If you’re the type of person that cringes whenever someone says “poisonous snake,” this article goes out to you. Very generally speaking, poison is a blanket term for any substance that causes disturbance to organisms. But the three terms “toxin,” “poison,” and “venom” can’t necessarily be used interchangeably. Here's what each means
Toxin refers specifically to poisons produced naturally, like the bacterial proteins that can cause tetanus (a muscular affliction that can occur when cutting a part of the body on rusted metal). You might be thinking that this would refer to all poisons, but there are numerous substances in the average household that, while simply being engineered cleaning products, also qualify as poisonous. Because they’re artificially created, however, they are not toxins. Still, sometimes the two are used interchangeably.
A venom is a poison that is delivered from an animal typically by a sting or bite. The main distinction between poison and venom is that poison is harmful if ingested, but venom is only harmful if injected. Following this example, snake venom is actually fine to drink, as we’ve mentioned before.