A hallucinogen that comes from button shaped seeds found in the peyote cactus
What does it look like?
Mescaline comes from button-shaped seeds found in the peyote cactus and also from some other members of the Cactaceae plant family and from the Fabaceae bean family.
These ‘peyote buttons’ are dried or mixed with water to make a hallucinogenic drink.
What does it taste/smell like?
Mescaline has a bitter taste so some people grind peyote buttons into an off-white powder that is put into capsules.
Mescaline has been used for thousands of years and is best known as a drug used by some Native Americans in Mexico as part of their religious ceremonies.
Peyote buttons are most often chewed, but they can also be mixed with water and swallowed. Sometimes mescaline is made into a powder and put into capsules and swallowed.
How does it make you feel?
Mescaline is considered a hallucinogen or psychedelic drug and its effects include:
An altered state of consciousness – with altered thinking and changes in time and perception – which is often described as happy, positive, enjoyable and ‘illuminating’.
Feeling like you are in a dream-like state.
Prominent changes in visual perceptions with intense visual distortions and possibly hallucinations (where you see things that aren’t there). These can happen with your eyes open or closed. Less common are auditory hallucinations (hearing things that aren’t there).
Development of vomiting, headaches and feelings of anxiety.
How long the effects last and the drug stays in your system depends on how much you’ve taken, your size and what other drugs you may have also taken.
How long it lasts
Most users chew the button shaped seeds to produce the hallucinogenic effects, which can last for between 12 to 18 hours.
Physical health risks
Some people can experience moderate to severe vomiting and/or headaches.
It can make you dizzy, anxious and increase your heart beat.
It can give you diarrhoea.
Mental health risks
People have been known to harm themselves while under the effects of hallucinogens. Hence, it is particularly advisable for people already in a bad mood, feeling depressed or worried, to avoid taking mescaline in such a state.
Because the perception of your body and the world around you can be distorted, and you may also be quite distracted, you may well not be in complete control of what you're doing and so at risk of hurting yourself or others, particularly in any unsafe environments.
If you panic, or don’t feel safe and comfortable with the people you’re with, the experience of a mescaline trip can be confusing or sometimes very scary. Whilst good trips can be pleasant and amusing at the time, bad trips can be terrifying.
What is mescaline cut with?
We don’t have any information about the purity of mescaline.
It is possible that because mescaline looks like naturally green button-shaped ‘seeds’, rather than a white powder, it is probably more likely for mescaline to be faked rather than cut with anything.
Can you get addicted?
Mescaline is not physically addictive, but like other hallucinogenic drugs, you can become tolerant to its effects. This means you need to take more of it to get the same effect as before.
This is a Class A drug, which means it's illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.
Possession can get you up to 7 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you life in prison, an unlimited fine or both.
Like drink-driving, driving when high is dangerous and illegal. If you’re caught driving under the influence, you may receive a heavy fine, driving ban, or prison sentence.
If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a home, club, bar or hostel, they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any other person concerned in the management of the premises.