Studies show that peyote and mescaline have not caused harm to society as a whole. That being said, there is very little recreational use of mescaline. Mescaline and peyote are known as natural, safe highs. The effects are much less than chemical substance that are psychoactive.
Peyote is a cactus that produces mescaline and grows in groups close to the ground. They can vary in color with yellow or white hairs sticking out. They don’t have spines like other cacti that contain mescaline. This is believed to be the reason they were consumed by native tribes hundreds of years ago. Peyote cactus have buttons that looks something like a rose. This is the part of the cactus that is harvested and dried.
When consumed, it will created a psychoactive effect.
Mescaline has a long history of being used, which began as ceremonial purposes. Not only did the native tribes of America use them for ceremonies but also there is psychological literature on the subject. It isn’t commonly used despite its status in movies and its historical uses. Its uses are primarily recreational though it does supplement spiritual ceremonies and is used in psychedelic therapy.
Mescaline belongs to the phenethylamines group, making it different than other psychedelics like LSD. Synthetic psychedelics like ecstasy are chemically related to mescaline so they also affect dopamine and norepinephrine. It is natural however and has been found to have less long-term side effects.
Hallucinogens have been used all over the world. There are varieties of plants that have hallucinogenic properties. They are any kind of chemical substance that distorts senses and produces perceptions that aren’t actually occurring in reality. The substances, when broken down, have other names based on how they affect our mind. They include:
Dreamlike states occur and perception of reality is distorted. Time and space is changed and seems to matter less. People will experience life behind a kaleidoscope with intense colors. To sum it up, the effects are not of this world. Historically, hallucinogenic plants have held a sacred place in indigenous cultures and are sometimes even considered the reincarnations of their gods.
The activity of the hallucinogens are a result of just a few kinds of chemical compounds. Labs today have easily been able to duplicate these substances. They have also manipulated chemical structures to create something synthetic and more reactive. Most hallucinogens are alkaloids which is a group of around 5,000 complex organic molecules. They are also responsible for what makes plants medicinal or toxic. There have been 120 hallucinogenic plants found throughout the world. They can be smoked, snuffed, swallowed fresh or dried, or drank with liquids. Historically, they have also been put in wounds or administered as an enema.
The biggest risk of Peyote is the unpredictability. When one takes a hallucinogen, it’s hard to know what is going to happen and what may come up. There are visuals involved that may terrify you or delight you. A user basically gives up all control. Even for those who have been on a Peyote trip before, they are never the same and it’s hard to know what to expect. This is likely one of the scariest side effects.
There aren’t a lot of long-term consequences associated with Peyote or mescaline. Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder is a long-term effect. It will usually occur much after the trip is over. Also known as a flashback, a user may experience their trip for a few seconds or minutes. It’s as if they are right back in the moment of being in the trip. This means that they’re not responsive to the moment at hand. This can have detrimental effects if someone happens to be driving or operating some kind of equipment.
High doses of Peyote can cause serious anxiety. This can last for as long as the high does. For people with mental disorders, it is harmful because it can cause further psychosis. It may also exacerbate an existing disorder that has never been diagnosed or has laid dormant.
Mescaline has a chemical structure that is similar to dopamine and norepinephrine. Communication is altered between neurotransmitters in the brain and spinal cord. This is what controls a person mood and their sensory perception. It acts on receptors in the brain that bring up happy feelings. We call it euphoric feelings when relating to a drug high. Peyote disturbs the normal activity of the neurotransmitters in the brain. This is what causes distortion. The effects will last for 1-2 hours and it will be totally out of your system about 12 hours later.
Side effects are going to differ between each user. It enhance a person's perception so their trip depends on their character. Some research psychiatrists would even go as far to say that they believed the psychedelic compounds in mescaline stimulate the part of our brain that resonates with spirituality.
Common effects on the brain include:
The bitterness of the peyote cactus and other cacti that contain mescaline can cause users to feel sick. This occurs before the psychoactive effects kick in.
Physical effects such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, numbness and weakness can appear during this time. Tachycardia can occur which is an increase in heart rate. Specifically, the heart rate beats more than 100 beats per minutes. It doesn’t cause physical problems for the moment or long-term but it can create psychological problems during the “trip.” This includes a sense of panic or a fear that the drug has caused problems with the heart.
One can become agitated because they feel nervous. It can happen for no reason when someone is in the middle of a mescaline high. This can cause a person to do things that aren’t safe. They may run into traffic or jump from a dangerous height. This is how people can hurt themselves physically during a trip.
There are other physical effects but they are not as common. It’s possible that someone can have a seizure, lose consciousness or vomit. It is believed people will vomit due to the extreme bitterness of the plant. A study found that most people needed medical treatment when they experienced mescaline or peyote poisoning.
Peyote common physical side effects include:
While Peyote and Ayahuasca are both thought to be useful for mental illness, DMT occurs naturally in human blood and brain tissue whereas Peyote/mescaline does not. DMT is the ingredient in Ayahuasca tea and what causes the high.
The history of use for cultural purposes is similar, although the plants are from different regions. While Peyote is found in North America, Ayahuasca is found in used in South America. Peyote lasts longer with a time frame of 8-16 hours. Ayahuasca lasts between 4-7 hours. As far as taste goes, Peyote apparently is less bitter and awful. Both can be brewed into a tea or chewed.
With Ayahuasca, you will feel it’s influence after about an hour and most people will vomit initially. Peyote takes a little more time to kick in and it usually doesn’t cause vomiting.
Firstly, LCD is a chemical hallucinogen and Peyote is derived from nature. Mescaline comes with less stress as LSD is well known for conjuring up anxiety during the trip. People who have taken LSD before say it’s intense and can make you feel awkward. Peyote wouldn’t be described as an intense high. The visuals are more like a spiritual quest. It feels as though you leave the dimension of reality you exist in. It may feel like you’re in a daydream. You may see colorful patterns and symbols that are mostly pleasing.
Acid and Peyote have a similar time frame for their “trip.” Users say mescaline offers a lucid, coherent state. LSD can cause confusion but does not necessarily offer a more intense high. Mescaline has stronger visual effects. An LSD high usually comes with weird scenes that are hard to manage where mescaline has more organized visuals. LSD can be quite stimulating where mescaline is quite relaxing. Some would even compare mescaline to having euphoric effects like ecstasy.
The buttons that are cut and dried are often soaked in water and then ingested. Peyote buttons can be ground up into a powder and smoked also. Some may include cannabis or tobacco. Mescaline itself is a powder, tablet, capsule, or liquid. It can be injected but this is not a popular method.
The dose is between 300mg to 500mg. This would be between 3-6 Peyote buttons depending on their size.
Some also use it to gain insight if they are having problems with their life. Some may try it to escape their reality and whatever angst they are experiencing.
Peyote is a hallucinogen which puts it in the same category as LSD and ayahuasca when classified as a substance. Any hallucinogen makes changes in brain circuits which causes the brain to change your perceptions. Peyote interacts with the neurotransmitter serotonin and the prefrontal cortex in the brain. This is where cognition, perception, mood, and arousal sit in the brain. When you take peyote, it can last for up to 12 hours, working within areas of the brain to cause effects. The way hallucinogens work on the brain explains the altered sense of perception, hallucinations, and a crossing over of senses.
As Peyote has been used for over 5,000 years, its history is rich. In fact, researchers found evidence in a cave in Texas that dated ceremonial Peyote use 5,700 years ago. It was used by Native American cultures for religious and medicinal reasons. The medicinal purposes includes the flu, joint pain, toothaches, diabetes, snakebites, skin problems and more. The first Europeans coming to the New World condemned Spanish conquerors for using it. Peyote use became associated with devil worshiping, cannibalism, and witchcraft. The suppression of Peyote use would occur through the 17, 18, and 19th century.
The first non-natives to come into contact with Peyote in the New World would have been the Catholic missionaries and Spanish conquistadors. There were Peyote ceremonies described that occurred out in the desert. Sometimes, when going on a Peyote hunt, they would walk hundreds of kilometers to find the cactus.
In the US, Peyote is illegal currently and has been since 1970. It was made illegal by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Internationally, it was prohibited within the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. It is a controlled Schedule I substance.
Mescaline itself is a controlled substance. Manufacturing or selling it can mean five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. For possession, it can be up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. In its natural state, it’s legal for members of the Native American Church. This is because of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. It’s the same act that allows certain tribes to do traditional whale hunts if that’s what their lineage is.
The only time people are allowed to do Peyote outside of the Native American Church is for research purposes. Peyote is also a Schedule I substance in Mexico. It is actually on the endangered status so harvesting a plant from the wild is against the law.
So where is Peyote legal? Nowhere. There are some countries with more relaxed laws on it though. In Canada, the mescaline is illegal. Fresh Peyote and other cacti that have mescaline in it are not illegal. This is the same in the UK. You can grow Peyote as a household plant without getting in any trouble. You are not allowed to use it to get high however.
Australia has different laws within every state. It is not legal in some states but in others, it’s legal to grow. Still, a grower is not allowed to use it for getting high.
Peyote would have been risky to ingest back when man was just learning about plants in their environment. Many poisonous plants are bitter which would normally deter anyone from consuming it. Tribes such as the Huichol, Tarahumara, and others around Mexico recognized that if you dried and ate a particular cactus, there would be psychoactive effects.
Mescaline has been used culturally for thousands of years. In fact, archaeologists found that it’s been used for nearly 6,000 years. Native Americans have been using it in religious ceremonies and for physical illness. It is not legal to use Peyote in the U.S. but is respected as a sacrament in the Native American Church of North America. Within this, a priest or minister will guide people through the trip when taking Peyote to communicate with the higher power or Creator.
When used for ceremonial purposes like this, they are exempt from the classification as a Schedule 1 controlled drug. When the sacrament takes place, it will last for more than two days although the high itself lasts for just 10-12 hours.
Mescaline is made from the fruit or buttons which grow on the outside of the cactus, which are cut off and dried and eaten or sliced, boiled, and drunk as a tea. The effects of mescaline last for 10 to 12 hours, although the use of mescaline as a sacrament takes place over two days.
American Indians weren’t looking to go on a trip for mental disorders or sheer boredom. Taking the hallucinogen was to fulfill everyone’s’ needs with the tribe. For example, the Huichol people in Mexico consume Peyote when they complete pilgrimages. This is so they can experience a journey in their life that is similar to souls of the dead in the underworld.
Peyote and what to expect from the high is mixed. It is used recreationally sometimes which can come with greater risks. There have been many references to Peyote in North American culture. In cult classics and books alike, icons like Jim Morrison are shown getting high on the drug. Then, the Family Guy does a mock of the Doors scene as they all do Peyote in the desert.
Aldous Huxley and Carlos Castaneda, who are both experimental writers, talk about it in their highly acclaimed books. Aldous Huxley references taking mescaline as the door of perception. Carlos Castaneda created the character Don Juan, who was a Yaqui Mexican teacher who also happened to use Peyote.
In the 1960’s, the book by Carlos Castaneda called, “The Teachings of Don Juan, A Yagui Way of Knowledge introduced people to Peyotism. This is why today; people will still reference it as Don Juan. Peyote and mescaline have also been subtly spoken about in TV shows like the Simpsons. For example, this video shows a portion of a Simpson episode where Homer ate a spicy pepper that caused him to go on a journey of self-discovery. This is something that is widely spoken about when the effects of Peyote are brought up.
Native Americans swear that there are many therapeutic uses for mescaline. They will involve drumming and chanting. There may also be social and behavioral interventions. Within Native groups, they may use Peyote as a means to treat drug and alcohol addiction.
Alcohol abuse is quite high among certain Native American groups. Mescaline is a form of therapy that the Native American Church believes in. While this is good for his or her culture, not everyone is allowed to take part in it.
Bill W. Wilson, who founded Alcoholics Anonymous, did look positively to psychedelic intervention. The effects on serotonin can help treat substance addiction. It can help one surrender, which is also a part of modern drug rehabilitation. The problem is, it is a fine line of letting go of an addiction to start up another addiction. The social support that occurs in a traditional therapy is considered equally as therapeutic as Peyote. Within the ceremony, there is also a master guide, group sessions that last for a long periods, ego reduction, and social networks alcoholics can reach out to. Throughout the process, there is a focus on self-actualization for the alcoholic.
The general population of Americans will have to seek out professional detox and rehabilitation for alcohol abuse. This can also be done in a holistic way in most cases. There are also cases where alcohol detox needs to incorporate medication as withdrawal comes with deadly consequences.
There was a Peyote craze in the 1960’s but it has since died down. Although, you will still see it referenced in pop culture.
Most people will think about what it means to Native Americans who use it for ceremonial purposes. Some actually find it offensive that it’s being used for the sole purpose of getting high. It is prohibited by federal law to do so and yet thousands of people do it every year. Mescaline is taken at parties or in the privacy of one’s home. As the use of Peyote in sacred ceremonies are conducted, Native Americans aren’t happy with it being used as a recreational drug.
For them, it has been used since ancient times as a religious practice. It is thought of as a spiritual encounter and a rite of passage for certain aspects of life. The Native American Church believes in the power of Peyote for spiritual guidance. They believe that using outside of the right environment makes it less beneficial.
Unless used for spiritual reasons under the right circumstances, it is quite offensive to use Peyote. The use of Peyote within certain Native American groups is compared to a Catholic going to confession. It is a part of their spiritual beliefs and not used to gain a high off. Some feel that using it in a recreational way is disrespectful to their culture.
Teens and young adults have been attracted to Peyote use, romanticizing it based on what they see with popular drug culture. While it would not be considered a widely used drug, it still has 6 million users. Studies found that in total, over 30 million people have used psychedelic drugs. This includes mushrooms, LSD, and ketamine. Mescaline has shown to be used by 1 million people, which is the active ingredient in Peyote.
In teens, it can be quite terrifying to go into a bad trip. The brain hasn’t fully developed and they have a harder time managing the side effects. It is far more likely that the expansion of the mind will turn into a bad trip. Young people are also more reckless when abusing Peyote and may not have a safe place to be high.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) reported that over 900,000 people were first time users over the past year in the U.S. If someone ends up on a bad trip or cannot handle the effects, there’s no way to stop it. There are street terms for Peyote that include:
Some may argue that Peyote helps with mental disorders. While this may be true for some, it is also believed it can trigger mental illness. Brian Wilson, a member of the Beach Boys experimented with LSD when he was young. He believed it caused a trigger that created mental anguish in his life for decades. The found member and guitarist for Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett did many hallucinogenic drugs. He had a mental breakdown that he never recovered from. He spent the rest of life in various mental wards. It may be coincidence.
Experts do believe that a breakdown brought on by a Peyote trip can trigger mental illnesses that are irreversible. While there is no current proof of this, Peyote has a history of exacerbating psychological issues that are pre-existing or latent.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that users experienced HPPD, which is a hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. The slang term is called a flashback and a user can potentially experience hallucinations and visual sensations when they are not high. Sensations of the high come back and this can cause people to experience mental health issues too. Everyone is at risk to develop a mental disorder but it is particularly risky for those with a predisposition to him or her.
When we think of tolerance and addiction, we usually don’t consider hallucinogenic drugs to be a part of the equation. The drug culture say that Peyote is a natural experience that transcends what normal drug use looks like. It comes from a natural plant so it has not considered addictive. If you look to cocaine and heroin, they are also natural plants. The argument that it’s natural so it must be safe isn’t always the case.
If a user uses Peyote or mescaline repeatedly, tolerance can develop. Experts believe it’s possible to become psychologically addicted to the state of mind that you’ll experience when on the high. The ability to check out of one’s life completely is appealing to some. Here are the stages of dependency and addiction with Peyote and mescaline.
Most people online who talk about their Peyote experience will have done it in a ceremony setting. This is the case for an anonymous writer who took Peyote in Central America. The secret setting included comfortable beds which surrounded an alter around the shaman. A shaman will be involved in the ceremony to perform the rituals. The ceremony lasted all night, starting at 8 pm and lasting until sunrise.
The Peyote was in a beverage and it took about 45 minutes for it to kick in. Some people threw up nearly right after they took a drink. A word of advice that the user stated was that eating the buttons bring a more intense high (as opposed to drinking tea with Peyote in it). In addition, due to the nature of the high, he recommended that you only try it if you have a shaman looking over you.
The user said that time slowed down and eventually the whole perception of time disappears. It no longer matters. This is one of the big reasons people have called it a spiritual experience. The realization that time is an illusion is a lesson that only those in an advanced state of mind will experience usually. When the shaman played music, the user said he could feel it deep in his soul. When looking at others in the ceremony, their face would turn into different shapes.
The result was a feeling that the mind had been expanded. He mentioned that there were people who were crying and letting go of past painful events. He did mention that the body takes time to recover from the experience.
One user said that they experienced a peyote trip that destroyed their life. The person said he did Native American Peyote ceremonies once or twice a year for a few years. He took the Peyote in a ceremonial setting with the Native American Church. He experienced what he would normally, which was a connection to the people around him and heightened senses. He did a ceremony the following evening again. This Peyote trip was the one that ruined him.
Delusional scenarios and bazaar visions ensued. He made strange phone calls and drove home. He thought he was functioning as he drove although he could still feel the Peyote. It becomes night and the user is back at home. He goes to the store and at that point, begins to hear things. A voice tells him he can just take the items he has. Therefore, he does. He steals the food and walks out without paying.
He was stopped by an employee and apologizes for not paying. It is the person that he’s been tripping out with that calls the cops on him. When the police come, he has visions of a crazy nature. The police don’t arrest him because his greatest offense is that he’s talking to himself. They do take him home. He put on some music and at that point, he blacks out. He writes things over the wall that are satanic and hateful.
His roommate became concerned with his behavior. When the police arrive, he is in his room, which has completely been destroyed. Again, the police have no real reason to arrest him so they leave. For days after, he is stuck in his psychosis. He experiences the same things you would on a Peyote trip such as visuals, hearing things, and experiencing alternate realities. He ruins his phone, his guitar, and the heater in his room. He walks around his neighbourhood in a delusional state. The psychosis lasted for 8 days so his roommate called his mom.
His mom admitted him into the hospital and he tried to run away believing that the police were after him. He is strapped down because he’s resisting medical help. He was terrified that nurses were going to kill him. He thought he might die and felt angry to the point that he was kept in restraints. He eventually was locked up in a mental hospital for a time.
The only way he could be released was if he agreed to go live with his mother. With the massive life change the user experienced, he became extremely depressed. He was put in the mental hospital again and given lithium. They diagnosed him with bipolar disease. He claims that this one trip caused his life to be on hold for 7 months. He was away from his child and couldn’t find work.
Peyote addiction changes how nerve cells communicate with each other. It changes serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is responsible for how we think and therefore act. It’s also responsible for our perception. Peyote affects serotonin so users will often not know where they are or who they are.
It influences serotonin levels afterwards too which can cause a few problems. You may end up with too much serotonin in the system. The brain can’t create the chemical on its own so you will feel depressed. This depression can last for days which may potentially cause a user to want more.
If done for a long time repeatedly, Peyote can alter the brain chemistry and cause damage to it. A person won’t think sensibly anymore. While Peyote is not as addictive as heroin, it can be highly abused. A psychological dependence can occur where the user needs the feeling to be happy. Tolerance can be developed which is the need to take more because sensitivity to the drug is lost. Users may get trapped in believing they need the drug to de-stress or enjoy themselves.
Therefore, while you may not be able to get addicted to Peyote itself, it is possible to become addicted to the experiences it offers. Peyote does not have the chemical makeup to be considered addictive. Even if used for long periods, there are no withdrawal periods. Psychological dependence is possible but physical dependence is not.
There has been no known overdoses on Peyote and no legal dose has been found as of yet. There also has not been any detrimental long-term effects. Studies have been conducted on Native American populations, as they would be using it for ceremonies more frequently than the general population. Some will experience flashbacks and in this case, if they were in the middle of driving, it could lead to death. This has never been established however.
Peyote does require care or death may occur because users are not in their right mind. Environmental hazards should be minimized. People will prepare space and remove sharp objects. As vomiting is common, having someone there that is sober is essential. If someone is on their back, they may choke on their own throw up.
If people take Peyote when they have heart conditions, or high blood pressure, it can cause problems. This is largely due to the blood pressure medications. If someone is taking MAOIs, the effects will be greater and potentially more dangerous. While none of these things will directly cause death, it can put one at risk.
Peyote, how long to grow?
People may be interested in growing their own Peyote plant. It is arduous to have a plant and even if it does grow to adulthood, it’s illegal to use it to get high. It traditionally takes 3-5 years to flowering. For grafted plants, it takes up to one year. If you’re willing to pay the price to do hydro grafting from hydro seeds which are cloned once, it will take about 5 months. This will include multiple tools like 6500k LED tubes or different forms of complex lighting.
Can mescaline be detected in a drug test?
Mescaline can be detected in a urine test for up to 4 days after you use it. It’s not included in a standard drug test or even an extended screening. It would require a specific test for mescaline so any employer is likely to skip out this test.
Can I microdose with peyote?
Peyote can be micro dosed and is done so by ingesting about 20-40 mg of mescaline every four days. It is believed that the Tarahumara Indians micro dosed during time of hunting. They would be exhausted and hungry when looking for game and would consume a small amount of Peyote. Some of the believed benefits include:
Will Peyote Make Me Crazy?
A family history of mental health problems being diagnosed with psychiatric disorders could potentially prompt mental issues. Peyote can make you feel crazy while you are on the trip and maybe for days after. This is known as acute psychosis and is termed, “a bad trip.”
Peyote, the small cactus that grows in areas of Mexico and Texas has seen a jaded past. Europeans saw it as problematic the moment they saw what it did to people. While Native Americans revere it as part of their culture, recreational use has its risks. A bad trip can prompt terrifying visuals that can cause people to harm themselves. Even worse, if someone has mental health problems, it can prompt the symptoms or make them worse.
There is also the concern for addiction. Many would argue that addiction is not possible with a hallucinogen. While there is not the traditional physical dependency, there is risk of tolerance and dependency on the feeling. Mescaline does affect the brain, raising levels of serotonin. If you’re going through depression, any relief from the feeling of sadness can become welcoming.
If you feel you are exhibiting symptoms of dependency or addiction to Peyote, it’s important to get help. With any drug addiction, you risk losing the things that matter in your life. Getting in touch with why you’re using the drug is an important part of therapy. This and other aspects will be addressed as you get the professional help you need. We at Northpoint Recovery understand the difficulties of addiction and have the most up-to-date therapies to ensure you recover fully. Don’t hesitate to take our online addiction quiz. This will help you determine whether you need detox and rehabilitation.