Mescaline is an alkaloid that occurs naturally in plants. It is also described as a phenethylamine psychedelic substance found in plants, especially found in cacti belonging to the Echinopsis (earlier known as Trichocerus) and Lophophora genera. The most common cacti that contain this alkaloid substance include Peruvian Torch, South Pedro and Peyote. These cacti have a sluggish growth and are generally found in Peruvian Torch, Mexico, and southern region of United States, Central America and South Pedro. In general, these cacti are prepared by cutting off their top part and leaving the top part to allow growth of new heads. Subsequently, the cut off top of these cacti are dried and either steeped into tea or chewed in order to produce the psychedelic effects of mescaline.

In addition to cacti, a number of acacia species also enclose mescaline. Such acacia species include Fernasiana and Acacia Berlandieri. Characteristically, plants belonging to the acacia species are leafy trees containing psychoactive alkaloids that are generally found in their leaves and barks. Different from the cacti mentioned above, plants of acacia species containing mescaline also have a propensity to have elevated concentrations of various other psychoactive compounds.

Many people use mescaline in the form of a recreational drug with a view to experience hallucinations and euphoria. In addition, a number of people have also used this plant-based phenethylamine psychedelic to improve meditation or as an additional therapy. People, who use mescaline, chew, smoke or ingest different parts of peyote plant and subsequently the drug enters their bloodstream. Sometimes, these parts of the plants are known as "buttons". This drug is hauled out from the roots of peyote plants.

Other people avoid peyote, but have a preference for consuming mescaline either as a brew or in the pill form. The pill as well as the brew is prepared from mescaline white powder. In addition, people also take intravenous injection of liquid mescaline. However, injecting mescaline is not a very common practice. Compared to other drugs, mescaline is relatively rare since the peyote cactus, which is the most prominent source of this drug, is itself an uncommon plant. However, chemists are now able to produce synthesized mescaline in laboratories.

Unadulterated mescaline was first isolated in 1897 by a German chemist named Arthur Heffter. He was the first person to recognize mescaline as the active compound present in peyote cactus. Soon after this, Austrian chemist Ernst Sp├Ąth synthesized mescaline in 1919 in his laboratory. Hence, mescaline is the maiden psychedelic compound that was prepared artificially. Since then, many chemists discovered various different was of mescaline by using different techniques and different starting materials.

The psychedelic effects of mescaline are same as psilocybin and LSD. Typically, the full trip on a "standard" dose of mescaline lasts for anything between four and eight hours - this is quite similar to the duration of the effects of a psilocybin trip. While the visual consequences of mescaline are quite similar to that of LSD, mescaline also has its characteristic appearance.

Potential health benefits

Mescaline has an assortment of recommended therapeutic uses, which also include treating alcoholism as well as depression. It is effective in treating the above mentioned condition because these disorders are related to deficiency of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Since long people have believed that mescaline is a potent agent for change as well as healing, thereby making this compound a vital element of shamanic ceremonies in several indigenous tribes in the Americas. A mescaline trip offers many people a profound insight into their self as well as the universe, thereby providing an individual a superior sense of spirituality and connection. In addition, mescaline is also said to promote compassion and gratitude. At the same time, it also helps to alleviate psychological problems like addiction, depression and PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder).

It is worth mentioning here that mescaline has also demonstrated that it can aid in solving problems, help people access their creativity, improve their learning and become more conscious environmentally. Originally, mescaline was used as an herbal remedy for various ailments, which include wounds, common pain, skin disorders and even snake bites.

Possibly the benefits of using this drug is attributed to the plant from which it is extracted, the body's physical relation with the plant or even the experience one undergoes after they ingest the peyote cactus.

Having said this, medical practitioners in the West do not support most of the potential health benefits of mescaline. Hence, it is important that scientists need to undertake further researches and examine the health benefits of mescaline and peyote, which have been successfully used by people to treat various health disorders.

Side effects and cautions

Like most other psychedelics, it is possible for an individual to develop tolerance to mescaline rather quickly. In fact, this may be perceptible even after an individual uses this drug for the very first time. If one uses mescaline frequently over a brief period of time, he/she would need to take higher doses if they want to experience the same results. In fact, it is also possible for an individual to develop a cross tolerance to Psilocybin, LSD and various other serotonergic substances. In order to prevent building up a cross tolerance to mescaline or any other psychedelic substances, he/she should be aware of how often they are using such psychedelic substances that interact with their serotonin receptors. In fact, most psychedelic substances react with one's serotonin receptors. Therefore it is essential to ensure that one spaces out use of any psychedelic substance with a view to experience their complete effects. In other words, these substances should not be taken too frequently.

Similar to all psychedelic substances, even mescaline can be responsible for hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (also known as HPPD). This problem generally becomes apparent in the form of "visual snow", wherein an individual using mescaline starts visualizing particles in the air, thereby blurring their eyesight. In severe instances, HPPD can also bring about complete hallucinations for a prolonged period.

In some cases, use of psychedelic substances such as mescaline may also result in post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially during challenging trips. This is the reason why one should always be with an experienced tripsitter, who would be able to guide as well as calm them in case they start having a powerful experience. At the same time, people using mescaline or other psychedelic substances need to ensure to knowingly appraise their present state of mind before taking such drugs. This is necessary because using these psychedelic substances can possibly take them beyond their control, especially during a trip.


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