Friday, July 5, 2024

The Poison of the Sonoran Desert Toad

Incilius alvarius, Sonoran Desert Toad secrets defensive 'poison' from its parotid gland after my dog grabbed it and dropped it immediately. The dog was not harmed, he just salivated a little and seemed to have learned his lesson: better listen when M. yells 'LEAVE IT!!' You can see the greyish fluid on the gland here. BTW, my skin is in no danger, you would have to consume the stuff to feel its effect. But if you did, it might get interesting (don't!) Although known for a long time to shamans and hippies as a hallucinogen, the psychoactive effect is still the object of ongoing research. A leading Spanish researcher, Óscar Soto says "it induces a process of brain plasticity and an altered state of consciousness that is “complex and different from other psychedelics.” There may be therapeutic applications: In experiments, the main active compound 5-MeO-DMT maps in the brain and interacts with the same serotonin receptor that is used in several antidepressants. D. Wacker: ' "While there have been some studies indicating that other receptors may play a role in the actions of 5-MeO-DMT, the psychoactive effects of psychedelics in general have been primarily attributed to actions at the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor." D.Wacker

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