Mescaline: the hallucinatory cactus

Mescaline is a natural drug that has been used for thousands of years. The agent comes from specific cacti and has a hallucinogenic effect, which changes the mood, senses, perception of time and thought, among other things. Mescaline is labeled a hard drug in the Netherlands and is therefore prohibited. Here you can read all about what mescaline is, what it does to you and whether it is addictive.


What is it?

Mescaline is a hallucinogenic substance that occurs in cacti such as: the Peyote cactus, the San Pedro cactus and the peruvian torch cactus. The substance, also known in the chemical world as 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine, ensures that you experience a trip in which you will hallucinate, this trip is also called a mescaline trip. 

The cacti that contain the mescaline dust are found in the Western Hemisphere, specifically in regions such as the Southwestern United States, Mexico and South America.

The origin of the drug

The origin of Mescaline use can be traced back to the history of the Indians. Indians have used mescaline for thousands of years in religious ceremonies and the treatment of physical ailments. While the use of products containing mescaline is illegal in the United States, the peyote cactus is recognized as a sacrament (sacred oil used within the faith) in the Native American Church of North America.

Effects of mescaline

Mescaline is a substance that expands consciousness and has mainly mental effects. The effects of the drug can be divided into four different categories. Change in mood, sensory perception, perception of time and your train of thought. These effects are similar to those of LSD.

Change in mood

A psychedelic such as mescaline has a significant effect on your mood. When you are happy and using mescaline, this can enhance the feeling of euphoria. This also applies if you don't feel comfortable. When you feel uncomfortable, it can make you feel anxious and confused.

Change in sensory perception

You experience hearing, taste, sight and tangibility in a different way when you use mescaline. Things like music, colors and smells can become more intense, but you can also see moving and spinning patterns when you look at surfaces such as: carpets, walls and the sky.

Change of perception of time

Another effect that can occur is the change of perception of time. Time can feel slower than it actually is: seconds feel like minutes and minutes feel like hours. This could be experienced as annoying if the trip has a tough or challenging character.

Change of mind

Mescaline is called a mind-altering drug because you can experience a different way of thinking. This means that your brain then chooses not to choose the beaten track so quickly. Associations that are normally logical cannot be experienced logically at all. This can make some people feel anxious and even paranoid because the normal world doesn't seem to be right anymore.

In addition to the mental effects mentioned above, it also brings a few physical effects. Your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature can rise. In addition, as is often the case with a fever, you can feel cold and shivering one moment and sweaty the next. 

On average, a trip can last 6 to 12 hours depending on the dose, dYou are reasonably sober again 12 hours after taking it. If the effects last much longer than 12 hours, it may be wise to have a check-up by your doctor.

Is It Addictive?

The use of mescaline does not entail the risk of addiction. There is, however, a chance that tolerance will be built up. This means that a higher dosage is required to achieve the desired effect.

Mescaline in the Netherlands

The use of mescaline in the Netherlands is prohibited because it is on list 1 of the Opium Act (the law that distinguishes between hard and soft drugs). According to the Dutch government, it is a hard drug that carries an unacceptable risk to health. It is therefore prohibited to trade, manufacture or possess the substance.