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Mescaline (Peyote)

What is mescaline?

Mescaline is a psychedelic hallucinogen obtained from the small, spineless cactus Peyote (Lophophora williamsi), the San Pedro cactus, Peruvian torch cactus, and other mescaline-containing cacti. It is also found in certain members of the Fabaceae (bean family) and can be produced synthetically.

People have used hallucinogens for hundreds of year, mostly for religious rituals or ceremonies. Mescaline leads to rich, intense visual hallucinations. From the earliest recorded time, peyote has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, where it grows, as a part of traditional religious rites. It has an effect that is similar to LSD or psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and other hallucinogenic drugs.

Common effects during mescaline use may include:

  • visual hallucinations and radically altered states of consciousness (psychedelic experience)

  • open and closed eye visualizations

  • euphoria

  • dream-like state

  • altered body image

  • slowed passage of time

  • altered perception of space

  • laughter

  • a mixing of senses (synesthesia, such as "seeing a sound" or "hearing colors")

  • pupil dilation

Side effects or risks

Intense nausea, vomiting, dilation of the pupils, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, a rise in body temperature that causes heavy perspiration, headaches, muscle weakness, and impaired motor coordination

Side effects or risks of mescaline use may include:

  • anxiety, fear

  • racing heart beat (tachycardia)

  • increased blood pressure

  • dizziness

  • weakness

  • diarrhea

  • elevated body temperature

  • excessive sweating

  • tremors

  • intense nausea, vomiting

  • headache

  • accidental injury

  • psychosis, panic or paranoia

  • seizures

  • amnesia (loss of memory)

  • posthallucinogen perceptual disorder (flashbacks)

  • rarely, suicidal thoughts or actions

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