While it can provide people with profound and life-changing experiences, it is not as commonly used as other classic psychedelics, like psilocybin, LSD, and DMT.
This story will explore these different aspects of 5-MeO-DMT, as well as compare this compound with other psychedelics.
5-MeO-DMT is a tryptamine psychedelic, which means it is a chemical derived from tryptophan, an essential amino acid.
It often comes from many plant species and, most notably, one species of toad: Incilius avarius (or the Sonoran Desert Toad).
You can find the Sonoran Desert toad in arid and semiarid parts of the Sonoran Desert, in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States.
The Sonoran Desert toad secretes toxins (mostly steroids) from glands in its skin as a defense mechanism. The toad’s venom also contains the psychoactive substances 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin.
It is possible to synthesize 5-MeO-DMT. And some psychedelic advocates argue that users should prefer the synthetic version over the toad-derived one for several reasons.
Tim Ferriss stresses that the Sonoran Desert toad is under multiple threats, including climate change, rapid urbanization, and overcollection.