Have you heard of Toad licking? If you have not, you are not alone. Toad licking is the unusual and deliberate practice of licking secretions of certain species of toads to get high. Toads such as the Sonoran Desert toad and Colorado river toad are commonly used toads in this odd practice that secrete bufotenine, a naturally occurring tryptamine also found in some mushrooms and plants.


Why Would Anyone Lick a Toad?

The substance is venomous and can be licked, ingested or smoked by humans and leave the user with a feeling of high that includes:

  • Euphoria
  • Distortion of space and time
  • Hallucinations

It is unclear where the practice of toad licking originated from although, some believe it was practiced in ancient times for medicinal and religious purposes. In recent culture, we have seen toad licking and toad venom become popular for those looking for new types of high experiences and it is thought to be common among younger groups. Many countries have outlawed this practice as it can cause mental, physical, and environmental harm. This includes harm to the toads themselves, as their populations can be harmed by this practice and can even result in their death. Take for example the Colorado river toad which natural habitat is found in California but sadly faces extinction due to humans.


Dangers of Licking Hallucinogenic Toads

The dangers of humans licking, ingesting or smoking toad venom can include but are not limited to:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory issues
  • Harmful impaired behavior
  • Blood vessel constriction
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Amnesia
  • Death

In some cases, those practicing toad licking become dependent and do experience withdrawal when trying to recover. It is important to seek help to get clean and avoid the risk of toad licking, including loss of life.

Scottsdale Recovery and Detox Center® offers support in all forms to our clients, community, and those who are struggling nationwide as Arizona’s premier addiction center. If you or a loved one need support please connect with our team by visiting or call 1-888-NODRUGS

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center® holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2009. Call 602-346-9142.