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Mescaline, known on the streets as devil’s weed, buttons, mesc, peyoto and plants, is chemically named 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine. It is a hallucinogenic agent, a phenethylamine alkaloid extracted from the peyote cactus, the San Pedro cactus and the Peruvian Torch cactus as well as other members of the Cactaceae. The name is derived from the Mescalero Apaches in the US.

While Mescaline was first isolated in 1897 and synthesized in 1919, it has been used as part of Native American religious practices, particularly that of the Huichols and Yaqui Indians in Mexico much earlier and is sometimes referred to by the Yaqui as “witch’s brew.” Because it induces nausea and vomiting, which is considered cleansing.

Information you should know

Mescaline was made illegal in the US in 1970 and internationally in 1971 as a Schedule I hallucinogen. The manufacture and/or sale of mescaline can be quite steep, up to five years in prison and a fine of $15,000.

The hallucinogenic effect of mescaline is believed to be due to binding to the G protein-coupled 5-HT2A receptors, which releases the G protein complex that affects physical and chemical changes associated with hallucinogens. The effect
may be inhibitory or excitatory. Mescaline is not physically addictive, however.

Mescaline increases the heart rate and blood pressure, induces pupil dilation, increases blood sugar levels, increases body temperature and induces heavy sweating and nausea. In high doses, mescaline may lower blood glucose to the point that it induces unconsciousness and may also lead to convulsions and death due to respiratory failure.

Directions for taking Mescaline

Mescaline is traditionally prepared by cutting off the peyote “button” and dried. It is then either chewed or steeped in water that may later be used as a drink. Some people take it in with tea or coffee to mask the bitter taste. In some cases, however, the bitterness may be too much and modern users have resorted pounding the buttons into a powder and placing them into capsules to avoid the taste. Effective doses are between 0.3 to 0.5 grams of the pure mescaline, which is approximately 20 mescal buttons, and the effects last up to 12 hours. Mescaline may also be injected.

Users typically experience altered states of consciousness and visions as well as anxiety and revulsion. It can induce severe vomiting and nausea. Other effects of mescaline include euphoria, tachycardia, diarrhea, headaches, uncontrollable
laughter and hot and cold sensations.


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