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Providing straightforward information pertaining to drugs, drug use & drug policy. The Grey Pages promotes drug-related literacy and advocates a system of viable and tolerant drug policies. This is my personal collection of commentaries, essays, tid-bits, and other such writings on everything ranging from drug use, drug policy and drug-myths, to drug-science, addiction, human behavior, and the workings of the human brain. I started this blog with a particular focus on opioids, and over the past year have found my interest gravitate toward the intriguing, ever-changing world of designer intoxicants (i.e. "research chemicals" or "designer drugs").

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mescaline Vault

Mescaline Molecule
Chemically known as 3,4,5-trimethoxy-phenethylamine. Mescaline is a psychedelic compound of the phenethylamine family. It is well known as the major psychoactive component in peyote and san pedro cacti. 

Mescaline has a long history of use in Mexico and Central America, in the form of mescaline containing cacti. In North America, the drug is taken for its hallucinogenic as well as entheogenic properties; the Native American church uses it legally for ritualistic purposes. Mescaline joins the ranks of LSD and psilocybin (magic mushrooms) as one of the more well established and universally popular psychedelic drugs.

Peyote Cactus
The drug is available on the illicit market as a lab synthesized product or an extracted crystalline powder. Such powders however are reportedly rare; consumption of cacti accounts for most of its use. Peyote cacti are the most common of the psychedelic cacti and appear as short, round, button-like mounds - these are usually taken orally.

Accounts of its use and its effects have been extensively documented. Both casual and ritualistic users report its effects are uniquely potent. 

Its main mode of action is similar to other psychedelics and involves serotonergic systems as well as dopaminergic systems. Mescaline acts at the 5HT2A (serotonin) receptor as a partial agonist, while its dopaminergic properties are not yet well defined.

Effects of Mescaline: Effects generally last a few to several hours:

Visual distortions

Positive or negative changes in mood

Enhanced capacity for creative or abstract thought

Emotional potentiation

Enhanced sensory perception (taste, smell, sound)

Physical and psychological stimulation

Increased energy

Dream like state

Increased introspection or self insight

Giggling or laughing

Altered time perception

Impulsivity

Euphoria

Altered speech

Vulnerability for distractions

Changes in ego

Restlessness

Body buzz

Tendency for obsessive focus on details

Fear, paranoia, anxiety or panic

Worsening or precipitation of existing mental illness

Pupil dilation, thermal dysregulation, nausea & vomiting, shortness of breath, reduced libido, insomnia, increased heart rate, decreased appetite, increased urination, chest pain

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