National Park Services Issue Warning Telling People to Refrain From Licking Psychedelic Toads
Stay away from the toads!
On Monday, The National Parks Services warned guests to stay clear of the Sonoran desert toad, also known as the Colorado river toad or bufo alvarius.
The toad in question is the largest in the U.S. at 7 inches. They're also recognized by their short, "weak, low-pitched toot."
"As we say with most things you come across in a national park, whether it be a banana slug, an unfamiliar mushroom, or a large toad with glowing eyes in the dead of night, please refrain from licking," the post read.
This particular toad species was described as secreting toxins that could harm humans if consumed or touched.
Recently, guests of National Parks have been running the risk of poisoning while seeking out the 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenine found in the frog's venom, which produces psychedelic effects.
In the past, Christina Hall of HGTV acknowledged smoking toad venom to ease anxiety.
"Smoking the bufo toad venom is a life-changing experience and different for every person. It can't be summed up in a post," Hall said. It "basically reset my brain and kicked out years of anxiety in 15 mins."
According to The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenine are considered controlled substances.
Psychedelics specialist Dr. Mike Dow, Ph.D., said the hallucinogens in bufo toad venom disable the brain's "default mode network," which helps lessen anxiety and depression.
"So you're not thinking about things in a normal, conscious way because the parts of the brain that are used to thinking that way to save time, or to keep you alive, have gone offline," Dow said. "So now other parts of the brain that are more aligned with the collective unconscious, maybe spirituality, those parts are coming forward."
However, Dow also noted that 5-MeO-DMT abuse has been associated with emergency room admissions and death for people who have a "predisposition" to "psychosis or bipolar disorder."
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