Getting high on toad dust ‘produces lasting life satisfaction’ say scientists

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A chemical secreted by the Colorado River Toad caused short-term psychedelic and mystical experiences for 42 test subjects who inhaled it.

When members of the study group returned a month later for further tests they reported a decrease in psychological problems, improved mindfulness, and feeling generally more satisfied with their lives.


The secretions from the toad’s skin were dried and powdered before being inhaled by the volunteers.

The active ingredient in the toad’s skin is a chemical called 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT).

Test subjects reported a lasting increase in overall happiness

“A recent survey among users of 5-MeO-DMT (toad, synthetic, or plant derived) indicated that most respondents used 5-MeO-DMT for spiritual exploration and reported mystical-type experiences of moderate-to-high intensity,” the researchers from Maastricht University wrote in published in the scientific journal Psychopharmacology.

“Interestingly, those respondents who reported a psychiatric disorder mentioned that 5-MeO-DMT had helped them reduce their symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress, or effectively deal with alcoholism and drug abuse.”

Researchers noted that when the chemical was derived from toad secretions it had a stronger effect than when it was obtained from other sources.

The toad’s skin produces a powerful psychedelic

The volunteers were tested before inhaling the dust, to establish a baseline, and then again within a 24-hour period after inhalation to measure the effects.

Half of the volunteers were then assessed again 4 weeks later.

Unfortunately the other half of the research group failed to turn up for the second round of testing, making the results less definitive.

The test results were compromised after a number of subjects failed to turn up

“Their reasons for not completing the assessments are unknown but potentially could be driven by disappointments that emerged over the experience,” the scientists noted.

Because of that, the paper continues: ”It is unknown whether the experience from inhaling vapour from dried toad secretion containing 5-MeO-DMT fulfilled the expectations and motivations of all participants.”

The research suggests that the toad powder could potentially be used to alleviate chronic depression

However, the research paper concludes: ”This study suggests that a single administration of vapour from toad secretion containing 5-MeO-DMT produces rapid and persistent improvements in satisfaction with life, mindfulness and psychopathological symptoms, and that these changes are associated to the strength of the psychedelic experience,”



By Michael Moran

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