The Ultimate Guide to

Peyote

(Mescaline, Mescalito, Anhalonium, Buttons)

The Essential Guide to Peyote

3,4,5-trimethoxy-ß-phenethylamine

C11H17NO3

Disclaimer: Peyote is an endangered species and care should be taken to avoid purchasing specimens that have been illegally poached from the wild. Mescaline, the primary psychoactive alkaloid, is also an illegal substance in many countries, and we do not encourage or condone the use of this it where it is against the law. However, we accept that illegal drug use occurs, and believe that offering responsible harm reduction information is imperative to keeping people safe. For that reason, this guide is designed to ensure the safety of those who decide to use peyote responsibly.

Overview

01

The peyote cactus, or Lophophora williamsii, is a natural psychedelic high in the chemical mescaline (compared to San Pedro and Peruvian torch). It has a distinctively small, green, and globular appearance, growing close to the ground without any spines. These “crowns” or “peyote buttons” are traditionally cut from the root of the peyote plant and dried for ceremonial use.

Typically, they’re either chewed to release the active alkaloids or brewed as peyote tea—an infusion of peyote buttons and water. The peyote trip is characterized by visual effects (e.g. enhanced colors and breathing environments), philosophical/introspective insights, and feelings of euphoria.

Native to Mexico and the Southwestern US, the peyote cactus has long been a focus of Native American and pre-Colombian ceremonial traditions. Its name derives from the Nahuatl (Aztec) term peyotl and it remains legal for ceremonial use in the US under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. Nowadays, it’s also used in other contexts elsewhere, including in meditation and psychotherapy. Actually, it may have been the first psychedelic to come to mainstream Western attention.

History & Stats

02

Brief History

The traditional use of peyote is thought to have originated among the Tonkawa or Mescalero tribes of Texas and New Mexico, but it also has strong cultural ties with the Chichimeca and Tarahumara (Rarámuri), as well as the Cora (Náayarite), Huichol (Wixáritari), and other groups to whom it later spread.[1][2] Given the vast size of peyote’s native habitat, which extends from the north of the Rio Grande in Texas to the Chihuahuan Desert and Tamaulipan mezquital in Mexico,[3] its use may well have originated independently among a variety of Native American tribes.

Traditional uses are likewise diverse and by no means limited to ritual. The Tarahumara, for example, have used it for long-distance endurance foot races and as a topical analgesic for wounds, burns, and painful joints.[4][5] Among the Huichol, it has also been used by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.[6]

The first non-natives to encounter peyote use in the Americas were probably Catholic missionaries and conquistadors during the 16th century. Spanish friar Bernardino de Sahagún, for instance, described a Huichol peyote ceremony held out in the desert and estimated that such practices may have been at least 1,980 years old. In referring to the cactus, he used the original Nahuatl name, peiotl, meaning “cocoon silk” in reference to the woolly tuft.[2] Unfortunately, the massive destruction of Aztec records by earlier conquistadors meant that little could be known for certain.[4] More recently, with evidence from the Shumla Caves site in Texas, researchers have been able to date ceremonial peyote use to at least 5,700 years ago.[7]

During the conquest of the New World, peyote was near-universally condemned by Europeans who associated its use with devil-worship, cannibalism, and witchcraft and attempted to stamp it out. One persistent peyote user, an Acaxee from Mexico, is said to have had his eyes gouged out as punishment and his stomach sliced open in the shape of a crucifix, leaving dogs to eat his insides. Suppression of the use of peyote continued throughout the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries too—particularly after Indians had been forcibly displaced to reservations.[2][4]

At the same time, the ceremonial use of peyote became all the more important to Native Americans as an emblem of their emerging pan-Indian identity and their ongoing struggle against the so-called “manifest destiny” of their oppressors. Of course, it was also a means of coping, spiritually, with the subordination and loss of their culture.[2] As a result, native groups formerly at war with each other began to cooperate in a spirit of amicability, spreading peyote use beyond the Southwest to the Great Plains, Midwest, and even into Canada.[8]

During this process the traditional peyote ceremony was overlaid with Christian elements to help safeguard the new religion as a legitimate form of Christian worship. For example, Jesus was invoked alongside animal spirits and the “peyote road” (right way of living) was conflated with Christian values. Upon the altar, the “roadman” who led the ceremony not only kept a large sacred peyote button (the “Peyote Chief” or “Father Peyote”) but also a Christian Bible.[2] Interestingly, Peyotism, as it was called, was devoid of all the usual Christian guilt. In fact, it positioned Native Americans as much closer to God than whites, since it was “the whites,” they said, who crucified Jesus—not the ancestrally separated Indians.[4]

By 1885, despite sustained opposition from missionaries and government officials, the precursor to the Native American Church (NAC) of today was more or less fully established.[2] It was formally registered with a charter in 1918 and, by the 1940s, had opened branch chapters throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.[8]

In 1960 a landmark court case, presided over by Arizona Judge Yale McFate, finally legitimized peyote as having “a similar relation to the Indians—most of whom cannot read—as does the Holy Bible to the white man.” He also pointed out that suppression of its use was unconstitutional, since it obstructed religious freedom.[9] By this time, the NAC had roughly 225,000 members (up from 13,300 in 1922)[8] and when peyote (not just mescaline) was classified Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, a special exemption was made for religious use among Native Americans.[4] But it wasn’t until the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 that it was truly enshrined as a right. Amendments in 1994 clarified and extended this right to all 50 states.[10]

Of course, none of this progress took place in isolation. As early as the late-1800s/early-1900s, non-native intellectuals and scientists—including the neurologist Silas Weir Mitchell, the philosopher William James, and the occultist Aleister Crowley—were experimenting with peyote for themselves.[11][12] In fact, the drug company Parke-Davis was even promoting their own liquid peyote extract as an effective “cardiac tonic” (with no mention whatsoever of its psychoactive effects).[8] Other in-depth studies, conducted by German and Austrian scientists, led to the isolation of mescaline in 1897 and its synthesis (the first of any psychedelic) in 1919.[4][13]

Later, in 1947, having learned of Nazi experiments exploring mescaline as a possible “truth serum,” the US government began its own secretive program along the same lines, codenamed “Project CHATTER.”[14] This project later gave up on mescaline and turned its attention to LSD, but was ultimately deemed a failure in 1953.

In the same year, Aldous Huxley first tried mescaline under the supervision of psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, an experience he described in The Doors of Perception as more valid than consensus reality—showing him “for a few timeless hours the outer and the inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by Mind at Large … an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual.”[15] Two years later, as part of a documentary for the BBC, Osmond also gave mescaline to a British Member of Parliament, his friend Christopher Mayhew. And while Mayhew described his own experience in terms similar to Huxley’s, as a state of complete bliss outside of time and space, a committee of “experts” evidently disagreed with its validity and the footage never aired.[16][17]

Nevertheless, peyote was becoming well known. Throughout the 1960s, a number of anthropologists accompanied the Huichol on peyote hunts (spiritual journeys to gather the cacti)[2] and, in 1968, Carlos Castaneda published The Teachings of Don Juan with his own firsthand accounts of peyote visions.[18]

Current usage

According to the Global Drug Survey in 2014, only in Mexico was either mescaline or peyote (or in this case both) among the top 20 drugs for past month usage. Peyote was taken by 6.4% and mescaline by 4.4% of 643 Mexican survey respondents.[19]

Of course, we cannot generalize current usage statistics from such limited data, but it does give us some idea of its popularity relative to other substances. Unfortunately, precise usage statistics for peyote aren’t really available because surveys tend to lump it together with other substances like LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA. Hence, SAMHSA’s 2014 finding that 0.4% of the US population used “hallucinogens” in the past month is fairly meaningless.[20]

That said, we can trace the popularity of peyote over time by looking at its appearance in publications and Google searches:

The number of publications related to peyote and mescaline peaked in the 1940s and 50s, followed by a much larger spike in the 1960s and 70s—during the psychedelic revolution and roughly coincidental with the publication of Carlos Castaneda’s books. Interest spiked again in the 1990s, presumably due to the Mexican government’s 1991 listing of peyote as an endangered species and the 1994 amendments to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.[21] Published mentions steadily decreased over the next decade or so, possibly because of the rising popularity of other psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin.

Google searches, meanwhile, have remained fairly steady for peyote since 2004—although searches for mescaline have decreased. Searches for peyote did reach an all-time high in December 2014 (and again in May 2015) but this was most likely in relation to its appearance in the video game Grand Theft Auto V. Unsurprisingly, most Google searches for peyote come from Mexico, the United States, and Canada. (The popularity of the search term in Uruguay likely has more to do with the Uruguayan band El Peyote Asesino.)

trends.embed.renderExploreWidget(“TIMESERIES”, {“comparisonItem”:[{“keyword”:”peyote”,”geo”:””,”time”:”2004-01-01 2018-05-18″},{“keyword”:”mescaline”,”geo”:””,”time”:”2004-01-01 2018-05-18″}],”category”:0,”property”:””}, {“exploreQuery”:”date=all&q=peyote,mescaline”,”guestPath”:”https://trends.google.com:443/trends/embed/”});

Where does peyote grow?

The peyote cactus grows primarily in Mexico—in the Chihuahuan Desert and the scrublands of Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, and San Luis Potosí. It also grows in the American Southwest. You can often find peyote in Texas and New Mexico, for instance.

The map below shows a rough outline of traditional peyote locations. For ceremonial practitioners, this has long been where to get peyote in the wild.

Distribución del Peyote

However, peyote plant locations have shifted and diminished over time. In some regions where the cactus once thrived, there may now be none whatsoever.

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

Enroll in our online microdosing course to have a safe, effective, and valuable microdosing experience.

Pharmacology

03

Something of a “little green chemical factory,” peyote contains more than 60 different alkaloids, many of which are at least potentially psychoactive to varying degrees.[22] These include tyramine (0.5-1 mg/g), hordenine (5-8 mg/g), pellotine (14-17 mg/g), and anhalonidine (14 mg/g). But the primary psychoactive alkaloid is mescaline (15-30 mg/g).[23]

Receptor binding

Mescaline binds to virtually all serotonin receptors in the brain but has a stronger affinity for the 1A and 2A/B/C receptors. It’s structurally similar to LSD and often used as a benchmark when comparing psychedelics.

Like nearly all psychedelics, the effects of mescaline are likely due to its action on serotonin 2A receptors.

Safety and toxicity

A 2005 study into the ceremonial use of peyote among Native American populations found there to be no detrimental long-term effects.[24] It should be noted, however, that its use in other contexts may not be as safe (remember: set and setting). Encouragingly, peyote appears to present little risk of flashbacks, or hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD).[26]

As far as overdosing on peyote is concerned, a lethal dose has never been established.[3][27] But if one does exist, it’s likely to be around 20-80 times the effective dose[28]—or upwards of 60 cacti in one sitting! Of course, this certainly doesn’t mean that peyote is entirely safe, since there are a number of specific contraindications to be aware of (see Precautions section below). However, it does suggest that peyote is generally very well tolerated in most healthy people.

Effects

04

A light dose, according to Erowid,[29] is 50-100g fresh peyote buttons (the bulbous above-ground fruit of the cactus plant) or 10-20g dry weight, which equates in either case to roughly 3-6 mid-sized buttons. Moderate doses range up to 150g fresh or 30g dry (6-12 buttons), while strong doses range up to 200g fresh or 40g dry (8-16 buttons). Anything above this is considered heavy.

Bear in mind that mescaline content tends to vary according to peyote buttons’ age, with older specimens generally being the more potent. Growing location and season of harvest (ideally winter) can also affect their potency.

What to expect

Within 30 minutes to an hour after ingestion, most people begin to experience some form of physiological distress, such as nausea, discomfort, fullness in the stomach, sweating, and/or chills. These physical symptoms can last up to 1-2 hours, after which they are usually replaced with a sense of calm and acceptance.[30] At this point, the more subjective, psychological peyote effects begin to occur, reaching their peak 2-4 hours after ingestion and gradually declining over the next 8-12 hours. Peak effects are often said to be comparable to those of LSD, profoundly altering perceptions of self and reality, increasing suggestibility, and intensifying emotions. While some find peyote more sensual and less reality-shifting than LSD, others have trouble telling the difference.

Some users experience a deeply mystical or transcendental state, including clear and connected thought, feelings of oneness and unity, self-realization, and ego death, as well as empathy and euphoria. On the other hand, “bad trips” and dysphoric symptoms may be more common among people who don’t pay attention to set and setting and/or have histories of mental illness.

Visual effects are also common, including color enhancement, visual distortions (such as “melting” or “breathing” environments), geometric patterns, and the appearance of seemingly autonomous entities.[31] A number of users, including Robert Anton Wilson in his autobiographical Cosmic Trigger, describe encounters with a little green man, or the “spirit of the plant,” who is often called “Mescalito.”[32][18]

Precautions

Although peyote has never (to our knowledge) directly caused physical harm or death to users, great care should be taken to minimize environmental hazards before taking it. It is very important, for example, to prepare the space appropriately by removing potential dangers (including sharp objects, things you might trip over, and so on) and setting up a safe and comfortable place to sit or lay throughout. Because purging is common, a bucket or nearby toilet, as well as fresh drinking water, is likely to come in handy. And it may also be a good idea to have a responsible sitter present—both for added security and in case of unforeseen emergencies.

Like most psychedelics, peyote should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women. While it may be traditional for Huichol women to consume it during pregnancy,[6] mescaline has been linked to a specific group of fetal abnormalities.[33]

Peyote should also be avoided by anyone with a heart condition and/or high blood pressure, particularly in combination with blood pressure medications. Other drugs to avoid combining with peyote include immunomodulators, alcohol, and stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines.[34][35]

Combining peyote with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)—usually to amplify the effects—is likely to increase nausea and may even be dangerous. In fact, the nausea that tends to arise from taking peyote alone may have something to do with the presence of naturally occurring MAOIs like tyramine.[36][37]

Myths

05

“There are two species or types of peyote”

Some Native American tribes identify two species or types of peyote, which the Huichol call Tzinouritehua-hikuri (Peyote of the God) and Rhaitoumuanitari-hikuri (Peyote of the Goddess) in reference to their differing size, potency, and palatability. Botanists, however, recognize only one species of peyote: Lophophora williamsii. This is the peyote Native American tribes have venerated for millennia. The superficial differences are instead attributed to other factors, such as age.[22]

There is another species in the Lophophora genus, the Lophophora diffusa, that looks remarkably like peyote, but it contains only trace amounts of mescaline—and sometimes none whatsoever. Instead, this so-called “false peyote” contains high levels of the narcotic alkaloid pellotine.[38]

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

Enroll in our online microdosing course to have a safe, effective, and valuable microdosing experience.

Therapeutic Use

06

Native American Church peyote ceremonies— which can last upwards of 10 hours overnight and typically involve drumming, chanting, and prolonged periods of sleeplessness, along with social and behavioral interventions—are often used to treat drug and alcohol addiction.[39] And, tellingly, while alcoholism (or at least alcohol abuse[40]) among the Navajo and other Native American tribes is often said to be more than twice the national US average, it tends to be especially low among members of the Native American Church.[41] Whether peyote (or mescaline) therefore represents a promising therapy for alcohol addiction is up for debate, but these findings concur with anecdotal reports, as well as studies, into the therapeutic benefits of other psychedelics. Indeed, even William “Bill W” Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was in favor of psychedelic intervention.

Peyote effects on the serotonin system are likely to aid in the treatment of substance addiction, but the set/setting and social support inherent in the traditional ceremony may have just as much if not more of a therapeutic effect. In addition to the sacrament of peyote, for instance, these ceremonies feature a master guide, marathon group sessions, ego reduction techniques, social networks, and a focus on self-actualization throughout.

As a traditional addiction therapy, the peyote ceremony can also induce visions of one’s eventual ruin as an addict and effectively simulate what alcoholics refer to as “rock bottom,” ultimately sparking off a very real sense of urgency to change. Furthermore, the intensely meditative trance state evoked by continuous drumming and chants can powerfully facilitate an increase in self-awareness, the breakdown of denial mechanisms,[42] a reinterpretation of the self, and an overall sense of control in the addict.

Like many psychedelics, in addition to its direct effects on the serotonin system, peyote is also associated with a strong “afterglow” effect that can last for up to 6 weeks after a ceremony. During this period, users commonly report feeling happier, more empathic, less prone to cravings, and more open to communication—all of which is likely to boost the efficiency of follow-up therapy sessions. Of course, this has obvious implications for the treatment of depression as well, especially given that depression scores are reportedly lower among more active members of the Native American Church.[41]

Personal Growth

07

Naturally, the traditional aim of peyote ceremonies to restore balance between the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realms [43] also holds promise for personal growth and development in general.

Personal blessings, healing, and insights are common, and many users emerge from the peyote experience with an awareness of their place in the web of being. Purging (whether by vomiting or just flatulence) is another important aspect of the peyote ceremony, and can be useful for dispensing with deeply rooted fears and other negative emotions.[44] Some ceremony participants find they need to confront their own shadow, or their own hellish mind state, in order to move past it with “tears of letting go.”[45]

But while the formal ceremony rubric (including prayer, group ritual, and trance states) has been developed and refined over many generations, it is by no means essential for attaining the profound and life-changing insights or transformations that it helps to bring about.

Solo, meditative experiences with peyote can equally give rise to insights into the nature of fear, the circle of life, immortality, better living, and so on. Visions full of sometimes prophetic meaning can just as easily come to the solo user as to the peyote ceremony participant.[46] What’s useful for all settings, though, is to approach peyote with respect. As one user put it, “if one does not respect the plant, the plant will certainly teach you to do so.”[45]

Peyote ceremonies often involve prayers and spiritual practices for specific purposes, such as health and well-being, spiritual guidance for important decisions or journeys (such as for soldiers going off to war), or accepting the passing of a loved one. And many users find it helps to set up their intention in a similar way before consuming peyote, for instance by affirming their desire to learn.[47]

Legality

08

Surprisingly, and rather promisingly for such a powerful psychedelic, the legality of peyote is often ambiguous.

Legality of peyote in United States

In the United States, despite it being a federally controlled Schedule I substance—even in its natural state—peyote is legal for members of the Native American Church under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. And even non-Indians may be permitted to use it as part of “bona fide” ceremonies or serious research.[41][48][56][57]

Peyote can also be consumed with relative freedom—regardless of religious affiliation—in the City of Oakland, CA. On June 4, 2019, the city council voted unanimously to decriminalize all “entheogenic plants” containing indoleamines, tryptamines, and phenethylamines. This allows adults aged 21 years and older to use them either medicinally (in accordance with the resolution’s official intent) or for any other reason without fear of criminal punishment. It also specifically decriminalizes (or rather deprioritizes for law enforcement) their cultivation and distribution as well.[59][60]

Legality of peyote in Mexico

Peyote is also a Schedule I substance in Mexico, where harvesting the plant from the wild is controlled due to peyote’s endangered status. Again, however, religious use is permitted.[48]

Legality of peyote in Canada

In Canada, although extracted mescaline is illegal, fresh (not dried) peyote and other mescaline-containing cacti are specifically exempt from scheduling.

Legality of peyote in the UK and elsewhere

The situation is much the same in the UK (even after the Psychoactive Substances Act)[49] and elsewhere in Europe, where it tends to be legal to grow peyote but not to prepare it for use.

In Australia, the legality of peyote varies by state. For example, it is illegal in Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory, but legal to grow (as long as it’s not for use) in Victoria and New South Wales, among other states.[31]

Optimize your microdosing efforts

Do you worry about taking too much, not measuring correctly, or losing control of your experience?

Enroll in our online microdosing course to have a safe, effective, and valuable microdosing experience.

FAQ

09

Can it be detected in a drug test?

Mescaline can be detected in the urine for 1 to 4 days after use, but it’s not included in either standard or extended drug screens.[50] Virtually all labs require a specific test for the substance, so unless your employer is a real stickler and specifically worried that you’ve been frequenting peyote ceremonies, you should be fine.

Is peyote illegal unless you’re in the Native American Church?

It depends on your state. In many states a special exemption is made for members of the Native American Church (NAC) to use peyote “in bona fide religious ceremonies,” often regardless of race or tribal membership. But in other states, including Arizona, peyote is legal (or tolerated) for any bona fide religious organization, whether the NAC or not. Check with your local authority for up-to-date laws.

What does peyote do?

Peyote commonly produces visions and philosophical or introspective insights. For more on the peyote experience, see Effects.

Can peyote cause psychological trauma?

If you follow the 6Ss of psychedelic use and avoid taking peyote if you have a family history of mental health issues, there appears to be very little chance of long-term psychiatric difficulties.

Of course, peyote can make you feel crazy in the short term (acute psychosis), especially if you don’t follow the 6Ss, and this is colloquially known as a bad trip.”

What does peyote look like?

The features that define peyote include:

  • Small, globose shape, often growing in clumps
  • Thick, waxy, green or blue-green skin
  • Uneven ribs of varying number
  • Sticky, yellow-white tufts; no spines
  • Occasional pink or white peyote flower or flowers on top

Are there risks?

As stated above, there don’t seem to have been any fatalities arising directly from peyote alone. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t risky. It should be avoided (or at least approached with extreme caution) if you have a personal or family history of mental illness, a heart condition, or high blood pressure, as well as by pregnant or breastfeeding women because of the risk of birth defects. For more information on taking peyote safely, see Precautions.

Where to buy peyote?

Google is where to find peyote for sale online. Reputable suppliers are really just a click away. You can buy peyote cactus buttons online, as well as peyote seeds, and (depending on the Legality where you live), peyote preparations as well.

Is peyote legal to grow?

Peyote is legal to grow in many countries even where mescaline is illegal, but this doesn’t include the United States (with some notable exceptions). In many countries you can buy peyote seeds and living buttons to grow at home. Always check your local laws before cultivating peyote and be aware that, while it’s a relatively low-maintenance cactus to grow, it may take several years to establish a decent sized garden.[51] If growing peyote from seed, it’ll probably take decades. There are numerous resources online for learning how to grow peyote at home.

Because it’s an endangered species, growing peyote at home—whether from cuttings or peyote cactus seeds—could help to save it from extinction. In fact, wild peyote should never be picked from the wild unless it’s with the intention of growing more from the cuttings.

How long does peyote last in storage?

Peyote buttons appear to retain mescaline for an exceptionally long time—potentially even thousands of years![52]. The key (once thoroughly dried) is proper storage in cool, dark, dry conditions, ideally in an airtight container.

How to take peyote?

Peyote buttons can be eaten whole or brewed as peyote tea. A moderate dose of 200-400 mg mescaline can be achieved by ingesting around 6 buttons.

Can you smoke peyote?

Smoking peyote is generally ineffective. And smoking extracted mescaline salts isn’t recommended either.

What is pomada de peyote?

Pomada de peyote in English basically means “peyote gel.” This Mexican peyote cream or ointment, which also contains marijuana, is sold as a remedy for aches and pains, cramps, coughs, angina, and other conditions. Although part of an aeons-old tradition of medicinal use, it appears to be a relatively new preparation of peyote cactus for sale in Mexico. In 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a reminder of its Schedule I status.[58]

Can I microdose with peyote?

Peyote can be microdosed by ingesting around half a button (20-40 mg mescaline) every four days or so. In fact, this may be one of its traditional uses; the Tarahumara Indians are said to consume small amounts of the cactus to combat hunger and fatigue while hunting.[53] In general, though, and certainly to avoid nausea, it may be preferable to microdose pure mescaline (and, given the endangered status of peyote, San Pedro may be a preferable source). For more information, check out our Essential Guide to Microdosing Mescaline.

What is peyote’s mescaline content compared to San Pedro and Peruvian torch?

Peyote’s mescaline content is typically 1-6% by dry weight, tending toward the low-middle part of this range. The mescaline content of San Pedro (T. pachanoi) and Peruvian torch (T. peruvianus) is less in general. But in both cacti it tends to be highly variable. In San Pedro, mescaline content is said to range between 0.025% and 2.375% by dry weight, and Peruvian torch has been found to contain up to 0.817% mescaline by dry weight and sometimes none at all.[55]

What’s peyote’s tolerance effect?

Peyote generally produces a tolerance that lasts several days, and it also produces cross-tolerance to other psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin. The potency of each will likely be diminished for a little while after taking peyote. It’s therefore recommended to wait several days between doses of any of these substances.[54]

Can I mix it with other drugs?

Peyote should never be mixed with tramadol, as it can lead to serotonin syndrome. Also avoid mixing peyote with alcohol, cannabis, amphetamines or cocaine. Click here for a detailed chart of safe drug combinations.

Footnotes

10

[1] Stewart, O.C. (1987). Peyote Religion: A History. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press.

[2] Schultes, R. E., Hofmann, A., Rätsch, C. (2001). Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.

[3] Jones, P.N. (2005). The American Indian Church and its sacramental use of peyote: A review for professionals in the mental-health arena. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 8(4):277-290. doi:10.1080/13674670412331304348.

[4] Stafford, P. (1992). Psychedelics Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Berkeley, CA: Ronin Publishing.

[5] Lophophora williamsii: Peyote. (2006). Medicial Properties. Retrieved from http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/2011/toellner_kayl/Medical.htm.

[6] Meyer, S. (2011, May 24). Should I Use Peyote If I Am Pregnant or Breastfeeding? Retrieved from http://nativemothering.com/2011/05/should-i-use-peyote-if-i-am-pregnant-or-breastfeeding/.

[7] El-Seedi, H.R., De Smet, P.A., Beck, O., Possnert, G., Bruhn, J. G. (2005). Prehistoric peyote use: alkaloid analysis and radiocarbon dating of archaeological specimens of Lophophora from Texas. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 101(1-3):238-42. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.04.022.

[8] Choffnes, D. (2016). Nature’s Pharmacopeia: A World of Medicinal Plants. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

[9] Court Decision Regarding Peyote and the Native American Church [Letter to the editor]. (1961, Dec). American Anthropologist, 63(6):1335-37. doi:10.1525/aa.1961.63.6.02a00150.

[10] 42 U.S. Code § 1996a -Traditional Indian religious use of peyote.

[11] Trochu, T. (2008). Investigations into the William James Collection at Harvard: An interview with Eugene Taylor. William James Studies, 3. Retrieved from http://williamjamesstudies.org/investigations-into-the-william-james-collection-at-harvard-an-interview-with-eugene-taylor/.

[12] OPEN Foundation. (2016, Jun 5). Peyote and Aleister Crowley – Patrick Everitt [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll41StGTTxc.

[13] Späth, E. (1919). Über die Anhalonium-Alkaloide. I. Anhalin und Mezcalin. Monatshefte für Chemie, 40(2):129-154. doi:10.1007/BF01524590.

[14] Alliance for Human Research Protection. (2015, Jan 18). 1947–1953: Navy’s Project CHATTER tested drugs for interrogation. Retrieved from http://ahrp.org/1947-1953-navys-project-chatter-tested-drugs-for-interrogation/.

[15] Huxley, A. (1954). The Doors of Perception. London: Chatto & Windus.

[16] sotcaa. (2005, Feb). Panorama: The Mescaline Experiment – Page 4. Retrieved from http://sotcaa.org/hiddenarchive/mayhew04.html.

[17] MrVoltix. (2010, Oct 16). The Mescaline experiment: Humphry Osmond and Christopher Mayhew [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hd4rgyZzseY&t=87s.

[18] Castaneda, C. (1968). The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

[19] Global Drug Survey GDS2014. (2014). Last 12 Month Prevalence of Top 20 Drugs. Retrieved from https://www.globaldrugsurvey.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/last-12-months-drug-prevalence.pdf.

[20] SAMHSA. (2015, Oct 30). Hallucinogens. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/atod/hallucinogens.

[21] DeKorne, J. (2011). Psychedelic Shamanism (Updated ed.). Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

[22] Trenary, K. (1997, May). Visionary Cactus Guide – Lophophora. Retrieved from http://www.lycaeum.org//~iamklaus/lophopho.htm.

[23] PsychonautWiki. (2018, Dec 29). Psychedelic cacti. Retrieved from https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Psychedelic_cacti#Alkaloids_in_different_Lophophora_species.

[24] Halpern, J.H., Sherwood, A.R., Hudson, J.I., Yurgelun-Todd, D., Pope, H.G. Jr. (2005). Psychological and cognitive effects of long-term peyote use among Native Americans. Biological Psychiatry, 58(8):624-31. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2005.06.038.

[26] Halpern, J.H., Pope, H.G. Jr. (2003). Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder: What do we know after 50 years? Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 69(2):109-19. doi:10.1016/S0376-8716(02)00306-X.

[27] Speck, L.B. (1957). Toxicity and effects of increasing doses of mescaline. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 119(1):78-84.

[28] The Daily Dish. (2007, Mar 24). Drugs and Toxicity. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2007/03/drugs-and-toxicity/229893/.

[29] Erowid. (2015, Feb 10). Peyote – Dose. Retrieved from https://erowid.org/plants/peyote/peyote_dose.shtml.

[30] Tsetsi, E. (2014, Jan). Arizona Church Offers Peyote-Induced Spiritual Journeys. Retrieved from http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/a-remote-arizona-church-offers-peyote-induced-spiritual-journeys-6460988.

[31] PsychonautWiki. (2018, Feb 21). Mescaline. Retrieved from https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Mescaline.

[32] Wilson, R.A. (1977). Cosmic Trigger: Final Secret of the Illuminati, Volume I. Las Vegas, NV: New Falcon Publications.

[33] Gilmore, H.T. (2001). Peyote use during pregnancy. South Dakota Journal of Medicine, 54(1):27-9.

[34] Natural Standard. (2011). Peyote. Retrieved from http://www.healthprioritiesinc.com/ns/DisplayMonograph.asp?StoreID=c8ad0990cf0d44a5bac9118cf4159a55&DocID=bottomline-peyote.

[35] Therapeutic Research Faculty. (2009). PEYOTE: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings – WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-473-peyote.aspx?activeingredientid=473&activeingredientname=peyote.

[36] Ask Erowid. (2007, Mar 8). Are MAOIs dangerous in combination with some Trichocereus cacti? Retrieved from https://erowid.org/ask/ask.php?ID=3089.

[37] PsychonautWiki. (2018, Feb 11). MAOI – Interactions. Retrieved from https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/MAOI#Interactions.

[38] PsychonautWiki. (2018, Jan 8). Lophophora diffusa (botany). Retrieved from https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Lophophora_diffusa_(botany).

[39] Winkelman, M.J. (2015). Psychedelics as Medicines for Substance Abuse Rehabilitation: Evaluating Treatments with LSD, Peyote, Ibogaine and Ayahuasca. Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 7(2):101-16. doi:10.2174/1874473708666150107120011.

[40] Pacific Standard Staff. (2016, Oct 10). What’s behind the myth of Native American alcoholism? Retrieved from https://psmag.com/news/whats-behind-the-myth-of-native-american-alcoholism.

[41] Horgan, J. (2009, Jan 12). Curing Drug and Alcohol Addiction with Peyote. Retrieved from http://discovermagazine.com/2009/the-brain/peyote.

[42] McClusky, J. (1997). Native American Church Peyotism and the Treatment of Alcoholism. Newsletter of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), 7(4):3-4.

[43] Jones, P.N. (2007). The American Indian Church and its sacramental use of peyote: A review for professionals in the mental-health arena. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 8(4):277-290. doi:10.1080/13674670412331304348.

[44] Peyotero. (2002, May 2). Sacred Medicine: An Experience with Peyote (exp11657). Retrieved from https://erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=11657.

[45] lunarvilly. (2017, Dec 18). A Meeting with God: An Experience with Peyote (exp103851). Retrieved from https://erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=103851.

[46] Joel. (2003, Sep 29). The Plant with the Answer: An Experience with Peyote (exp27201). Retrieved from https://erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=27201.

[47] Medicine_Man. (2018, Jan 4). Induced Transcendence: An Experience with Peyote & Meditation (exp103143). Retrieved from https://erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=103143.

[48] Erowid. (2016, Sep 7). Peyote – Legal Status. Retrieved from https://erowid.org/plants/peyote/peyote_law.shtml.

[49] DrugWise. (2017). Cacti. Retrieved from http://www.drugwise.org.uk/cacti/.

[50] Erowid. (2015, Feb 10). Mescaline – Drug Testing. Retrieved from https://erowid.org/chemicals/mescaline/mescaline_testing.shtml.

[51] Peyote Growing Tips. (2015, Feb 10). Retrieved from https://erowid.org/plants/peyote/peyote_cultivation1.shtml.

[52] Erowid. (2005). Storage Basics: What Is The Shelf Life of Peyote? Erowid Extracts 9:9. Retrieved from https://erowid.org/plants/peyote/peyote_article2.shtml.

[53] insidemymind108. Tarahumara Indians Microdosing Peyote [Online forum comment]. Message posted to https://www.reddit.com/r/microdosing/comments/2nle72/tarahumara_indians_microdosing_peyote/.

[54] CESAR. (2013, Oct 29). Peyote – Addiction and Tolerance. Retrieved from http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/peyote.asp#addiction.

[55] Trout, K. (2014). Cactus Chemistry By Species. Mydriatic Productions. Retrieved from https://troutsnotes.com/pdf/CactusChemistry_2013_Light.pdf.

[56] DEA. Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations. §1307.31 Native American Church. Retrieved from https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/1307/1307_31.htm.

[57] Schaffer Library of Drug Policy. U.S. v. Boyll, 774 F.Supp. 133 – September 3, 1991. Retrieved from http://www.druglibrary.org/olsen/religion/boyll.html.

[58] U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2016, Aug 17). CBP Reminds Public that Peyote is a Prohibited Item. Retrieved from https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/cbp-reminds-public-peyote-prohibited-item.

[59] AP. (2019, Jun 5). The Latest: Oakland 2nd US city to legalize magic mushrooms. Retrieved from https://www.apnews.com/ff023dfbf4534eba8622f504d272ff00.

[60] Decriminalize Nature Oakland. Resolution. Retrieved from https://www.decriminalizenature.org/dno-resolution.

Always know what’s happening in psychedelics

We'll send you selections of our most popular content, plus updates on research, live events, new articles, free educational resources and exclusive discounts.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. John Seed says

    Hi, I’m dealing with an scc tumour of the eye orbit, advanced beyond surgery, radiation or chemo.

    For 6 months I’ve been participating in the trial of a new checkpoint inhibitor Cemiplimab, very similar to the better-known and longer used Keytruda.

    Before I started in the trial, the tumour was tracking down the V1 nerve towards the brain stem. I now receive Cemiplimab every 2 weeks and it has, so far, stopped the further growth of the tumor but not shrunk it.

    I’d be interested to try kambo and I wonder if there are any reports of interaction with Keytruda or other immuno therapies? I’m concerned that kambo might expel the Cemiplimab from my bloodstream in which case perhaps I could try it soon before my scheduled treatment?