Mescaline is a psychedelic hallucinogen obtained from the small, spineless cactus Peyote, the San Pedro cactus, Peruvian torch cactus, and other mescaline-containing cacti. It is also found in certain members of the Fabaceae (bean family) and can be produced synthetically.
People have used hallucinogens for hundreds of year, mostly for religious rituals or ceremonies. Mescaline leads to rich visual hallucinations. From the earliest recorded time, peyote has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of traditional religious rites. It has an effect that is similar to LSD or psilocybin (magic mushrooms), other hallucinogenic drugs.
The top of the cactus above ground, or the crown, consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the roots and dried. These buttons are generally chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating tea. It can be consumed raw or dried but is extremely bitter. The hallucinogen may also be ground into powder for oral capsules, or smoked with marijuana and tobacco. The hallucinogenic dose is about 0.3 to 0.5 grams (equivalent to about 5 grams of dried peyote) and lasts about 12 hours. However, different doses can affect people in various ways, and doses extracted from plants can vary widely.
Uses of Mescaline
Mescaline is used primarily as a recreational drug and is also used to supplement various types of meditation and psychedelic therapy. It is classified as a schedule I drug in the U.S., making it illegal in all forms (including peyote); however, it remains legal in certain religious ceremonies registered by the Native American Church. Schedule I drugs have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.
Side Effects of Use
Users typically experience visual hallucinations and radically altered states of consciousness, often experienced as pleasurable and illuminating but occasionally is accompanied by feelings of anxiety or revulsion. Other effects include:
- visual hallucinations and radically altered states of consciousness (psychedelic experience)
- open and closed eye visualizations
- anxiety, fear
- racing heart beat (tachycardia)
- excessive sweating
- nausea, vomiting
- accidental injury
- psychosis, panic or paranoia
Like most psychedelic hallucinogens, mescaline is not physically addictive; however, it can cause tolerance meaning higher doses are need to achieve the same hallucinogenic effect. Mescaline containing cacti can induce severe vomiting and nausea, which is an important part to traditional Native-American or Shaman ceremonies and is considered a cleansing ritual and a spiritual aid.
If you take prescription medications, there are no well-controlled studies to determine the overall effect of drug interactions. Medications that have an effect in the brain and may affect serotonin levels (for example: antidepressants, antipsychotic agents) may have the potential for dangerous drug interactions when combined with mescaline. Drugs that affect the circulatory system, heart, or have stimulant affects may lead to rapid pulse and dangerous outcomes. Other drug interactions are also possible, although scientific data are limited.