San Pedro cactus
It's not the spikes on these prickly plants you have to watch out for, they also contain mescaline, a strong hallucinogen. San Pedro cacti are increasingly being sold for botanical purposes, but these are more than decorative houseplants.
The San Pedro cactus, also known as Trichocereus pachanoi, is a fast-growing cactus that grows in Peru and Ecuador, where it has been used in rituals for 3000 years. It contains mescaline which is a strong hallucinogen. The cacti is usually dried and cut into edible 'buttons' that are eaten to induce a trip similar to LSD.
What are the effects of the San Pedro cactus?
- It can create a dream-like stance with visions and distortions of sound and scale.
- The experience is similar to LSD, but longer lasting and more physical.
- The trip can last up to 12 hours and the user is usually in a deep trance, completely detached from the world throughout.
What are the risks of the San Pedro cactus?
- It is common to vomit shortly after ingesting the plant.
- Psychedelics can trigger underlying mental health problems.
- Hallucinogens can induce upsetting and frightening experiences you can't stop and have to ride out.
The San Pedro cactus and the law:
Mescaline is illegal in the UK and is listed as a class A drug. However, San Pedro cacti can be bought and sold legally if not intended for human consumption. Legal high providers usually write "not for human consumption" on the packet as a way of dodging the law.
If you are planning on taking San Pedro cactus:
- As with any hallucinogenic, take it in an environment where you feel safe to diminish the chances of having a bad trip.
- Avoid taking it if you have any mental health issues or a history of mental illness in your family.
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