Is Peyote a Cactus or a Mushroom? ( Will Erase Your Doubt!)

Is Peyote a Cactus or a Mushroom?

A little cactus resembling a turnip, or peyote. Its elevated portion is covered in light blue paint. The fruit is pinkish red, while the blossom is white with a pink tint. Peyote features regions of fuzzy, wart-like formations rather than the typical spines.

Peyote fragments were dispersed around the grounds for ritual ball games even in pre-Hispanic Mexico.

Carrying magic peyote, competitors in cult running competitions hoped to secure a deity’s protection and make it to the finish line without incident.

Alkaloids found in peyote pulp produce a joyful, ecstatic, and vivacious mood. This state, unlike alcohol intoxication, is characterized by vivid visual and auditory hallucinations.

For this reason, peyote is frequently used by many Indians. Even “peyotists” formed covert associations based on the “themes” of their hallucinations.

The only way the superstitious Indians could explain the nature of hallucinations was through communication with the spirit realm.

Peyote in Native American Traditions

  • Peyote is a small cactus, rarely larger than 15 centimeters, found on both banks of the Rio Grande and in scattered places across Mexico.
  • Mexican Indians have been using the narcotic plant for over 20 centuries to cure any number of ailments.  Peyote is an extremely common medicine in Mexico and is sold at drug markets across the country.
  • For nearly 2 centuries, Peyote use has been noted among Native Americans, mostly tribes located in the Southern Plains.  This is mostly due to the United States government relocating tribes more north, so the spread of Peyote to others tribes occurred.
  • Between the 1880s and 1930s, the US government attempted to ban peyote, but with the establishment of the Native American Church, this did not happen.  Federal law now permits peyote use among members of the NAC, and to non-Native Americans in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon.
  • Medicinal uses for Peyote ranges; in some places in Mexico, it is considered their “aspirin”.  Peyote is applied externally for rheumatism, wounds burns, snakebites, and skin diseases.  When steeped in hot water to make Peyote Tea, it is ingested for illnesses such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet fever, intestinal issues, diabetes, and colds.  The dried Peyote crowns, or buttons, are applied to a toothache or, more commonly, consumed in the ceremony.
  • Peyote ceremony, or “meeting”, is a specific healing ceremony common among Plains tribes.  Though the ceremony differs among tribes, it is always for the purpose of healing a chosen individual.
  • The meeting usually runs all night and is led by a “healer” or a roadman.  Everyone circles a fire and sings songs to drumming while consuming peyote.
  • Though the ceremony tends to focus on one individual, everyone has the opportunity to better understand the nature of his or her own problems.  Peyote, in this sense, is more therapeutic.


Key Facts

  • Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins. They are also the only source of vitamin D and one of the highest sources of selenium found in the produce section.
  • Of 300 edible mushroom species, 30 have been domesticated and 10 are grown commercially.
  • Agaricus are the leading mushroom crop worldwide and accounted for approximately 97% of the total U.S. mushroom production from 2017-2018. Oyster (Pleurotusspp.) and shiitake mushrooms rank second and third respectively in worldwide production.
  • Production systems for domesticated varieties vary by type of mushroom and include both indoor and outdoor systems. Either natural or synthetic substrates may be used.

The Mushrooms of the Gods

Psychoactive plants have always been thought to help people push the boundaries of their consciousness.

medicine and religious rituals

“People in Mesoamerica used these psychotropic drugs primarily for medical purposes and for religious rituals,” Spanish tropical neurology expert Francisco Javier Carod-Artal

Central American grave figures from around 200 BC testify that, in addition to mushrooms, the psychedelic drug peyote, which is extracted from the cactus Lophophora williamsii, was used more than 2200 years ago.

 The name peyote derives from the Nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs and Nahua, for whom peyotl was nothing more than the “messenger of the gods”. The cactus was used for field fertility rituals or rituals intended to guarantee success in hunting and in war.

What’s the Difference between Psychedelic Mushrooms and Peyote?

Peyote and mushrooms are two psychedelic hallucinogenic drugs that are commonly used with the intent to experience a high that is spiritual in nature. The two drugs share a number of similarities, but there are differences as well.

While both peyote and mushrooms have been used for centuries by different cultures in their religious practices, they also have similar recreational uses as well, which has led to their use as drugs of abuse. While these drugs can be abused, it’s important to know that many people who take them find them to be beneficial and consider them to be sacred.

What Are Mushrooms and Peyote?



Mushrooms containing psilocybin may be found in the US, Central America, and Mexico. They are literally mushrooms, a fungus that is harvested and ingested for its psychedelic properties. When fresh, they have dark brown caps or light brown caps with white in the middle and stems that are white or a light gray. When dried, mushrooms containing psilocybin may be reddish brown with beige spots.

Mushrooms are classified as a Schedule I drug according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that they are not legal for medical or recreational use and have been identified as a substance that is of high risk for abuse and addiction.




Peyote is a cactus that grows in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. It has no spines. although the section that is utilized is frequently referred to as a crown. It contains buttons that can be taken off and used to smoke marijuana.
Peyote is categorized as a Schedule I substance, which implies that it is not permitted for recreational use in the US and has no accepted medical value. It is a chemical that can also lead to addiction and abuse.

Active Ingredient


The active ingredient in mushrooms is psilocybin, a chemical that can be found in certain types of fresh or dried mushrooms. This drug belongs to the indole family of compounds.


Mescaline is the active ingredient in peyote, and some extract this substance from peyote “buttons” and ingest it in pill, powder, or liquid form.

Mescaline belongs to the phenethylamine family of compounds and has a chemical structure that is similar to the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine.

Psychotropic substances were now wrested from the realms of religion, magic, and mysticism and studied by science, and curious psychonauts hoped to expand their consciousness. 

Street Names


Street names include shroomsmushrooms, or magic mushrooms, among others.


Peyote is often referred to on the street as buttonspeyoto, or cactus.

How They Are Ingested


Mushrooms are usually ingested orally. They may be soaked in hot water to form a tea, eaten alone, or prepared in foods with other ingredients.


The buttons that are removed from the crown of the peyote cactus are either chewed by the user or soaked in water, which is then swallowed.

In some cases, the peyote buttons are dried and ground into a powder, which is then put into a capsule or sprinkled on top of a marijuana joint or cigarette and smoked.

Physical & Psychological Effects


After taking mushrooms, people often experience nausea and vomiting as well as a lack of muscle coordination and weakness.

Mushrooms can cause hallucinations as well as a loss of a sense of reality. Users may have an altered perception of space and time, and sensory perceptions may be altered as well.

In some cases, psychedelic mushrooms can trigger a deep and abiding sense of anxiety, panic, terror, or psychosis.

Since mushrooms containing psilocybin are sold on the street, there is a risk that they may be poisonous or otherwise carry pathogens that can cause illness or death.

Additionally, there is the risk of a medical emergency that may be physical or psychiatric in nature. The risk may increase if the person is already living with a mental health disorder and/or if the person ingests a large dose of the drug.



Peyote triggers an increase in body temperature and heart rate, heavy sweating, muscle weakness, nausea and vomiting, and lack of coordination.

Hallucinations are common among users of peyote, as is a feeling of euphoria. In some cases, high doses or a poor response to the drug can result in feelings of extreme anxiety, panic, or fear.

Regular use of peyote, or mescaline, can lead to increased tolerance in less than a week. Additionally, medical emergencies caused by the use of the drug may occur as well. In some cases, addiction can develop.

Psychedelic Drug Use and Abuse

Though most people do not struggle with hallucinogenic drug addiction, of those who do, the substance of choice is often peyote or mushrooms (psilocybin). Both drugs have been found to be psychologically addictive, and though some people report addiction to both drugs, others report that they are addicted to one and not the other. In addition, hallucinogen addiction can be triggered by the high frequency of use, which in turn causes tolerance levels to rise. High tolerance levels can cause dangerous medical emergencies.

Hallucinogens such as peyote and mushrooms have been used for thousands of years and have been found in archaeological sites, suggesting that these substances were used by people as long ago as several thousand years.


Does peyote come from a cactus?

The peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii) is a small spineless cactus that produces the hallucinogenic substance mescaline, which causes psychedelic hallucinations, euphoria, and visual and auditory distortions.

It is also known by the Spanish name peyote, by the Nahuatl name mescal button, and by the English names buttons, mescal bean, and Indian bread. Some Native American peoples use it for medicinal purposes. Peyote is found only on limestone soils of the Chihuahuan desert of southern Texas and northern Mexico. In 1994 Mescalero Apache Indians won a lengthy battle to have peyote classified as an endangered species.

Is peyote a fungus?

Peyote is a small spineless cactus, in which the principal active ingredient is mescaline. It was discovered in 1938 and is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.

Mushrooms come from fungi that grow naturally in the soil. There are many different types of mushrooms that grow all around the world. Some produce psilocybin (the hallucinogenic drug found in mushrooms) and some produce muscimol (another hallucinogenic drug). Muscimol is very rare in comparison to psilocybin because it doesn’t occur naturally outside of certain plants—it must be produced artificially.

What part of the peyote is edible?

Peyote is a small cactus. Parts of the cactus crown may be chewed or soaked in water to make tea.

What is the street name for peyote?

Peyote is often referred to on the street as buttons, peyoto, or cactus.

Does peyote come up on a drug test?

Screening for peyote use is not included in routine drug tests, Mescaline must be specifically tested for.


Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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