Don't trip alone!

5-MeO-DMT is by far the strongest Entheogen known to man. It is important to know that consuming this compound by yourself can be extremely dangerous. Firstly, it is known that during the experience people can stop breathing without noticing it. And secondly, if vomiting takes place, you must be rolled over on your left side, to prevent choking while laying on your back. It is, therefore, fundamental to have someone watching over you.

Don't trip alone!

5-MeO-DMT is by far the strongest Entheogen known to man. It is important to know that consuming this compound by yourself can be extremely dangerous. Firstly, it is known that during the experience people can stop breathing without noticing it. And secondly, if vomiting takes place, you must be rolled over on your left side, to prevent choking while laying on your back. It is, therefore, fundamental to have someone watching over you.

What is Bufo Alvarius?

Bufo Alvarius is the name by which the Incilius alvarius is commonly known. This amphibian is part of the Bufonidae family and it’s endemic to the Sonoran Desert, which spreads between southwest US (in Arizona and California) and northwest México (in Sonora, Baja California and Baja California Sur).


Also called the Colorado River toad or the Sonoran Desert toad, there’s something very special about it that makes it precious for the psychedelic science community: for what is known, it is the only animal that produces 5-MeO-DMT (5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) - a naturally-occurring psychedelic said to be the most powerful one in the world. Specifically, it’s found in the poison that the toad produces in its parotid glands as a defense mechanism. In great quantities, this venom can kill a grown dog, but in very small doses, it’s able to induce an intense psychedelic experience that, for some, is considered entheogen.


5-MeO-DMT can also be found in plants from the Aizoaceae, Myristicaceae, or Poaceae families, in some types of Acacia, among others. However, in those cases, it’s present in very low doses. Nowadays, the most common natural source of this substance is the Incilius alvarius.

Incilius Alvarius - Distribution Map

Incilius Alvarius - Distribution Map

Sonoran Desert

Food for the Brain

The way the venom is extracted is by squeezing the glands of the toad to get the liquid out. It’s important to state that, when done respectfully and delicately, the animal does not experience mistreatment and its life is not endangered, as it produces venom again in only a few hours.[1] Furthermore, the recollection can only be done once a year, within two months, when the toad emerges to the surface during the rainy season for eating and mating. The rest of the year, it hibernates underground.


There are no records that indicate the traditional use of this substance in ancient rituals, ceremonies, or for medical purposes. In fact, it was in the early 80’s that one man published a pamphlet called “Bufo Alvarius: The Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert” under the name of Albert Most, sharing both chemical and experiential information about the uses, effects and ways of extracting the Incilius alvarius venom. This was the first information of its kind and opened the curiosity of both psychonauts and scientists.


The most common way to ingest the venom of the Sonoran Desert toad is by smoking or sniffing it after drying it over a clean surface. The difference between this substance and synthetic 5-MeO-DMT is that the toad also produces bufotenin (5-HO-DMT) - an alkaloid found in some species of animals and plants, that makes the experience more profound according to psychonauts. Scientific studies have concluded that, as well as DMT, 5-MeO-DMT is produced naturally in our pineal gland during the times of birth, death, and, possibly during the REM sleep. Thus, the ingestion of this type of alkaloids is considered as “food for the brain”, as our body recognizes it and reacts immediately to it, triggering a process of reabsorbing serotonin and melatonin, which causes changes in perception.

Food for the Brain

The Divine Within

For many, the experience is that of reuniting the source, dissolving into the wholeness of existence, or what others call the dissolution of the ego. The term entheogen comes from the Greek words entheos (full of the god, inspired, possessed) and genésthai (to come into being). 5-MeO-DMT, or the Bufo alvarius medicine, is seen as one of the substances that promote this divine connection or altered state that allows one to come into being full of, inspired or possessed by God. Other psychedelics known as entheogens are the ayahuasca brew, magic mushrooms, peyote, San Pedro, yopo, and iboga.


However, it’s said that all these substances need/demand interaction/collaboration and respect of the participant in order to become real medicines. That’s why it’s so important to experience them in a safe and healthy environment, in which facilitators have the proper training to provide helpful and compassionate guidance that allows the medicinal aspect of the experience to arise. Even more, 5-MeO-DMT can fully disconnect the participant with its body, which makes one highly vulnerable.


5-MeO-DMT has been recently used for treating addictions, depression, and other emotional, psychological, and physical conditions derived from past traumas. Depending on the amount ingested, the experience can last between 10 and 30 minutes, with a high peak that’s usually indescribable with words, followed by a period of expanding the perception and understanding of one’s current reality and/or place in the world. As with any other entheogen, it’s always advisable to approach the medicine with a clear intention that will be the axis through which the journey unravels.


Afterward, it’s important to take time to ground, and process and integrate the experience into your daily life. Furthermore, it’s primordial to understand the unique gift of being able to access such deep healing through a natural substance produced by another living being, to whom we owe all our love, gratitude, and protection in return.

1. The IUCN Red List last report about its conservation status was in 2004, when it was catalogued as “least concern”. However, local communities have reported an alarming decrease of sightings due to the increasing popularity of 5-MeO-DMT in the last decade and abuses during the recollection.

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