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  • What Is Psychedelic Cactus? Effects, Health Risks, and Treatment

What Is Psychedelic Cactus? Effects, Health Risks, and Treatment

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Last Medical Reviewer On: September 20, 2023
Updated On: Sep 20, 2023
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Written by:

Amanda Stevens, B.S.

Medical Review by:

Dr. Po Chang Hsu MD, MS

What is Psychedelic Cactus
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    What you will learn
    • A psychedelic cactus causes psychedelic effects that can last for several hours with a high abuse potential.
    • This substance is often associated with spiritual rituals and ceremonies.
    • Psychedelic cactus contains mescaline which is currently listed as a Schedule I controlled substance.
    • Mescaline isn’t a physically addictive substance like heroin or alcohol, however, the drug can lead to psychological addiction.
    • Holistic, evidence-based treatment is the best way to address and overcome an addiction to psychedelic cactus.

    What Is Psychedelic Cactus?

    Psychedelic cactus has been used in shamanism for centuries–including the present day. While some cultures honor and respect the substance as part of traditional rituals, others find themselves abusing psychedelic cactus as a means to achieve a high. Here’s what you need to know about the uses, legality, and risks of using psychoactive cactus.

    Psychedelic cactus refers to the many types of cactus that contain psychoactive compounds, such as the Peyote Cactus, the San Pedro Cactus, and the Peruvian Torch cactus. These compounds, most commonly known as mescaline, cause psychedelic effects that can last for several hours.

    This substance is often associated with spiritual rituals and ceremonies, which can lead some individuals to mistakenly believe that the use of psychedelic cactus is inherently safe.

    How is Psychedelic Cactus Used in Traditional Ceremonies?

    Archaeological and historical evidence suggests that psychedelic cactus has been used in sacred ceremonies as far back as 1500 BC.[1] Today, shamans use psychedelic cactus to heal the sick, including both physical and metaphysical maladies.

    The psychoactive parts of the plant are typically dried and chewed but may also be used to make tea or ground into a powder which is then placed into a capsule or smoked with cannabis or tobacco leaves.

    Is Psychedelic Cactus Legal?

    Mescaline is currently considered a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act in the United States. This status means that using psychedelic cactus has a high abuse potential and is not approved as part of medical treatment.

    However, certain states and Federal law permits the cultivation and use of psychedelic cactus for tribal religious ceremonies, but all proper filings must be completed prior to ensure no laws are broken.

    What are the Risks of Psychoactive Cactus?

    Although this substance is regarded as highly powerful and spiritual, some individuals abuse the substance recreationally, leading to a range of physical health conditions and exacerbated mental health conditions.

    Mescaline can produce hallucinations, anxiety, an increase in body temperature, increased blood pressure and heart rate, profuse sweating, and mobility issues when the drug is active in the body. It can also lead to worsening of anxiety disorders and mood disorders.

    What are the Long-Term Effects of Using Psychoactive Cactus/Mescaline?

    What are the Long-Term Effects of Using Psychoactive Cactus/Mescaline?

    Long-term use of mescaline can result in severe mental health conditions, including Drug Induced Psychosis and Hallucinogen-Persisting Perception Disorder[2]. Here’s what you need to know about these two conditions:

    Drug-Induced Psychosis

    This condition is caused by the ingestion of certain substances and can result in severe changes in an individual’s thought patterns and perceptions. Drug-induced psychosis can lead to disorganized thinking, auditory or visual disturbances, delusions, and severe paranoia.

    Drug-induced psychosis may last hours or up to several days and is considered a medical emergency due to the high risk of suicide of those experiencing these symptoms.

    Mescaline is not the only drug that can cause drug-induced psychosis. Other drugs include ketamine, LSD, PCP, and amphetamines.

    If you or someone you know is showing signs of drug-induced psychosis, seek emergency medical interventions immediately.

    Hallucinogen-Persisting Perception Disorder (HPDD)

    A rare but serious condition, Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) causes “flashbacks” in those who have had exposure to hallucinogenic substances. These flashbacks happen with no discernible trigger and include hallucinations, visual and auditory disturbances, panic, and paranoia.

    These flashbacks may occur for months and even years after an individual has last taken a hallucinogenic drug.

    Is Psychedelic Cactus/Mescaline Addictive?

    Mescaline isn’t a physically addictive substance like heroin or alcohol. However, the drug can lead to psychological addiction. As an individual continues to use mescaline, a tolerance may be developed, meaning that more of the drug must be taken to achieve the desired effect.

    Once the individual ceases taking the drug, withdrawal symptoms such as decreased serotonin may result. This can cause depression, anxiety, restlessness, and panic, leading the individual to continue taking the drug to negate uncomfortable side effects.

    How to Treat a Mescaline Addiction

    If you or someone you know is experiencing an addiction to mescaline, it is important to seek the intervention of a professional. Drug addictions often do not improve without treatment.

    The right level of care for you will depend on the severity of the addiction and whether or not co-occurring conditions are present. Those entering recovery are often referred to a residential program, followed by a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Outpatient Program (OP), and aftercare treatment.

    Remember, however, that addiction treatment is not always linear, and you may complete these stages of recovery in a different order. For example, you may not require inpatient care and may be referred directly to PHP.

    Within each of these programs, you will partake in several different therapies that will help you uncover the root causes of your addiction and heal from any traumas, hurts, or hang-ups that lead you to abuse substances in the first place. You will learn adaptive coping strategies that do not involve drug use, allowing you to flourish and thrive using your own inner strength and spirituality.

    Heal from Psychedelics Addiction With Epiphany Wellness

    At Epiphany Wellness, we understand the complex nature of psychedelic addiction. Many people who seek out the use of psychedelics do so because they are on a spiritual journey that, unfortunately, results in more spiritual, mental, and emotional turmoil.

    We help guide you through your healing journey with spiritual therapies that bring you self-awareness and understanding, allowing you to see inside (and beyond) yourself without the use of psychedelic drugs.

    If you or a loved one are struggling with psychedelic cactus abuse or abuse of any other psychoactive drugs, we are here to help. Contact a member of our team today to learn about our holistic drug addiction therapies.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Psychedelic Cactus

    Below are answers to common questions we receive about the use of psychoactive cactus.

    What are the Street Names for Psychedelic Cactus/Mescaline?
    Can You Grow Cacti That Contain Psychedelic Compounds?
    How is Mescaline Different From LSD or Magic Mushrooms?
    Is Using Psychedelics Spiritual Bypassing?
    What is a “Bad Trip” on Mescaline?
    Is Mesclun the Same Thing as Mescaline?

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