Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a naturally occurring psychedelic protoal kaloid of the substituted phenethylamine class, known for its hallucinogenic effects comparable to those of LSD and psilocybin. It occurs naturally in the San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus (Echinopsis) pachanoi), the Peruvian torch (Trichocereus peruvianus (Echinopsis peruviana)), the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), and other species of cactus. It is also found in certain members of the Fabaceae (bean family) and can be produced synthetically.
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.
Side effects or risks
Side effects or risks of mescaline use may include:
- anxiety, fear
- racing heart beat (tachycardia)
- excessive sweating
- nausea, vomiting
- accidental injury
- psychosis, panic or paranoia
- amnesia (loss of memory)
- post hallucinogen perceptual disorder (flashbacks)
- rarely, suicidal thoughts or actions
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, medications for bipolar disorder) 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.