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DMT Milking: Is it Time to Stop Milking the Toad?

DMT Milking
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DMT Milking? People are abducting toads for their psychedelic milk?

That’s right. DMT milking produces some of the most powerful hallucinations. Some claim it’s stronger than peyote, mushrooms, and ayahuasca.

So it’s no wonder people are flocking to the Colorado River to kidnap these toads for their milky white venom. Ever since Mike Tyson came out on the Joe Rogan Podcast about his revolutionary 5-MeO-DMT experience … it’s been the new hot psychedelic.

What we didn’t realize is that Mesoamerican cultures had already discovered 5-MeO-DMT, except they extracted the compound from plants. So while “milking the frog” for 5-MeO-DMT is new, it’s a psychedelic compound that’s been around for centuries.

Where can you get 5-MeO-DMT? You can find it three different ways:

  1. Naturally occurring in plants
  2. Synthetically made in a lab
  3. In the venom of the Bufo toads

At Reality Sandwich, we’ve been wondering… why are we STILL milking these toads? There are two good, viable options for getting this mystical experience. Is it necessary to milk the toad? (More on this later…)

What Does it Mean to “Milk the Frog” for Psychedelic Toad Milk?

“DMT Milking” refers to the method of extracting 5-MeO-DMT from the Bufo―meaning “toad” in Latin.  5-Methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a psychoactive indolealkylamine that naturally occurs in the toad’s venom.

While there are many different types of toads, only one that produce 5-MeO-DMT. Bufo alvarius (Colorado River Toads) are found in the Sonoran Desert and some U.S. states like Colorado, Florida, and Texas.

The Bufos have parotid glands on their backs that are full of potent, psychedelic venom.

“DMT Milking” refers to the extraction, or “milking,” of the toad’s venom from these glands. Then it’s dried and turned into raw material for spiritual medicine. The medicine is often taken through inhalation. It has a quick onset and starts working within seconds, lasting for a short duration of about 20 minutes.

The actual “milk” extracted during the DMT milking process is not that strong itself. But when the compound combusts, it becomes 5-MeO-DMT―which is why smoking is common. You won’t achieve a spiritual experience by ingesting the venom.

How Toad DMT Milking Began

History shows DMT milking is relatively new. But anthropologists found mythical, graphic representations of toads dating back to the peoples of Mesoamerica. These ancient images have led them to speculate that they used the Bufo alvarius in spiritual rituals. Based on these images, it’s suggested that DMT milking began in Mesoamerican civilizations. But there’s no concrete evidence proving this to be true.

What we do know is that 5-MeO-DMT was first synthesized in 1936. And its psychedelic effects were discovered almost two decades after its first synthesis.

In 1959, 5-MeO-DMT was isolated as the dominant alkaloid in snuff made from yopo used by many South American tribes, who had been using hallucinogens made from Indigenous plants for generations. As far as we know, they only used plant-based brews and snuffs for 5-MeO-DMT, not the Bufos.

In 1967, 5-Meo-DMT was found in the venom of the Bufo alvarius. Since then, spiritual chasers have been searching for the “psychedelic toad” in an attempt to get closer to the divine.

What is the Bufo Ceremony?

Dr. Octavio Ruttig says, “5-Meo-DMT is the chemical language used by nature to transmit messages.” A person becomes “universal or whole” when under the influence of 5-MeO-DMT. “After the state of being in full totality, he reconfigures back to being himself, but in a more evolved form.”

There can be a danger when the ego is rapidly dissolved. But with the right preparation, integration, and ceremonial practices, you’re more likely to come out having a positive experience.

The Bufo Ceremony helps ensure you get the most out of your experience with the sacred frogs.

How to Prepare for the Bufo Ceremony

Your body must be free from antidepressant medication for three months prior to the ceremony. If you’re on any type of medication, disclose that to your shaman.

Abstain from alcohol, coffee, and recreational drugs for one week before and after the ceremony. 

It’s common to purge during the ceremony. So eat a light breakfast on the day of your ceremony.

Go into the ceremony feeling rested.

During the Ceremony

Your shaman will be present with you during the entire ceremony, which lasts around 20 minutes.

Some shamans will have you face the sun as you inhale the vapor. Keep the DMT smoke inside your lungs for as long as possible so the medicine can enter your bloodstream. You’ll feel the effects within seconds.

Relax into the feeling and take in the experience. Your shaman may use sacred chanting or other traditions to help guide you through the psychedelic experience.

After the Ceremony: Integration

Preparing for afterward is arguably the most important part of the ceremony. Knowing how to integrate your psychedelic experience into your life is critical. Without integration, a psychedelic experience could be meaningless and may not effect any real, positive change in your life.

Find a psychotherapist who welcomes psychedelic conversations, or someone who has experience in working with people who have entered an altered state of consciousness.

If a trained psychotherapist is not an option for you, try integration circles with people who have gone through a similar experience.

What Will I Experience During the Bufo Ceremony?

Each individual will have a different experience; and every person will undergo different experiences during each subsequent ceremony.

During the climax, or peak, of the ceremony, it’s common to experience:

  • feelings of oneness and connectedness with all
  • the dissolution of memories that have caused suffering
  • feeling connected to your consciousness
  • disconnection from reality
  • connectedness with the cosmos
  • the rewiring of your brain connections
  • full liberation
  • disconnection from the ego

While DMT milking can be positive and life-changing for people suffering from health issues like addiction and depression, humans are benefiting at the expense of the frogs.

So we ask: Is there another way to experience this spiritual ceremony without harming the frogs?

Negative Effects of DMT Extraction Milking

Ever since the surge in 5-MeO-DMT consumption, the Bufo alvarius have been suffering. And even without their popularity among psychonauts, climate change and overdevelopment are negatively affecting the toads’ ability to thrive.

Climate Change

Climate change tends to exacerbate any threats to a species. And the Bufo alvarius toads are already living at their physiological limits. So, as the Sonoran Desert continues to get drier and hotter, the frogs will experience greater suffering. 

The summer monsoon season was shorter and provided less rain over the past few years. There’s predicted to be a 30 to 40 percent decline in monsoons. And while plants and animals have adapted to the dry and hot climate of the Sonoran Desert, they welcome the rainy season and take advantage of its gifts. 

The Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species has said that the Bufo alvarius is nearly extinct in California. And although they’re on the “low-risk” list, we can assume their population will continue to decrease as monsoon season decreases and overdevelopment continues.


Climate change poses a big enough threat to the toads. But that’s only one of their concerns. They also have to worry about overdevelopment by humans.

Not far from Tuscon, Arizona, over 12,000 amphibians died in one year on the roads near Saguaro National Park. Habitats are being destroyed as humans continue to develop new roads, neighborhoods, and agricultural fields. Amphibians are dying.

Frog Trauma

On top of the harm caused by climate change and overdevelopment (both anthropogenic), humans are “harvesting” these toads from their habitat for their own spiritual gain. The catch-and-release experience can be quite traumatic for the toads.

To trigger the venom excretion, the toads must become agitated. Then, the milky venom is extracted by scraping or squeezing. So the toads go through anxiety and then pain.

You may think the catch-and-release of the toads would have only a small impact on their population. However, between the compounded effects of climate change, overdevelopment, and the DMT milking process, the Bufo alvarius is in a bad position for long-term prosperity.

5-MeO-DMT is Available Both Synthetically and From Plants

If we can save the frogs, then why aren’t we?

It seems obvious that we should save the frogs, but this is a controversial topic in the psychedelic community. Although 5-MeO-DMT is available synthetically, many people don’t believe it has the same effects as the naturally occurring compound in the toads. 

The DMT frog milk is not pure 5-MeO-DMT. Other compounds are in the goo.

Alexander and Ann Shulgin say the toad milk can be around 15% 5-MeO-DMT. So what makes up the rest of the venom? Other compounds like bufotenin, bufoviridine,  N-methyl-5-methoxytryptamine, 5-hydroxytryptophol, 5-methoxytryptophol, and more.

But while some of these additional compounds could cause someone to trip, the concentration is not high enough that it would make much of a difference.

With advanced modern science, if we can isolate and reproduce these compounds, why should we continue DMT milking? 

Is the supposed “entourage effect” of the toads’ venom worth harming them?

Leave the Hallucinogenic Frogs Alone

As 5-MeO-DMT becomes more popular and in demand, it makes sense to use synthetic versions.

The Sonoran Desert can’t support the influx of psychonauts to the area. And there are not enough frogs to support the rising demand of DMT milking. 

We can both save the frogs and have mystical psychedelic experiences with 5-MeO-DMT.

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