The Sacred Peyote: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Are you curious about the mystical and ancient plant known as Peyote? This sacred cactus holds significant cultural and spiritual value for Native American tribes, and its usage extends back thousands of years. In this comprehensive beginner’s guide, we will delve into the history, chemistry, pharmacology, effects, dosage, how to use, risks, benefits, spirituality, and legality surrounding Peyote.

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is a small, spineless cactus found primarily in Mexico and the southwestern United States. The Lophophora genus encompasses several species that exhibit unique characteristics. These species are typically found in low-lying areas and often form dense clusters of shoots. The shoots themselves display a range of colors, including blue-green, yellow-green, and occasionally reddish-green. They typically adopt a flattened spherical shape with sunken tips. In terms of size, they can grow to heights of 2 to 7 centimeters (0.79 to 2.76 inches) and have diameters ranging from 4 to 12 centimeters (1.6 to 4.7 inches).

One notable feature of these shoots is the presence of prominent vertical ribs, which consist of low, rounded, or hump-like bumps. Emerging from these areoles are soft, woolly hairs that appear yellowish or whitish in color. Notably, spines are absent from these species. The flowers of Lophophora species exhibit a range of colors, including pink, white, and sometimes slightly yellowish or reddish hues. These flowers bloom during the daytime and have lengths ranging from 1 to 2.4 centimeters (0.39 to 0.94 inches) and diameters from 1 to 2.2 centimeters (0.39 to 0.87 inches).

Occasionally, the cactus produces flowers sporadically, and these flowers are followed by small, edible pink fruits. These fruits have a club-shaped to elongated appearance and possess a fleshy texture. They are typically rosy colored, but as they mature, they turn brownish-white and become dry. Unlike some fruits, they do not burst open on their own. The length of these fruits ranges from 1.5 to 2 centimeters (0.59 to 0.79 inches). Within the fruits, one can find black, pear-shaped seeds that measure approximately 1 to 1.5 millimeters in length and 1 millimeter in width. To successfully germinate, these seeds require hot and humid conditions.

The natural habitat of L. williamsii predominantly encompasses elevations ranging from 100 to 1,500 meters (330 to 4,920 feet), with occasional occurrences observed at higher altitudes of up to 1,900 meters (6,200 feet) within the Chihuahuan desert. Additionally, it can thrive in the milder climate conditions of Tamaulipas. The plant exhibits a preference for desert scrub environments, particularly those characterized by thorn scrub vegetation in Tamaulipas.

Peyote’s historical and cultural significance

It has been used for centuries by Native American tribes such as the Mescalero Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, and Pueblo people for both medicinal purposes and spiritual enlightenment through its psychedelic properties. Peyote is a Spanish word derived from the Nahuatl peyōtl ([ˈpejoːt͡ɬ]), meaning “caterpillar cocoon”, from a root peyōni, “to glisten”. The active ingredient found within peyote is mescaline, which produces powerful psychedelic effects when consumed.

Throughout history, various cultures have utilized the psychedelic properties of this cactus to facilitate spiritual enlightenment or communion with higher powers. The Huichol Indians have long considered peyote a sacred plant that is closely tied to their spiritual beliefs, while other tribes such as the Tarahumara use it during religious ceremonies. The historical record suggests that the use of Peyote dates back at least to prehistoric times. It is believed that early inhabitants of Mesoamerica consumed its buttons, which contain mescaline, an alkaloid with psychoactive properties.

The cactus has a strong connection to the Native American Church. The active ingredient, mescaline, produces a sense of euphoria or spiritual enlightenment that allows participants to connect with their ancestors and the natural world. This experience is believed to bring about healing and personal growth. The Peyote ceremony remains a significant part of Native American culture, providing spiritual nourishment and guidance for individuals while strengthening community bonds.


Lophophora williamsii, exhibits an exceptionally slow growth rate in its natural habitat. In the wild, this plant undergoes a gradual development process, taking a considerable amount of time to reach maturity and produce flowers. The slow growth can be attributed to several factors, including limited access to resources, harsh environmental conditions, and natural selection pressures.

However, under controlled cultivation conditions, peyote specimens experience a notable increase in growth rate. Cultivated plants benefit from optimized growing conditions, such as controlled temperature, moisture, and nutrient levels, which expedite their growth cycle. As a result, it is not uncommon for cultivated peyote to transition from a seedling to a fully mature, flowering adult in less than three years—an impressive acceleration compared to its wild counterparts.

One technique employed to achieve even faster growth is grafting. Grafting involves joining a peyote plant, specifically the crown or the disc-shaped buttons that constitute the above-ground portion, onto a mature San Pedro cactus rootstock. The San Pedro rootstock provides an established and robust root system that can enhance the growth and development of the grafted peyote. By utilizing this method, growers can effectively expedite the growth process and achieve significant progress within a shorter timeframe.

Harvesting peyote requires careful attention and proper techniques to ensure the plant’s survival and continued growth. Typically, the crown of the peyote cactus is selectively harvested by cutting it above the roots. In some cases, the harvested crown may undergo a drying process. When carried out correctly, the cut portion of the root forms a callus, which acts as a protective layer preventing rotting and potential infections. This callusing process promotes the regrowth of the peyote plant and preserves its vitality.

However, it is crucial to highlight the potential risks associated with improper harvesting practices. If inadequate techniques or excessive damage occur during the harvesting process, the entire plant may succumb to irreversible damage, resulting in the plant’s demise. This underscores the importance of responsible harvesting methods, which prioritize the long-term sustainability and conservation of peyote populations.


Mescaline is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound that belongs to the family of phenethylamines. Structurally, it resembles neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Mescaline interacts primarily with serotonin receptors in the brain, specifically the 5-HT2A receptor subtype. This interaction leads to alterations in perception, cognition, and mood.

In addition to mescaline, Peyote contains various other alkaloids, although their exact roles and effects are not yet fully understood. Some of these alkaloids include hordenine, tyramine, anhalonidine, anhalonine, and anhalamine. Hordenine and tyramine are both found in various plants and have been associated with stimulating effects and potential mood enhancement. The presence of these additional alkaloids in Peyote is significant because they may contribute to the overall pharmacological effects experienced by users.

Mescaline, also known as 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine, belongs to the family of phenethylamine alkaloids. Its chemical formula is C11H17NO3, and its systematic name is 2-(3,4,5-trimethoxyphenyl)ethanamine. Structurally, mescaline consists of a phenethylamine core with three methoxy (CH3O) groups attached to the benzene ring at positions 3, 4, and 5.


Mescaline’s psychedelic properties stem from its interaction with various receptors in the brain, primarily the serotonin (5-HT) receptors. Among these, the 5-HT2A receptor subtype is particularly important in mediating the hallucinogenic effects of mescaline. Activation of 5-HT2A receptors leads to alterations in neuronal signaling, neurotransmitter release, and brain network connectivity, resulting in the characteristic psychedelic experiences.

In addition to the 5-HT2A receptors, mescaline also interacts with other serotonin receptor subtypes, including 5-HT1A, 5-HT2C, and 5-HT6 receptors. These interactions further modulate neurotransmitter release and neural activity, contributing to the overall psychedelic effects.

Mescaline’s binding to 5-HT receptors triggers a cascade of intracellular events, including the activation of protein kinases, modulation of ion channels, and modulation of gene expression. These processes collectively lead to changes in neuronal communication and the modulation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate.

Upon ingestion, mescaline is rapidly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. It undergoes first-pass metabolism in the liver, where it is metabolized by enzymes such as cytochrome P450 to form various metabolites, including 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenylacetic acid (TMPA) and 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenylglycolic acid (TMPGA).

Mescaline and its metabolites are primarily excreted in the urine. The elimination half-life of mescaline in humans ranges from about 6 to 17 hours, varying between individuals. The duration and intensity of the psychedelic effects are typically correlated with the dose and individual factors, such as metabolism and tolerance.


Mescaline exerts its psychoactive effects through interactions with various neurochemical systems in the brain, primarily involving the serotonin (5-HT) and dopamine neurotransmitter systems. Here, we will delve into the neurochemical effects of mescaline at a molecular level:

  • Serotonergic System: Mescaline’s primary mechanism of action is its interaction with serotonin receptors, particularly the 5-HT2A receptor subtype. Mescaline acts as a partial agonist at 5-HT2A receptors, meaning it binds to and activates these receptors but with less efficacy than a full agonist. This activation of 5-HT2A receptors leads to downstream signaling cascades and alterations in neuronal activity and neurotransmitter release. Activation of 5-HT2A receptors by mescaline leads to the modulation of various intracellular signaling pathways, including the phospholipase C (PLC), phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. These signaling cascades ultimately result in changes in gene expression, protein synthesis, and neuronal plasticity.

  • Dopaminergic System: Mescaline also interacts with dopamine receptors, specifically the D1 and D2 receptor subtypes. The precise nature of mescaline’s interaction with dopamine receptors and its effects on dopaminergic neurotransmission are still not fully understood. It is suggested that mescaline may modulate dopamine release or receptor activity, leading to alterations in dopaminergic signaling pathways.

  • Glutamatergic System: Glutamate, the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, plays a crucial role in the psychedelic effects of mescaline. Mescaline indirectly affects glutamatergic neurotransmission through its actions on serotonin receptors. Activation of 5-HT2A receptors by mescaline leads to the release of glutamate in various brain regions, contributing to the altered neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity associated with the psychedelic experience.

  • GABAergic System: GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Mescaline’s impact on GABAergic neurotransmission is not as well understood as its effects on other systems. It is hypothesized that mescaline may indirectly modulate GABAergic activity through its interactions with serotonin and glutamate receptors.


The following are some of the identified mescaline metabolites:

  • 3,4,5-Trimethoxyphenylacetic Acid (TMPA): TMPA is one of the major metabolites of mescaline. It is produced through the oxidation of the side chain of mescaline. TMPA is found in both urine and plasma samples after mescaline administration.

  • 3,4,5-Trimethoxyphenylglycolic Acid (TMPGA): TMPGA is another significant metabolite of mescaline. It is formed through the oxidative demethylation of mescaline’s side chain. Like TMPA, TMPGA has been detected in urine and plasma following mescaline administration.

  • 3,4,5-Trimethoxyhippuric Acid (TMHA): TMHA is a conjugated metabolite of mescaline. It is formed when mescaline is metabolized to 3,4,5-trimethoxyhippuric acid by undergoing hydroxylation and subsequent conjugation with glycine. TMHA is primarily excreted in urine.

  • 3,4,5-Trimethoxybenzoic Acid (TMB): TMB is a minor metabolite of mescaline. It is formed through the oxidative deamination of mescaline’s side chain. TMB has been detected in urine samples following mescaline administration.

Serotonin Receptors:


Function: The 5-HT1A receptor is involved in regulating mood, anxiety, and stress responses. It plays a role in inhibiting neurotransmitter release and dampening neuronal activity.

Effect of Mescaline: Mescaline acts as a partial agonist at the 5-HT1A receptor, resulting in the modulation of neurotransmitter release and neuronal inhibition. It may contribute to the calming and anxiolytic effects associated with mescaline use.


Function: The 5-HT2A receptor is primarily expressed in the cortex and plays a pivotal role in mediating the hallucinogenic effects of psychedelics. It modulates neuronal excitability, sensory perception, and cognitive processes.

Effect of Mescaline: Mescaline acts as a partial agonist at the 5-HT2A receptor, leading to altered neurotransmission and enhanced sensory perception. Activation of this receptor is considered crucial for the psychedelic and hallucinogenic experiences induced by mescaline.


Function: The 5-HT2B receptor is widely distributed in the brain and peripheral tissues. Its specific functions are not fully understood, but it is thought to play a role in cardiovascular regulation and smooth muscle contraction.

Effect of Mescaline: Mescaline can activate the 5-HT2B receptor, although its affinity for this receptor is lower compared to 5-HT2A. The significance of this receptor in the psychedelic experience induced by mescaline is not well-documented.


Function: The 5-HT2C receptor is involved in the regulation of mood, appetite, and anxiety. It modulates neurotransmitter release and influences various behavioral and physiological processes.

Effect of Mescaline: Mescaline acts as a partial agonist at the 5-HT2C receptor, leading to altered neurotransmitter release and modulation of mood and anxiety. Its activation may contribute to the emotional and cognitive effects experienced during a mescaline trip.


Function: The exact function of the 5-HT5A receptor is not fully understood, and its distribution in the brain is limited. It is believed to play a role in learning, memory, and motor behavior.

Effect of Mescaline: The specific effects of mescaline on the 5-HT5A receptor and its significance in the psychedelic experience are not well-established due to limited research on this receptor subtype.


Function: The 5-HT6 receptor is primarily localized in the striatum and hippocampus. It is implicated in cognitive processes, learning, and memory.

Effect of Mescaline: Mescaline can activate the 5-HT6 receptor, although its affinity for this receptor is relatively low. The exact impact of 5-HT6 receptor activation by mescaline on the psychedelic experience is not fully understood.


Function: The 5-HT7 receptor is widely distributed in the brain and plays a role in regulating neurotransmission, circadian rhythm, and mood.

Effect of Mescaline: Mescaline can activate the 5-HT7 receptor, although its affinity for this receptor is relatively low. The involvement of the 5-HT7 receptor in the psychedelic effects of mescaline is not extensively studied.

Dopamine Receptors:

D1 (D1A and D1B):

Function: The D1 receptors are part of the D1-like dopamine receptor family. They are primarily involved in modulating excitatory neurotransmission and regulating motor function and reward processes. Effect of Mescaline: Mescaline’s effects on D1 receptors are not fully understood, and research on the specific interactions between mescaline and D1 receptors is limited.

D2 (D2A, D2B, and D2C):

Function: The D2 receptors are part of the D2-like dopamine receptor family. They are widely distributed in the brain and play a role in modulating inhibitory neurotransmission, reward, and motor control. Effect of Mescaline: Mescaline’s effects on D2 receptors are not extensively studied, and the specific interactions between mescaline and D2 receptor subtypes are not well-documented.


Mescaline is known for its psychedelic effects, producing altered states of consciousness and sensory perception. Users often describe a range of effects, including sensory enhancement, emotional introspection, and spiritual experiences. The effects of mescaline typically begin 30-60 minutes after ingestion and last for 6-12 hours. The onset of effects is often marked by nausea and vomiting, which can last for up to an hour. After the nausea and vomiting subside, users may experience a range of other effects, including:

  • Visual hallucinations: These can include seeing geometric patterns, colors, and shapes. Some users may also see objects that are not there.

  • Auditory hallucinations: These can include hearing voices, music, or other sounds.

  • Synesthesia: This is a condition in which one sense is experienced through another sense. For example, a user may see sounds or taste colors.

  • Altered states of consciousness: These can include feelings of euphoria, peace, and unity with the universe. Some users may also experience anxiety or fear.

  • The effects of mescaline can vary widely from person to person, depending on a number of factors, including the dose, the user’s expectations, and their set and setting. Set refers to the user’s mental state before taking the drug, while setting refers to the physical and social environment in which the drug is taken.

Mescaline is a relatively safe drug when used in moderation. However, it can be dangerous if taken in high doses or if combined with other drugs or alcohol. It is important to be aware of the potential risks before taking mescaline.

Here are some quotes from users on Erowid about their experiences with mescaline:

“I felt like I was in a dream world. Everything was so beautiful and I felt so happy and peaceful.”

“I saw all sorts of amazing things. The walls were melting and the floor was flowing like water. I felt like I was one with the universe.”

“I had a really bad trip. I thought I was going to die and I was terrified. I’m never doing mescaline again.”

Visual and Sensory Effects:

  • Visual hallucinations, such as vibrant colors, patterns, and geometric shapes.
  • Enhanced perception of light, textures, and details in the environment.
  • Synesthesia, where different senses blend together, resulting in experiences like “hearing colors” or “tasting sounds.”

Cognitive and Emotional Effects:

  • Altered thinking and thought patterns.
  • Heightened introspection and self-reflection.
  • Enhanced creativity and problem-solving abilities.
  • Deep emotional experiences, including a range of emotions from euphoria to introspective insights.
  • Spiritual and Transcendent Experiences:
  • Feelings of interconnectedness and unity with nature, others, or the universe.
  • Mystical or religious experiences, often described as a sense of awe, wonder, and sacredness.
  • Enhanced appreciation of beauty and nature.

If you’re interested in reading specific user reports and stories about mescaline or Peyote experiences, I suggest visiting Erowid’s experience vaults section on mescaline: Erowid Mescaline Experience Vaults. There, you can find a collection of first-hand accounts shared by individuals who have used mescaline or Peyote, providing insights into their personal experiences and perspectives.


The dosages provided here are approximate and should serve as general guidelines. It’s always recommended to start with a lower dose and gradually increase if needed, while keeping safety and personal comfort in mind.

Peyote Dosage:

Peyote is typically consumed in the form of dried buttons or discs. The potency of each button can vary, but on average, it is estimated that:

  • The average 76 mm (3.0 in.) button contains about 25 mg mescaline.
  • A small Peyote button contains approximately 6-12 mg of mescaline.
  • A medium-sized Peyote button contains approximately 10-20 mg of mescaline.
  • A large Peyote button contains approximately 15-30 mg of mescaline.

Mescaline Dosage:

When using synthetic mescaline, the dosage is typically measured in milligrams (mg). The dosages provided below are approximate and may vary depending on the purity and form of the substance:

  • Microdose: 5-10 mg of mescaline. Microdosing is typically sub-perceptual and used for enhancing mood, creativity, and focus.

  • Minimal dose: 15-30 mg of mescaline. This range is associated with mild effects, such as mood elevation and sensory enhancement.

  • Regular dose: 30-100 mg of mescaline. This range is associated with moderate to strong effects, including visual distortions, introspection, and altered states of consciousness.

  • Heroic dose: 100+ mg of mescaline. This high dose range is associated with intense and potentially overwhelming psychedelic experiences. It should only be attempted by experienced users in a highly controlled and supportive environment.

The max human dose is 200–400 milligrams of mescaline sulfate or 178–356 milligrams of mescaline hydrochloride.

How to use

  • Harvesting: The peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii) is harvested in its natural habitat, typically in arid regions of North America. The top of the cactus, known as the “crown,” is cut at ground level, leaving the main portion of the cactus intact. This practice allows the cactus to regenerate new heads from its large taproot, ensuring sustainability.

  • Removal of Spines and Outer Skin: Once the crown is harvested, the spines and outer skin are carefully removed. This is often done using a knife or other sharp tool, taking care not to damage the underlying flesh.

  • Cutting into Discs: The harvested crown is then sliced into circular discs, commonly referred to as “buttons.” The buttons can vary in size, with an average diameter of around 2-6 centimeters. The thickness of the buttons can also vary, but they are typically around 1-2 centimeters thick.

  • Drying: After cutting into buttons, they are laid out to dry. Traditionally, this drying process occurs naturally in the sun or in a well-ventilated area. The buttons are placed on a clean surface, such as a tray or flat basket, and allowed to dry over a period of several days to a couple of weeks. The drying process helps preserve the cactus and enhance its potency.

Traditional Consumption Methods:

  • Chewing: In traditional ceremonies, the dried peyote buttons are often chewed. Chewing the buttons releases the psychoactive compounds, allowing for absorption through the oral mucosa. The taste of peyote can be bitter and somewhat unpleasant.

  • Soaking: Another traditional method involves soaking the dried buttons in water to create a liquid infusion. The buttons are submerged in water for several hours or overnight, and the resulting infusion is consumed.

Modern Preparation Methods:

  • Grinding: In modern times, some users prefer to grind the dried buttons into a powder using a mortar and pestle or a grinder. Grinding helps to create a more uniform consistency and facilitates further processing.

  • Encapsulation: Once the peyote powder is obtained, it can be placed into gel capsules for easy ingestion. This method helps mask the taste and allows for precise dosing.

  • Ritual Preparations: Prior to the peyote ceremony, the shaman or spiritual leader typically performs various rituals and preparations. These rituals may involve purification ceremonies, fasting, prayers, and offerings to establish a respectful and sacred environment.

  • Sacramental Use: During the ceremony, the prepared peyote buttons are ingested. The traditional method of consumption involves chewing the dried buttons. The shaman or spiritual leader may guide participants through the ceremony, offering spiritual guidance, singing traditional songs, and providing support throughout the experience.

  • Set and Setting: The ceremony takes place in a controlled and sacred space, often in nature or within a designated ceremonial area. Participants are encouraged to approach the experience with reverence and intention, fostering a mindset of openness and respect for the spiritual dimensions of the peyote journey.

  • Integration and Reflection: After the effects of peyote have subsided, participants typically engage in a period of integration and reflection. This may involve sharing insights and experiences, discussing the visions and emotions that arose during the ceremony, and seeking guidance from the shaman or spiritual leader.

It’s important to note that the traditional use of peyote is deeply rooted in indigenous cultural practices and beliefs. These ceremonies are conducted within a specific cultural and spiritual framework, emphasizing respect, reverence, and the pursuit of spiritual growth. For those interested in exploring peyote or participating in a ceremony, it is essential to approach it with cultural sensitivity, respect for indigenous traditions, and a willingness to learn and honor the cultural context in which peyote is used.

Risks of Peyote Use:

  • Psychological Effects: Peyote is a powerful psychedelic substance that can induce intense alterations in perception, cognition, and mood. These effects can be overwhelming for some individuals, leading to anxiety, panic, or psychosis, especially in those with pre-existing mental health conditions.
  • Physical Effects: Peyote may cause physical discomfort such as nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and dilated pupils. These effects are generally temporary and subside as the substance is metabolized.
  • Interaction with Medications: Peyote may interact with certain medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, and MAO inhibitors, leading to adverse effects or reduced effectiveness. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional to assess potential interactions.
  • Flashbacks and HPPD: In rare cases, individuals who have used peyote or other psychedelics may experience persistent flashbacks or develop hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), resulting in prolonged visual disturbances or other perceptual changes.

Benefits of Peyote Use:

  • Spiritual and Introspective Experiences: Many users report profound spiritual and introspective experiences with peyote, leading to personal insights, a sense of interconnectedness, and increased self-awareness. These experiences can be transformative and contribute to personal growth.
  • Therapeutic Potential: Preliminary research suggests that peyote and its active compound, mescaline, may have therapeutic potential for conditions such as addiction, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, further research is needed to fully understand and validate these potential therapeutic benefits.
  • Cultural and Religious Significance: Peyote holds deep cultural and religious significance for certain indigenous communities. Its traditional use in ceremonies and rituals is believed to facilitate healing, community bonding, and spiritual connection.
  • Creativity and Inspiration: Some individuals report enhanced creativity, novel insights, and increased inspiration following the use of peyote. It is believed to stimulate artistic expression and facilitate alternative modes of thinking.


Native American Church (NAC):

The NAC is a pan-tribal religious movement that originated in the late 19th century and incorporates peyote as a sacrament in its ceremonies. The spiritual beliefs of the NAC revolve around the concepts of interconnectedness, harmony, and the pursuit of personal and communal healing. According to one member of the NAC, “Peyote is a medicine that helps us reconnect with our Creator and all creation. It allows us to find balance and harmony in our lives and seek spiritual guidance”

Huichol Tradition:

The Huichol people, an indigenous group from Mexico, have a long-standing relationship with peyote and consider it a sacred and powerful ally in their spiritual practices. The Huichol believe that through consuming peyote, they can communicate with the spirit realm and receive guidance, healing, and protection from their deities and ancestors. A Huichol shaman explains, “Peyote connects us to the spirit world, to our ancestors and deities. It is a key that opens the doors of perception and allows us to access higher states of consciousness”

Kiowa Tribe:

The Kiowa tribe, located primarily in Oklahoma, incorporates peyote into their religious ceremonies, including the Native American Church. The Kiowa view peyote as a sacred medicine that provides spiritual insight, strength, and guidance. It is believed to facilitate a connection with the divine and the spiritual forces of the universe. A Kiowa elder shares, “Peyote is a gift from the Great Spirit. It teaches us humility, respect, and reverence for all life. It brings us closer to our Creator and helps us find our true path”.

Understanding and respecting the specific cultural and religious contexts of each tribe is essential in honoring their traditions. It is advisable to seek guidance and teachings directly from Native American elders, shamans, or members of the respective tribes to gain a deeper understanding of their spiritual beliefs and practices related to peyote.


  • United States: Mescaline is a Schedule I controlled substance in the United States, meaning it is illegal to possess, manufacture, distribute, or use it without a valid medical or research license. However, the Native American Church has a specific legal exemption for the ceremonial use of peyote.

  • Canada: Mescaline is classified as a Schedule III substance in Canada, making it illegal to possess or distribute without authorization. However, there are exceptions for the religious or sacramental use of peyote by specific recognized Indigenous groups.

  • United Kingdom: Mescaline is a Class A controlled substance in the United Kingdom, making it illegal to possess, produce, or supply without a license. This includes peyote and other mescaline-containing cacti.

  • Australia: Mescaline is listed as a Schedule 9 substance in Australia, meaning it is classified as a prohibited substance with no approved medical use. The possession, production, and sale of mescaline are illegal.

  • Germany: Mescaline is classified as a controlled substance in Germany under the Narcotics Act. It is illegal to possess, produce, or distribute mescaline or mescaline-containing cacti.

  • Netherlands: Mescaline and mescaline-containing cacti, such as peyote and San Pedro, are considered controlled substances in the Netherlands. Their possession and distribution are prohibited, with limited exceptions for scientific or research purposes.

  • Mexico: Peyote, the primary source of mescaline, has a protected legal status in Mexico due to its cultural and historical significance. Traditional indigenous communities are allowed to use peyote for religious and cultural purposes. However, regulations and restrictions are in place to ensure sustainability and prevent overharvesting. It is crucial to note that laws and regulations surrounding mescaline are subject to change, and the information provided here is a general overview. It is always advisable to consult local laws and regulations or seek legal advice to ensure accurate and up-to-date information regarding the legality of mescaline in a specific country or jurisdiction.