KEY POINTS

  • Mike Tyson revealed he started smoking the venom of the Sonoran Desert toad four years ago
  • The athlete said he lost 100 pounds in three months and reconnected with his family after he started smoking toad venom
  • Tyson now hopes to be able to sell the toad venom soon

Former professional boxer Mike Tyson claimed he "died" during a psychedelic trip after smoking toad venom for the first time.

Four years ago, Tyson was 100 pounds overweight, sluggish and unhappy when a friend suggested that he try toad venom, which comes from Bufo alvarius, a Mexico amphibian also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad, the New York Post reported. The athlete ended up loving it.

"I 'died' during my first trip," Tyson told the outlet at the psychedelics- and medicine-focused Wonderland conference in Miami, Florida, last week. "In my trips, I've seen that death is beautiful. 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."

The amphibian's venom, a potent hallucinogen called 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT), can be smoked to produce a short psychoactive trip and has long been used in traditional healing rituals, according to the outlet.

"I did it as a dare. I was doing heavy drugs like cocaine, so why not? It's another dimension," said the 55-year-old former world champion boxer, whose real name is Michael Gerard Tyson, of his first experience with the venom.

Tyson revealed that he was a "wreck" and had low self-esteem before he tried it. He claimed that people with "big egos" often have low self-esteem and use their ego to "subsidize" it but that toad venom "strips the ego."

Tyson has since experimented with toad venom 53 times — with the athlete sometimes smoking three times in one day.

He said he lost 100 pounds in three months, started boxing again and reconnected with his wife and children.

Tyson has become an advocate for psychedelics, which he claimed made him "more creative" and helped him focus. Additionally, he said he was "more present as a businessman and entrepreneur" because of the substances.

"People see the difference [in me]. It speaks for itself. If you knew me in 1989 you knew a different person. My mind isn’t sophisticated enough to fathom what happened, but life has improved. The toad’s whole purpose is to reach your highest potential. I look at the world differently. We’re all the same. Everything is love," the former professional boxer said.

Tyson, who reportedly has a whole nursery of Bufo alvarius toads at his ranch in Desert Hot Springs, California, is now working on two brands of cannabis: "Undefeated" and "Toad." He is teaming up with a new team, including entrepreneur Adam Wilks and marijuana heavyweight Columbia Care Inc.

His "Toad" line was inspired by Tyson's experiences with toad venom, but it will not include actual psychedelic venom.

Tyson, however, hopes to be able to sell toad venom soon as cities like Denver, Detroit and Oakland have started to decriminalize mushrooms. He has also invested in biotech company Wesana Health, which treats traumatic brain injuries with "magic mushrooms," or psilocybin.

"I’m fighting for psychedelics to become medicine you can buy over the counter. I’m not finished. I want to do more. I want to be the best I can be in this field," Tyson said.

Mike Tyson returns to boxing at age 54 on saturday with an eight-round fight against 51-year-old Roy Jones Jr. at Los Angeles Mike Tyson revealed that he has been vaccinated from COVID-19 despite being unwilling to get the jab. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / James Gilbert