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Preparation of Yopo snuff

Archaeological evidence shows Anadenanthera peregrina beans (also known as Yopo, Jopo, Cohoba, Parica or Calcium Tree) have been used as hallucinogens for thousands of years. To make the psychedelic snuff called yopo, the black beans from the bean pods of these trees are first toasted until the beans pop like popcorn that are than ground into a powder. Inhaling Yopo can cause considerable pain in nostrils. However, this pain usually subsides within minutes. Physical effects include tingling and numbness throughout the body and an increased heart rate. Hallucinatory effects follow as colours become more vivid and shapes appear to alter. The effects of Yopo intensify quickly but gradually fade and are replaced by nausea and general unease. Increased amounts of the substance induced may intensify and lengthen effects.

What's in the Yopo snuff kit?

The Yopo snuff kit contains:
  • 1 x 1 gram of powdered yopo seeds
  • 1 x 0.5 grams of calcium hydroxide

Step-by-step instructions

Only prepare the amount of snuff you will use, as once prepared the snuff only lasts for 3 days before losing potency.
  1. Put your weighed seeds and calcium into a pestle and mortar, and grind together to mix thoroughly.

  2. Once mixed, pour onto a plate.

  3. This mix is then moistened to a consistency similair to bread dough, using a small amount of water. Once moistened, it is kneaded into a ball for several minutes so that all the bufotenin comes into contact with the calcium hydroxide and forms the free-base. After kneading, use fingers to spread out into a thin layer across the plate like a tortilla. It is then left to sit for several hours, preferably 18-24 hours until hard and dry. During this perios most of the excess calcium hydroxide reacts with the carbon dioxide in the air to form calcium carbonate. Calcium hydroxide is caustic in the presence of water, and is very irritating to the nasal passages, so it is desirable to allow any left over calcium hydroxide to convert to calcium carbonate. It is then thouroughly dried and ready for use.

  4. Put back in pestle and mortar, and re-grind into a fine powder again.

Traditional use

Using a tube aprox. 30cm long and 10mm in diameter, load the tube with half of the dose, making sure to use a thin stick to push down the tube to make sure the snuff is not clogging. Then insert the tube into the recipients nostril, make them tip their head back, so the bridge of their nose is parallel to the floor. Use the same amount of breath to blow as when blowing out a candle. At the same time as you blow, the recipient should exhale sharply out of the mouth, with a "hah" sound, (this stops the snuff going down the throat) then repeat with the other half in the nostril.

Have a purge bowl ready, in the fisrt 5-10 mins there WILL be purging, and sweating. This will pass.