Lophophora williamsii (Peyote)
IntroductionLophophora williamsii is a small, spineless cactus that contains psychoactive alkaloids, particularly mescaline. It is commonly known as peyote, which means "glisten" or "glistening" in Spanish. Peyote is native to southwestern Texas and Mexico. It is found primarily in the Chihuahuan desert among scrub, especially where there is limestone. It flowers from March through May, and sometimes as late as September. The flowers are pink, with thigmotactic anthers. They can reach heights of from 2 to 7 centimeters (0.79 to 2.76 in) and diameters of 4 to 12 centimeters (1.6 to 4.7 in).
HistoryKnown for its psychoactive properties when ingested, peyote is used worldwide as an entheogen and supplement to various transcendence practices, including meditation, psychonautics, and psychedelic psychotherapy. Peyote has a long history of ritualistic use by indigenous Americans.
In addition to psychoactive use, some Native American tribes use the plant for its curative properties. The US Dispensatory lists peyote under the name Anhalonium, and states it can be used in various preparations for neurasthenia, hysteria and asthma. Peyote also contains an alkaloid which was given the name peyocactin (hordenine). Peyocactin is a stimulant of the central nervous system, and has the ability to promote weight loss by enhancing metabolism.
EffectsThe effects last about 10 to 12 hours and are somewhat similar to DMT and psilocybin. Peyote is reported to trigger states of "deep introspection and insight" that have been described as being of a metaphysical or spiritual nature. At times, these can be accompanied by rich visual or auditory effects. The effects are mostly due to mescaline, but peyote contains a whole range of active alkaloids like lophophorine, thyramine, hordinenine, anhalaninine and pellotine.
UsageWhen used for its psychoactive properties, common doses for pure mescaline range from roughly 200 to 400mg. This translates to a dose of roughly 10 to 20g of dried peyote buttons of average potency; however, potency varies considerably between samples, making it difficult to measure doses accurately without first extracting the mescaline.
CultivationYou should be aware that peyote is one of the slowest growing cacti. They take between 5 to 10 years before they reach their mature form. Once the carrot like root is established new buttons rapidly form from the sliced portion, if cut at ground level or just above. These new pups are fairly large within a year.
Peyote is very sensitive to frost or prolonged near freezing temperatures and is easily injured or killed by frost. It should be brought inside in locations where the temperatures drop below 40 degrees F. Peyote loves being watered and fertilized during the hot weather. When the soil mixture has good drainage it can be watered twice a week and fertilized once a month. Water should be withheld when the environment gets cold. No elaborate lighting is needed, just make sure they are well lit.
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