A mescaline cacti flower with the words mescaline written around it

Psychedelic drugs have remained popular in the United States since first achieving widespread recognition in the 1960’s with the counterculture movement. In 2016, for example, hallucinogens were reported to be the 4th most popular drugs of abuse in the United States by person’s aged 12 and over. (1)

Here we take a look at one of the most popular psychedelics found in nature: mescaline.

What is mescaline?

Mescaline is a naturally occurring psychedelic alkaloid that is known for its ability to cause A woman experiencing a mescaline highhallucinations in people that consume it. Mescaline is found naturally in peyote cacti that are indigenous in regions of Mexico and parts of the southern United States.

Mescaline has a long history of use by in various religious ceremonies, such as Aztec and Native American cultures. These cultures typically consumed mescaline simply by eating entire peyote cacti.

Today, mescaline is typically extracted and sold in powder or liquid form. (2)

What are the effects of mescaline?

The effects of mescaline typically begin 1-2 hours after the drug is ingested. The effects of mescaline typically last 10-12 hours, and include the following symptoms (2) (3):

  • Loss of physical coordination and control
  • Some visual hallucinations, such as shifting environment, bright colors, and patterns
  • Intense emotions, ranging from fear to euphoria
  • Numbness, muscle twitching, weakness
  • Perspective shift
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Time distortion
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea

What are the dangers of psychedelics like mescaline?

The correlation between psychedelic abuse and mental health issues has been a source of much debate since psychedelic use became common in the Western world. One study found that a significant portion of study subjects who had prior mental health problems or a family history of mental health problems presented psychotic issues after ingesting psychedelics. (4)

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Psychedelics such as mescaline always carry the risk of accidents (such as car crashes, for example) that can occur during hallucinations, which sometimes can even be fatal. (5)

Is mescaline legal?

Mescaline is a schedule I drug in the United States, meaning it is illegal to consume peyote or mescaline for recreational purposes. Federal law, however, does protect the religious use of peyote by certain Native American groups. (6)

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.


  • https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-
  • http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/
  • https://thethirdwave.co/psychedelics/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
  • https://www.verywellmind.com/
  • https://www.peyote.net/