Mescaline is a psychedelic substance that can be found in a variety of sacred cacti, including Peyote (Lophophora williamsii), the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi), and the Peruvian Torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana). It is important to know that finding the right dosage of mescaline for a trip isn’t always straightforward, since there are numerous variables to consider. Here is all the information you need to know about mescaline cacti and how to dose them properly.

The effects of mescaline are comparable to those of LSD and mushrooms. It is not uncommon for psychonauts to consider their experiences and visions during a mescaline trip as deeply profound and life-altering.


Mescaline is normally taken in the form of a powder, pill, or liquid. An effective dosage for a psychedelic trip can vary. In most cases, users take between 200–500 milligrams of mescaline at a time if they want to experience a moderate to strong trip. Once ingested, the effects of mescaline will normally set in after 1–2 hours.

Given that dosage is contingent on many factors, we cannot offer a silver bullet value for everyone. Individuals can and will react differently to the same dosage. What is just enough for one person may be too much for another.

Likewise, mescaline dosages that you find listed on the web are often based on mid-sized plants with average potency. However, the mescaline content and therefore potency of mescaline cacti can vary greatly. This can depend on the age of the cactus, where the plant is coming from, and even the season it was harvested. For instance, cacti harvested in winter can be more potent than those harvested in summer. Keep these things in mind and always start with low dosages at first. Gradually experiment from there, so you can find what works best for you.


Keep the above cautions in mind when looking to find your ideal dosage for the peyote cactus. On average, 27g of dried peyote or 125g of fresh cactus will make for about 300mg of mescaline.

In case you are not weighing a dry or a fresh plant, but instead measure by “buttons” (with each button measuring 2.5cm in diameter), you will need 8–10 buttons for the same dose, either dried or fresh.


Besides the Peyote cactus, columnar mescaline cacti such as San Pedro (Echinopsis pachanoi), Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis peruviana), and Bolivian Torch (Echinopsis lageniformis), along with some lesser-known mescaline cacti such as the Trichocereus macrogonus, have long played important roles for healing and spiritual purposes in Middle and South America. Columnar cacti all have one very specific growing trait in common: they grow tall and straight, like a column. Hence the name.

Traditionally, columnar cacti are measured by length for determining the right dose for a mescaline trip. On the other hand, recommendations such as “a piece the length of your forearm, from elbow to knuckle” do not take into account their diameter, which makes this way of measuring rather inaccurate for dosing. After all, it is the volume of the cactus that determines the total mescaline content, and not just the length. That being said, a cactus piece about 25–30cm long with a thickness of 5–8cm normally makes for an average dose.

If you are weighing cacti instead of measuring, 100g of fresh columnar cactus contains, on average, 120mg of mescaline, which means you’d require anywhere from 170–420g of cactus to get about 200–500mg of mescaline. Know that the skins of these cacti hold most of the mescaline, so one should remove as little of it as possible.


What we mentioned earlier about the varied strength of peyote and other hallucinogenic cacti is true for columnar cacti as well, like the San Pedro cactus. A recent precise chromatographic measurement of six different samples of San Pedro found that their mescaline content ranged from 1.09–23.75μg per mg of dried material. In other words, their potency can vary substantially!

Keep these considerations in mind when you want to go on a psychedelic journey with mescaline cacti. Remember, it’s always better to start with a lower dosage first, which you can always gradually increase later.


Each species provides a quantitatively different experience to pure mescaline. Differing alkaloid profiles that exist in each species give nuance and character to the individual experience. The enthusiastic mescaline consumer will soon find particular plants that flick all their switches in just the right way. These friends can be propagated and enjoyed for a whole lifetime.

“The ether was wearing off. The acid was long gone. But the mescaline was running strong. Good mescaline comes on slow. The first hour is all waiting. Then about halfway through the second hour, you start cursing the creep who burned you because nothing’s happening. And then – ZANG!” Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S Thompson.

And that’s how it goes. Extractions can come on faster, but eating dehydrated chips or drinking a reduction will take some time. An hour at least, sometimes four. Mescaline is absorbed in the intestinal tract. This is why it is good to fast before a mescaline session. A clean digestive tract means the consumed material is digested faster.

In the early stages, there are physical nudges and visual teasers. Gentle waves of perceptual shifts surprise and delight. Colours and sounds intensify. Natural living things take on halos. Water and sky fill with fractally receding polygons. Intense body loads come and go in waves. From crushingly hot to light and cool, the anticipation is agonisingly beautiful.

If you have been drinking teas or reductions, you are going to be purging about now. Really go with it. You will barf right up out of your boots. It is a lavishly cleansing experience. Physically intense for sure. Throwing up in that “trying to turn yourself inside out way” can be absolutely exhausting. However once done you will be floating in a multiverse of oneness with everything. Here, colours fluoresce, and a sense of languid serenity that cannot be supplanted reigns supreme. In this temporary alternate universe, all is well and conversation is easy.

The dolls house effect is common. Where objects can appear hyper coloured and flat or two-dimensional. The visual landscape may alter. Perspectives can ebb and flow, and pulsating tracings and other pleasing effects will last for many hours. Some types of cactus may only slightly alter the open eye surroundings, but put on a bright, surreal light show behind closed eyes. The movie screen of your mind becomes awash with colours and arrangements that would make Dr. Mandelbrot proud.

Feelings intensify as the hours progress. It is in this subconscious state that mescaline imparts the teachings. Mescaline, as with other psychedelics, speaks to the subconscious mind in a fundamental universal code. Once the central hallucinogenic experience is over, a refreshed and relaxed literal mind can interpret these subconscious messages for use in the real world. On other occasions, it can be damn good fun. Mescaline and concerts or social situations go hand in hand. Light shows become alive, and the music is five dimensional. Conversations glide effortlessly, and you really do see the beauty in all people.

Is it possible to have a bad trip with mescaline? Depends on what you call bad. Set and context play their important role as with other hallucinogens. State of mind entering the process plays a big part and mescaline is a master emotional amplifier. Sometimes, if you are not in the right frame of mind, it can give you a full emotional kicking. As such, should you consider the use of mescaline, it should be done somewhere you feel comfortable and safe, with someone watching over you. Large public events are not recommended for first-time users for this reason.



Weight for weight, peyote has a more profound effect than the Trichocereus family. Peyote also has a more trippy aspect to the experience with a chronic body load. Hallucinations can be jarring and resemble LSD and thought processes will be in full flow.

San Pedro offers heightened visual perception and mental flow. The physical pressure is not as intense as Peyote or Peruvian Torch, and although very intense in nature, it is not as jarring and more welcoming. Like a warm, welcoming hug from an ethereal giant. Uplifting and soothing, calming and joyous, San Pedro feels very natural. Even at the hallucinatory peak, there is a flow with which it is easy to go.

Peruvian Torch has a body load equal to that of peyote. The effects are very intense. An invisible hand clutches you by the soul and drags you down the rabbit hole, ready or not. Not necessarily super hallucinogenic, but very, very intense. Peruvian Torch feels very ceremonial, and it demands you move. It is good to have friends around and dance, dance, and dance.