There are many rumors circulating about mescaline, but a lot of people don’t even know what it is, or what it’s made of. Mescaline is a hallucinogenic psychedelic that’s collected from various cacti. These include the spineless and a rather small Peyote cactus, the Peruvian torch cactus, the San Pedro cactus, and several others. It can also be located in specific members of the bean family.

There are other names that mescaline is known. These include peyote, buttons, mesc., peyote, and cactus.

Using Mescaline

People have been using various hallucinogenic drugs for centuries. Some have been used for religious or spiritual ceremonies. Mescaline can lead to vibrant hallucinations. These were considered very important to the different native peyote cults or religions. It has similar effects to magic mushrooms (psilocybin) and LSD.

It is used mainly as a recreational drug these days or sometimes used to replace different types of medication or even psychedelic therapy. It is a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Schedule 1 drug, which means it is illegal in all forms, including peyote. The only place that it is legal is on certain Native American reservations when used for spiritual ceremonies.

The Effects of Mescaline

When you take mescaline, there’s a good chance that you will experience a ‘trip.’ A ‘trip’ is an experience that occurs in the brain, which is like experiencing an alternative form of consciousness. This is a common side effect that can be either very pleasurable and enlightening or can cause high anxiety and unpleasant hallucinations. There is no way to tell how your experience with mescaline is going to be until your trip begins to play out. This is one reason it’s a good idea to refrain from trying it. A bad trip can be horrifying, and there is the risk of taking too much of it, thus putting you in danger.

There are Other Effects as Well:

  • You may experience visual hallucinations or an altered state of consciousness (this is the psychedelic experience that many people who take peyote are attempting to get).
  • You may also experience different forms of visualizations – whether your eyes are open or shut.
  • Euphoria can also be a common effect.
  • Dreamlike states are common.
  • You may experience a feeling as though time is passing much more slowly than when you are sober.
  • Things may appear more hilarious than they would otherwise.
  • You might experience synesthesia (this is when your senses begin mixing). You might start seeing sounds or hearing colors.
  • Your pupils will dilate.

Side Effects and Risks of Mescaline Use

Just like with any drug, you’re going to risk having side effects if you take mescaline. You may have heard others describe their positive experience, but know that not everyone has such a great experience. Some effects can be worse than others.

  • You might experience an overwhelming amount of anxiety and fear.
  • Your heart may begin racing fast (also known as tachycardia).
  • You might experience dizziness.
  • Your muscles might become weaker, and it can be difficult to lift objects that you usually have no problem with.
  • Diarrhea is a risk, as is vomiting and nausea.
  • You may begin to sweat excessively.
  • Some people have been known to experience psychosis, panic, and paranoia.
  • There have been cases of seizures related to mescaline use.
  •  In rare cases, people have experienced suicidal thoughts or actions.

Is Mescaline Addictive?

For the most part, there is little research to indicate that mescaline is an addictive drug. Abuse of the substance is rare.

In 2016, there were only 61 cases of mescaline exposure that people reported to poison control centers. However, just because the risk of addiction is low does not mean it does not exist. Prolonged use of the drug can begin to cause people to develop a tolerance to it. This means that the people using it regularly must start to take higher and higher doses to achieve the same sense of high that they experienced when first taking it.

Tolerance of the drug can sometimes be seen as a physical dependence; however, it is not the same thing as drug addiction. You usually begin developing this tolerance between three and six days of using it on a daily basis. If you stop taking the drug for several days, it will typically begin to restore your sensitivity to mescaline.

Signs and Symptoms of Mescaline Dependence

Though there are no compounds found in mescaline to lead to a physical addiction, that doesn’t mean that a psychological dependence cannot occur. People using this drug can sometimes become addicted to the trips that they experience.

If you are trying to find out if someone is abusing mescaline on a regular basis, you can start by looking for long periods of euphoria, changes in personality, pupils that remain dilated, either an increase or decrease in appetite, and, of course, distorted perceptions.

People who have prolonged use of mescaline can cause distorted perceptions of reality as well as short-term memory loss. It can also cause flashbacks to their ‘trips’, even after they’ve stopped using the drug for a prolonged amount of time.

Mescaline Withdrawal

Though there are no known addictive symptoms with mescaline, the mental symptoms can be genuine. There is no physical dependence; therefore there has been no documented evidence to support any withdrawal symptoms. The only common evidence to support any kind of withdrawal is the flashbacks mentioned above. These can occur days, months, or even years after a person has used the drug. These flashbacks can be triggered by a variety of things. You might experience if you are stressed, if you’re too sleepy, or if you’ve taken other drugs, including alcohol or marijuana.


Mescaline, more popularly known as peyote, is a hallucinogenic that can produce both pleasurable and not so pleasurable ‘trips’ where you experience loss of reality, euphoria, and a slowing of time. There are risks to every drug you take, and mescaline is no different. However, there is little abuse potential, and there are very few – if any – withdrawal symptoms for this particular drug.

Mescaline is still used in Native American ceremonies and rituals on certain reservations, though it is a Class 1 drug in the United States – meaning that is it not legal. Health experts assert that you should not use mescaline, even if studies aren’t showing that it is as addictive as some of the other Schedule I or II drugs.

Should you believe that you are addicted psychologically to this type of psychedelic drug, reach out for help from an addiction specialist. Or, if you’re struggling with an addiction to alcohol or another drug. You don’t have to remain addicted, as there is treatment available. And, you don’t have to keep trying to quit on your own. Reach out for help today.

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