What Is Peyote Cactus

A tiny cactus is called peyote. You can chew on the cactus crown’s parts or brew a tea by soaking them in water. Peyote possession is forbidden in the United States. Peyote can, however, be used in Native American Church liturgical rituals.

There isn’t enough credible scientific data to support the use of peyote for diseases including fevers, wounds, and joint discomfort or to induce hallucinations. Peyote use can potentially be risky.

How is the peyote cactus used?

Peyote buttons, also known as the “crown or top of the peyote cactus,” resemble buttons with a disc shape. They are available dried or fresh. They can be chewed or soaked in water to create an enticing drink.

What distinguishes a peyote cactus?

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii), a type of hallucinogenic cactus also known as mescal button (family Cactaceae). Only limestone soils in the Chihuahuan Desert in southern Texas and northern Mexico contain peyote.

The body of the peyote cactus is soft, spineless, and, in most cases, blue-green to gray-green in color. It measures an average of eight centimeters (three inches) in width and five centimeters (two inches) in height. It can take a plant 1030 years to develop and blossom because to its extremely slow growth. It blooms in the summer with pink to white flowers, and the fruit matures the following year.

What is the peyote cactus’ active component?

The hallucinogen mescaline is the primary component of peyote. WHERE DID IT COME FROM? Peyote has been a part of indigenous peoples’ sacred rituals in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States since the beginning of recorded history.

Peyote: Is it a drug?

“Peyote is obviously not a narcotic” (Boyd 1958:214). and marijuana. The three primary classes are opium, which induces sleep, belladonna, which causes hallucinations and delirium, and alcohol, which induces euphoria and sleep.

Does peyote cause hallucinations?

The peyote cactus is a traditional psychedelic in the same family as LSD, which has contributed significantly to the debate over it.

Peyote users are prone to experience psychedelic or hallucinogenic effects. The hallucinogenic substance in peyote, mescaline, is what causes this reaction.

Although everyone will experience the effects differently, the majority of people have vivid hallucinations.

Numerous senses may be affected by these hallucinations, and many people say the trip involves a blending of their senses. People might assert that they can “see noises” or “feel colors,” for instance.

Mescaline’s psychedelic effects also seem to heighten senses. Colors, sounds, and even events themselves could seem more vibrant or daring. For certain people, time might become twisted. Others may experience a shift or alteration in their field of vision and the items therein.

Mescaline frequently causes visions, especially at higher doses. These visions are encounters that don’t take place in the “Nevertheless, to the individual experiencing them, they will appear to be extremely genuine.

Visions may be either incredibly joyous or scary. They may feel incredibly chaotic, even if they may appear to the person to be of great significance.

Like other hallucinogens, mescaline can lead to hallucinations in certain users “a poor trip These could include unpleasant emotions, events, and feelings.

The individual might experience fear, be plagued by unfavorable hallucinations, or repeatedly relive unpleasant events. The sense of time dilation may also cause the person to feel extremely anxious or imprisoned within these experiences.

Both positive and negative experiences are transient, and both will pass when the body flushes mescaline from the system.

What medical use can peyote serve?

A tiny cactus is called peyote. The disc-shaped buttons on the cactus crown are taken from the plant, split, and dried. One might gnaw on the dried buttons. Another option is to soak the buttons in water, and the resulting solution is then utilized as medicine.

Peyote is used to treat fevers, joint discomfort (rheumatism), and paralysis despite major safety concerns.

Due to its ability to create hallucinations, peyote is also used recreationally. It contains a substance called mescaline, which resembles LSD but has weaker effects.

Can you legally keep a peyote cactus?

The mescaline-producing peyote plant has been overharvested in Mexico and the United States. Getty Images/Sinisa Kukic

Peyote is a hallucinogenic cactus that has been utilized for generations by Native Americans and Mexican Indians in the Southwest for certain religious ceremonies and rituals. Peyote also gained a new audience in the 1960s psychedelic era among counterculture hippies seeking a natural lifestyle.

Peyote is currently making headlines once more, in part because the drug was decriminalized in Oakland, California (together with magic mushrooms) in June 2019. Denver, Colorado was the first city to do so. According to supporters, the cacti’s new legal status will allow law enforcement to focus on more important cases and might even permit more research into the mind-altering effects of peyote, which could aid those who are experiencing mental and emotional distress or who are alcohol or drug dependent. But let’s first learn more about the plant before we examine its medical potential.

What Is Peyote?

Only the top of the peyote (Lophophora williamsii), which is called the “button” and is the size of a baseball, is visible. In the deserts of south Texas and northern Mexico, peyote is a slow-growing, spineless plant that can take years to mature.

The cacti create a variety of phenethylamine alkaloids as they develop, some of which have a pronounced hallucinogenic impact on people. After being picked, the tiny button-shaped fruits can be consumed, made into a tea, or dried, crushed, and placed into capsules. The dry version can also be smoked by users. Mescaline, a potent stimulant classified by the United States as a Schedule I substance, is the main active component and is (mainly) prohibited to possess or use. (Interestingly, the mescaline gives animals a bad reaction that keeps them from eating it, protecting the spineless cactus.)

Native Americans venerate the plant in regions of North and Central America as a way to enhance their spiritual rituals. Native Americans could assemble around a fire and share peyote while a shaman or other ceremonial leader leads the group in chanting and singing while guiding them through the experience, which could continue for up to 10 hours. Every year, the Huichol or Wixritari people of Mexico embark on peyote pilgrimages into the desert, stopping periodically to ingest more of the drug, which they believe opens conduits to their gods.

Peyote has a long history in these societies as medicine in addition to being used in religious rites. The cacti are occasionally used by people to treat pain, diabetes, blindness, blindness-related issues, and fever. None of the peyote-related medical claims are accepted by the US government.

Peyote is generally prohibited to possess and consume in the United States due to anti-drug legislation, thus if you are found in possession of this cactus you might be subject to fines or jail time. The Native American Church is given an exception by the federal government, enabling its members to utilize the plant for religious purposes.

The Controlled Substance Act was approved by Congress in 1970 and made it illegal to consume peyote, while the Native American Church was excluded. By requesting that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) “exclude the use of all psychedelic substances in religious ceremonies of all religions that believe that psychedelic drugs are deities,” Alan Birnbaum, the creator of his own Native American Church of New York, challenged the status quo in 1976. He sued the DEA after they declined. He won support from the Supreme Court.

There are different peyote laws in other countries. For instance, it is permitted in Canada, but only when used for religious, not recreational, purposes. Peyote cultivation is permitted in the UK, but not its preparation for consumption. Because peyote is endangered, it is forbidden to eat it or collect the wild variety in Mexico. The only exemption is for religious purposes.

Effects of Peyote

To change your perspective and thoughts, peyote interacts with the chemical serotonin in your brain. It is challenging to administer the drug with any degree of accuracy because strength varies from plant to plant, but an average dose is between 10 and 20 grams of dried peyote (three to six buttons).

People who consume peyote cacti or drink its tea describe it as having an intensely bitter taste that makes them queasy and causes them to vomit, occasionally violently. As the medication takes effect, users may experience brighter colors, louder noises, or a loss of location or time. They might feel happy, detached, have illusions, or see things differently. Whether they experience a “good trip” or a “poor trip” depends on what the users are expecting and the environment (is it happening in a church, a club, or a doctor’s office?). A terrible trip could result in mood swings, paranoia, or fear. Dry lips, headaches, an elevated heart rate, and diminished motor abilities are among additional adverse effects that may occur.

Peyote isn’t really considered to be a physiologically addictive substance outside of those effects. Similar to magic mushrooms, users only sometimes consume the drug, frequently as part of a quest for spirituality. But much like with any mind-altering drugs, some mental health professionals worry that peyote users may develop psychological dependence.

Although most native cultures forbid recreational usage, many interested individuals actively seek out peyote, sometimes only for the novelty of the drug’s experience or occasionally as part of their own personal spiritual quest.

Finding Peyote

Peyote is not easily accessible. You could certainly stomp through the scorching desert terrain in pursuit of the few surviving flora in south Texas. Alternatively, you may join a “spirit walk” organized by the Peyote Way Church of God, which is hidden away in the Arizona desert. Church leaders will get you ready for your experience if you donate $400. It starts with a 24-hour fast and ends with peyote tea.

On July 17, 2013, a visitor consumes peyote in the desert close to the town of Real de 14 in San Luis Potosi State, Mexico.

Going to Mexico could be more successful for you. Every year, tourists from all over the world come to the Mexican town of Real de Catorce, which is the ancestral home of several Huichol people. Many come just to discover and use the peyote that grows in the nearby scrubland. Tourists pay guides to drive them into the desert, where they spend hours searching for peyote buttons, which they may consume immediately.

Tourist overharvesting, according to the locals, is endangering the availability of peyote and, consequently, the Huichol religious traditions, which depend so heavily on the sacred plant, even though tourists may enjoy fantastic psychedelic experiences. It can take the plant a decade or longer to recover and start producing fruit once it has been harvested.

Peyote is likely to continue to be mostly used for religious rituals and spiritual inquiry because of how scarce it is in comparison to other psychedelics and because it is illegal, providing a bitter but perhaps euphoric route to some higher power.

Only a small number of people, known as peyoteros, are legally permitted to gather peyote cacti in Texas and sell them to the Native American Church, which controls much of the Southwest. In an effort to obtain enough of the highly desired cactus to support themselves, the peyoteros lease land in the narrow 1,250 square mile (3,484 square kilometer) area of Texas where the cacti are found.

Is peyote cream prohibited?

HIDALGO, TexasThe Office of Field Operations (OFO) of U.S. Customs and Border Protection has recently experienced many interceptions of a painkiller cream containing peyote, which is a chemical that is illegal under federal law.

According to Port Director Efrain Solis Jr. of the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry, it is crucial that travelers are aware of what they are permitted to bring into the United States from other nations in order to prevent any delays.

Peyote gel, which frequently also contains marijuana, is sought after as a treatment for muscle, bone, and joint pain by certain border crossers. Cannabis and peyote are Schedule I restricted narcotics that are illegal under federal law.

For more than 40 other government organizations, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CBP has been tasked with upholding hundreds of laws. For the benefit of other government organizations with the regulatory authority to decide whether these things are admissible, CBP is required to inspect and retain goods. CBP officers uphold all relevant U.S. laws, such as those prohibiting illegal immigration, drug smuggling, and unauthorized importation. Products that might harm community health, public safety, American workers, kids, domestic plant and animal life, or that would betray our national interests are those that CBP works to prohibit from entering the country. The products that injure people or have the potential to do so can occasionally appear to be quite innocent.

Before embarking for a vacation abroad, CBP recommends checking the Know Before You Go webpage to learn which things are prohibited, restricted and which items are acceptable. The items a traveler intends to bring back can also be discussed with a CBP officer or supervisor at a port of entry to ensure they are not prohibited or restricted. A product is said to be prohibited if it cannot legally enter the country. Examples of forbidden items are harmful toys that have lead paint or create a choking hazard, bush meat, or regulated prescription drug like Rohypnol. When an item is restricted, it means that special licenses or permits are needed from a federal agency before it can enter the country.

Is peyote OK for use in religion?

The traditional ceremonial use of the peyote cactus as a religious sacrament has long been a vital part of many Indian people’s way of life and an important factor in preserving Indian tribes and civilizations;

Indians have been using peyote ceremonially since 1965, and this practice is permitted by federal law;

22 States have not done so, and this lack of uniformity has made it difficult for Indian people who take part in such religious ceremonies; at least 28 States have passed laws that are similar to, or are in compliance with, the Federal regulation that protects the ceremonial use of peyote by Indian religious practitioners;

Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), the Supreme Court of the United States determined that the First Amendment does not protect Indian practitioners who use peyote in Indian religious ceremonies and cast doubt on whether this religious practice would be protected under the standard of compelling State interest; and

Lack of proper and unambiguous legal protection for Indians’ usage of peyote for religious purposes may contribute to stigmatize and isolate Indian tribes and cultures and raise the possibility that they may face discrimination.

Peyote use, possession, or transit by an Indian for legitimate traditional ceremonial purposes in connection with the practice of a traditional Indian religion is legal and shall not be outlawed by the United States or any State, regardless of any other legal provisions. No Indian shall be punished or subjected to discrimination on the basis of such use, possession, or transportation, including, but not limited to, the denial of benefits under public assistance programs that might otherwise be available.

This section does not preclude the Drug Enforcement Administration from reasonably regulating and registering anyone who grow, harvest, or distribute peyote in a way that furthers the goals of this part and section 1996 of this chapter.

The application of section 481.111(a) of Vernon’s Texas Health and Safety Code Annotated, which went into effect on October 6, 1994, inasmuch as it deals with the growth, harvest, and distribution of peyote, is not prohibited by this section.

Nothing in this section prevents any federal department or agency from establishing reasonable restrictions on the use or consumption of peyote before or during the performance of duties by sworn law enforcement officers, personnel directly involved in public transportation, or any other safety-sensitive positions where the performance of those duties may be negatively impacted by it. Representatives of traditional Indian faiths, which include the sacramental use of peyote in their practices, shall be consulted before such regulations are implemented. Any rule made in accordance with this section must pass the balancing test outlined in Section 3 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103141; 42 U.S.C. 2000bb1).

This clause is not meant to be interpreted as mandating or disallowing prison administration to allow Indian inmates access to peyote while they are housed in federal or state jail institutions.

This section shall not be interpreted to prevent States from passing or implementing reasonable road safety laws or regulations, subject to the provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103141; 42 U.S.C. 2000bb1) [42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.].

This section does not prevent the Secretary of Defense from issuing regulations that set reasonable restrictions on the use, possession, transportation, or distribution of peyote in order to advance military readiness, safety, or compliance with foreign or domestic law, subject to the provisions of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103141; 42 U.S.C. 2000bb1). Representatives of traditional Indian faiths, which include the sacramental use of peyote in their practices, shall be consulted before such regulations are implemented.