Peyote (Lophophora williamsii)

Basics

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is a spineless cactus with a small "buttons" that are used for hallucinogenic purposes. Known for its psychoactive properties when ingested, peyote is used worldwide as an entheogen and supplement to various transcendence practices, including meditation, psychonautics and psychoactive therapy. It flowers from March through May, and sometimes as late as September. The flowers are pink.

Mescaline is the principal active compound in Peyote. It is a hallucinogen derived from several different cacti that grow in the southwestern United States, Mexico and Peru (San Pedro cacti). Due to the limited growing area of this cactus, it is a common practice to sell other drugs such as PCP or LSD as mescaline.

It can be extracted, but most of the mescaline sold worldwide is produced in a laboratory by chemical synthesis (mescaline sulfate = white crystalline material is the pure form of mescaline that can be put in a capsule form).

Methods of Use

Peyote - The peyote cactus contains buttons that can be cut from the root and dried. The buttons can either be chewed or soaked in water to produce an ingestible liquid. Peyote buttons may also be ground into a powder and then smoked with a leaf material, such as cannabis or tobacco.

Mescaline - Mescaline is administrated orally in the form of powder, tablet, capsule or liquid. It can be also ingested in its pure liquid form, however this method is unpopular. Users typically consume between 300-500 mg (which is approximately the amount contained in 3-6 peyote buttons). Effects generally appear within 1-2 hours, and gradually disappear 10-12 hours after administration.

Effects

Mescaline produces perceptual, cognitive and emotional experiences that vary widely among users based on size, setting, expectations, personality and drug history. The only documented long-term effect of mescaline is a possible prolonged psychotic state similar to that of paranoid schizophrenia. It is suggested that this may only affect those who were previously diagnosed as mentally ill.

Positive Neutral Negative
Feelings of insight
Unusual thoughts/speech Nausea/vomiting
Happy, dreamy feelings Changes in self control Paranoia, fear, panic
Closed and open-eyed visuals Changes in perception of time Chest and neck pain
Brightening of colors Change in body temperature regulation Unwanted and overwhelming feelings
Deep esoteric experiences Pupil dilation Inhibition of sex drive
Increase in energy Restlessness Insomnia
Feelings of hope or rejuvenation Changes in perception of reality Shortness of breath

History

Peyote is one of the oldest psychedelic agents known. Aztecs of Pre-Columbian Mexico (who considered the cactus to be magical and divine) often used it. Peyote use spread from Mexico to North America where it was used to treat illnesses, communicate with spirits, and for highly religious ceremonies. It is important in the Native American Church, which fused Christian doctrine with peyote-eating tribal ritual. The use of peyote is said to produce a mental state that allows celebrants to feel closer to their ancestors and their Creator. In 1970, the state of Texas legalized peyote for use by Native Americans in religious ceremonies; a federal law confirming this protection was enacted in 1995. Aside from this use, peyote is a controlled substance, illegal in all 50 states.

Written by Tomas Tichy