In this three-part documentary series VICE heads to the Amazon on a hunt for its most hallucinogenic tree frogs.
There is an Amazonian frog called Phyllomedusa Bicolor or the Sapo which Hamilton Morris has been reading about for years.
It is totally different from the psychedelic toads found in North America. The Sapo’s venom produces an effect much closer to morphine than LSD, but really it’s not like either of those things. It’s a distinctly vomitous dissociative experience unlike anything else Morris has ever encountered.
There has been a lot written about the chemistry of the venom, and it has been said to have a diverse array of effects. Some people think it’s a miracle opioid which will yield new non-addictive painkillers. Others think it’s a super-potent stimulant and appetite suppressant, and even a strange psychedelic capable of tuning hunters on to the mindset of their prey.
In the 1980s researchers found one of the constituents of Sapo venom in the urine of autistic children, and developed an entire theory of autism around it.