What Is Mescaline?
It is a dark-brown powder ground from "buttons" of the Mexican cactus peyote, one of the psychotropic plants. Because of its mind-fogging and mind-boggling effects, the peyote has been known among Mexico's Yaqui Indians as: the bruja's brew. It may well be that: a witch's potion.
The active chemical of peyote, the alkaloid mescaline, was isolated in 1896 from the peyote cactus, lophophora williamsii. The drug was named after the Mescalero Apaches of the American great plains.
How Is Mescaline Taken?
Mescaline is generally taken orally. But like, LSD, it may be injected. The average dose is: 350 to 500 miligrams. This yields a "high" lasting 5 to 12 hours. Because of its bitter taste, mescaline is often taken with tea, coffee, milk, orange juice, soda, or soft drink. The peyote button itself has a vile, fibrous taste.
General Side Effects
- Creative closed-eye visuals
- New thought processes
- Dream-like scenarios
- Mystical experience
- Feeling of dying or annihilation
- Fear of not being able to return to normal consciousness
- Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD)
- Irrationality of the thought-process
- Temporary splitting/destruction of ego
Mescaline's Mental Side Effects
Mescaline is not as potent as LSD, but it similarly causes hallucinogenic effects. A mescanile or peyote "trip" can last up to 12 hours. It can be, as in LSD, a "good trip" or a "bad trip."
The user, as in LSD again, also suffers sensation and perception impairment, loss of a sense of time, disorganization of thought and psychotic reactions. It is, therefore, a peril to the mind.
In his bestselling Journey to Ixtlan, Carlos Castafleda gives the most celebrated record of a peyote experience. It was, he sums it: one frightful or ecstatic confrontation after another. He details:
"In a matter of instants, a tunnel formed around me, very low and narrow, hard and strangely cold. It felt to the touch like a wall of solid tinfoil. I remember having to crawl towards a sort of round point where the tunnel ended; when I finally arrived, if I did, I had forgotten all."
And he took off "like a bird." Adds he, "I flew in my imagination. Where was my body?"
In other "trips," Castafieda saw "the guardian of the world" rise before him as a hundred foot-high gnat with spiky hair; met "Mescalito," a powerful teacher, successively as a black dog, a column of singing light, and a cricket-like being with a green warty head; talked with a bilingual coyote. He was, he writes, "terrified".
Like LSD, mescaline acts on the central nervous system. In plain words, it acts on the brain.
Mescaline's Physical Effects
Apart from its cardiovascular effects, which speed up the heartbeat and increase the blood pressure, it also: dilates the eyes' pupils, increases the blood sugar level, heightens the body temperature, causes heavy perspiration and nausea.
In large doses, mescaline lowers the blood glucose. In such cases, the user may suffer bloody diarrhea and fall into unconsciousness.
Lethal doses produce convulsions, breath-arrests and heart failures. Death is due to respiratory failure.
Hallucinogens are drugs which cause altered states of perception and feeling and which can produce flashbacks. They include natural substances, such as mescaline and psilocybin that come from plants (cactus and mushrooms), and chemically manufactured ones, such as LSD and MDMA (ecstasy). LSD is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. MDMA is a synthetic mind-altering drug with both stimulant and hallucinogenic properties. Although not a true hallucinogen in the pharmacological sense, PCP causes many of the same effects as hallucinogens and so is often included with this group of drugs. Hallucinogens have powerful mind-altering effects. They can change how the brain perceives time, everyday reality, and the surrounding environment. They affect regions and structures in the brain that are responsible for coordination, thought processes, hearing, and sight. They can cause people who use them to hear voices, see images, and feel sensations that do not exist. Researchers are not certain that brain chemistry permanently changes from hallucinogen use, but some people who use them appear to develop chronic mental disorders. PCP and MDMA can be addictive; whereas LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline are not.