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What are the signs and symptoms of Peyote use?

Lophophora williamsii, aka Peyote cacti are a pale green, spineless, small cacti which grow in Mexico and the Southwestern US. The Peyote cacti contain the psychoactive compound Mescaline. Mescaline is a catecholamine agonist, meaning it will increase levels of three brain chemicals; dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Pieces of the cacti, referred to as button are dried, and infused in water to make a tea, or eaten as is to produce a psychedelic or mind altering experience in the user.  The effective dose is 200-500 00mg of Mescaline.

What are the effects of Mescaline on the user?

The effects of peyote, like any psychoactive drug, are determined by the action they have on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Dopamine is responsible for the experience of pleasure and reinforcement, in what is called the dopamine reward loop. Dopamine basically tells your brain: 

  1. That was good
  2. Don’t forget how good it was
  3. Have some more

Dopamine, along with serotonin, are also responsible for how we perceive information from our senses, and norepinephrine is responsible for alertness and excitement  Therefore, the effects of mescaline from the peyote cacti will be euphoria, or a pleasant high feeling, hallucinations, and excitement and energy. The effects of mescaline are similar to the psychedelics LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) or Psilocybin mushrooms, but the energizing effects are unique to mescaline, as are some other aspects of the hallucinatory experience. Objects will appear flattened or distorted when under the influence of mescaline, but generally speaking, not LSD or psilocybin. 

How long Mescaline takes to work, and how long it lasts?

The effects of mescaline become apparent about 45 to 60 minutes after ingestion, and persist for about four to eight hours. 

Short-term and long-term risks of using Mescaline

Mescaline is apparently non-addictive. Drugs which activate or increase dopamine levels are addictive, and while mescaline does increase dopamine levels, it does not produce enough of a reward experience that the user will feel compelled to promptly and excessively reuse it, as one would with heroin or cocaine.  When taken within the recommended doses its toxicity is expressed as nausea and vomiting, in addition to hallucinations and stimulation, but it is short term, e.g. four to eight hours, and it does not appear to do any lasting harm. The usual cautions apply here as to other psychedelic drugs. Because perception is distorted while under the influence, an accident with injury resulting is possible. Many people who use psychedelics will have a tour guide, aka a tripsitter, aka a designated driver, who is a person who is familiar with the effects of the drug, but s not under the influence of the drug, to sit with the user, and watch and safeguard them.  As with any use of a substance, one has to weigh the risks and potential consequences. Possession of Mescaline is also a crime.