September 21, 2023 08:00 am ETEstimated Read Time: 5 Minutes
Psychedelic toads? The emerging monsoon season brings all kinds of creatures along with it. One such creature is the Sonoran desert toad. Local news stations in Arizona have reported a significant increase in the population of these animals since the rainy season began.
Now that the monsoon rains are in full swing, the heat and rain provide the perfect breeding condition for the amphibians. Their mating season begins from late May to September because they thrive when the weather is hot and rainy.
The Arizona Monsoon Season
Arizona’s monsoon season usually runs from June 15 to Sept. 15 every year. However, this year had an anomaly because the monsoon’s first conditions kicked in on July 17, alongside a record-breaking temperature. The season is typically accompanied by roaring winds, lightning and thunder, torrential rains, and walls of dust.
Reports revealed that the unusual monsoon was due to last year’s wet winter, which caused a lot of snowpack. Because the grounds were not warm, there wasn’t enough pressure to cause the monsoon conditions in time. Also, the preceding season had a record-breaking, and “tied for the seventh wettest July-September on record,” according to data from the National Weather Service.
The Sonoran Desert Psychedelic Toad
The Sonoran desert toad got its name from where it is believed to be common – the Sonoran Desert. However, it is also commonly referred to as the Colorado River toad. They can be found in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. The species is usually active once the summer rainy season begins.
According to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, these toads lay their eggs in rain pools and permanent ponds, and their larvae grow into adults within six to ten weeks. They can grow up to 7 inches in length and are usually olive green or dark brown in color. Also, they have a characteristic low-pitched croak that stands out at night.
The Sonoran Desert Toad is known to release a white and milky venom called bufotenin when it feels threatened. This toxic secretion contains a powerful psychedelic called 5-MeO-DMT. The toad’s secretion has been referred to as “the most potent psychedelic toad venom on Earth.” The venom is usually scraped when it is secreted. It is then dried into a paste which can be smoked.
The effect of the substance has previously been explained by Alan Davis, a psychedelic researcher at John Hopkins. He said, ‘The experience is going to start within 10 to 30 seconds, and then you’re going to be physically incapacitated for 20 to 30 minutes.”
Keep the Psychedelic Toads Out of Your Mouth
Local reporters have emphasized the surge in the population of the psychedelic toad. One report stated that “The monsoon rain brings in the perfect conditions for breeding for the Sonoran Desert Toad in the summer months, and now that monsoon is in full swing. You’ll be hearing more of the croaking often.”
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Local news stations have also iterated the potential danger of the Sonoran desert toad to pets. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum mentioned that “Animals that harass this species generally are intoxicated through the mouth, nose, or eyes.” Also, “Dog owners should be cautious: the toxins are strong enough to kill full-grown dogs that pick up or mouth the toads.”
These amphibians have attained a level of notoriety because of their hallucinogenic properties. The toxin they secrete is strongly psychoactive, and it is common to find people trying to lick it to have an ecstatic experience. The US National Park Service has included the refrain from having tongue contact with the toad as part of its warnings to visitors. It is considered illegal to be used by humans.
Andres Rendon, a News correspondent at KOLD 13, made some comments on the toad. He said that the “amphibian has a pretty mighty punch.” And that “What the toad does is that it actually secretes a very strong psychedelic compound, and although very dangerous for animals like dogs and cats, using it for a drug in humans is very much illegal.”
With the growing popularity of the Sonoran Desert toad’s psychedelic secretion, the species is now considered threatened in New Mexico. This is because collectors are now seeking the toad for drug use. Some states have taken proactive measures by banning licking the toad or smoking its skin.
About the Psychedelic: Ongoing Study
5-MeO-DMT is a naturally occurring psychedelic found in various plants and toad species. Over the years, its hallucinogenic function has been harnessed throughout South America. It is currently being studied in the medical field to handle treatment-resistant anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) under the guidance of a therapist.
The psychedelic has huge potential to significantly reduce the cost of treatment. A psilocybin, MDMA, or LSD experience can last for five to eight hours, and a therapist would have to sit with a patient throughout the period. However, a 5-MeO-DMT session lasts an hour.
Beckley Psytech, an Oxford-based startup in the United Kingdom, has mentioned that it received $80 million in funds to aid its clinical trials and research using a pharmaceutical formulation of the substance. The startup is strong on its journey to unlock the full potential of the psychedelic.
Some public figures have mentioned their encounters with the 5-MeO-DMT. Mike Tyson discussed his experience with smoking the psychedelic toad’s toxin on Hotboxin With Mike Tyson. Additionally, Hunter Biden wrote about how he dealt with his addiction using 5-MeO-DMT therapy.
The Sonoran desert toad’s natural defense mechanism has somehow found its place in the recreational and medical sphere. There are hopes that its medical potential will be fully explored so that the psychedelic value it can serve humanity is harnessed.
Mary Ekundayo is a passionate cannabis writer and entrepreneur with a love for all things literary. When she's not creating content, you can find Mary lost in the pages of a captivating book or meditating to set the tone for her day.
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