Psychedelics are substances (natural or laboratory made) which cause profound changes in a one’s perceptions of reality. While under the influence of hallucinogens, users might hallcuniate visually and auditorily.

This is a commonly used substance with well known effects, but that does not guarantee the substance will be safe. The safety profile has been established based on usage data commonly reported by others.

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Description

Mescaline Also known as:

A psychedelic of the phenethylamine family. Found in psychedelic cacti that have long been used by peoples native to the Southwestern US and Mexico, including Peyote and San Pedro cacti, among others. Can be found as cactus pulp, as an extract from cacti, or as a synthetic substance created in a lab.

Summary

It occurs naturally in the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), and a number of other cacti species such as the Echinopsis pachanoi (San Pedro cactus), Echinopsis peruviana (Peruvian Torch) as well as the Cactaceae plant and the Fabaceae bean family. It is one of the oldest known hallucinogens and is the prototypical member of the psychedelic phenethylamines, one of the two major classes of psychedelics (along with tryptamines). Mescaline was first isolated from peyote in 1897 by the German chemist.

The ritual use of the peyote cactus has occurred for at least 5700 years by Native Americans in Mexico. Other mescaline-containing cacti such as the San Pedro have a long history of use in the South American continent, spanning from Peru to Ecuador. Mescaline is an important part of the life’s work of the American chemist Alexander Shulgin, who used mescaline as a starting point for synthesizing dozens of novel psychedelic compounds, which he documented in the 1991 book PiHKAL (“Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved”).

Subjective effects include open and closed-eye visuals, time distortion, enhanced introspection, conceptual thinking, euphoria, and ego loss. It is considered to be one of the most gentle, subtle, and euphoric psychedelics, with a greater emphasis on bodily and tactile sensations (somewhat similar to MDMA) than tryptamines like psilocybin or DMT, which tend to have a more dynamic head-space and visual geometry. Synthetic mescaline is highly sought after and typically produced only in small batches, owing to its low potency and relatively high production cost.

Unlike other highly prohibited substances, mescaline has not been proven to be physiologically toxic or addictive. Nevertheless, adverse psychological reactions such as anxiety, paranoia, delusions and psychosis can still always occur, particularly among those predisposed to mental disorders. It is highly advised to use harm reduction practices if using this substance.

History

Upon early contact, Europeans noted the use of Peyote in Native American religious ceremonies. Additionally, alternative mescaline-containing cacti such as the San Pedro have a long history of use in the South American continent, spanning from Peru to Ecuador. The principal psychoactive component in both Peyote and San Pedro, mescaline, was first isolated and identified in 1897 by the German chemist Arthur Heffter and first synthesized in 1919 by Ernst Späth. In traditional peyote preparations, the top of the cactus is cut at ground level, leaving the large tap roots to grow new 'heads'. These 'heads' are then dried to make disc-shaped buttons and the buttons are chewed to produce the effects or soaked in water to drink.

In modern times, users will often grind it into a powder and pour it into gel capsules to avoid having to come into contact with the bitter taste of the cactus. The usual human dose is 200–400 milligrams of mescaline sulfate or 178–356 milligrams of mescaline hydrochloride. The average 76 mm (3.0 in.) button contains about 25 mg mescaline. Mescaline is an important part of the life’s work of Alexander Shulgin, a psychedelic chemist and researcher.

Shulgin used mescaline as a starting point for synthesizing dozens of novel psychedelic phenethylamine compounds such as the 2C-x and DOx families. It is a member of the so-called “magical half-dozen” which refers to Shulgin’s self-rated most important phenethylamine compounds with psychedelic activity, all of which except mescaline he developed and synthesized himself. They are found within the first book of PiHKAL, and are as follows: Mescaline, DOM, 2C-B, 2C-E, 2C-T-2 and 2C-T-7.

Chemistry

Mescaline

Mescaline

Mescaline contains three methoxy functional groups CH3O- which are attached to carbons R3, R4, and R5 of the phenyl ring.

Common NameMescaline
Systematic name
FormulaC_{11}H_{17}NO_{3}
SMILESCOc1cc(cc(c1OC)OC)CCN
Std. InChiInChI=1S/C11H17NO3/c1-13-9-6-8(4-5-12)7-10(14-2)11(9)15-3/h6-7H,4-5,12H2,1-3H3
Std. InChiKeyRHCSKNNOAZULRK-UHFFFAOYSA-N
Avg. Mass211.2576 Da
Molecular Weight211.2576
Monoisotopic Mass211.12085 Da
Nominal Mass211
ChemSpider ID3934

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Dose Chart

Oral
Threshold100mg
Light100-200mg
Common200-300mg
Strong300-500mg
Heavy500-700mg+

Duration Chart

Mescaline Duration Data
Onset60-180 minutes
Duration6-12 hours
After-effects3-5 hours

Interactions

Caution

  1. DOx
  2. NBOMes
  3. 2C-x
  4. 2C-T-x
  5. 5-MeO-xxT
    • The 5-MeO class of tryptamines can be unpredictable in their interactions
  6. Cannabis
    • Cannabis has an unexpectedly strong and somewhat unpredictable synergy with psychedelics.
  7. Amphetamines
    • The focus and anxiety caused by stimulants is magnified by psychedelics and results in an increased risk of thought loops
  8. Cocaine
    • The focus and anxiety caused by stimulants is magnified by psychedelics and results in an increased risk of thought loops
  9. MAOIs

Dangerous

  1. Tramadol
    • This combination can cause seizures due to the lowering of the threshold by tramadol and the potential of mescaline to cause seziures.

Low Synergy

  1. Alcohol
  2. GHB/GBL
  3. Benzodiazepines
  4. SSRIs

No Synergy

  1. Caffeine
    • High doses of caffeine are uncomfortable and this will be magnified by psychedelics
  2. Opioids

High Synergy

  1. Mushrooms
  2. LSD
  3. DMT
  4. Ketamine
  5. MXE
  6. DXM
  7. PCP
  8. N2O
  9. MDMA

Legal Status

Internationally, mescaline is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance under the United Nations 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, meaning that international trade in mescaline is supposed to be closely monitored and its use is supposed to be restricted to scientific research and medical use. Natural materials containing mescaline, including peyote, are not regulated under the 1971 Psychotropic Convention.

  • Australia: Peyote cacti and other mescaline-containing plants, such as San Pedro, are illegal in Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory. In other states such as Victoria and New South Wales, they are legal for ornamental and gardening purposes.
  • Brazil: Possession, production and sale is illegal as it is listed on Portaria SVS/MS nº 344.
  • Canada: Mescaline is classified as a Schedule III drug under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Peyote is listed as an exemption. Other mescaline containing plants are presumably illegal to possess outside of ornamental and gardening purposes.
  • Germany: Mescaline is controlled under Anlage I BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule I), former: Opiumgesetz (Opium Act) as of February 25, 1967. It is illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure or dispense it without a license.
  • The Netherlands: Mescaline in its raw form and dried mescaline-containing cacti are considered an illegal drug. However, anyone may grow and use peyote without restriction as it is specifically exempt from legislation.
  • United Kingdom: Mescaline in purified powder form is a Class A drug. However, dried cactus can be bought and sold legally.
  • United States: Mescaline was made illegal in 1970 by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. The drug is categorized as a Schedule I hallucinogen by the CSA. Mescaline is legal only for certain religious groups (such as the Native American Church) and in scientific and medical research. While mescaline containing cacti of the genus Echinopsis are technically controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, they are commonly sold publicly as ornamental plants.
  • Sources

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    Information made possible with:

    1. PsychonautWiki is a community-driven online encyclopedia that aims to document the field of psychonautics in a comprehensive, scientifically-grounded manner.
    2. Erowid is a non-profit educational & harm-reduction resource with 60 thousand pages of online information about psychoactive drugs
    3. PubChem National Center for Bio Informatics
    4. Chemspider is a free chemical structure database providing fast access to over 34 million structures, properties and associated information.
    5. Wikipedia

    Additional APIs were used to construct this information. Thanks to ChemSpider, NCBI, PubChem etc.

    Data is constantly updated so please check back later to see if there is any more available information on this substance.