Kissing toads might sound like your usual fairytale, but the act of licking a specific toad will surprisingly get you high, and former professional boxer Mike Tyson attests to that. In fact, Tyson said that he “died” after his first time ingesting toad venom.
Tyson is still here today, 55 years old and thriving, so it’s safe to say that his physical self didn’t die, but we think it’s a ‘death of the ego’ or something along those lines. At the Wonderland conference in Miami last week, Tyson confirmed the above and added that he’s faced death during many drug-induced trips.
“Life and death both have to be beautiful, but death has a bad rep,” Tyson explained at the conference. He added that the toad allowed him to realize that he won’t “be here forever; there’s an expiration date.”
Similar to psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, toad venom is a psychedelic, mind-altering, and psychoactive substance derived from the rare species of toad called the Bufo Alvarius, a.k.a., the Sonoran Desert Toad or the Colorado River Toad.
The Bufo Alvarius usually resides in Colorado, California, New Mexico, and Arizona but originates from the Sonoran Desert in Mexico. What’s unique about the toad is that it excretes a specific venom known as 5-MeO-DMT, known as a powerful yet natural psychedelic. It’s so strong that its effects are roughly six times more potent than DMT, and its hallucinogenic effects usually kick in around five minutes after ingesting.
Tyson mentioned that he didn’t lick the toad; instead, he used smokeable dust derived from the venom. Although toad-licking is becoming more common, toad venom is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance, meaning it’s illegal and can cause uncomfortable effects like nausea and confusion.
Tyson explained that he first tried the venom four years ago but has since used it over 50 times. He said that it brought him to “another dimension” and that the “toad strips the ego,” meaning he could experience life through a more logical standpoint than through his own self-importance and without the need for self-esteem.
Tyson added that he lost up to 100 pounds since first using the venom and has become an entirely different person with new perspectives. “My mind isn’t sophisticated enough to fathom what happened, but life has improved.”
He concluded that the entire purpose of the toad’s venom is for users to reach their highest potential and have a different, more positive outlook on life. “We’re all the same. Everything is love,” he said.