Is San Pedro Cactus Edible

Oral consumption is the most popular technique to consume the San Pedro cactus out of all the possible ways to do so. Raw cactus meat is edible, but the plant needs to be properly cared for first. The prickly spines are then retrieved once the waxy outer layer has been removed (often with tweezers). The majority of the alkaloids and mescaline are located under the thinly peeled, dark green skin, which is then swallowed. Possibly making you queasy is the white flesh that lies behind the dark green skin. [18]

However, as the raw flesh of the plant can be hard and unpleasant to chew, it is more frequently processed as tea or a powder. The dark green cactus meat is produced the same manner in both instances. To improve the taste and lessen the likelihood of nausea or vomiting, the plant material can also be combined with fruit juice. [19]


The dark green cactus shavings are boiled in around three liters of water to make San Pedro tea. One 250ml cup of tea is produced by brewing the mixture for three to four hours over medium heat. The mixture should then be chilled after being strained through cheesecloth.

To extract more alkaloids, the shavings can be cooked once more in two liters of water for around two hours. After a second boiling, the mixture is once more filtered and mixed with the initial batch of tea. The cactus shavings can be cooked in a slow cooker for an extended period of time at a very low temperature before being filtered for a more leisurely brew.

People who have eaten San Pedro tea frequently complain that it tastes awful, thus many concentrate the drink as much as possible to make it last longer (usually a maximum of one to two cups per person). With less liquid in your stomach throughout your trip due to a more concentrated brew, you may have less motion sickness. Additionally, adding lemon juice to the tea could lessen nausea.


Additionally, San Pedro flesh can be dried and ground into a powder. The cactus’ waxy outer covering, thorns are pulled out, and the dark green flesh of the plant is peeled back, much like when making tea or preparing it for raw ingestion. These shavings can then be placed in a dehydrator, kept in an oven for several hours at a very low temperature, or dried out in the sun for a day or two. After that, the powder can be ingested straight, incorporated into a drink, or placed within a gel cap.

Can you eat San Pedro cacti?

Cacti are fleshy and appear to be suitable as vegetables. It’s crucial to understand that there are edible and deadly cacti varieties before you start eating them.

All authentic cactus fruit is safe to consume. After the spines are removed, some varieties of cactus, including cholla, dragon fruit, and prickly pear, can be used as vegetables. Other cactus species, such as peyote, Bolivian, and San Pedro, are poisonous and should not be consumed.

Cacti of many types are frequently planted as indoor and outdoor ornamental plants. Check to see if the cactus variety is poisonous or suitable for people or pets to eat before choosing it for your garden.

A hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus?

Since many cacti contain phenethylaminealkaloids like mescaline, they are known to be psychedelic.

[1] The most hallucinogenic species of the Echinopsis genus, which includes the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi, also known as Trichocereus pachanoi), and the Lophophora genus, which includes peyote (Lophophora williamsii), are the two primary ritualistic (folkloric) genera. Other species from various genera are likewise psychoactive, however they are not necessarily utilized for ritualistic purposes. [2] [3] [4]

The San Pedro Cactus

In Mexico, Central America, and South America, you can find the San Pedro Cactus, a species of wild cactus. Cocaine is made and distributed using this particular species of cactus.

Because of the presence of mescaline, which can induce hallucinations or delusions in people who consume it orally while drinking alcohol, the San Pedro cacti are poisonous.

The Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis Peruviana) Cactus

In the wild, the Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis Peruviana) Cactus is a species of cactus that may be found all across South America.

The Peruvian Torch Cacti are dangerous because they contain alkaloids that, when swallowed orally, make people feel sick and can also give them hallucinations or delusions, so once more: USE CAUTION!

The Prickly Pear

The Prickly Pear also contains spines on its pads, but they do not contain any poisons that make them more harmful than other varieties. just the stems of this plant’s latex sap are present (which will irritate your skin).

However, it does yield prickly pear fruits, which are edible and used to make jams and jellies.

Peyote Cactus (Lophophora Williamsii)

Native American rites and rituals involve the use of the Peyote Cactus, a particular variety of cactus. Because it contains the psychedelic mescaline, which can result in hallucinations or delusions when taken by humans, it is often referred to as the “meat of God.” Again, BE CAREFUL!

The Barrel Cactus

The ribs of the barrel cactus carry a poisonous secretion that can irritate the skin. In order to defend itself from predators, it too has sharp needles on its pads, although these merely contain latex-like liquid instead of the toxins discussed earlier (which will irritate your hands).

The Cholla Cactus

A cactus that shoots needles is called a cholla cactus. It contains some of the same poisons as those previously listed, but unlike barrel cacti, it does not produce any latex-like fluid; instead, just the spikes are harmful to people (and animals).

This species may be found all over North America, from Canada to Mexico, where it thrives best at elevations of 2000 to 7000 feet above sea level. Depending on where you are in this region, winter temperatures can range from 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius) to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (+38C).

The Saguaro Cactus

Despite having several sharp, pointy spines that can irritate both humans and animals, the Saguaro Cactus is not harmful.

Many residents of Arizona’s desert regions, where these cacti thrive best, have said that they are one sort that will give you shade.