Is San Pedro Cactus the Same as Peyote? (Mescaline is the Game Changer)

Is San Pedro Cactus the Same as Peyote?

Yes, Peyote has a higher concentration of mescaline than San Pedro, however, to achieve a good level of mescaline with Peyote you have to wait a very long time, whereas San Pedro grows much faster (1cm per month) and therefore produces mescaline faster.

Mescaline is found in both the cacti Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and San Pedro (Trichocereus species), but they are from quite distinct ecosystems and societies. Although mescaline users report its visual effects as being more “bright and colorful, like 2C-B than “geometric,” like DMT, psilocybin, and other tryptamines, the drug nevertheless produces the normal psychedelic effects.

While Peyote grows very slowly and is threatened by mining and agricultural developments, San Pedro 
grows swiftly and is abundant in the wild.

Battle of the Hallucinogenic Cacti: San Pedro Vs Peyote

These teacher plants have the same active ingredient – mescaline. Logic dictates that their effects should also be extremely similar. But the comparison of ayahuasca and pharmahuasca has already made us understand that in psychedelic cases one cannot always rely on logic. 

The myth of the affectionate grandfather and the savior of a young mother

The indigenous peoples of the Amazon called San Pedro “the loving grandfather.” If ayahuasca grabs you by the scruff of the neck, twists you outward, and grants you an experience that you would like to, but can’t resist, then Huachuma acts very delicately. Approximately the way a wise grandfather teaches the life of his grandchildren. 

This is where the popular stereotype comes from that San Pedro is low on mescaline. Like, peyote did not gain such fame precisely because a portion of the sacred drink contains much more active ingredients. 

In 2010, a group of scientists studied that dried San Pedro could contain up to 4.7% mescaline. 

In 1992, Hans-Jörg Gelmlin and his colleagues at the University of Bern obtained different results – from 0.1 to 2.375%, depending on the site. The highest content of alkaloids is under the skin, in a layer of green photosynthetic tissue. 

Studies of peyote give closer results. Scientists almost always conclude that it contains about 2% of mescaline by dry weight. It turns out that San Pedro can be either 20 times weaker than peyote, or 1.5 times stronger: it all depends on the area, the season, and the part of the cactus used.

Entheogens with Different Characters

Peyote’s effects are more potent than San Pedro’s. In all situations, the religious experiences might endure up to 12 hours during the psychedelic trip. and the effects of mescaline, such as visual hallucinations that resemble cubist paintings in their distortion of space and preponderance of grid patterns.

However, San Pedro offers far more serenity and a sense of belonging to the outside world, which reduces the risk of a disappointing experience.

Peyote offers a more intense, but occasionally unpleasant, sensation. In both situations, though, the frequency of helpful discoveries is roughly the same.

The delicate “grandfather” is less aggressive than the peyote spirit. According to scientists, a group of alkaloids is the whole point.

In addition to mescaline, San Pedro has at least 8 of them, while peyote has only the main ones – 13.

Peyote takes 10 to 30 years to grow up to 7 cm in height, while San Pedro is able to double its weight in a year, reaching 6 m in height. That’s why peyote is on the brink of extinction.

 San Pedro is ready to share age-old wisdom with everyone, and this will not harm him in any way.

Legal Cacti with Mescaline – San Pedro & Peyote


  • The Mexican cactus Lophophora Williamsii contains the hallucinogenic chemical known as mescaline (“peyote” or “peyote” in the Indian language).
  • Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations employed it extensively for religious rituals. The Aztecs employed it for therapeutic purposes, including the treatment of illnesses and snake stings.
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations with vivid content are brought on by mescaline. The medication is typically administered as sliced, sun-dried Lophophora cactus. Similar to psilocybin and LSD in action
  • Peyote is a small, thornless Lophophora Williamsii cactus whose main ingredient is mescaline. 
  • The disc-shaped buds that are severed from the root and dried make up the crown of the cactus, which is the portion of the plant that is above ground. Most commonly, these buds are chewed or submerged in water to create an intoxicating drink.
  • Mescaline disrupts the senses in a way that is quite similar to how LSD and psilocybin do. A partial loss of vision may occur within two hours of consuming. There is a muted or nonexistent sense of place and time. There are some adjustments made to perception.

Objects may appear to be floating in liquid, and the subject may make movements resembling a bird in flight. The subject may be frightened of himself, and the feeling of fear and danger is exacerbated by the painful perception of the color of surrounding objects.


San Pedro

  • The culture of eating San Pedro cacti arose more than 3,000 years ago in what is now Peru. 
  • During the first few minutes of the journey, cactus causes tiredness, deep dreaminess, apathy, and mild vertigo to occur. Then, a powerful “vision” and a thorough purification of the worldview appear, bringing with them the serenity of mind that gives rise to the sixth sense. There is a sensation of telepathic transmission of thinking in time and space when thought travels to another realm.
  • The largest amount of mescaline is found in the green skin of the cactus. Dried peel – ground into powder and brewed for several hours. T. peruvianus contains slightly more mescaline than T. pachanoi (0.21 – 1.8%). 100 grams of 2-year-old T. pachanoi contains ~ 150 mg of mescaline. For the average depth of the trip, the bourgeoisie recommend using 300 mg.


What Is the Peyote Plant Like?

Peyote is a little cactus with a common diameter of 10 cm and a maximum height in the adult form of 5 cm. Its geometry is spherical, with a slightly depressed base for the upper part.

As it absorbs the sun’s rays, it acquires blue tones and takes on a green-grey hue. Its foundation produces absorbents, which makes it simple to spread. They have spineless skin, but all plant skin is fuzzy white.

Peyote blooms from early spring, which is typical for cactus, and it provides a lovely flowering that is typically pale pink (March to May).

It is a very slow-growing plant. Its flowering takes 30 years to appear. Yes, 30 years…

Is San Pedro Cactus Illegal to Own?

Before you go and get yourself a San Pedro cactus, please check your local laws. The Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis pachanoi) and the San Pedro Cactus (Echinopsis peruviana) are the most common species of the Trichocereus genus used for psychoactive purposes.

The cacti contain a psychedelic alkaloid called mescaline, making them illegal in most countries. However, the San Pedro and Peruvian Torch are not mentioned in these laws, so they are totally legal… as long as you don’t use them for recreational purposes. They may be cultivated for ornamental purposes but not for recreational use.

Is It Legal to Own Peyote?

The Native American Church (NAC) is a religious organization that aims to promote positive lifestyle changes, and utilizes the chemical Lophophora williamsii, otherwise known as peyote, to achieve these goals. Some of the NAC’s principles include raising children free of alcohol, drugs and violence; promoting family values; and creating a spiritual unity among church members.

To further its mission, the NAC has been exempted from some anti-drug laws. However, this does not mean that its members can freely use peyote in any circumstance. The legal issues surrounding this cacti are complex because there are two different types of laws that apply to it: federal and state law. Federal law states that it is illegal to possess or consume peyote, so if you’re caught with this cacti in the U.S. you may face fines or imprisonment. However, the federal government does create exceptions for the NAC, allowing its members to use the plant for religious purposes.

For example, under federal law it is illegal to buy or sell peyote, but you can legally sell a small amount to someone who is part of the NAC for ceremonial purposes.

Is It Legal to Plant Peyote?

California law prohibits the cultivation, harvesting, drying, and processing of the hallucinogenic peyote under Health & Safety Code 11363 HS (mescaline).

How Can You Tell If a Cactus Is San Pedro?

Ribs – The San Pedro cactus always has 6 to 8 rounded ribs. The troughs/pockets between the ribs are usually quite shallow and only sink deep toward the center of the cactus when the plant is severely dehydrated. Areoles – The San Pedro cactus has light/white areoles.

What States Allow Peyote?

As a psychedelic drug, mescaline has no recognized medical use. It is, however, used in non-medical settings as part of traditional religious ceremonies. The botanical source of mescaline is the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), which is native to northern Mexico and southern Texas. States have attempted to ban the sale of peyote, but have been unable to do so on the grounds that it is used as an integral part of Native American Church ceremonies. Thus, it can only be obtained legally in Texas.

What Is the Street Name for Peyote?

Street Names

Mescaline is also known as: “buttons” “mesc” and “peyote”


Anwar Hossain

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

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