Mescaline and Peyote
The Peyote cactus is one of the cactus species that can be used as a source of mescaline. This cactus contains psychoactive alkaloids, which can produce a number of different reactions when it is ingested. It has a history of being used for medicinal and ritualistic use by Native Americans. The Peyote cactus grows natively certain areas of the United States, such as southern Texas. However, although southern Texas is the cactus’ native habitat, it is been over-harvest in the area to the point where it’s currently considered to be an endangered cactus species. Some people also cultivate the cactus specifically so that they can harvest the crown, thus utilizing peyote and mescaline for its psychoactive effects.
The History of the Peyote Cactus
The Peyote cactus is primarily grown in its native habitat, which includes many states in Mexico as well as the southern part of Texas in the United States. It’s frequently found growing in desert scrub or in the vicinity of limestone hills. The native populations of North America have used the Peyote cactus for centuries. The mescaline is obtained from the above ground portion of the cactus, which is commonly referred to as the “crown.” The crown of the Peyote cactus is made up of disc-shaped portions that are often referred to as “buttons.” These buttons can be cut off of the root of the cactus, and then dried. Once the buttons have been dried, they can then be simply chewed, or boiled with water to produce a tea that has psychoactive properties. The mescaline Peyote is actually quite bitter, with an unpleasant taste. As such, some people also try to disguise the taste with other liquids such as juice.
Although the Peyote cactus has a long history of being used by Native Indian populations for the purpose of religious, healing and ceremonial practices, today mescaline and Peyote is also used in other less traditional ways. Many people cultivate or obtain the cactus specifically because they wish to experience its psychoactive effects. Not everyone experiences the effects in exactly the same way. Some people report visual and auditory hallucinations. However, others claim that the effects are much more subtle, encouraging inner contemplation and reflection. The potency of the Peyote itself probably has a lot to do with the effects of ingestion.
The effects produced by Peyote mescaline are often described as a dream-like state. The amount needed in order to produce the desired effects can vary. While some people have powerful experiences after consuming only a few buttons, others customarily consume a dozen or even upwards of two dozen buttons as part of their experience. The flesh of the cactus is very bitter, as is any tea made by boiling the buttons in water. In most cases, the desired effects do not start until approximately 45 minutes after ingesting the dried cactus buttons or tea.
The Peyote is a rather small, spineless cactus that produces small, pink fruit, which are edible. The cactus also flowers sporadically. In its natural habitat, the Peyote cactus grows quite slowly. However, those who cultivate the cactus for its mescaline can generally achieve a faster growing rate. Sometimes the Peyote cactus is even grafted onto the root of a San Pedro cactus in an attempt to get the cactus to produce faster.
Although the cactus is not difficult to grow in its natural habitat, in some areas it has been severely over-harvested, causing it to become endangered.
The federal government protects the usage of the Peyote cactus by the Native American Church, which uses it as part of its traditional religious ceremonies. This federal law is not racially limited. However, individual state laws can vary. For those who manufacture or distribute the Peyote cactus to the Native American Church, it’s necessary to register annually.
Although the federal government and the laws of many states protect the growing, harvesting and consumption of the Peyote when it’s used as part of a religious ceremony, it’s otherwise considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States.
In Canada, mescaline is considered to be a Schedule III controlled substance. However, the peyote itself is exempt from this ruling. International laws vary according to whether Peyote is exempt from drug regulations in regards to traditional usages.
Religious, Healing and Ritualistic Practices
Over the years, there have been attempts to restrict or even ban the use of the Peyote cactus. The U.S. authorities tried to ban the substance from religious Indian rituals, starting in the 1880s and continuing until the 1930s. However, the usage of the cactus ultimately became protected as part of the religious practices of the Native American Church. In fact, its usage actually spread over the years to other tribes that did not previously use Peyote in their traditional ceremonies. Today, Peyote continues to be used and is often referred to as “the sacred medicine.” It’s commonly used to heal physical, spiritual and even social ills. As a medicine, Native American tribes commonly use the Peyote cactus to treat childbirth pain, breast pain, rheumatism, toothaches, fevers and skin diseases. It’s also used to treat health issues such as blindness, diabetes and even the common cold.