Sitting with toad medicine (5MeO-DMT) is one of the most intense experiences you can have on Earth. It is frequently spiritual and profound. Everyone’s experience with toad medicine varies, and it is impossible to predict what will happen from one ceremony to the next. 

Toads symbolize transformation and rebirth, and the medicine from the bufo alvarius toad can provide us with this experience at every level of our being (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual). This medicine naturally occurs in the venom of the bufo alvarius toad and is extracted when the toad is under distress. It’s possible to work with synthetic 5-MeO-DMT to provide the same experience without harming another being. 

Emerging research suggests that 5MeO-DMT can lead to higher levels of life satisfaction with lower levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. These results appear to endure for at least 30 days post-ceremony. Even low doses can be incredibly powerful and healing, and more medicine does not mean better results. We take the medicine we need and are open to what it gives us.

The molecule 5-MeO-DMT is endogenous, meaning it exists naturally in your brain, blood, and spinal fluid and is not a foreign substance. Our bodies may release it when we die. It resembles the neurotransmitter serotonin and it works on the 5HT1A, 5HT2A, and sigma-1 receptors in our brain. It’s possible to take the medicine via snorting or injection, but the inhalation method (smoking) is most commonly used. 

Toad medicine differs from other psychedelic medicines in that, due to its method of administration, it has a fast onset and short duration. The onset of the experience takes place within 10-15 seconds, with the peak of the experience happening from 1-2 minutes (low dose) to 4-8 minutes (high dose). The entire experience can last from 5-30min, depending on dose and sensitivity. 

This medicine is not a controlled substance in Canada (i.e., it is legal to purchase and possess). That said, toad medicine is *powerful*. I can’t emphasize this enough! Under no circumstances should you use this medicine on your own. The body can release stored trauma by shaking, rolling, and otherwise moving in a way that may place you at risk of physical harm. It’s also important to ensure you have had your medical history reviewed with someone trained to assess your risk. There are some contraindications of working with this medicine (e.g., certain medications, high blood pressure, respiratory conditions). 

Be safe, and be well.

For more information, visit The Third Wave and John Hopkins Medicine.