How to do peyote?

In The Only State Where Selling Peyote Is Legal, The Cactus Is Threatened And Still Controversial

“My father was still living and he had moved back to Mirando. He sold peyote for about 18 years. I came out back here and I applied for my license, and I started selling peyote. I’ve been doing it ever since,” Johnson says.

But distributors like Salvador Johnson are only allowed to sell peyote to registered members of one religious organization called the Native American Church. To buy it, church members must prove their ancestry.

“The most important document for a person to have is what we call the Certificate of Indian Blood, because that will show you who you are, who your parents are and your blood quarter; you have to be at least one-fourth Indian to purchase peyote in the state of Texas, or possess peyote in the state of Texas,” Johnson says.

Folks who meet these requirements drive to the Valley from every corner of the United States to buy peyote, or as church members call it, “medicine.” James Flaming Eagle Mooney is one of them.

“To me, it’s a symbolic representation of God. It’s basically a truth ceremony; it shows you who you are, your godliness,” Mooney says.

Mooney has known Johnson for decades – he is the former leader of the Oklevueha branch of the Native American Church.

“I believe that this is the only way that a certain group of humans can get close to God, and there’s no other way. This religion could never keep on without this peyote,” Mooney says.

Peyote is a small, round cactus. It has no thorns, but has unique properties that make it an especially resilient species. If you cut what’s called the “button,” which is used in ceremonies, the root has the ability to slowly regrow a new button. Still, wild peyote is on the decline. According to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there’s been at least a 30% decline over the last 20 years.

“We are overharvesting the shrinking area of the planet that actually supports wild peyote,” says Martin Terry, a professor of botany at Sul Ross State University in Alpine

Terry has been studying peyote for three decades. He says overharvesting is happening because Texas does not allow for peyote cultivation.

“What is the justification behind this? Why can’t it be cultivated? That’s a very good question: If you happen to be talking to any Texas legislators in the near future, ask them that question,” Terry says.

But Terry says this attitude towards peyote is nothing new.

“Since the Spaniards set foot on these shores, there has been persecution of people who used peyote, and that continues to the Drug Enforcement Administration of today,” Terry says.

Native American Church members like Mooney say these laws have been used as a way to persecute their people.

“People need to understand that law was not just to deal with peyote; it had to deal with peyote in the sense that it was a sacrament that the indigenous peoples of North and South America had used continuously, since before recorded history,” Mooney says.

The DEA lists peyote as a Schedule I controlled drug, which puts it in the same category as heroin or LSD. But distributors, users and scientists like Terry say it causes no real harm to the human body.

“People using peyote in a ceremonial sense, and using it, let’s say, once a month or so, which is about how the ceremonies are spaced out, in reality – if it’s used properly, the way that it’s always been used – ceremonially – peyote is absolutely safe. And yet, we have governments putting it into things like Schedule I, which for there is no evidence whatsoever of adverse effects,” Terry says.

Johnson, the peyote distributor, traces his own roots to the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí where peyote grows and is used. To him, selling it something of a family tradition; he took over the business from his father, and he hopes that will continue after him.

“Either one of my daughters, my son, my grandsons: one of them, more than likely, will pick up the business that I have. But it’s something that has to come from you and your heart,” Johnson says.

Where To Get Peyote

We are located in the US, so here Peyote is illegal except for use in religious ceremonies. You can read more about the legality and ceremonies on the proper pages.

However of the last few months someone has told us that you can purchase peyote at certain places online, if you live outside of the USA.

We are not lawyers and do not know the laws of peyote outside of the USA (where it is illegal), so please research your local laws and customs when it comes to ordering peyote online.

There are 2 places we have found online that sell peyote, both located in The Netherlands:

Avalon Magic Plants. Has a real nice looking product selection and sells large plants! Highly Recommended!

Azarius Online Smartshop. Since 1999!

The other possible way to get it, is to find it growing in nature. We have heard it grows in the south west of the US, and below is a map of where it grows wild in Mexico.

Again we have no idea what the laws about harvesting or possessing peyote are, so we cannot stress it enough to learn the laws in your area.

Peyote Is Endangered, Spiritually Sacred and Becoming Legal

The peyote plant, which produces the hallucinogenic mescaline, has been overharvested in the U.S. and Mexico. Sinisa Kukic/Getty Images


For centuries, Mexican Indians and Native Americans in the Southwest have used peyote, a hallucinogenic cactus, for certain religious ceremonies and rituals. And during the psychedelics-infused days of the ’60s, peyote found a new audience, among counterculture hippies seeking a back-to-nature lifestyle.

These days, peyote is in the news again, in part because the plant (along with magic mushrooms) was decriminalized in Oakland, California in June 2019, the second city in the U.S. to do so after Denver, Colorado. Advocates say the cacti’s new status will free up law enforcement to pursue more serious matters and potentially allow for more research into peyote’s mind-altering effects, which may help people with mental and emotional distress or those addicted to alcohol or other drugs. But before we look at its medicinal side, first let’s find out what the plant is all about.

What Is Peyote?

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is a small cactus that grows underground — only its top ( or “button,” which is about the size of a baseball) is visible. Peyote is a spineless, slow-growing plant, one that may take years to reach maturity in the deserts of south Texas and northern Mexico.

As they grow, the cacti produce range of phenethylamine alkaloids, some of which have a distinctive hallucinogenic effect on humans. Once harvested, the little button-shaped fruits can be eaten, brewed as a tea, or dried and crushed into a powder, which is loaded into capsules. Users may also smoke the dried version. The primary active ingredient is mescaline, a powerful drug that the U.S. categorizes as a Schedule I substance, making it (mostly) illegal to possess or consume. (Interestingly, the mescaline causes a severe reaction in animals, which deters them from eating it, providing protection for a cactus with no spines.)

Indigenous people in parts of North and Central America revere the plant as a way to accentuate their spiritual ceremonies. Native Americans may gather around a fire and share peyote, as a shaman or ceremonial leader chants and sings, guiding participants through the experience, which may last 10 hours or longer. In Mexico, the Huichol or Wixáritari people set out on peyote pilgrimages through the desert several times each year, stopping along the way to take more peyote, which they believe opens channels to their gods.

Beyond religious ceremonies, peyote has a long history as medicine in these cultures. People sometimes use the cacti to help with fever, skin problems, blindness, colds, diabetes and pain. The U.S. government does not recognize any of the medicinal claims made regarding peyote.

Anti-drug laws mean that it is, by and large, illegal to possess or consume peyote, so if you’re caught with this cacti in the U.S. you may face fines or imprisonment. However, the federal government does create exceptions for the Native American Church, allowing its members to use the plant for religious purposes.

Peyote ingestion was prohibited in 1970 when the Controlled Substance Act was passed by Congress, although the Native American Church was exempt from this law. In 1976, Alan Birnbaum, founder of his own Native American Church of New York, challenged the status quo by insisting that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) “exempt the use of all psychedelic drugs in religious ceremonies of all churches that believe that psychedelic drugs are deities.” When the DEA refused, he sued. The Supreme Court sided with him.

Laws regarding peyote vary in other nations. For example, it’s legal in Canada but only if you’re using the plant for religious reasons, not for recreational purposes. And the United Kingdom, it’s legal to grow peyote, but not to prepare it for consumption. In Mexico it’s illegal to consume peyote or harvest the wild variety because it’s endangered. However, there’s an exception for religious purposes.

Effects of Peyote

Peyote works by interacting with the neurotransmitter serotonin in your brain to alter your thinking and perception. Because potency varies from plant to plant, it’s difficult to dose the drug with any real accuracy, but between 10 and 20 grams of dried peyote (three to six buttons) is an average dose.

Those who eat peyote cacti or drink its tea report a bitter taste, one so overwhelming that many people become nauseous and wind up vomiting, sometimes violently. As the drug takes hold, people may see brighter colors or hear louder sounds or lose track of time or place. They could experience euphoria, detachment, illusions or visual distortions. As to whether they have a “good trip” or a “bad trip” can depend on the expectations of the users and the setting (is it taking place in a church, nightclub or doctor’s office?). If the trip goes badly, mood swings, paranoia or panic may occur. Other side effects may include dry mouth, headaches, increased heart rate and impaired motor skills.

Beyond those effects, peyote isn’t really regarded as a physically addictive drug. Like magic mushrooms, users take the drug only occasionally, often as part of a spiritual quest. But as with all mind-altering substances, some mental health experts express concerns that peyote may produce psychological dependency in some users.

Although most native cultures frown on recreational use, many curious people purposely seek peyote, sometimes simply seeking a unique drug experience, or perhaps as part of what they see as a personal spiritual journey.

Finding Peyote

It isn’t easy access to peyote. Sure, you could traipse across the blistering desert landscape in search of the few remaining plants in south Texas. Or, you could take part in a “spirit walk” orchestrated by the Peyote Way Church of God, which is located in a remote part of the Arizona desert. After a $400 donation, church leaders will prepare you for your experience, which begins with a 24-hour fast and culminates with your drinking peyote tea.

A tourist eats peyote at the desert near the town of Real de 14, in San Luis Potosi State, Mexico on July 17, 2013. ALFREDO ESTRELLA/AFP/Getty Images

You may have better success going to Mexico. The Mexican town of Real de Catorce, which is a homeland to many Huichol people, each year sees visitors from all over the world. Many arrive simply to find and experience peyote, which grows in the scrubland around the region. Tourists hire guides to ferry them into the desert, where they search, sometimes for hours, in hopes of finding peyote buttons, which they may well consume right on the spot.

The tourists may have an amazing psychedelic experience, but the locals say that overharvesting from tourists is threatening the peyote supply, and as a result is also imperiling Huichol religious traditions, which rely so heavily on the sacred plant. Once the plant’s been harvested, it may take a decade or more for it to regenerate and produce fruit.

Given peyote’s relative scarcity compared to other psychedelics, as well as its illegal status, it’s likely to remain mostly a tool for religious sacraments and spiritual exploration, a bitter-tasting but possibly euphoric path to a higher power of sorts.

Lophophora Williamsii seeds

c. 3700 B.C.E. Native Americans in the Rio Grande (Shumla Caves) area collected mescaline containing peyote buttons. 1
1000 B.C. Peyote used ceremonially by indigenous cultures in Texas and Mexico. 2
Jun 15, 1521 The use of hallucinogenic mushrooms and peyote are driven underground as use of “non-alcohol” intoxicants is forbidden by Europeans in Mexico. Catholic priests punish the use of entheogens by native people.
1560 Spanish priest Bernardino de Sahagún writes in his Florentine Codex about the use of peyote and hallucinogenic teonanacatl mushrooms by the Aztecs. He estimates peyote has been in use since at least 300 B.C. 2
1550 – 1750 Determined effort by Spaniards to stamp out peyote practices amongst native Mexicans. Peyote use is denounced by European catholics as an act of witchcraft and superstition because it was for “purposes of detecting thefts, of divining other happenings and foretelling future events.” Its use was equated with cannibalism in some catholic texts. 2
1638 The first proper botanical description of Peyote is made by Hernandez, the naturalist of Philip II of Spain. 3
1760 There is some evidence that the use of peyote has spread into the United States. 4
Late 19th Century Peyote first classified as Echinocactus williamsii in 1845, changed to Anhalonium williamsii in 1872, Mammillaria williamsii in 1891. Later changed to Lophophora williamsii.
1847 First published image of peyote appeared in Curtis’ Botanical Magazine.
Early 1870s Peyote use spreads more widely into the United States. 2
1872 Peyote classification changed to Anhalonium williamsii by Voss.
1887 Dried Peyote buttons are distributed by Parke Davis & Co. 5
1888 Botanist Paul Hennings published a report on Lophophora chemistry, leading to further investigations by other botanists. 5
Late 1800s North American indians brought back knowledge of Peyote from raids on Mexico. Along with another contemporary movement, the Ghost Dance, Peyote use spread quickly among the Indian tribes of America. Indian prophets like Quanah Parker added Christianity to traditional beliefs and formed the basis of the Peyote ritual practiced most commonly today by the Native American Church. 5
1892 German explorer Lumhotz described ceremonial Peyote use among the Huichol and Tarahumara, and sent samples of the cacti to Harvard for Botanical analysis. 5
1894 Peyote classified as Lophophora williamsii.
Dec 1896 Two early experience reports describing the effects of a peyote extract are published in The British Medical Journal. 6
Nov 23, 1897 Mescaline is first isolated and identified by German chemist Arthur Heffter.
1902 An early article on peyote titled “Mescal: A Study of a Divine Plant” is published in Popular Science Monthly. 4
1918 The Native American Church is formed. James Mooney, a Smithsonian Institute archeologist who traveled through Oklahoma in 1891 participating in various Peyote ceremonies, became convinced of the need to unite the Indians and protect their legal right to worship with Peyote. He called together meeting of all of the great roadmen in 1918 where he wrote the charter for and incorporated the Native American Church. 5
1919 Mescaline is first synthesized by Ernst Spath. 5
1922 An estimated 13,000-22,000 ceremonial users of Peyote in the U.S. 2
1927 An extensive study of mescaline’s effects was published in Der Meskalinrausch (The Mescaline High). 5
1930 By 1930 over a dozen states had outlawed possession of Peyote, largely as an anti native american statement. 7
Oct 1945 US Navy Technical Mission reports on mescaline experiments at the Nazi Dachau concentration camp.
1947 U.S. Navy initiates mescaline studies under the auspices of ‘Project Chatter’. 8
1952 Dr. Humphry Osmond begins working with hallucinogens at a hospital in Saskatchewan, looking at the similarity between mescaline and the adrenaline molecule. 8
May 1953 Aldous Huxley tries mescaline (400 mg) for the first time under the supervision of Dr. Humphrey Osmond. During the experience, he commented “This is how one ought to see, how things really are.” 9
1954 The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley is published describing his 1953 experience with mescaline.
1960 Arizona Judge Yale McFate rules that Native Americans are guaranteed access to the Peyote sacrament under the First and Fourteenth amendments.
1967 Peyote is banned federally in the U.S.
Oct 27, 1970 The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act is passed. Part II of this is the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) which defines a scheduling system for drugs. It places most of the known hallucinogens (LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, mescaline, peyote, cannabis, & MDA) in Schedule I. It places coca, cocaine and injectable methamphetamine in Schedule II. Other amphetamines and stimulants, including non-injectable methamphetamine are placed in Schedule III.
1991 Alexander and Ann Shulgin publish PiHKAL, documenting over 250 phenethylamines, including MDMA, mescaline, 2C-B, 2C-T-7, 2C-T-2, and many others. 10

Is Peyote legal? Historical and Current Peyote Legal Status

Peyote is a cactus plant which has native origins in North America, toward the southern side. It also grows in South Texas in abundance but due to its vigorous harvesting, it has become critically vulnerable.
Peyote is also found in Mexican states such as Tamaulipas, Coahuila, and Chihuahua. The million-dollar question is, is Peyote legal? And if yes, where is Peyote legal?

Table of Contents

  • Is Peyote Consumption Legal?
  • What Is The History Of Peyote Legal Status?
  • Is Peyote Considered As Addictive Drug?
  • Can One Use Peyote As A Member Of Native American Church?

Is Peyote Consumption Illegal?

Yes, Peyote recreational use is illegal in the United States. Under the Controlled Substance Act, Peyote is considered a controlled substance. Due to its psychoactive effects when consumed, this plant had been added to the list of Schedule I substances. Any substance listed as a Schedule I substance is subject to production, possession, and consumption restrictions!

Therefore, it is illegal for anyone not associated with the Native American Church to plant, distribute, or possess the drug. People are legally allowed to consume the drug in some states due to its role in Native American religious ceremonies.

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History Of Peyote Legal Status

Historically, Peyote cactus legality was not as clear as today. In past, there was confusion whether the nondrug use of Peyote cactus is legal or illegal.
Peyote holds important value in the Native American culture. Its ceremonial and religious use dates back to more than 5000 years in Native American history. In Mexico, it is considered to be a religious deity in Huichol culture, and they associate it with spiritual enlightenment.
The use of Peyote was utterly prohibited by in 1970 when the Controlled Substance Act was passed by the Congress. The Native American Church was granted exclusion in this Act; however, there still remained the issue of Federal regulation.
Huge progress was made, in the year 1976, for Peyote’s legalization by Alan Birnbaum who founded the Native American Church of New York. He filed a suit against the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) after his appeal for legalization was declined by the DEA. The matter was then escalated to the Supreme Court, and Alan Birnbaum won the case subsequently. Since then, Peyote’s religious use has been regularized for the Native American Church and its associated members.
In 1994, an amendment to the American Indian Religious Act clearly declared the legal status of Peyote. This happened chiefly due to the religious significance of the Peyote plant in the Native American culture.

Recreational consumption of Peyote is illegal even today in the US under any circumstances.

Under the United States Federal Law, Peyote’s plantation, consumption, and possession are legal, only if intended for religious or ceremonial purposes, by the Native American Church and/or a member of the Native American Church.
In the U.S., law court systems have adopted the same above exemptions made by the federal law of the USA. Strictly religious usage by Native American people associated with the Native American Church is legal throughout the USA. As for non-Native American people, the use of Peyote, whether recreational or religious, is prohibited in the USA excluding a few states.

Peyote Addictive Properties

Though it is not a drug to be taken lightly, in general, peyote is not considered an addictive drug. However, the feelings of euphoria produced by a peyote trip could cause a person to develop a psychological dependence on the substance.

It is of vital importance to bring here to users attention that any churches and independent Native American groups other than the Native American Church are still subject to restriction over the religious use of Peyote.

The exemptions were granted exclusively to the Native American Church and its affiliates. However, lately, non-Native American organizations such as The Peyote Foundation and the Peyote Way Church of God (based in Arizona) have earned similar rights to obtain and use Peyote in religious rites and rituals. This was based on the proposition that, in the US law, the exemption from prosecution was granted mainly because of the faithful religious and emotional and attachment of the people to with the Peyote cactus.
States, where the use of Peyote is not as much leniently allowed, include Minnesota, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. In these states, there is a minimum requirement of Peyote enthusiasts actually being members of a renowned and dedicated religious organization or body such as The American Indian Church in Minnesota, or, the Native American Church. In a few states, people can legally join a Peyote meeting or ceremony, if the organization running that ceremony is associated with the Native American Church.

Can One Use Peyote If They Join A Native American Church?

A most astonishing and unlucky thing to note is that Texas laws are very strict in this affair. Unlucky because Texas is native to Peyote growth, the Texas law requires that in order to use Peyote, a person must not only be a member of the Native American Church, but they also should have at least twenty-five percent Native American genes in their blood.
Under the US law, when the Native American Church obtains Peyote for their ceremonial use, their supplier must be a licensed and registered person. If anyone intends to supply Peyote to the Native American Church, theшк supplier will be subject to complete registration and compliance with the laws of the state in order to qualify for such.
In Canada, recreational consumption of Peyote is illegal as is in the USA. However, if intended for religious purposes, Canadian law allows consuming Peyote. The Canadian law also permits the possession of Peyote plant and its seeds for religious purposes. Even though Mescaline (an alkaloid found in Peyote cactus) is listed under the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act as a Schedule III controlled substance, the Peyote plant itself is free from this classification.

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Peyote cactus in its natural state.

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is a small, dome-shaped cactus whose native region extends from the southwestern United States through central Mexico. Its effects as a psychoactive agent may have been known for as many as 10,000 years. Proponents of its use see it as a method to stimulate psychic growth and to reveal what many partakers believe to be a spiritual reality.

Although illegal in most jurisdictions, its use continues today, especially among indigenous peoples of its native regions who utilize it as part of their religious rites. Mescaline, the chemical derived from the cactus seed, and peyote in its natural form, are widely distributed hallucinogen agents, used by ardent truth-seekers and recreational “trippers” alike.

Its value in the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment has been challenged in recent times by those who see it as a cheap means to experience a drug-induced altered state. Others view the use of peyote as a powerful but potentially harmful tool that can alter perception to reveal an alternative reality that can best explored through more natural methods.


Peyote is a hardy plant; its natural growing range extends from the Rio Grande and western regions of Texas southward into Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert and Tamaulipan Thorn Forest. Peyote prefers a warm, temperate desert with fertile but sandy soil, although it is known to withstand much harsher conditions.

A flowering peyote plant.

The top of the cactus that grows above ground is referred to as the crown. The crown flowers sporadically and produces small pink fruit, that are sweet-tasting when eaten. The seeds, called “mescal buttons,” are small and black, requiring hot and humid conditions to germinate. It is these “buttons” that produce hallucinogenic effects when ingested by humans.

Peyote contains a large spectrum (at least 28) of phenethylamine alkaloids, the principal of which is mescaline. All Lophophora species are extremely slow growing, often requiring up to 30 years to reach the flowering stage in the wild. For this reason peyote is becoming scarce in its natural habitat, as it is unable to reproduce rapidly when harvested from the wild for human purposes.


Dried Peyote buttons with American nickel for reference.

Procuring peyote “buttons” or seeds can be difficult, and growing peyote for ritual use is a slow process. Still, devotees cultivate peyote in almost every part of the world today. It can thrive in greenhouses and grow rooms; in shade or full sun. Belonging to the family Cactaceae, it is considered a “low maintenance crop,” requiring minimal effort in watering, pest control, and trimming, that other fruit crops typically demand.

Cultivated specimens grow faster than wild plants, usually taking from six to ten years to mature from seedling to fruition. Domestic process is tedious, so most growers prefer to plant or graft the disc-shaped buttons that sprout from the crown of a mature plant. The top of the root will callous over, and new buttons will eventually grow. Harvesting techniques done improperly can damage the root and cause the plant to die.

The same buttons used for the grafting process in peyote cultivation are used for human ingestion as a medicinal, transcendental, and recreational agent. These buttons are generally chewed or boiled in water to produce a psychoactive tea that is extremely bitter, often causes nausea before the onset of the psychedelic narcotic effect.

Medicinal effects

The plant’s resilient tenacity makes it a potent medicine. Researchers have attributed antibiotic and other medicinal qualities to the plant; religious users appreciate the natural mescaline, a powerful psychotropic alkaloid, which is the plant’s main neuroactive ingredient.

The effective dose for mescaline is 300 to 500 mg (equivalent to roughly five grams of dried peyote) with effects lasting up to 12 hours. Peyote is reported to trigger states of deep introspection and insight that have been described as being of a metaphysical or spiritual nature, at times accompanied by rich visual or auditory effects (see synesthesia). Some users experience seriously disturbing or psychotic episodes of mental distress.

Scientific understanding of the possible psychological and spiritual damage suffered from use of peyote use is limited. Critics warn that safety can never truly be assured, and laws prohibit the harvest and use of peyote in most jurisdictions.

Historical uses

Huichol and Aztec Indians engaged in ceremonial peyote ingestion for centuries before European explorers arrived in what is now called Mexico. In the late 1800s, peyote use spread north into the United States, as part of a revival of native spirituality when American Plains Indians brought their peyote rituals to the Great Basin and southern Canada. Peyote “churches,” combining Christianity and peyotism, began to be known in the early 1900s as the Native American Church, which was officially formed in 1954. Members of the NAC refer to peyote as “the medicine” and have used it to combat alcoholism and other social ills. Between the 1880s and 1930s, U.S. authorities attempted to ban Native American religious rituals involving peyote.

The Native American Church is one among several religious organizations that still use peyote as part of their religious practice. Another example are the Huichol Indians, whose estimated 20,000 members live in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental in the states of Nyarit and Zacatecas. The Huichols still practice traditional peyote pilgrimages to their sacred land of Wirikuta, a peyote-growing region near San Luis Potosi, where they gather cactus for use in ceremonies designed to ensure rain, food, and spiritual health.

A surge of interest in the use of peyote spread in the 1970s and can be traced to the written accounts of its effects in the early works of writer Carlos Castaneda where he describes the Yaqui way of knowledge requiring the use of plants such as peyote. Don Juan Matus, the pseudonym for the author’s mentor and guide in the use of peyote, used the name Mescalito to refer to an entity that purportedly can be sensed by those using peyote to gain insight into how to live one’s life. Although no organized establishment is known to exist based on Castaneda’s advocacy of peyote use, much of the hippie counterculture’s experimentation with mescal was inspired by his writings.

Later works by the author asserted that the use of such psychotropic substances was not necessary to achieve heightened awareness and he de-emphasized the use of peyote as a means to achieve this end. He stated that they could “inalterably damage the luminous ball of energy emanations from the body, as well as the physical body.” In Journey to Ixtlan, he wrote:

My perception of the world through the effects of those psychotropics had been so bizarre and impressive that I was forced to assume that such states were the only avenue to communicating and learning what Don Juan was attempting to teach me. That assumption was erroneous.

The Controversy

Ever since the arrival of the first Europeans in the New World, peyote has provoked controversy, suppression, legal sanctions, and even persecution. It was condemned by the Spanish conquerors, as one example, for its “satanic trickery.” Today, the opponents debate whether peyote use should be protected as a harmless religious rite, or banned as a dangerous drug which harms humans in both known cases and in ways they have not yet come to realize.

Whether or not it is within the rights of indigenous groups to legally ingest this plant, it is feared that allowing their use of the plant serves to encourage its popularity among recreational users.

Proponents argue that mescaline, which comes from the earth, is the safer, more natural alternative to LSD, the synthesized psychedelic drug that produces similar effects. The counter-argument states that psychotrophic substances are subject to misuse.


United States regulation

While peyote is considered a controlled substance and therefore illegal to possess and sell generally, United States federal law (and many state laws) protect the harvest, possession and consumption (but not cultivation) of peyote as part of “bonafide religious ceremonies.” The federal regulation is 42 USC §1996a, called the “Traditional Indian religious use of the peyote sacrament,” which exempts only Native American use; while most state laws exempt any general “bonafide religious activity.”

American jurisdictions enacted these specific statutory exemptions in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), which held that laws prohibiting the use of peyote do not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. Although many American jurisdictions specifically allow religious use of peyote, religious or therapeutic use not under the aegis of the Native American Church has often been targeted by local law enforcement agencies. Non-natives attempting to establish spiritual centers based on the consumption of peyote as a sacrament or as medicine, such as the Peyote Foundation in Arizona, have been prosecuted.


Under the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act mescaline is defined as an illegal Schedule 2 drug, but peyote is specifically exempt. The Native Americans in Canada are able to take peyote if they have a full status card.

Although peyote does not grow naturally in Canada, native tribes in Alberta and Saskatchewan had been importing peyote buttons from Arizona and other arid locales in the American Southwest and using them in peyote ceremonies, for at least a few hundred years. Some believe peyote has been imported into Canada for thousands of years. Federal officials were sympathetic to the peyotists’ plea not to ban their sacred plant, and so decided to only ban the extracted active ingredient, mescaline.


Article 32 of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances enacted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime allows nations to exempt certain traditional uses of peyote from prohibition:

A State on whose territory there are plants growing wild which contain psychotropic substances from among those in Schedule I and which are traditionally used by certain small, clearly determined groups in magical or religious rites, may, at the time of signature, ratification or accession, make reservations concerning these plants, in respect of the provisions of article 7, except for the provisions relating to international trade.

  • Anderson, Edward F. Peyote: The Divine Cactus. University of Arizona Press; 2nd edition, 1996. ISBN 9780816516544
  • Gottlieb, Alan. Peyote and Other Psychoactive Cacti. Ronin Publishing; second edition (July 7, 1997) ISBN 9780914171959
  • Olive, M. Foster. Peyote And Mescaline. Chelsea House Publications, 2007. ISBN 9780791085455
  • Stewart, Omar C. Peyote Religion: A History. University of Oklahoma Press. 1993. ISBN 9780806124575

All links retrieved March 18, 2019.

  • Coulter, John M. “Preliminary Revision of the North American Species of Cactus, Anhalonium, and Lophophora” U.S. National Herbarium, June 19, 1985.
  • Curtis’ Botanical Magazine “ECHINOCACTUS WILLIAMSII” 1894
  • The Vaults of Erowid Peyote.

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 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.

San Pedro cacti

The peyote experience is different from that of pure mescaline – the former being 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 potentiate the effects of the mescaline, altering characteristics of the experience.

The hallucinogen mescaline is a class A drug in the UK. In the USA mescaline and the peyote cactus are Schedule 1. Members of the Native American Church are permitted the ritual use of peyote, though not mescaline

How To Make Mescaline Tea Using Peyote Or San Pedro Cactus

The Peyote and San Pedro Cacti may look innocent enough. However, contained just under the skin is an incredibly powerful psychedelic that has been used for centuries. Extracting the mescaline is simple though. We show you how a simple cup of tea could be the start of an epic journey across the cosmos.

The unassuming psychedelic cacti is often a window sill ornament in homes across the world. Even better, owning them is often no more illegal than buying a picture to hang on the wall. However, for many, the discrete peyote cactus is more than just a decoration. Contained within its cells is the rich and powerful psychedelic, mescaline.

Despite nausea-inducing properties of the alkaloids within the cacti, the subsequent trip is incredibly satisfying. Getting hold of the mescaline contained within can be a complex task. Luckily we have a simple and effective way of making mescaline tea without the risk of a mouthful of spines.


The obvious: mescaline is a very powerful psychedelic. There are always two sides to every story though, and in this case, with a great trip comes an even greater taste. So bitter in fact that the taste will cause nausea and sickness when ingested.

This is an unfortunate rite of passage when consuming mescaline. Taking it in tea form can help to alleviate some of this nausea. Trying to eat the san pedro or peyote cactus on the other hand is no mean feat.

View San Pedro

If you have already experienced mescaline, then you will be fully aware of what to expect. For a first time user, it can be quite the journey. If you are using a matured cactus, roughly 30 centimeters in length should be enough to provide a truly lengthy trip. Mescaline trips can last anywhere between 6-15 hours dependant on the amount consumed.

Upon initial consumption, you will be met with nausea and vomiting. Once this stage has passed though, the effects of mescaline start to show itself. It is worth noting it can take between 1-2 hours before you start to fully experience the trip.

Effects will vary from user to user. This can be down to experience, the amount of mescaline consumed, or the situation at the time but there are always a number of recurring themes:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Being able to see and feel rays of light
  • People and objects radiating light
  • Remembering old memories
  • Hearing and seeing sounds from far away
  • Enhanced feelings of emotion
  • Intense feelings of love and euphoria


We know what to expect when with mescaline tea but when is a good time to drink it? As we have already alluded to, mescaline is a very strong psychedelic. For even a novice user planning your trip is essential.

Given the trips can be lengthy make sure you have sufficient free time without interruption. The last thing you want is your boss ringing you to ask where you are, or a family member walking in as you’re surfing the cosmos.

Another factor to consider is a “trip sitter”. Someone you know and trust that has experience with psychedelics to oversee the trip. This can be especially useful if it is your first time as this can alleviate some of the anxiety if you are nervous about tripping for the first time. Having this relief can enable you to focus fully and enjoy the journey mescaline has to offer.

Finally, taking mescaline on an empty stomach is highly recommended. Like most psychedelics, the active components that make you trip are absorbed into your body through your stomach. Mixing mescaline with a full stomach can cause mescaline to be absorbed more slowly, and broken down; not to mention a far less enjoyable initial phase to the trip. Throwing up is never nice, but even less so if you’ve just enjoyed a 3-course meal!


Let’s get down to business. The preparation and process for making mescaline tea is relatively straightforward but there are a number of items you will need. Having all of these to hand when you start will help to speed up the process and ensure your mescaline is the best it can be.


  • 6-12 inches of San Pedro or Peyote Cacti
  • Large Saucepan
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Timer
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large blender or hand blender
  • Filtration paper or old t-shirt

View Peyote


  1. Prepare your chosen cacti by slicing it into thin strips. This can be vertically or horizontally but the idea is these slices will need to be blended. Therefore they need to be small enough to fit in your blender or small enough to be blended with a hand blender.

  2. 6 inches of cactus will provide enough mescaline tea for one person. 12 inches will provide a batch of tea for multiple people or for later consumption.

  3. Either using a full-size blender or a hand blender you want the slices of cactus you prepared to be completely turned to pulp. No lumps or large parts of cactus intact.

  4. Pour your cactus mixture into the large saucepan. Slowly bring this to the boil before allowing to simmer. You are going to want this to simmer anywhere between 2-4 hours. You may need to top up with cold water throughout the cooking process to ensure it doesn’t burn.

  5. Once the mixture has been reduced down you will be left with a mescaline sludge. Similar in consistency to glue or snot (nice!). Your cactus mixture is now ready to be strained.

  6. Work the paste through your filtration paper (or even an old t-shirt) into the medium-sized saucepan. Take caution at this stage as the paste will still be hot from the cooking process. Once you have squeezed all of the liquid out of the paste, the paste can be discarded.

  7. Sitting proudly in your medium saucepan is your basis for mescaline tea. The liquid can either be boiled again and drunk like a cup of tea or taken as a shot. Pour the liquid into your chosen cup or container and the rest is up to you!

Written by: Luke
Luke is a part-time writer and full-time visionary. An anonymous psychonaut blending into society with his suit and tie, he works to bring evidence-based rationality to the masses.

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  • Why Drink Mescaline Tea?
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Mescaline is a hallucinogen which comes from different species of Trichocereus and peyote cacti. Some people are unaware some of these psychedelic cacti are sitting on their windowsill. This compound is also found in some beans who belong to the Fabaceae family.

Mescaline contained in these plants have been used by natives from northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States as part of spiritual and traditional rites. This powerful psychedelic induces nausea. However, this nausea is followed by a satisfying trip.

The most basic way to take mescaline is by consuming the flesh. Unfortunately, cactus flesh isn’t even close to being one of the tastiest foods in the world.

Luckily, there is a simple and effective way to make tea out of mescaline cactus to improve the taste and avoid the spines.

Why Drink Mescaline Tea?

Mescaline is one of the strongest natural psychedelics. Unfortunately, with great effects come an even bitter taste. This taste is so bitter, mescaline will cause bouts of nausea and vomiting when ingested.

Fortunately, mescaline prepared in tea removes most of the bitter taste and alleviates the nausea. By following a set of procedures, one can enjoy the effects of mescaline without having to power through an unpleasant taste and sensation.

When taken in tea form, mescaline takes effect in 1 to 2 hours. It lasts for 6 to 12 hours but some after effects or residuals may be felt for up to 5 hours after the effects have subsided.

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The effects of mescaline tea will vary from person to person. This is affected by a person’s tolerance, previous experience with psychedelics, the cactus’ mescaline content, and even current situation in life. However, there are always a number of “universal” themes.

First is the radical alteration of one’s consciousness. These present themselves as pleasurable and illuminating hallucinations but they may also be accompanied by feelings of anxiety or horror. Other effects include open and closed eye visuals, enhanced emotions, and a dream-like state.

Mescaline tea also produces physical effects similar to eating raw mescaline cactus:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Racing heart beat
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache

People who take mescaline for introspective psychedelic journeys can continue doing so with the knowledge that mescaline does not have any addictive properties.

Mescaline tea drinkers also enjoy other gains to their health. Some of the health benefits of mescaline tea are:

  • Improved problem-solving skills. 27 adult males were given a 200mg dose of mescaline and it revealed marked improvement in their creative problem-solving skills. This effect was seen weeks after the study ended.
  • Mescaline and other psychedelic use is linked with a lower rate of mental health problems. Mescaline is also implicated to cause the remission of psychiatric symptoms.

Best Time to Take Mescaline Tea

Best Time to Take Mescaline Tea | Image powered by

There are no hard and fast rules on hen to take mescaline. However, even experienced psychonauts need to plan the mescaline trip and the activities surrounding it.

Mescaline trips can be lengthy and will take a good half of the day. In some instances, people who take mescaline tea may feel exhausted the day after. The best time to take mescaline tea is in the morning where you will have plenty of daylight hours to enjoy the trip and you’ll have the rest of the night to recover, and integrate what you have experienced.

Make sure you have plenty of free time so you can embark on a psychedelic journey without interruption. The last thing you want is your boss calling you from the office while your mind is discovering the cosmos.

When taking mescaline tea, make sure to drink in on an empty stomach. An empty stomach best absorbs mescaline into the body. Mixing mescaline on a stomach filled with food will cause mescaline to be absorbed more slowly. Also, keep in mind the initial part of a mescaline trip is nausea and you wouldn’t want to start it in the most unpleasant way possible – throwing up your breakfast!

You also need to consider your trip sitter’s schedule. People who are tripping with mescaline for the first time may need to have a trip sitter who can watch over them throughout the trip. Having a trip sitter while on mescaline will help relieve the anxiety and make the mescaline experience less stressful and more enjoyable.

Making Mescaline Tea

Making mescaline tea is easier than people think. This guide will show you how to make the most of your psychedelic cactus and prepare mescaline tea in 4 easy steps!

Step 1: Choosing the cactus

There are several species of psychedelic cacti: peyote, San Pedro, and Peruvian Torch just to name a few. You need at least 6 to 12 inches of cactus per person. The cactus should be mature enough and firm to the touch.

You can order mescaline cactus online.

Step 2: Preparing the cactus

Take out a pair of pliers and remove all the spines from the cactus. Be careful when dealing with Trichocereus bridgesii spines because they are sharp and long. Once the cactus is free of spines, cut them up into half-inch slices.

Step 3: Cooking the cactus flesh

Blend the sliced cactus flesh into a pulp. They should be homogenous without any lumps nor any remaining large parts.

Pour the cactus mixture into a sauce pan or in a small cooker. Add a dash of lemon juice. This will improve the flavor and vitamin C will make the mixture easier for the body to absorb. Add cold water and let the mescaline boil then simmer for a good 4 to 5 hours.

Add water throughout the process so the flesh doesn’t burn.

Step 4: Preparing the mescaline tea

After hours of boiling, the final product should be a green mescaline sludge with a similar consistency to glue. This means the cactus is now ready to be strained. Use a filtration paper or an old shirt to remove chunks of the cactus.

After it’s been filtered, boil the remaining tea to thin it out. Mescaline tea has a strong taste after all and you would want to drink as little of it as possible. The remaining content should fit into one teacup.

Remember mescaline plays a role in spiritual and traditional rituals for a reason. It should be respected and never taken lightly.

Enjoy your trip!

Natural Mescaline and the Peyote Trip

Peyote is a small cactus that’s native to the deserts of southern Texas and Mexico. It’s one of the several cactus species that has a naturally occurring psychedelic alkaloid that causes hallucinogenic effects similar to LSD. Because of this, many people use the naturally-occurring drug to experience a peyote trip.

In the shade of a shrub in the Chihuahuan Desert, you may find a group of short, round cacti with a small white flower emerging from the top. You might find it unassuming as this little desert flora is lost in the overall landscape of the region. That is, unless you know what you’re looking for.

Cultures like the Navajo have been hunting down this cactus for over 5,000 years for use in spiritual experiences and medicinal purposes. A peyote trip is said to trigger deep emotional introspection, and users often come away from the experience claiming to have realized something deep about themselves. Others can’t shake the unrelenting nausea.

Today, peyote is a Schedule 1 drug in the US, but it’s still used legally by certain religious organizations like the Native American Church and illegally by curious psychonauts. Peyote is often compared to LSD and other serious psychedelic drugs. How dangerous is a peyote trip and what are the possible effects?

What is Peyote?

Peyote, among other cacti like the San Pedro cactus and Peruvian torch, contain mescaline. The mescaline drug is an alkaloid which is a naturally occurring chemical compound that is produced in a wide variety of plants and fungi and has several pharmacological applications. Mescaline is in a group of alkaloids with psychoactive effects that also includes morphine.

Peyote has been used for thousands of years by Native Americans in Mexico, and early European explorers also noted the use of the cactus. In religious ceremonies, the heads of the cactus would be cut off, leaving the roots behind to regrow the plant. The cactus head is dried into flat “peyote buttons” about the size of a quarter.

In early rituals, peyote buttons were chewed to facilitate a spiritual experience, or in some religions, open the door to commune with spirits. However, the plant is bitter, and it’s often ground up and swallowed in capsules when used today.

The psychoactive ingredient was first isolated in 1897 by a German chemist named Arthur Heffter and was later synthesized in 1919 by Ernst Spath.

Today, mescaline is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, and the government restricts its use, even for research purposes. However, some studies investigate its potential medical use.

Peyote Trips in Religious Experiences

Native Americans in the Texas and Mexico regions have used peyote for around 5,500 to 5,700 years. The Navajo and Huichol people and other groups integrate peyote into religious ceremonies and “spirit walks” because of its psychedelic effects. In the Huichol religion, shamans eat peyote to speak with the gods. They believe peyote itself to be a spirit that opens the way to other deities.

There is thought to be only one recorded death as a result of the ritualistic use of peyote. Ingesting the plant is known to cause nausea and, in some cases, vomiting, and there is one case of a Native American man who died of asphyxiation after vomiting to the point of causing lacerations in the esophagus. The wound caused him to aspirate blood and die. Of course, this represents a rare case.

The more immediate threat of the use of psychedelics is adverse emotional and psychological effects. Peyote trips, like most other psychedelic drugs, come with the risk of a bad trip. Terrifying experiences can cause PTSD or psychosis. However, there are very few instances of this in Native American populations that use peyote. One potential explanation for this is that the Navajo have psychological safeguards against negative emotional effects as a part of religious culture.

Effects of a Peyote Trip

Peyote has some effects on both the user’s body and psyche depending on the dose and the manner it is ingested. There are often different results when peyote is consumed versus when synthesized mescaline is introduced intravenously, especially as far as the trip duration is concerned. A peyote trip can last anywhere from eight to fourteen hours, depending on the amount taken.

Physical Peyote Trip Effects

One of the most typical physical effects of a peyote or mescaline trip is nausea and loss of appetite. Nausea is usually reported to subside gradually or after vomiting. However, first-time users are often advised to take small doses over a few hours rather than all at once, to avoid vomiting.

  • Physical euphoria, or general comfort and warmth
  • Frequent urination
  • Faster heart rate
  • Muscle contractions
  • Dilated pupils

Many psychoactive and pharmaceutical substances can affect the user’s heart rate and blood pressure. While this is a mild effect to typical healthy users, people with predisposed heart conditions, hypertension, or heart disease can have dangerous reactions to drugs that have this effect.

Cognitive Mescaline and Peyote Trip Effects

Peyote and it’s active ingredient, mescaline have psychedelic effects similar to DMT, LSD, and psilocybin. However, there are a few effects that seem to be unique to a mescaline or peyote trip. Effects are usually characterized by color changes, empathy enhancement, and changes to the way users process time. One of the unique effects is that a peyote trip seems to trigger deep introspection.

  • Pronounced empathy and emotion
  • Color changes
  • Pronounced pattern recognition
  • Closed eye hallucinations
  • Open eye hallucinations
  • Increased libido

Psychotic episodes have been recorded in individuals who had pre-existing mental disorders. Though rare, psychosis can occur in people who are predisposed to mental illness or have existing mental disorders. Also, as with any psychedelic substance, a peyote trip can be dangerous if the user is up and moving or in public. Most deaths caused by psychedelic drugs come from a physical injury sustained in accidents.

Addiction and Abuse

There is no evidence to suggest that peyote can cause physical dependence or addiction. However, there is a small risk of developing psychological addiction especially since a peyote trip can cause physical and mental euphoria.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or abuse, call Ocean Breeze Recovery at (877) 234-3651 to learn more about what you can do to start your recovery.

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