Featured Chemical – Mescaline

Posted: June 28, 2012 by Esteban in Pragmatic Profligacy
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Trickling through the underground drug culture over the last decade, like music that sounds like freeway construction and the progressively sillier one-up-manship of fashion involving balloons and meat, this sacred alkaloid and the stigma surrounding it have become increasingly popular by way of media and pop culture. There is so much information, literature, documented experiences, and fiction in the ether making mention of this immortal plant that creating a featured chemical article seems borderline redundant, however, given the notoriety of the drug, as well as our affinity for it, how could we stay away?

Let’s start with some history, why not? Used by various tribes the world over, many civilizations in isolation came to the same, far out conclusion – that this holy plant sure as shit ain’t a thang to fuck around with. Often the focal point of hundred mile pilgrimages to harvest the goods, mescaline was thought to be a gift from the gods and is still used in sacred ceremonial trips. Although we’ve never been much for organized religion, this is a church we wouldn’t mind making weekly appearances at.
Among the oldest documented alkaloids, this resilient psychedelic has been found active and petrified in indigenous scenes for nearly millions of years. No, I’m not talking about Mick Jagger, although the similarities are nearly indistinguishable even to top archeologists. To avoid confusion, mescaline is the active psychedelic ingredient found in Peyote, Peruvian Torch, San Pedro, and other cacti which can be found all of desert biomes, including southern California. Of course, what is a mescaline article without a shout out to my man, the infamous Alexander Shulgin, whom is responsible for synthesizing this chem gem into the pharmacopeia of phenethylamines and other novelty research chemicals on the market today. Although the idea of regulating and making illegal a natural occurring plant is laughable, even to non-dope smoking cops, judges, and congressmen (See LEAP), the mescaline containing cacti are not illegal. Isolating the mescaline alkaloid, however, is very illegal.
Here is how you isolate the mescaline alkaloid: it’s as simple as making tea. No, really. After harvesting your god-in-a-box cactus friend, chop it up into pieces small enough to fit into a blender or juicer. Grab some distilled water and conservatively feed the cactus bits and water into your blender until you are left with a thick green paste that looks like Slimer took a shit in your kitchen, and probably quite a bit of it. Pop that gooey junk into a cheese cloth or (clean) panyhose – whatever is going to contain it while submerged in water. You’re basically making a giant teabag. For San Pedro cactus, the choice of Super Fiends, one dose is the equivalent of a cut the length of your forearm (about 12 inches).
The alternative method, using acid and bases to yield mescaline hydrochloride, uses a lot of toxic chemicals and we will not discuss here… yet.
As every Depp era poly-addict knows, “Good mescaline comes on slow”; an understatement if there ever was one. As with all psychoactives, be smart, be patient, and do not double dose. Not out of boredom, not out of fiendishness, not because you have no self confidence and doubt that you may have fucked up the extraction, never.
The visuals will start first – spectral, glittering patterns on every clear surface. Upon conscious come-up, it can be beneficial to lay down, put on some good music, and close your eyes. Closed eye visuals are especially prominent at this stage… just try not to fall asleep or you may wake up buck naked in a dumpster full of stem cells wishing for the memory of every regretful step leading up to sobriety.
Eventually, the mental state will match the trippiness of the visual. Looping thought patterns are typical in addition to an abstract train of thought. You can be damn sure that everything, every action, reaction, and the in between, will take on elaborate new meaning which seems so obvious now that you don’t quite know how it remained elusive in the first place. On that note, it’s important to remember that you are, in fact, high on hardcore psychedelics and that there isn’t much of what you’re seeing that is real. Really fun, yes, but not reality.
Some people’s natural reaction to taking psychedelics is to freak out. That’s cool, and we understand your freak out needs, but if you’re prone to anxiety or just fucking crazy to begin with, then it helps to have a tripsitter around to mediate the real world and your elevated world.
UVSF recommends the following mescaline induced activities:
1. Sex, partnered or otherwise. It can be very intense and interpersonal, so unless you love freely this is not recommended for one nighters.
2. Music, live or otherwise. Music will never sound the same to you once you hear it on mescaline. As always, the rule of thumb is the bigger the speaker, the better your experience.
3. Food. Cooking can be fun, but try not to use objects that will remove fingers, limbs, or other bodily members. For those able to stomach it, eat as much soul food as possible.
4. Art. Colors are brighter. Elaborate patterns move around and literally jump out at you. Every piece of artwork takes on very detailed and personal meaning. Be prepared.
5. Nature. Go to a park, go on a hike, go out and enjoy the natural world and all of the fin intricacies it has to offer. You won’t regret it, until the cops show up and ask you what you’re doing hugging squirrels at 3 in the morning. (those beady eyes just look so lonely.)


6. Other Drugs. Bad idea.
As always, be safe and smart. If you have any burning questions about this featured chemical, please post them bellow in the comments field. Lastly, we leave you with the musings from one of the UVSF staff during a mescaline overdose. (Note that there is no LD50 for mescaline – it is virtually impossible to OD, outside of a seriously intense trip.)

The film was easy to follow at first, but my comprehension and memory of my surroundings became slow and distorted. When the open eyed visuals kicked in I lost all control of my senses, they were at the mercy of the cactus now. My jaw clenched, my muscles tensed, my mind wondered to places far beyond the simple theater into other dimensions. I felt what I have on many of my trips – the Tao. The yin and yang and the points where they meet. I felt like existence itself was the implement of two forces waxing and waning. I notice the effects of a heavy wind blowing through the theater at a hundred miles an hour, and yet I do not feel it. Vibrations were easy to sense, although all of my other senses failed me. I was aware of social situations that weren’t happening and that all of these moments occurring were the ones of universal love. The confusion of whether this drug was a poison or godsend. I felt that tangents such as time, names, and media where mere distractions so that people wouldn’t have to live their lives in the intensity of oneness. I also felt something I never have before on any of my trips, that I have truly lost my mind. And those damned annoying droning sounds that never seems to cease! The voice of god, will it ever shut the fuck up?”

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