If you're looking for a selection of mescaline cacti, you can browse through our cacti smartshop category. These cacti are generally not ready for harvest. You have to grow them for a couple of years to get enough material for a trip.
What is mescaline?
Mescaline is a naturally occurring psychedelic found in several cactus species, most notably, Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and San Pedro (Echinopsis pachanoi). Several other members of the trichocereus family also contain mescaline.
Mescaline belongs to a family of compounds known as phenethylamines, making it quite distinct from the other major psychedelics which belong to the indole family. LSD, psilocybin, harmaline, and DMT are all indoles. Many synthetic "designer" psychedelics/energizers, such as ecstasy (MDMA) and 2C-B, are phenethylamines, and are related to the chemistry of mescaline.
In addition to containing mescaline, the cacti mentioned above contain a large variety of related psychoactive compounds, and will produce experiences that are qualitatively different than pure mescaline. The experience produced by Peyote is also quite distinct from that produced by cacti from the trichocereus family.
Many members of the trichocereus family are psychoactive. Many references indicate that one variety, Trichocereus peruvianus, is several times as potent by weight as the other trichocereus species. Psychoactive species include: Trichocereus bridgesii, T. cuzcoensis, T. fulvinanus, T. macrogonus, E. pachanoi, T. peruvianus, T. taquimbalensis, T. tersheckii, T. validus, T. werdermannius.
Peyote and San Pedro are New World psychedelics. In ancient times their use was concentrated in the regions to which they are native. Peyote was used throughout Mexico to as far north as Texas, San Pedro in the Andes mountain region of South America. The introduction of Peyote into the U.S. and Canada, and its use by North American Indian tribes, occurred much more recently, beginning sometime in the late 1800s.
As with mushrooms, the Roman Catholic church tried to abolish the use of Peyote and San Pedro. However, they were only partially successful. Peyote use spread from Mexico to North America, and the Native American Church was formed in 1918 to preserve Native Americans' right to use Peyote. And with San Pedro, the ceremony practised by many South American shamans continued while incorporating several Christian symbols into the rituals. The name of a Christian saint was even adopted for the cactus.
Mescaline was the first psychedelic compound to be extracted and isolated, which occurred in 1896. In 1919 it became the first psychedelic to be synthesized. For the next 35 years it remained a somewhat obscure compound known primarily to the psychiatric community. In 1953 the popular novelist Aldous Huxley read about mescaline. Soon thereafter Huxley tried mescaline, and brought it to the attention of the public by writing The Doors of Perception.
Today, natives throughout North America still perform sacred Peyote rituals. In South America shamans continue to hold traditional San Pedro ceremonies which are associated with healing, imparting or counteracting witchcraft, and putting one in touch with supernatural and divinatory powers. A claim frequently heard about the San Pedro experience is that the user embarks on a flight of a telepathic nature being transported across time and space. A user who embarks on this "astral journey" may perceive events happening in distant parts of the world, or in metaphysical realms. This flight phenomenon may result from solanaceous plants which are frequently included in the San Pedro brew and contain the Belladonna alkaloids.
Synthetic or pure crystalline mescaline is one of the rarest psychedelics, and misrepresentation of other substances as being mescaline is very common. And so, items ranging from LSD to DOB (a relative of 2C-B) are being sold as mescaline sometimes.
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 sulphate 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 dollars per gram, (50 to 100 dollars per dose), clearly too expensive to become a popular street drug.
Mescaline sulphate can be distinguished by the structure of its crystals. These are approximately 1/4" long and look like fine needles or shards of glass. The amount of mescaline needed for a high can fill two double 0 gelatin caps. Those who claim they've had mescaline in tiny microdot pills, or as a white powder in a capsule where only 1/8th of a gram produced a powerful experience, have been given something other than real mescaline. Another form of mescaline, mescaline hydrochloride, is said to be about 25% more potent than mescaline sulphate.
Dosage and preparation
The amount of mescaline sulphate required for a full experience is about 500 mg. (or approximately 350 mg. of mescaline hydrochloride) Pure mescaline should be taken in two half-doses about 30 minutes apart. This will minimize disturbance of the stomach, which usually passes after the first couple hours of the high. When consuming whole cacti one is actually taking a combination of alkaloids which interact with each other in synergy, producing an experience which is different, and sometimes more desirable, than pure mescaline.
For more information on using these psychoactive cacti see our pages on San Pedro and Peyote.
Links / References
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