Thursday, December 8, 2022


National Park Service: ‘Do not lick the toads to get high!’


Licking toads? It’s true. The National Park Service recently warned visitors not to lick the Sonoran Desert Toad. The toad, also known as the Colorado River Toad, is one of the largest toads to call North America home. When threatened, the toad excretes a toxin as its defense. The toxin can make animals and people sick if it gets on the skin or is somehow ingested. It’s been suggested that the toad’s toxin can, in certain cases, even cause death!

Why the allure?

So why would folks try to lick this toxic toad? Scientists at Johns Hopkins University conducted a study on the Sonoran Desert Toad. They found a unique (and potent) substance within the toad’s toxin, named 5-MeO-DSMT. This substance, according to the study, was demonstrated to improve depression and anxiety symptoms in some people. In fact, 80% of the 362 adults within the study reported a mood improvement lasting up to 90 minutes after using the toxin.

Psychedelic Sonoran Desert Toad

Some folks who learned of the Johns Hopkins’ study have decided to see if licking the Colorado River Toad might provide a psychedelic trip. (I know, I know. It takes all kinds.) The National Park Service reminded people that 5-MeO-DSMT is classified in the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I drug. As such, it is illegal in the United States.


Stick to sightseeing, please!

If “toad licking” was on your National Park “To-Do list,” please erase it now. Just stick with something safer: sightseeing! The National Park Service and the toads thank you.


Did you enjoy this article?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
24 days ago

Now I ask how many toads are currently in detention for the possession of  5-MeO-DSMT?

24 days ago

This is what happens when we stopped reading bedtime stories to our kids. You are supposed to KISS toads “and live happily ever after” with your prince, not LICK them. Kids going to the internet for “knowledge” is not the same as bedtime stories with Mom and Dad.

Ronald P
25 days ago

Do some research please! There are cardiac enzymes in the venom that can kill you, this is why it’s smoked, you lick cane toads, not Sonoran Desert Toads. And they’re endangered, and it’s easy to synthesize the 5-MeO-DMT, go search on that and Hamilton Morris and leave the poor toads alone!

25 days ago

You gotta be pretty hard up to go out in the desert, find the toad and then lick it… there are a LOT of easier ways to get high!

manfred manville
25 days ago

I was actually in a bar in Port Douglas Australia, where Cane Toad licking was a weekly event.

Larry Lucas
25 days ago

You’ve got to wonder…. The first person to discover this… Walking along, sees a toad on the ground and suddenly decides, “I think I’ll lick that toad!”.

You just can’t make this kind of stuff up..

Rich K.
25 days ago

Hey, if someone dies after licking the toad, that’s natural selection in action, culling the idiots out of the gene pool…it’s also known as ‘earning a Darwin Award’.

jeff hyslop
25 days ago

This inspires a whole new interpretation of Cinderella as a psychedelic trip.