What Is Peyote Cactus

Peyote Cactus is a small, spineless cactus, (Lophophora williamsii), whose principal active ingredient is the hallucinogen mescaline. From earliest recorded time, peyote has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of traditional religious rites. Mescaline can be extracted from peyote or produced synthetically. Its crown, or ‘button’, is used for psychedelic purposes. It is cut from the cactus and dried into a hard brown disc. The disc, sometimes referred to as a ‘mescal button’, contains a methoxylated amphetamine.

There are a number of cacti that are used for their hallucinogenic properties. The most common is the Peyote Cactus, found from central Mexico to southern Texas. Peyote contains relatively large quantities (one to six per cent of the plant’s weight) of mescaline – a strong hallucinogen. Other cacti include the San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi), from around the Andes, Doñana (Coryphantha macromeris) from northern Mexico and three related mescaline-bearing species from South America.
Hallucinogenic cacti are quite rare in the UK, though the peyote cactus can be bought mail order or directly from some cacti-specialists or head shops. Hallucinogenic cacti are not illegal in the UK, unless prepared for consumption as a hallucinogen. This could include drying them, or cutting them into edible ‘buttons’. It usually takes six to ten of these buttons to gain the desired effect.

The peyote experience is different from that of pure mescaline – the former experience more intense and complex. This is due to the presence of many more alkaloids that affect mind and body such as hordenine, pellotine, anhalinine, anhalonine and tyramine. Some of these chemicals in combination apparently potentiate the effects of the mescaline and definitely alter some of the characteristics of the experience.

Effects And Risks Of Taking Peyote Cactus

Effects of Peyote Cactus:

  • The cacti’s effects are in some ways similar to LSD, but longer lasting and more physical.
  • Users typically vomit before entering a dreamlike state where sound and scale distort and visions appear.
  • The trip can last up to 12 hours with the user deep in trance and detached from the world around them.
  • Increased body temperature, heart rate, blood pressure; loss of appetite, sleeplessness, numbness, weakness, tremors.
  • Terrifying thoughts, and anxiety, fears of insanity or losing control.

Risks of Using Peyote Cactus

Some users experience “flashbacks”, or hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which are reoccurrences of hallucinations long after ingesting the drug. The causes of these effects, which in some users occur after a single experience with the drug, are not known.


Are drug that produces hallucinations — distortion in perception of sights and sounds — and disturbances in emotion, judgment, and memory.

Is Peyote Cactus Addictive

Like most drugs it can make a user psychologically dependent so when they stop using it they feel depressed.

The Law And Peyote Cactus

The hallucinogen mescaline is a class A drug in the UK.