Mescaline is a psychedelic in the phenethylamine class. It has been used for thousands of years and the drug is found in cacti such as peyote, san pedro, and peruvian torch. The drug is more stimulatory than other psychedelics. It has a strong safety profile and hasn’t caused any verified deaths. Along with being in different species of cacti, mescaline can be used by itself once synthesized. Mescaline has a long history of use and has been employed in many religious ceremonies for millennia. The drug’s use dates back very far and began at least 5,700 years ago in Mexico with Native Americans. The use of mescaline through peyote and other plants could date back even further. Mescaline became known worldwide hundreds of years ago when Europeans saw Native Americans using peyote. Then in 1897 mescaline was isolated for the first time and a couple decades later in 1919 it was synthesized. Mescaline was one of the first psychedelics to be used by a large number of Westerners.

Use picked up in the 1940s and 1950s and was often the drug that people came in contact with rather than LSD though they were both being used around the same time. Mescaline is one of the safest drugs, even when compared to other psychedelics. Overdoses are uncommon but taking too much can bring its fair share of negative physical effects. There’s a potential for body tremors, nausea, chest or neck pain, difficulty breathing, and sweating or chills. Some of those effects are common Even with the worst nausea or other negative bodily effect, true physical harm is unlikely to occur. Keep in mind that the frequency of negative effects will depend on if you use mescaline through a plant or in its pure form. Using any psychedelic in its natural plant form is more likely to bring about nausea and other stomach discomfort, but that generally goes away after the trip begins.

A particularly large dose can push up the negative physical effects. Heart rate and blood pressure can increase beyond where they normally would. Plus, a high mescaline dose can depress respiration which can make breathing seem very difficult. It is very rare for someone to require medical attention because of mescaline and no verified human death from mescaline has been recorded. Mescaline is not addictive. Mescaline, regardless of how it is taken, has a wide range of effects. While it is fair to compare mescaline to LSD or psilocybin, mescaline has its own unique characteristics. Colors are often greatly enhanced with the drug. It’s been said that colors people never thought were possible can appear. This is not unique to mescaline but is a core part of the experience for the drug. Mescaline is also capable of causing spiritual experiences and it can bring about dream-like situations. There’s the potential for a lot more energy under the influence of mescaline than when under the influence of other psychedelics Mescaline is quite stimulatory and it’s not uncommon to feel as if energy is pulsing through one’s body.

The trip includes fairly normal psychedelic effects such as euphoria, visuals both CEV and OEV, pupil dilation, time and space perception changes, and a decrease in one’s ego. Not everything with mescaline is great. The drug can minimize self control, cause significant confusion, eliminate one’s ability to walk properly or communicate with others, and it can make people easily distracted. As with other psychedelics, fear, panic, and paranoia are all possible and are part of bad trips.

Mescaline is clearly illegal in the United States by itself. The drug is in Schedule 1, the most restrictive drug category. The drug’s legal status is a bit harder to nail down when in cacti. Even though cacti contain the Schedule 1 drug, possession with no intent to ingest is considered legal given that the cacti are everywhere, including in stores. When it comes to ingesting the drug through a plant, things are still complicated. Peyote can be used by members of the Native American Church in the United States legally. Some states require people have some Native American heritage for this exemption while others do not.

Use in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Utah is allowed by any religious organization. Regular people can also join Native American Church ceremonies in Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Federal law says most practices outside of the Native American Church are illegal. Some state laws, such as in Arizona, are more lenient and the federal government has generally avoided taking any action against peyote use even if it technically could. The dose for pure mescaline is around 100-300 milligrams. It is not uncommon to use up to 700 milligrams for a stronger trip. The dose for fresh peyote is around 6 buttons which is equivalent to 100 grams. Higher doses can reach 12 or 14 buttons which is equivalent to around 200 grams.

The dose for dried peyote is around 6 buttons which is equivalent to 20 grams. As with fresh peyote, a higher dose for dried peyote is still around 12 or 14 buttons but that is only equivalent to around 40 grams. A mescaline trip begins within one hour. The peak of the trip then lasts for around 4 hours, with effects gradually dropping for another four hours. Most trip effects can be gone within 10 hours but sleeping or other activities may be difficult for a longer period of time. Traditional and contemporary ceremonies sometimes last for an entire night and sleep is avoided during normal nighttime hours. Mescaline is an interesting psychedelic much like ayahuasca. Both have been used for a long period of time and they have extant ceremonies based around them which make them easier to use.

Of the plant-based psychedelics, there are few that are truly dangerous in a physical way. Mescaline is the same when in peyote or another type of cactus. Pure mescaline has both positive and negative aspects to keep in mind. On one hand it is easier to get the dose right but it is also possible to overdose with less effort. Peyote and san pedro make it difficult to overdose since it would be hard to eat dozens of cacti. Among the more common negative physical effects connected to mescaline, few are concerning and that makes it a pretty safe psychedelic. It is probably best to use the substance while in a ceremony or under another form of guidance because it can greatly inhibit your ability to communicate or act for yourself. Being unable to perform normal functions of any sort, especially if you are having an uncomfortable trip, will only make things worse. Also, persisting trips in the form of visual or auditory distortions have been reported. Some mescaline users end up with anxiety issues for a period of time after their experience. This is not unheard of with any psychedelic but it is yet another reason to make sure your mental state is suitable for a psychedelic trip before using the drug.

Overall, mescaline is a fairly safe drug that can be legally used in the United States in a few ways. That’s it for this video. You can ask questions in the comments section or connect with me on Twitter @SethAFitzgerald.