Anadenanthera peregrina tree with seeds showing, also called yopo

Simon’s Yopo Guide

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Yopo, also called cohoba, parica or calcium tree is a tree native to South America and the Caribbean region. The plant has two variants; Anadenanthera peregrina var. falcata and Anadenanthera peregrina var. peregrina. The latter is most often used for entheogenic purposes.

Anadenanthera has been used in various rituals for thousands of years. Several healing properties have been attributed to the plant. The traditional way to take the substance is by inhaling it in the form of snuff.

There are, in fact, two very similar plants used for this purpose. The yopo snuff is made from the aforementioned Anadenanthera peregrina, while Anadenanthera colubrina is used to create vilca snuff.


Anadenanthera peregrina, yopo tree with seed pods
Anadenanthera peregrina or yopo

Effects of yopo:

The main active compound in yopo is bufotenin, a tryptamine related to serotonin. Bufotenin is present in the leaves and bark of the tree, though its beans contain the highest concentration.

Yopo contains two other compounds of the tryptamine family, DMT and 5-MeO-DMT as well. All three compounds have psychedelic effects of some form.

DMT and its derivative, 5-MeO-DMT have relatively short-lived effects. Bufotenin on the other hand may affect the user for up to 2-3 hours.

Yopo is generally insufflated, as DMT is not active orally without MAO inhibitors. Snuffling yopo 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.

Yopo has both physical and cognitive effects. A tingling throughout the body and increased heart rate are the first to appear. This is followed by visual hallucinations. Common side-effects of the substance include strong nausea.


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Yopo guide




 Yopo – legal status


Anadenanthera of either variation is not a controlled plant in most countries. It may be kept for aesthetic and landscaping purposes practically everywhere, though human consumption is banned in some places.

Also, bufotenine and DMT are both controlled substances in most countries. Therefore extraction and possession of these compounds is illegal. The same is true for practically all countries, but always consult the appropriate laws before buying or using yopo.

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

 Yopo – legal status
USAYopo is, in general, legal in the USA. Louisiana has banned yopo 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. There has also been anecdotal evidence of yopo confiscated and its owner prosecuted on the basis of possessing a schedule I substance.
AustraliaYopo is not specifically regulated, but import of plants containing DMT content is illegal. Bufotenin is also a schedule I substance.
NetherlandsYopo is not a controlled plant in the Netherlands and is legal. Extraction and possession of DMT and bufotenin are prohibited.
UKYopo is not a controlled plant in the UK and is legal. Extraction and possession of DMT and bufotenin are prohibited.


Sources: ErowidBufotenin legal statusYopo is illegal! (Reddit)


Buy yopo


Buy yopo – US

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


Buy yopo – Netherlands

You can buy yopo at the following link:

Buy yopo  /Shipped from the Netherlands./

It should be noted that while this product is named yopo, it is, in fact Anadenanthera colubrina. As mentioned before, snuff made from anadenanthera colubrina – as opposed to A. peregrina – is called vilca. However, effects of the two substances are practically the same.

Yopo snuff effects


Yopo contains three main active compounds: bufotenin, DMT and 5-MeO-DMT. All three are serotonergic compounds, binding to and activating serotonin receptors. How exactly this results in psychedelic effects is not entirely clear though.

Structure of bufotenin
Structure of bufotenin

The effects of yopo are mainly attributed to bufotenin, as the other two compounds are rather short acting. Yopo beans can contain up to 7,4% bufotenin, while the DMT content is under 0.1%.

Yopo may be taken orally; however, bufotenine and DMT are not, by themselves, active orally. These substances are metabolised by monoamine oxidase, which is why oral consumption only produces psychedelic effects if taken along with MAO inhibitors.

Yopo is traditionally consumed in the form of insufflation. It has been used in shamanistic rituals of tribes in South America for thousands of years.

However, yopo is reported to smell and taste vile; which is why it is traditionally not taken alone. Participants sit facing each other, and blow the snuff into the other’s nose through a long tube. This way much more of the substance can be consumed.


Cognitive effects

Yopo is a psychedelic substance with both stimulating and sedating effects. In the first 20-40 minutes yopo acts as a stimulant, afterwards as a sedative.

It is during the latter period that hallucinations appear. These are reported to be similar to the visuals of LSD and mescaline. The difference is that with yopo the cognitive effects of yopo intensify quickly, but fade rather fast as well.

Colors begin to shift, objects seem to melt or pulse. Along with geometric shapes, creatures and whole scenarios may be experienced as well.

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


Physical effects

Yopo causes quite a few physical effects, most of which can be considered side-effects, as they are rather unpleasant. Consumption often results in loss of motor functions, especially during the hallucinatory stage.

The most common side effect of yopo is nausea, reported to be quite strong in most cases. The insufflation itself can also be rather painful to the nostrils.

Yopo causes high blood pressure and the users’ cheeks and forehead flush intensely. At higher doses, this can take on a purplish hue, indicating blood circulation problems.



Sources: WikipediaErowid (trip report)



Dangers of yopo


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.

Though in the experiment mentioned the dose 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.


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



Yopo preparation and consumption



Yopo 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.


As mentioned in the dosage part, use 1-4 seeds per person. Heat the seeds on low heat until the bean’s husk breaks, and the bean “pops”. Remove this outer shell; it will not be used and can be discarded.

The inner seed should be heated further until it becomes crunchy. The seeds are then crushed by 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 yopo snuff is taken through insufflation. The powder is usually snorted, though the traditional way is blowing it into one another’s nose.

Yopo may not only be snuffed but smoked as well. Recipes suggest freebasing the anadenanthera seeds by soaking them in surfactant free ammonia.
Yopo 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.

Oral consumption of yopo does not have a tradition as 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 yopo to reach a psychedelic state. Increased nausea may be felt; while the experience itself is reported to be more relaxed and dream-like.



Buy yopo


You can buy yopo at the following link:

Buy yopo  /Shipped from the Netherlands./

It should be noted that while this product is named yopo, it is, in fact Anadenanthera colubrina. As mentioned before, snuff made from anadenanthera colubrina – as opposed to A. peregrina – is called vilca. However, effects of the two substances are practically the same.

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



Yopo trip reports


” It tasted god awful and had a terrible burn. The drip was also disgusting and made me want to gag.

The vertigo was still unbearable and the light was a little to harsh so I went to my room with the light off and shut the door. Instantly I started to panic so I opened the door again. My fear of the dark was inexplicable.

Then visuals began to materialize. There were no colors but I could defiantly see shapes. The start looked like one of those old movies where the credit screen burned away from the city. The illness began to fade as I focused on the images. It was like I was standing on a sidewalk and these silhouettes were passing me by. I couldn’t see them clearly but somehow I knew that they weren’t human.”

– Excerpts from ZeroBoy’s yopo trip report

“Over the next hour I recorded myself talking and singing (poorly cause I suck at it, but it felt good to do none the less) and found myself very consciously breathing and working my body and mind feeling and doing and simply dancing in and out of whatever muse struck.”

– Excerpt from Vilcan officer’s vilca trip report


If you find this Yopo 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). Make sure, that if you are planning to try out any of the substances 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.


Yopo 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. 11. 17.

Simon's Yopo Guide
Article Name
Simon's Yopo Guide
A guide detailing the properties, effects and legal status of yopo, including trip reports.

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