Is Prickly Pear Cactus Hallucinogenic? (A Mild Psychoactive Drug)

Is Prickly Pear Cactus Hallucinogenic?

Prickly Pear, and other Cacti of the Opuntia genus, are claimed to contain significant amounts of mescaline and other Phenethylamines.

Prickly Pear contains mescaline and other Phenethylamines (like 5-MeO-DMT), which are psychoactive substances related to psychedelics like LSD, DMT, and mescaline (the active ingredient in the peyote cactus).

Mescaline is a hallucinogen that occurs naturally. It is a naturally occurring psychedelic alkaloid of the phenethylamine class and a structural analog of epinephrine (adrenaline). Mescaline has been used since prehistoric times for its powerfully mind-altering effects. The best-known source is the peyote cactus, particularly in northern Mexico and southwestern Texas. Other sources of mescaline are the San Pedro cactus, Peruvian torch, and prickly pear cactus.

 Native Americans have used peyote for ceremonial, religious, and medicinal purposes for more than 5,000 years.

It occurs naturally in several varieties of cactus, most notably peyote (native to Mexico),   the San Pedro cactus (native to Peru), and prickly pear cactus.

What are the effects of Prickly Pear?

When taken by mouth: Prickly pear cactus is likely safe when the fruit is eaten as food, and probably safe for short-term medicinal use. The juice may cause diarrhea, nausea, bloating, and heartburn in some people; like any medicine, it can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Information about the safety of prickly pear cactus during pregnancy or breastfeeding doesn’t exist. Experts don’t know if it’s safe or if the plant poses any risks. There haven’t been any tests on animals or humans to see how it affects fetuses, infants, or nursing newborns. The best rule of thumb is to use common sense and err on the side of caution by avoiding taking prickly pear cactus while pregnant or breastfeeding. If you’re not sure what to do, consult with your healthcare practitioner before using prickly pear cactus as a food supplement while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Surgery: If you’re planning to have surgery, make sure you let your surgeon know about the cactus tea you’ve been drinking every day. Prickly pear cactus can affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control difficult during and after surgery. Stop using prickly pear cactus at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Prickly Pear Cactus in Ayahuasca

Prickly pear cactus (genus Opuntia) contains mescaline as well as other psychoactive alkaloids. The amount of mescaline per plant differs depending on the species, but there is a wide range. Some species have low, trace amounts of mescaline or have none at all, while some others have high amounts in the range of several hundred milligrams per plant.

The Prickly Pear Cactus has a number of uses in Mexico and it has been used for purification rites by indigenous people. The consumption of the cactus is said to bring about feelings of euphoria, with a feeling of being connected to all things.

 The Peyote cactus is part of the genus Lophophora and contains mescaline. It’s considered to be a hallucinogen with psychedelic effects. 

Prickly pear and its health benefits

This fruit, which is commonly known as the “prickly pear,” has a sweet taste, but hides behind its spiny exterior. The prickly pear, also called a cactus pear, is an amazing fruit straight from Mexico. Behind its impressive horns, this unique fruit hides a sweetheart with an irresistibly soft texture.

For 100g of prickly pear:

NutrientsAverage content
Eau87.3 g
Carbohydrates6 g
Lipids0.31 g
Proteins0.51 g
Energyfibers4.45 g
Magnesium77 mg
Vitamine A60 µg
Vitamin C12.5 mg
Energy54.7 kcal
Energy228.64 kJ

The main nutrients contained in the prickly pear

Water: The prickly pear is very rich in water (around 88%). This makes it an ideal fruit for summer with its refreshing and thirst-quenching side. Even though the prickly pear is very juicy, it contains little sugar.

Vitamin A: This vitamin allows a good renewal of the tissues of the organism. This vitamin is essential for good vision and it prevents some types of cancers.

Magnesium: Magnesium contributes to a good supply of this mineral in the body, which is particularly important in the maintenance of muscles, nervous system, and especially good digestion. It also participates in many enzymatic reactions and is therefore involved in the production of energy.

The magnesium contained in the prickly pear is accessible to our body thanks to its active transport by a molecule called glucose transporter, whose presence is especially high in the cells of our intestine.

This active transport of magnesium allows us to assimilate it easily and quickly, as it does not depend on a sufficient intake of carbohydrates (which can be present or not) but rather on the presence of this transporter in our intestines.

Vitamin C: Cactus fruit is rich in vitamin C. The vitamin C provided by the prickly pear gives it good antioxidant properties, so it will help you fight against cellular aging. 

 The benefits of prickly pear

For the past few decades, prickly pear has been added to products such as juices and teas, but it is more recently being sold in health food stores to help boost the immune system and promote good digestive health. The nutritional profile of prickly pear makes it a promising addition to the diet: it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber (which helps regulate transit), vitamin C (which supports the immune system), and water (which hydrates)

Regulate transit

The prickly pear provides fiber in considerable quantity, which will facilitate intestinal transit by fighting against constipation.


The vitamin C in prickly pear helps fight free radicals which are the main cause of all types of diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature aging.

The first effect of vitamin C on the skin is to fight against free radicals. The latter attack the collagen fibers, which is a protein that is responsible for the elasticity of the skin. They also attack the elastin fibers and give the skin its suppleness.


The prickly pear grows in warm climates throughout the world. Its pads are fleshy and range from blue to green to purple. The fruits are often brightly colored, with red being the most common. Its skin is smooth and edible, and its flesh is juicy, sweet, succulent, and mild-flavored.

With a high water content, the prickly pear is very likely to give you an instant burst of energy because it will immediately increase your blood volume and keep you hydrated for hours on end. If you find yourself suffering from chronic fatigue or lack of energy, maybe it’s time to try out this fruit that could be exactly what your body needs to help get back on track.

Fill up on magnesium with prickly pear

The prickly pear contains magnesium, an essential trace element for various metabolic processes such as cardiovascular disorders, the treatment of hypertension, and the strengthening of muscle tissue. Magnesium also contributes to normal psychological function, normal muscle function, and to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue. It’s also involved in the maintenance of normal bones.



Anwar Hossain

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

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