- Everything we could find out about it

Home ] [ Controlled Substances ] [ Hallucinogens ]

Created Oct 2019 | Updated Nov 2020


  • [PEYOTE]

3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine CONSTITUENT OF "PEYOTE" CACTI

DEA CODE 7381: Schedule 1

Peyote and Mescaline

Peyote and Mescaline

Peyote is a small, spineless cactus. The top of the peyote cactus is referred to as the "crown" and consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut off. The fresh or dried buttons are chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating liquid. Peyote buttons may also be ground into a powder that can be placed inside gelatin capsules to be swallowed, or smoked with a leaf material such as cannabis or tobacco.

Similar to other hallucinogens like LSD, psilocycbin (mushrooms), and PCP.

The active ingredient in peyote is the hallucinogen mescaline. From earliest recorded time, peyote has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of their religious rites. Mescaline can be extracted from peyote or produced synthetically.

What Is Mescaline?
Mescaline is a hallucinogenic chemical compound which originates naturally in peyote (Lophophora williamsii), a species of cactus which is native to Mexico and Texas. While mescaline most often comes from peyote, it can also come from certain species of cactus in Peru. Chemists are also capable of synthesizing mescaline in laboratories. People use mescaline as a recreational drug to experience euphoria and hallucinations.

Mescaline Timeline:
Mescaline has a long-standing historical and cultural association. In ancient times, peyote was ceremonially identified with the natives in the Southwestern US and northern Mexico. By 1922, it was already used in around 22,000 traditional ceremonies. In 1919, the first synthetic mescaline (3, 4, 5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) was created, made possible by its structural resemblance to adrenaline. In the United States, the drug was banned by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act in 1970. The following year, the drug was categorized as a Schedule I hallucinogen by the CSA, and was made illegal internationally by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances.

History of Mescaline:
Mescaline, a natural hallucinogen found in cacti, is one of the OG psychedelics. Its use has been traced back 6,000 years, to prehistoric psychonauts tripping in caves near the Rio Grande in Texas. The earliest physical evidence of its use are effigies made of dried peyote cactus preserved in the Shumla caves, on the Texas side of the Rio Grande, that have been radiocarbon dated to 4000 BCE. There's an amazing carving in a very early temple site in Peru, about 1000 BCE, of a fanged, clawed shaman figure holding a mescaline-containing San Pedro cactus. It looks as if this was a pilgrimage site where ceremonies were conducted that involved processions and subterranean passages. When the Spanish arrived in Mexico they found peyote being traded and used as a sacrament. The Spanish writings describe two different forms of peyote ritual. There's a healing ceremony, where a curandero [doctor] uses it to divine the cause of an illness or a curse or to see future events and distant places. Also, among the tribes - such as the Huichol - in the north of Mexico, where the peyote grows, they witnessed ceremonies where villagers would eat or drink peyote and dance around a fire all night in a communal trance or frenzy.

The Plains Indian peyote ceremony developed when the tribes were taken into forced captivity on the reservations. Before then, it was known only to those who visited the areas of Mexico and southern Texas where it grew - mostly Apache bands such as the Lipan and the Mescalero. But after the Texas-Mexico railroad opened in 1881, peyote from Texas began to reach the Comanche, Kiowa, and Apache reservations in Oklahoma. Following the Ghost Dance ceremonies in 1890, which were suppressed after the massacre at Wounded Knee, communal singing and dancing was banned on the reservations. Peyote ceremonies took place in tipis, away from the prying eyes of government agents. Participants ate peyote buttons, usually dried, while seated all night around a central fire, purified with prayers, tobacco, and incense, and sang songs accompanied by a drum and rattle that passed around the group. Songs were channeled during the ceremonies and different traditions and forms of ritual evolved. On Indian reservations, peyote was often prohibited and its users harassed and imprisoned. In 1918, the federal government attempted to ban it as a narcotic. To protect themselves, peyote worshippers in Oklahoma incorporated the Native American Church, to give their sacrament legal status under the First Amendment's freedom of worship. Of all the attempts to construct a religious practice around peyote, this was the one that survived. A century later, it's still thriving.

Mescaline chemically different from other psychedelics:
Mescaline is an alkaloid that occurs in nature in two families of cacti: the San Pedro in the Andes and the peyote in Mexico, and a bit of what's in Texas now. It's a phenethylamine, biosynthesized by the cacti from the amino acid phenylalanine, which is also present in foods such as eggs, milk, soybeans, breast milk, and in trace amounts in the human brain. This makes it different from other psychedelics such as LSD, psilocybin, and DMT, which are tryptamines, derived from a different amino acid, tryptophan.

Peyote Buttons:
In the U.S., most people obtain the drug in the form of dried pieces of cactus called peyote buttons. The mescaline content of these buttons is accessed through chewing, or by soaking the buttons in water and drinking this water at a later time. In addition, some people grind dried peyote buttons into powder and smoke this powder in combination with tobacco or marijuana. In addition to the various forms of peyote, mescaline is sometimes chemically isolated from its cactus source or synthetically created in a laboratory setting. Isolated and synthesized forms of the drug come in capsules, tablets, powders and liquids.

Did You Know:

Mescaline is named after the Mescalero Apaches, natives of the American Great Plains.

The federal government allowed the Native American Church to use mescaline as a part of their sacraments. The church members use peyote not to generate visions, but to open a portal to an alternative reality. The Native American Church practices what is called peyotism, or the Peyote Religion.

Mescaline can be formed by mixing three different substances, including trimethoxybenzaldehyde, nitromethane, and cyclohexylamine. However, the production of synthetic alkaloid mescaline is quite expensive, limiting the supply of synthetic mescaline.


A psychedelic of the phenethylamine family. Found in psychedelic cacti that have long been used by peoples native to the Southwestern US and Mexico, including Peyote and San Pedro cacti, among others. Can be found as cactus pulp, as an extract from cacti, or as a synthetic substance created in a lab.

RouteOnsetDurationAfter Effects
Tripsit Factsheets
All ROAs:60-180 minutes6-12 hours3-5 hours
Mescaline Duration
Strong orange
Euphoria, empathy, insight, brightened colour, Closed/Open eye visuals, enhanced tactile sensation, mental/physical stimulation, decreased appetite, pupil dilation, restlessness, change in perception, ego softening, sweating/chills, muscle tension, confusion, insomnia.

Slow Onset of Action:
In experiments mescaline requires 2 to 3 hours for onset of action, and its effects sometimes last for more than 12 hours. The hallucinatory effects vary greatly among individuals and even for a particular individual from one drug session to the next. The variations seem to reflect such factors as the mood and personality of the subject and the setting in which the drug is administered. Hallucinations are usually visual, less often auditory.

Usually found in one of 3 varieties:

  1. Extracted mescaline: Looks like pale greenish-gold powder. Produced from cacti. Effects differ from pure mescaline due to presence of other alkaloids which alter the trip. Obtained from trustafarians, neo-hippies/psychonauts, and some rainbow family/legit hippies.
  2. Poorly-synthesized mescaline: Usually yellow or orange crystals. Trip can range from good to bad to just plain weird. Impurities from manufacture affect the trip. Obtained from connected hippies.
  3. Properly-synthesized mescaline: The GOOD stuff. Purified mescaline in salt form. Snow-white needles, weird taste. AWESOME trip, probably my favorite out of the traditional four psychedelics (LSD, psilo, DMT, mescaline). Obtained from Euro chemists. Hard to get and pricey but worth it.

Taking Mescaline on TV experiment:
During the 1950s in Britain, mescaline was still legal. The BBC decided it would be a serious and worthwhile experiment to administer a massive fucking dose of the good shit to one of their old-school plummy-voiced TV newsreel presenters, Christopher Mayhew (later elevated to the House of Lords). The producers made him sit in a comfy horse-hair-stuffed armchair in someone's front parlour while being interrogated by a psychologist for several hours. The entire experience was filmed, so that viewers at home could learn for themselves what it was like to trip absolutely intergalactic balls. The increasingly interesting results speak for themselves, and were never broadcast. Please note that the mescaline was so strong that it affected the TV camera too and so some viewers may start to perceive colour in this black and white footage.

Slang Terms for Peyote: Bad seed, britton, hikori, hikuli, half moon, hyatari, P, nubs, seni, tops
Slang Terms for Mescaline: Cactus, cactus buttons, cactus joint, mesc, mescal, mese, mezc, moon, topi
Use and Users:
Cactus head = peyote user.
Love trip = mescaline user (and MDMA or MDA)

Mescaline = Weakest of the Hallucinogens:
Mescaline is considered by scientists to be the most mild of the "classical" hallucinogens, somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 times less potent than LSD and 30 times less potent than psilocybin. Its relative mildness (and bitter taste) might be the reason why it's not considered particularly addictive - and why there's a dearth of clinical studies on the drug. Psychedelic advocates and haters alike have trippier fish to fry.

Mescaline Production too Expensive vs Other Street Psychedelics:
Synthetic or pure crystalline mescaline is one of the rarest psychedelics, and misrepresentation of other substances as being mescaline is very common. I've only come across true synthetic mescaline once in my life, but have seen items ranging from LSD to DOB (a relative of 2C-B) being sold as mescaline several times. Illegal drug labs rarely produce mescaline for the underground market because of its inefficiency, high cost, and lack of a market. It requires approximately 1/2 gram of mescaline sulfate to produce a psychedelic trip. This same amount of material would represent 4 doses of ecstasy, 20 doses of 2C-B, 50 doses of psilocin, or 2500 doses of LSD. And without the large market of substances like ecstasy, smaller, less efficient batches must be produced, raising the cost of production even higher. The small amount of mescaline that is produced for the psychedelic underground typically fetches from $100 to $200 per gram, ($50 to $100 per dose), clearly too expensive to become a popular street drug.

What are the risks?
Once ingested, peyote can cause feelings of nausea before the desired mental effects appear. Other effects can include increased body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure; loss of appetite, sleeplessness, numbness, weakness and tremors. Effects can be different during each use due to varying potency, the amount ingested, and a person's expectations, mood and surroundings. A person using peyote may sometimes experience enjoyable sensations, but also report terrifying thoughts and anxiety, fear of insanity, death and of losing control.

Bad Trips Possible:
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.

Dangerous Drug Combinations:
Dangerous Drug Combinations: Possibly dangerous combination with antidepressants, ecstasy, and other drugs that affect serotonin levels.

Special Considerations:
Mescaline has relatively low risk of harm and is seen as non-addictive.

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD):
There are documented cases of life-time psychedelic use inducing flashbacks and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), a condition of recurrent psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and panic attacks. It is important to note that symptoms of HPPD are also present in people who have never used psychedelics before, especially among those with anxiety disorders, so it's unlikely that the majority of cases are caused as a result of drug use. In an interview of over 500 Native Americans that regularly participate in peyote ceremonies, none of them reported having any flashbacks or persistent visual symptoms.

Tolerance can develop:
Despite the fact that it has not been proven to be physically addictive, frequent users of mescaline can develop a tolerance to the drug, meaning higher doses are needed to achieve the same hallucinogenic effect. Higher doses of mescaline increase the user's chance of becoming violently ill.

Can mescaline be detected in a drug test?
Mescaline can be detected in the urine for one to four days after use, but it's not included in either standard or extended drug screens. Virtually all labs require a specific test for the substance, so unless your employer is a real stickler and specifically worried that you've been frequenting peyote ceremonies, you should be fine.

A woman from one of the Nations is often in the position to fulfill spiritual obligations with her family. Native Mothering recommends that you consult with your health care provider before attempting to take any medications or drugs while pregnant or breastfeeding. During pregnancy it is safer to use peyote than when you have delivered and you are breastfeeding. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that an infant's liver and kidneys are immature compared to an adults, and it could be more difficult for the infant to clear the active chemical mescaline.

There is just not very much information about the quantities of mescaline that appear in a mother's milk after she ingests peyote. As a naturally occurring phenomena it would be hard to determine the standard dosage because of the variations from cactus to cactus found in the wild. There is a wide variation of strength found in different plants of the same species. As a mother it is difficult to choose between participating in cultural events, or waiting for a better time! It is our hope that this information will help mothers, traditional medicine providers and and HCPs determine the best and safest path for each mother individually.

Mescaline is in the San Pedro cactus of the Andes too:
The central psychoactive element in San Pedro is mescaline, an entheogenic compound found in another, much smaller psychedelic cactus, peyote. San Pedro cactus, also known as huachuma, is a powerful entheogenic plant that hails from the Andes region and has been used ceremonially for centuries in the Americas. A fairly large, spiny, and typical-looking columnar cactus, it would be easy to overlook in the rugged but beautiful Andean mountain landscape, but this plant has played a central role in the religions of that region for at least 2000 years. These days, San Pedro is enjoying a recent wave of popularity as psychedelic healing centers are beginning to provide huachuma ceremonies in conjunction with their other offerings. The central psychoactive element in San Pedro is mescaline, an entheogenic compound found in another, much smaller psychedelic cactus, peyote.

Mescaline Ceremonies in Peru:
In some areas of Peru, the drug is used in sacred or religious ceremonies. Mescaline has been used for thousands of years to ward off evil or negative energy, purifying the soul and the deepest crevices of the mind. People who seek the powers of the ritual travel through the Andes Mountains to a lake called Laguna Shimbe. The ceremonies are guided by shamans who channel San Pedro, the wachuma cactus plant that also produces mescaline.

Not to be confused with Mezcal:
Mescaline is sometimes referred to as mescal. This is commonly confused with the Mexican alcoholic beverage mezcal, which, despite drug folklore, is made from agave, not a cactus, and does not contain mescaline.

The worm that is sometimes found in a bottle of mezcal does not, as often purported, induce a mescaline high because it does not contain the drug either.

Did you know that mescaline is almost impossible to find in Canada? Real mescaline is not available in Quebec or the rest of Canada; the substance sold as mescaline here is actually PCP.

New Zealand:
Information about mescaline use in New Zealand is relatively sparse. It doesn't appear, for example, on the Drug Foundation, Police Drug Info or NORML websites (except for being listed as a Class A controlled substance). This suggests its use is not widespread or seen as particularly problematic. Our lack of widespread interest in mescaline isn't that surprising. Most cacti sold by garden centres are quite small, and they're not terribly fast growing. Considering you need 30 centimetres or more of cactus blade for a decent boil-up, Matters of Substance thinks mescaline will remain a minor player in our drug pantheon. Most Kiwis wanting to get high will put their ingenuity towards cultivating something else.

Mescaline -

UNODC PDF Mescaline


Caymanchem PDF Mescaline

A naturally occurring psychedelic known for its hallucinogenic effects. It occurs naturally in the peyote cactus, the San Pedro cactus, the Peruvian torch, and other members of the plant family Cactaceae. In traditional peyote preparations, the top of the cactus is cut off, leaving the large tap root along with a ring of green photosynthesizing area to grow new heads. These heads are then dried to make disc-shaped buttons. Buttons are chewed to produce the effects or soaked in water to drink. However, the taste of the cactus is bitter, so contemporary users will often grind it into a powder and pour it in capsules to avoid having to taste it. The average 76 mm (3.0 in) button contains about 25 mg mescaline.

Using 'trip killers' to cut short bad drug trips is potentially dangerous - Huxley describes mostly beautiful visions while tripping on mescaline. And then there were the Beatles seeing ... To mitigate against bad trips, people will often take the drug in a relaxing and safe ...
Thursday February 15, 2024 -

How psychedelic drug therapy became a rare bipartisan issue in California - Former Assembly Republican leader Marie Waldron and San Francisco Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener may not have a lot in common, but they’ve formed an unlikely alliance over psychedelic drugs.
Monday February 19, 2024 -

Lucy in the sky with the corporations, military contractors, and intelligence agencies that created psychedelics - The famous Dupont slogan “Better Living Through Chemistry” was never intended to apply to drug use, but as Benjamin Breen explains in Tripping on Utopia, his charming and highly readable history of ...
Thursday January 25, 2024 -

California considers decriminalizing 'magic mushrooms' for therapeutic use - This bill would allow the use of 'magic mushrooms' as well as DMT, MDMA and mescaline under the supervision of a licensed therapist.
Wednesday February 07, 2024 -

Bill would permit supervised use, decriminalize magic mushrooms in Illinois - Usage of psilocybin, known as magic mushrooms, would be limited to state-approved facilities if the bill is signed into law.
Monday February 19, 2024 -

Colorado Legalizes Possession Of Psychedelic Drugs, Testing The Limits Of Progressive Drug Law Reform - The intricacies of decriminalization were meticulously outlined in a bill passed by the Colorado legislature last year, which served as the vehicle for the implementation of legalization and ...
Wednesday February 14, 2024 -

North County lawmaker co-sponsors bill to legalize therapeutic psychedelic drug use - California could soon legalize psychedelic therapy under a bipartisan bill being introduced Tuesday. Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener and Republican Assemblymember Marie Waldron want to allow people 21 ...
Tuesday February 06, 2024 -

California could legalize psychedelic therapy after rejecting 'magic mushroom' decriminalization - Promising results from studies have sparked a wave of popular interest in psychedelics, amplified by writings touting their potential to reshape care for mental illness, and other care.
Tuesday February 13, 2024 -

California considers psychedelic therapy bill after Gov. Newsom vetoes hallucinogen decriminalization - CA Gov. Newsom vetoed a bill to decriminalize certain hallucinogens, but a new bill has arisen to legalize psychedelic therapy, which would come with comprehensive safeguards.
Tuesday February 06, 2024 -

The original punk? How William Blake became rock’s favourite poet - William Blake is today exalted as one of the greatest British artists. His life mask is in the National Portrait Gallery, while a bust sits in Westminster Abbey. His poem “The Tyger” is among the most ...
Saturday February 17, 2024 -

Hallucinogens | Link to this page

Home ] [ Controlled Substances ] [ Sources ]