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The Differences and Similarities between Yopo and Cebil
5 min

The Differences and Similarities between Yopo and Cebil

Written by: Lizzy van de Berg

South America is the homeland of many herbs with hallucinogenic and psychoactive properties. For thousands of years, indigenous tribes have been using them for their healing properties. These herbs are part of shamanistic rituals and are said to help the user connect with the spiritual world.

Today, we want to talk about two of these herbs - Yopo and Cebil, also known as Anadenanthera Peregrina and Anadenanthera Colubrina, respectively.

Yopo and Cebil are both South American trees with psychoactive properties, belonging to the same family, Anadenanthera. These two trees are very similar and can often be confused with each other. Today, we will discuss the similarities and differences between the two to make it easier for our users to distinguish one from the other and make an informed choice.

Differences and Similarities between Yopo and Cebil


Similarities - We can only find similarities. Unless we look at the ways they were discovered by the West, but that will not help distinguish between the two plants. As for the similarities - both plants have been used by local tribes for over 4000 years. To this day, shamans and indigenous tribes use both Yopo and Cebil for their magical properties in their rituals and religious ceremonies to help the user connect with the higher spiritual world.

Appearance and Habitat

Similarities - Both trees are often confused with each other because they have very similar aesthetic characteristics and share large parts of their natural habitat. They grow on the South American continent and can reach up to 20 meters in height. Both trees grow seeds that are almost impossible to distinguish from each other with the naked eye. These seeds can be used for consumption after the necessary preparations have been made.

Differences - Although Yopo and Cebil trees are very similar and difficult to distinguish from each other, there are several specific characteristics, especially found in mature trees. Among these characteristics are the subtle but effective differences in their bark. While Yopo trees have a brown, rough bark with gray-colored warts and knobs, the bark of Cebil trees is usually smooth and dark. Another more telling difference is the fact that Yopo trees are sensitive to low temperatures and vulnerable to frost.

Psychoactive Components

Similarities - Various parts of Yopo and Cebil trees contain psychoactive substances that can have different effects when consumed. These substances are found in the bark, seeds, and fruits of these trees. These trees are very similar in terms of psychoactive components that naturally occur in them. The bark of both trees contains amounts of DMT and 5-MeO-DMT.

The seeds of both Yopo and Cebil contain high concentrations of bufotenine, bufotenine dioxide, and DMT. The leaves also contain amounts of the flavonoid quercetin and vitexin.

The most powerful psychoactive substances of both trees are bufotenine, 5-MeO-DMT, and DMT. 5-MeO-DMT and DMT are some of the most powerful hallucinogens there are and provide an intense psychedelic experience upon consumption. But as strong as these components are, they are only found in sporadic cases and turn out to be relatively unstable and break down quite quickly. Bufotenine, however, is found much closer in much higher concentrations and is thus the most active agent in both Yopo and Cebil. It is closely related to other psychoactive substances such as psilocybin, and usually, occurs naturally in specific mushrooms and cacti. It provides similar visual effects as 5-MeO-DMT, but less intense.

Differences – Although many of the components in both trees are the same, Yopo trees even contain more psychoactive alkaloids than Cebil trees. Along with other psychoactive substances, Yopo trees also contain small amounts of 5-MeO-DMT. The leaves contain amounts of sapoaraquine and the bark of the Yopo tree also contains amounts of 5-Methoxy-N-methyltryptamine.


Similarities - You can grow your own Yopo or Cebil tree from seeds that are viable for germination, purchased from a reliable seller. They require similar preparations and grow at a stable temperature of about 22°C with a similar substrate mix, the same heat source, and the same general growth conditions.

Differences - The preparations for growing your own Yopo or Cebil tree are very similar, but on average, seeds of Cebil trees should germinate within the first week, while Yopo seeds need about 7 to 14 days to undergo the same process under similar conditions. During the winter months, the Yopo tree needs extra care, as its cousin Cebil is resistant to light frost, something Yopo trees are very sensitive to.


Similarities - Experiencing the effects of the various active components in the Yopo and Cebil trees is best done by roasting the seeds and extracting the inner parts. The process of making the inside of these seeds into a fine powder and then preparing it to make snuff is the same for both types of trees. Both can be consumed by sniffing or chewing on them.

Differences - Because the Yopo and Cebil trees are so similar in chemical composition, the process of extracting the useful components is also very similar. However, there is a small difference that Cebil seeds are slightly less potent, allowing up to 4 seeds to be used safely when consuming the prepared snuff by sniffing. In the case of using Yopo seeds, it is not recommended to use more than 3 seeds.

Lizzy van de Berg
Meet Lizzy, an enchanting wordsmith whose exploration of the mystical world of magic mushrooms will transport you to realms both otherworldly and enlightening.