Mescaline Cacti
3 min

Mescaline Cacti Differences

3 min
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Mescaline is a psychoactive compound found in several species of cacti. Each species provides its own interpretation of the mescaline experience. How do the effects differ from species to species? Let's find out.


Mescaline can differ in a couple of ways. For example, it can take different forms when ingested; unprocessed and taken in the simplest way or processed and the essential alkaloids isolated. Favourite methods au natural include dried cactus chips or traditional multiple reduction brews. Less demanding on the tummy, are teas or desiccated and pulverized flesh put into gel-caps.

With a little chemistry know-how, high-quality extractions can be made at home with easily obtained domestic products. Mescaline hydrochloride, for example, is a white crystalline powder that is essentially pure mescaline. This method involves acids and alkalies and therefore requires the utmost care and vigilance.

Mescaline acetate, however, is a tacky deep orange resin that is usually 97% pure mescaline. The acetate version contains all the alkaloids the cactus has to offer. It is also food safe and less dangerous to make than the hydrochloride. Your personal taste will decide whether you prefer pure mescaline or nuanced mescaline. With enough cacti, why not try both?


The effects of mescaline also differs from species to species and cactus to cactus. Much like cannabis, there is what could be called the 'central signature' effect. Then, from plant to plant, there are nuances and distinctions, modulations and variations. These responses depend on mescaline strength and the inclusion of other exogenous compounds.

The core mescaline effect is a heightened sense of emotional and mental flow. Visual acuity increases and colours become more intense. Natural growing greens fluoresce wildly and the sky ebbs and flows with its own iridescence. There is a profound sense of "being in the now", helped along considerably by a noticeable reduction in mental chatter.

At the psychedelic peak, which can last hours, each person will experience their own unique response to mescaline. Some cruise pleasantly, eyes dilated, gentle smile inspired by personal hallucinations. Some need to move, the intensity overwhelming. When it's like this, go out into nature and feel the silent and magnificent benevolence. Or dance baby, dance!

Members of the Peyote and the Trichocereus family can vary considerably in their interpretation of the central mescaline motif. Plant health plays a part in alkaloid density as well. Well cared for cacti are often more powerful per gram than cacti left to their own devices and they grow larger quicker.



Peyote is intense and hallucinogenic. The acute visual effects are similar to LSD or DMT. As with all mescaline, it takes a while to come on. Giving hints and traces and body rushes. Then, the floodgates open and you are swept away for up to twelve hours of inverted perspective and hyper coloured reality.


The Trichocereus family has several species which all give their own nuance and intensity. Peruvian Torch shares aspects of Peyote with a similar body load and a potency that can sometimes seem unbearable. Maybe the massive fiery orange and maroon spines are a warning. This species, when not extracted and eaten raw, is a guaranteed purge followed quickly with rewarding, intense psychedelia.

San Pedro Peruvian Torch

San Pedro is probably the most common of the Trichocereus cacti. It propagates with very little fuss and grows robustly. Whereas Peyote and Peruvian Torch come on with noticeable verve, San Pedro unobtrusively envelopes. The sky doesn't suddenly start throbbing; after watching the sky throb for an hour, you realize you are tripping balls and wonder when that happened.

Cuzcoensis and bridgesii are two Trichocereus who share a slender form and tiny, but very sharp clusters of spines. They also share a similar effect to San Pedro in that they gently usher you, without you realizing it, into an expanded state of awareness. Six hours after ingestion, you are navigating pulsing dayglo coloured psycho-spaces, smiling and completely at ease, unsure of when things got bent.


The common after effect of the mescaline experience is an extended feeling of well-being that can last for weeks. Mental chatter and anxiety are also dialed down to zero. There is a greater sense of unification with nature and other animals including humans. Unlike psycho-pharmaceuticals an unforced sense of "all is well with the world" settles in comfortably as do unbidden gentle smiles.

Mescaline bearing plants have been worshipped and used as entheogens for thousands of years by indigenous people for good reason. They can be a sacrament for philosophical or religious experience. They can be a vehicle for personal growth and thereby growth of society. They can also be really good fun, but party responsibly, okay?

Which Cacti contain mescaline?

Known to date, there are 16 species of cacti that contain mescaline. Hereinafter we provide a list, in which the plants with their current scientific names are listed. Until recently, some cacti were called differently. With these species, we have also given the old name, because until now many cacti are sold under the previously familiar names and also in botanical gardens sold as those. With this overview, we have in any case a valuable tool at hand.

Current NameOld NameAlso Known As
Aztekium ritteri
Cereus jamacaru
Echinopsis lageniformis Trichocereus bridgesii Bolivian Torch
Echinopsis peruviana Trichocereus peruvianus Peruvian Torch
Echinopsis pachanoi Trichocereus pachanoi San Pedro
Echinopsis cuzcoensis Trichocereus cuzcoensis
Echinopsis deserticola Trichocereus fulvilanus
Echinopsis macrogona Trichocereus macrogonus
Echinopsis spachiana Trichocereus spachianus
Echinopsis strigosa Trichocereus strigosus
Echinopsis tacaquirensis taquimbalensis Trichocereus taquimbalensis
Echinopsis terscheckii Trichocereus terscheckii
Echinopsis valida Trichocereus validus
Echinopsis werdermanniana Trichocereus werdermannianus
Eriosyce islayensis Islaya mino
Gymnocalycium calochlorum
Gymnocalycium comarapense
Gymnocalycium gibbosum
Gymnocalycium horridispinum
Gymnocalycium netrelianum
Gymnocalycium riograndense
Gymnocalycium striglianum
Gymnocalycium uebelmannianum
Gymnocalycium valnicekianum
Gymnocalycium vatteri
Lophophora williamsii Peyote
Lophophora diffusa
Myrtillocactus geometrizans
Opuntia acanthocarpa
Opuntia cylindria
Opuntia basilaris
Opuntia echinocarpa
Opuntia ficus-indica
Opuntia imbricata
Opuntia spinosior
Pachycereus gaumeri Pterocereus gaumeri
Pelecyphora aselliformis
Pereskia corrugata
Pereskia tampicana
Pereskiopsis scandens
Polaskia chende
Stenocereus beneckei
Stenocereus eruca Machaerocereus eruca
Stenocereus stellatus
Stenocereus treleasei
Stetsonia coryne
Turbinicarpus lophophoroides
Turbinicarpus pseudomacrochele
Turbinicarpus pseudopectinatus Turbinicarpus schmiedickeanus


Matucana madisoniorum is another cactus that may contain mescaline, but has so far not been chemically investigated. We can assume that there are far more cacti, containing the active substance mescaline. It is only a matter of time and research, until other representatives are discovered.

  Guest Writer  

Written by: Guest Writer
Occasionally we have guest writers contribute to our blog here at Zamnesia. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, making their knowledge invaluable.

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