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During an interview last week, Mike Tyson said he smoked psychedelic toad venom over 50 times and that he experienced an ego death during his first time trying it.
While attending the Wonderland psychedelics conference in Miami, Florida, Tyson told the New York Post that he “died” during his first toad venom trip.
“In my trips, I’ve seen that death is beautiful,” he said. “Life and death both have to be beautiful, but death has a bad rep. The toad has taught me that I’m not going to be here forever. There’s an expiration date.”
Iron Mike recounted that he first tried toad four years ago. “I did it as a dare,” he said. “I was doing heavy drugs like cocaine, so why not? It’s another dimension. Before I did the toad, I was a wreck. The toughest opponent I ever faced was myself. I had low self-esteem. People with big egos often have low self-esteem. We use our ego to subsidize that. The toad strips the ego.”
During the interview, he also said that he has smoked toad venom at least 53 times total and has previously tripped on the substance three times in one day.
Toad venom, or simply “toad,” is a hallucinogen that comes from Bufo alvarius, the Sonoran Desert Toad. Toad is outlawed as a Schedule I substance in the US, though it is legal in Mexico and Canada.
While Tyson recently made waves talking about trippy toad juice, he’s typically known these days for another psychoactive substance: Cannabis. He currently owns a cannabis ranch in California and is expanding his reefer enterprise to the Caribbean.
This isn’t the first time Tyson has opened up about his psychedelic experiences, either. In 2019, he spoke about his insights from toad while getting blazed with the British news-hack Piers Morgan.
Like cannabis, toad may offer potential medical use, too. Johns Hopkins Medical University researchers are investigating toad as a possible alternative to psilocybin found in some mushrooms. Retired Army combat veteran Matt Kahl told MERRY JANE in 2018 that he once tried toad to help treat his PTSD.
Toad has also been in the news for less enlightening reasons. In 2020, porn star Nacho Vidal was arrested when his friend died during an alleged toad venom consumption ritual.