3 to 7 inches in length and is an olive green or brown in coloration with freckled orange or brownish spots on its dorsum. Its range extends from southeast California to extreme southwest New Mexico and into Mexico.

Categories: Frog & Amphibians Information & News, Frog Amphibian Information & News, Wild Frogs & Amphibians