Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a naturally occurring psychedelic protoalkaloid of the substituted phenethylamine class, known for its hallucinogenic effects comparable to those of LSD and psilocybin. It occurs naturally in the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), the San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus (Echinopsis) pachanoi), the Peruvian torch (Trichocereus peruvianus (Echinopsis peruviana)), and other species of cactus. It is also found in small amounts in certain members of the bean family, Fabaceae, including Acacia berlandieri. However those claims concerning Acacia species have been challenged and have been unsupported in any additional analysis
Mescaline comes from button-shaped seeds found in the peyote cactus and also from some other members of the Cactaceae plant family and from the Fabaceae bean family. These ‘peyote buttons’ are dried or mixed with water to make a hallucinogenic drink. Mescaline has a bitter taste so some people grind peyote buttons into an off-white powder that is put into capsules.
Potential medical usage : Mescaline has a wide array of suggested medical usage, including treatment of alcoholism and depression, due to these disorders having links to serotonin deficiencies. However, its status as a Schedule I controlled substance in the Convention on Psychotropic Substances limits availability of the drug to researchers. Because of this, very few studies concerning mescaline’s activity and potential therapeutic effects in humans have been conducted since the early 1970s.
Mescaline has been used for thousands of years and is best known as a drug used by some Native Americans in Mexico as part of their religious ceremonies.
Peyote buttons are most often chewed, but they can also be mixed with water and swallowed. Sometimes mescaline is made into a powder and put into capsules and swallowed.
How does it make you feel?
Mescaline is considered a hallucinogen or psychedelic drug and its effects include:
- An altered state of consciousness – with altered thinking and changes in time and perception – which is often described as happy, positive, enjoyable and ‘illuminating’.
- Feeling like you are in a dream-like state.
- Prominent changes in visual perceptions with intense visual distortions and possibly hallucinations (where you see things that aren’t there). These can happen with your eyes open or closed. Less common are auditory hallucinations (hearing things that aren’t there).
- Development of vomiting, headaches and feelings of anxiety.
How long it lasts
How long the effects last and the drug stays in your system depends on how much you’ve taken, your size, whether you’ve eaten and what other drugs you may have also taken.
Most users chew the button shaped seeds to produce the hallucinogenic effects, which can last for between 12 to 18 hours.
Physical health risks;
- Some people can experience moderate to severe vomiting and/or headaches.
- It can make you dizzy, anxious and increase your heart beat.
- It can give you diarrhoea.
Mental health risks;
- People have been known to harm themselves while under the effects of hallucinogens. Hence, it is particularly advisable for people already in a bad mood, feeling depressed or worried, to avoid taking mescaline in such a state.
- Because the perception of your body and the world around you can be distorted, and you may also be quite distracted, you may well not be in complete control of what you’re doing and so at risk of hurting yourself or others, particularly in any unsafe environments.
- If you panic, or don’t feel safe and comfortable with the people you’re with, the experience of a mescaline trip can be confusing or sometimes very scary. Whilst good trips can be pleasant and amusing at the time, bad trips can be terrifying.