Yopo snuff is a psychoactive substance that’s made from ground seeds of the Anadenanthera peregrina tree. Yopo snuff is also known as Piptadenia peregrina, cohoba, parica, or jobo. Yopo is native to South America and the Caribbean, where indigenous cultures have used yopo as part of spiritual ceremonies for millennia.
Yopo is traditionally prepared by grinding the yopo seeds into a powder. The powder is then inhaled through a wooden tube or a bird bone. Traditionally, the yopo was blown into the nose by a shaman. Yopo snuff is also sometimes smoked in a pipe.
Some cultures prepare yopo snuff to include cuttings from the Banisteriopsis caapi (B. caapi) plant to enhance or prolong the psychedelic experience. B. caapi is one of the ingredients in traditional ayahuasca. B. caapi is believed to inhibit monoamine oxidase, which is thought to play a part in depression. Inhibiting monoamine oxidase is how some depression medications work.
Yopo snuff contains several psychoactive compounds in the tryptamine family: bufotenin (5-HO-DMT), 5-MeO-DMT, and N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT). These compounds can elicit a hallucinogenic experience. DMT has a reputation for producing a quick trip, while bufotenin typically produces an experience that lasts longer — usually a few hours. It is believed that bufotenin is the primary psychoactive ingredient in yopo snuff.
Yopo snuff has a reputation for producing an intense psychedelic experience.
– Rodd R, Sumabila A. Yopo, ethnicity and social change: a comparative analysis of Piaroa and Cuiva yopo uset. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2011;43(1):36-45. doi:10.1080/02791072.2011.566499. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21615006/
– Rodd R. Snuff synergy: preparation, use and pharmacology of yopo and Banisteriopsis caapi among the Piaroa of southern Venezuela. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2002;34(3):273-279. doi:10.1080/02791072.2002.10399963 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12422937/
– Rodd R. Reassessing the cultural and psychopharmacological significance of Banisteriopsis caapi: preparation, classification and use among the Piaroa of Southern Venezuela. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2008;40(3):301-307. doi:10.1080/02791072.2008.10400645 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19004422/
– Jonathan Ott (2001) Pharmañopo—Psychonautics: Human Intranasal, Sublingual, Intrarectal, Pulmonary and Oral Pharmacology of Bufotenine, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 33:3, 273-281, DOI: 10.1080/02791072.2001.10400574 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2001.10400574