Mike Tyson said that during his first experience with toad venom, the 55-year-old former heavyweight champion saw what happens in the afterlife. 

“I ‘died’ during my first trip,” he told The New York Post at Wonderland, a Miami conference dedicated to psychedelics, microdosing, and medicine. The toad he’s referring to is called Bufo alvarius, otherwise known as the Sonoran Desert Toad. It hibernates underground for seven months out of the year, but apparently, when it’s above ground its venom can be smoked to produce a psychoactive experience. 

Tyson told The Post that he’s experimented with toad venom 53 times. “In my trips, I’ve seen that death is beautiful,” the legendary boxer said. “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.”

He said that he originally got into smoking toad venom four years ago after doing it as a dare. “I was doing heavy drugs like cocaine, so why not?” Tyson said, noting that at the time he was 100 pounds overweight and was heavily involved with drugs. “It’s another dimension,” he said of the experience. “Before I did the toad, I was a wreck. The toughest opponent I ever faced was myself. I had low self-esteem. People with big egos often have low self-esteem. We use our ego to subsidize that. The toad strips the ego.”

Tyson has become an avid advocate for psychedelics since his first trip, and he is currently hard at work designing two brands of cannabis, one of which will be called “Toad” and will reportedly be based on the experience he had. “I’m fighting for psychedelics to become medicine you can buy over the counter,” he said. “I’m not finished. I want to do more. I want to be the best I can be in this field.”

Tyson added that after becoming involved with toad venom and psychedelics, he lost 100 pounds, fell back in love with boxing, and reconnected with his family. “People see the difference [in me],” he said. “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.”