Anadenanthera colubrina tree in bloom

Simon’s Anadenanthera Colubrina (Vilca) Guide

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Anadenanthera colubrina is a plant native to South America that is also called cebil and vilca (or willka); the latter means sacred in Quechua.

The Anadenanthera colubrina is a tree that grows to the height of 3 to 18 meters. The leaves are long and fern-like, while the tree’s bark is black and thorny.

Anadenanthera colubrina is hard to distinguish from plants of a related species, Anadenanthera peregrina. The latter is called yopo, and both have been used similarly in shamanistic rituals for hundreds of years.

Vilca produces bean pods from September to July. The pods are dark brown and contain seeds of about 1-1,5 cm in diameter. These pods are the parts of the plant that are used  for ritualistic or entheogenic purposes.

An old Anadenanthera colubrina (vilca) tree
Anadenanthera colubrina


Effects of the Anadenanthera colubrina

There are several ways to use the seeds of Anadenanthera colubrina, including chewing it and brewing a tea. However, the most popular way to consume the beans is by making them into snuff and snuffling it.

The main active compound in vilca is a tryptamine called bufotenin. The beans also contain DMT and bufotenin-oxide. DMT is not active orally without a MAO inhibitor, as it is metabolised in the human gut.

This is why vilca is generally insufflated, through snuffling the substance is a rather unpleasant experience accompanied by intense pain to the nostrils. That is why it has traditionally been blown into others’ nostrils through long pipes.

Users of Anadenanthera colubrina have reported both physical and cognitive effects. Vilca causes elevated heart rate, accompanied by a sense of tingling. Afterwards, visual hallucinations begin to appear.

These visual effects are most likely the reason for the plant’s ritualistic use. Inca medicine men using vilca were said to be able to tell the future.


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Anadenanthera colubrina guide




 Anadenanthera colubrina – legal status


Anadenanthera colubrina is, like A. peregrina, legal in most countries in the sense that the plant itself is not controlled. With some exceptions (noted below), the plant may be bought, possessed and cultivated freely.

However, bufotenin and DMT are both controlled substances all over the world. This means that extraction and possession of these substances is illegal.


Let’s see a country-by-country breakdown: 

 Anadenanthera colubrina – legal status
USAVilca is, in itself, legal in the USA. Louisiana has banned vilca in the sense that it may not be consumed, but can still be kept for ornamental purposes. DMT and bufotenin are schedule I substances; illegal to extract and own.
AustraliaVilca is not specifically regulated, but import of plants with DMT content is illegal. Bufotenin is also a schedule I substance, illegal to extract or possess.
NetherlandsVilca is not a controlled plant in the Netherlands and is legal. Extraction and possession of DMT and bufotenin are prohibited.
UKVilca is not a controlled plant in the UK and is legal. Extraction and possession of DMT and bufotenin are prohibited.


Buy Anadenanthera colubrina


Buy Anadenanthera colubrina – US

I can’t personally recommend any US vendors right now.


Buy Anadenanthera colubrina – Netherlands

I recommend buying Anadenanthera colubrina at the following link:

Buy Anadenanthera colubrina (vilca) /Shipped from the Netherlands./

Though the product is nicknamed yopo, it is actually Anadenanthera colubrina, not A. peregrina.




Vilca effects


There are three main active compounds in Anadenanthera colubrina; bufotenin, DMT and 5-MeO-DMT. All three are serotonergic compounds, which means they exert their effects by acting as strong partial agonists at the 5-HT2A receptors. Exactly how this results in the effects experienced by the users is still unclear, though.

The molecular structure of bufotenin
Structure of bufotenin

The beans may be ingested but bufotenin and DMT are not active orally by themselves. These substances are metabolised by monoamine oxidase in the human gut, which is why oral consumption only produces psychedelic effects if taken along with MAO inhibitors.

There are, however, several other plants that contain DMT, and Anadenanthera colubrina is not often used in this way. Those looking to experience the effects of DMT and MAOIs would likely benefit more from ayahuasca or similar concoctions.


Cognitive effects

The most important and sought-after effect of vilca are hallucinations. Effects are reported to be similar to the visuals of LSD and mescaline, though the onset is faster and the effect is shorter.

The visual hallucinations can range from geometric shapes to fully developed scenarios featuring various creatures. Colours appear to shift, while objects may pulse or melt.

Apart from the visual effects, vilca has been reported to cause mild euphoria in users, though it is not exactly a pleasure drug. An increased sense of anxiety is a common side-effect.


Physical effects

Anadenanthera colubrina causes rather few desirable physical effects. During the onset of the primary effects, heart rate is elevated and one may feel a slight tingling sensation. The user’s body also feels as if under a heavy load.

Snuffling vilca does, however, have a few physical consequences that can be considered side-effects. The insufflation is hard on the user’s nostrils, causing intense pain in some cases. Another common side-effect of vilca is strong nausea.


Sources: Entheology.comWikipedia


Dangers of Anadenanthera colubrina


The LD50 of bufotenin in rodents was measured at about 200-300 mg/kg. Doses taken in recreational use are significantly lower than that. However, in one experiment, a patient received 40 milligrams, after which no pulse or blood pressure could be measured.

That, in itself, is not a cause for alarm as  the dose in the experiment was administered intramuscularly, caution should always be exercised with higher amounts of bufotenin.

Bufotenin has also been associated with various mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and ASD. A 2010 study found that the urine of affected individuals held higher bufotenin levels, though the exact nature of the connection is not known.

Consuming various substances without first checking with a general practitioner is never advisable for pregnant woman. It can be especially dangerous with vilca, as the seeds are reported to be abortifacient.


Sources: Effect of Some Indolealkylamines on ManElevated urine levels of bufotenine in patients with autistic spectrum disorders and schizophrenia



Vilca health benefits


Various parts of Anadenanthera colubrina have been used for healing purposes by indigenous tribes fro many years, though there is little evidence of the plant’s actual healing properties.

In traditional medicine, the gum of the tree was used to alleviate coughing and treat upper respiratory tract infections. The seeds have been chewed for endurance and used as a diuretic.

Teas have been prepared from both the bark and the seeds of Anadenanthera colubrina. The latter is said to help with digestive troubles, though this is questionable, what with the nauseating effect of the beans.




Anadenanthera colubrina preparation and consumption


Vilca is one of the lesser-researched plants with psychoactive properties. Also, the concentration of the psychoactive compounds in the beans varies from plant to plant. As a result, there is no definitive information on the exact effect of various doses.

The seeds of Anadenanthera colubrina are used for entheogenic purposes, as these hold the highest amount of bufotenin. The threshold amount is about 250 mg. 3-4 seeds is a common dosage, and is used by most recipes.


As mentioned in the dosage part, use 1-4 seeds per person. Toast the seeds on low heat until the bean’s husk breaks, and the bean “pops”, not unlike popcorn. The outer shell will not be necessary and may be discarded.

Heat up the inner seed once again, until it becomes crunchy. Afterwards, crush the seeds with mortar and pestle, coffee grinder or something similar.

The powder should then be mixed with calcium hydroxide (lime) or calcium oxide (from certain types of ashes, calcined shells, etc.) and a little water to form a paste with the consistency of bread dough. Heat and dry the mixture, then pulverize again to create the powder.

The created vilca snuff is taken through insufflation. The powder may be snorted alone, though the traditional way is blowing it into one another’s nose.

This is because the process can be painful, which means one who snorts the powder might stop earlier, than one who is merely on the receiving end. As the user has no control over this in the moment of insufflation, caution should be used in the process.

Vilca may be consumed not only by snuffling but through smoking as well. Recipes suggest freebasing the anadenanthera seeds by soaking them in surfactant free ammonia.
Vilca has been traditionally smoked mixed with tobacco in the form of cigars, while chewing on Banisteriopsis caapi. The latter is a MAO inhibitor, which enhances the effects of yopo. Other MAOIs may be used as well to similar effects.

Oral consumption of vilca is not a traditional use, as with other substances with DMT content such as ayahuasca. DMT is not active orally in itself, which means it must be taken along with a MAO inhibitor to achieve the desired effects.

B. caapi or other MAOIs may be used along with vilca to reach a psychedelic state. Oral consumption is reported to be more nauseating than insufflation, while the experience itself is reported to be more relaxed and dream-like.

It should be noted that the DMT content in Anadenanthera colubrina is lower than in several other legally available plants, such as Psychotria viridis.



Buy Anadenanthera colubrina


Buy Anadenanthera colubrina – US

I can’t personally recommend any US vendors right now.


Buy Anadenanthera colubrina – Netherlands

You can buy Anadenanthera colubrina at the following link:

Buy Anadenanthera colubrina (vilca) /Shipped from the Netherlands./

Though the product is nicknamed yopo, it is actually Anadenanthera colubrina, not A. peregrina.


Anadenanthera colubrina trip reports


The following are experience reports of ordinary people who got high on vilca.

“I was definitely now feeling physical effects. A sudden tug, not unlike heavy Jupiter-gravity, began to pull me towards the ground. I knew it was coming now, and the threat of not being able to stop it flashed across the meaning in my mind.

I felt the sweat come all over my body, like the heat in the room had been turned up. The atmosphere was getting louder, not with treble but with bass amplification. Even the heat was getting louder. I felt the rush of roller coaster dives rolling up through my cells.  

At this point I thought it wise to close my eyes, because the open-eyed world was too much. It was just a mad rush of a New Delhi intersection at rush-hour. Instead of cars, I was a sub-atomic particle whizzing by, guided by unseen, powerful forces.

I looked up at the light bulb on the ceiling. It was off, but there was emerging from it a flower-like blossom. Pedals sprouted out of it, and stretched at least a metre away from its centre. It was calming and beautiful.”

– Excerpts from King Anadenanthera I’s Vilca trip report

“As I lay in bed, feeling very heavy and weighted to the earth, I began to hear a tone. A high-pitched ringing noise that tweaked and twittered, growing in volume. It reminded me of the carrier wave sound of DMT. Soon I was experiencing closed eye visuals. At first it was an effect similar to gasoline floating on a puddle of water. Colourful swirling patterns.

The visuals became more and more intense. The speed at which the swirly patterns moved was increasing. It was like being underneath the strands of a multi-coloured mop, being twisted back and forth in a bucket of water. Sometimes there would be a shift, and I would see something behind the psychedelic mop. I saw a few times a whole sheet of small diamond shapes, in different colours.

Other times, I seemed to see a small orange man, leaping across my vision. The visuals were very complex and vivid. I opened my eyes for a moment, and could still see the same patternings with my eyes open, though they were more vivid with eyes shut, so I shut my eyes again. “

– Excerpts from Hypersphere’s vilca trip report


If you find this Anadenanthera colubrina guide useful please give it a “+1”: 

Thank you!


Share your own trip report in the comment section below (to ensure anonymity don’t use your real name or real email address when submitting trip reports)!

Some of the information presented here might be outdated or incorrect (check “last updated” below). If you are planning to try out any of the substances, make sure to to research them yourself as well.

I’m 100% committed to safe and responsible legal high consumption. If you have a few minutes to spare please read my blog post about responsible and safe legal drugs use.


Anadenanthera colubrina is only one of the legal highs included in Simon’s legal high guide, check out the others as well.

If you are only interested in legal psychedelics, then check out Simon’s Legal Psychedelics for more.


Last updated: 2015. 12. 14.

Simon's Anadenanthera colubrina (Vilca) Guide
Article Name
Simon's Anadenanthera colubrina (Vilca) Guide
A guide detailing the properties, effects and legal status of Anadenanthera colubrina, including experience reports.

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