Pictorial on roling a joint (jpeg)
Ways to use weed
Alice: Through the looking glass
Tale of the hasjies eater
Alice eating a mushroom
(Note: In Mexico there is a popular liquor called mescal. Many people believe that it is made from the Peyote cactus. Actually it is fermented from the Maguey plant, a large succulent of the Amaryllis family with sword-like leaves. This plant does not contain mescaline or related alkaloids.)
It was in 1896 that Arthur Heffter extracted mescaline from Peyote and tested it upon himself. This was the first hallucinogenic compound isolated by man. About 350 mg of mescaline is required for a psychotropic experience, although definite effects can be felt from as little as 100 mg. Mescaline may comprise as much as six percent of the weight of the dried button, but is more often closer to one percent. An average dried button the diameter of a quarter weighs about 2 grams. it usually takes 6-10 of these buttons to gain the desired effect.
It has been noted that the peyote experience is quantitatively somewhat different than that of pure mescaline, the former being more physical than the latter. This is due to several of the other alkaloids present in the cactus. These include: HORDENINE, N-METHYLMESCALINE, N-ACETYLMESCALINE, PELLOTINE, ANHALININE, ANHALONINE, ANHALIDNINE, ANHALONIDINE, ANHALAMINE, O-METHYLANHALONIDINE, TYRAMINE, and LOPHOPHORINE. Not all of these substances have psychopharmacological activity when administered singly. Some of them in combination apparently potentiate the effects of the mescaline and definitely alter some of the characteristics of the experience.
Two of these alkaloids - Hordenine and Tyramine - have been found to possess antibacterial activity, presumably because of their phenolic function. For ages the Huichol Indians have rubbed the juices of fresh peyote into wounds to prevent infection and to promote healing. The Tarahumara Indians consume small amounts of peyote to combat hunger, thirst and exhaustion especially while hunting. They have been known to run for days after a Deer with no food, water or rest. Peyote has many uses in folkloric medicine including the treatment of arthritis, consumption, influenza, intestinal disorders, diabetes, snake and scorpion bites and datura poisoning. The Huichol and other tribes recognize two forms of peyote. One is larger, more potent and more bitter than the other. They call it TZINOURITEHUA-HIKURI (peyote of the Gods). The smaller, more palatable, but milder buttons are called RHAITOUMUANITARI-HIKURI (peyote of the goddesses). The difference between the two forms may be due solely to how old the plants are. Alkaloids tend to accumulate in these cacti with age. It is possible, however, that the goddess peyote is a different species. Until recently botanists believed that the genus LOPHOPHORA consisted of a single but highly varible species. But in 1967 H.H. Bravo found near Queretaro in south-central Mexico another species which he named LOPHOPHORA DIFFUSA. This plant is yellow-green, soft, ribless and contains a somewhat different alkaloid mixture with far less mescaline that L. williamsi.
The entire experience may last from 6 to 12 hours depending upon the individual and the amount of the plant consumed. After all the peyote effects have passed there is no comedown. One is likely to feel pleasantly relaxed and much a peace with the world. Although there is usually no desire for food during the experience one would probably have a wholesome appetite afterwards.
A method which avoids both the bitterness and the nausea is the rectal infusion. 8-16 grams of dried peyote is ground into a fine powder and boiled in a pint of water for 30 minutes. It is then strained and further boiled to reduce it's volume to one half pint. After cooling, this is taken as an enema using a small bulb syringe and retained for at least two hours. If there is any fecal matter in the lower bowel, a small cleansing enema should be taken and thoroughly expelled before having the peyote infusion. Otherwise much of the drug will be taken up by the feces and later voided.
The best time to harvest any cactus is after a long dry spell. The worst time is during or after a rainy period. The plants build up alkaloids during dry seasons and draw upon them for growth when the rains come. If the plants are harvested during or after a wet spell, the alkaloid content may have dropped below 50 percent. If you have a soil test kit, you can get a good indication of the potency of cacti growing wild. If the soil is rich in nitrogen, the plants are likely to be rich in alkaloids.
When harvesting peyote, many people uproot the entire plant. This is unnecessary and wasteful. The roots contain no mescaline. Some of these plants have taken a long time to reach their size. A cactus three inches in diameter may be more than 20 years old. To collect peyote properly the button should be cleanly decapitated slightly above ground level. When the roots are left intact new buds will form where the old was removed. These will eventually develop into full-size buttons which may be harvested as before. Faulty harvesting method have seriously depleted populations of this cactus. Because of the presence of several phenolic alkaloids peyote cacti do not spoil easily and may be kept in their fresh form for several weeks after harvesting. If they are to be kept longer than this they must be refrigerated, frozen, or dried. The enzymes which cause the harvested plant to eventually decompose also destroy the mescaline and other alkaloids. To dry peyote buttons lay them out in the hot sun or in an oven at 250 degrees F until completely devoid of moisture.
This small cactus is botanically called PELECYPHORA ASELLIFORMIS. It is also known sometimes as the hatchet cactus because of its oddly flattened tubercules. It is often found growing in the state of San Louis Potosi in central Mexico. The plant contains traces of mescaline too minute to have any effect. It also contains small amounts of anhalidine, anhaladine, hordenine, N-methylmescaline, pellotine, 3-demethyltrichocereine, B-phenethylamine, N-methyl-B-phenethylamine, 3,4-dimethoxy-B-pheneththyl- amine, N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-B-phenethylamine, and 4-methoxy-B-phenethy- lamine. Most of these are found in peyote but in much larger quantities.
The botanical name of this cactus is ARIOCARPUS RETUSUS. The Huichol name tsuwiri means False Peyote. These people make long pilgrimages to the sacred places where peyote grows in search of that sacrement. They believe that if a person is has not been properly purified the spirits will lead him to the False Peyote and if he partakes of it, he will suffer madness or at least a bad trip. The plant is known among some tribes as Chautle or Chaute. These names are also used for other Ariocarpus species. This cactus contains hordenine, N-methyltryamine in fairly small amounts (about 0.02 percent) and traces of N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-B-phenethylamine, and N-methyl-4-B- phenethylamine. Aside from these alkaloids it also contains a flavone called retusin (3,3',4',7-tetramethoxy-5-hydroxyflavone). Although alkaloid content may very some at different seasons or stages of growth, from the scientific point of view the amounts present in this plant appear insufficient to pro- duce any psychopharmacological response.
This plant, ARIOCARPUS FISSURATUS, has been used in folkoric medicine of Mexico and southwestern USA. It is believed to be more potent than peyote and is used in the same manner as that cactus or made into an intoxicating drink. Among some tribes it is known as Chaute (a generic term for Ariocarp- us species), living rock, or dry whiskey. The latter name, however, is often used for peyote and other psychoactive cacti. There are two varieties of A. fissuratus: var. lloydii and var. fissuratus. Both have about the same phytochemical makeup. The plant contains mostly hordenine, less N-methyl- tyramine and some N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-B-phenethylamine. Two other species, A. kotschoubeyanus also known as Pata De Venado or Pezuna De Venado, and A. trigonus also contain these alkaloids.
This small cactus, CORYPHANTHA MACROMERIS, from northern Mexico has been found to contain macromerine, a phenethylamine drug reputed to have about 1/5 the potency of mescaline. It also contains normacromerine, N-formylnor- macromerin, tyramine, N-methyltramine, hordenine, N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-B- phenethylamine, metanephrine, and synephrine (a macromerine precursor). Other coryphantha species which contain macromerine with most of these other alkaloids include: C. pectinada, C. elephantideus, C. runyonii and C. corn- ifera var. echinus. Most of these alkaloids with the exception of macromerine have also been found in other varieties of C. conifera and in C. durangensis, C. ottonis, C. poselgeriana and C. ramillosa. Considering that there is usually no more than 0.1 percent macromerine in Donana and that a gram or more of this alkaloid may be needed to produce a psychotropic effect, one would have to consume more than a kilo of the dried cactus or 20 pounds of the fresh plant. Clearly this is not possible for most humans. If one wishes to experiment with the hallucinogenic properties of Donana, is is necessary first to make an extraction of the mixed alkaloids. Methods for this are given latter in this guide.
Several tribes occasionally use any one of several species of Dolichothele as a peyote-like sacrament. These include D. baumii, D. longimamma, D. melalenca, D. sphaerica. D. surculosa, and D. uberiforma. Recent investig- ations have revealed in these the presence of small amounts of the alkaloids N-methylphenethylamine, B-O-methylsynephrine, N-methyltryamine, synephrine, hordenine, and dolichotheline (N-isovalerylhistamine).
Several other cacti have been used by the Tarahumares as peyote substitutes. Among these are Obregonia denegrii, Aztekium ritterii, Astrophytum asterias, A. capricorne, A. myriostigma (Bishops cap), and Solisia pectinata. The Tarahumares also consume a cactus which they call Mulato (Mammillaria micro- meris) and claim that it prolongs life, gives speed to runners, and clarifies vison for mystical insights. Another cactus similarly employed is known as Rosapara (Epitheliantha micromeris) is believed by many botanists to be the same species as Mulato, but at a later vegetative stage. The large cactus Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum, known locally as Cawe, has occasionally been used as a narcotic.
What little studies have been carried out on these cacti have revealed the presence of alkaloids most of the other species we have discussed, but no mescaline or macromerine. Many of these alkaloids have some psychopharma- calogical properties, but nothing to compare with those two drugs. Further- more, the amounts of these alkaloids are usually so small as to be insignif- icant. For example, the species Obregonia denegrii contains tyramine 0.003 percent, hordenine 0.002 percent, and N-methyltyramin 0.0002 percent. These are all known sympathomimetics, but the percentages are far too minute to have any value. Several publications in recent years have mentioned the sacramental use of these cacti. As a result thousands of people have obtained these plants from cactus dealers and ingested them, usually with disappointing (and sometimes nauseating) results. Sadly many of these cacti are quite rare. If too many people destroy them experimentally, they may become a seriously endangered species. The most suitable cacti for a true psychedelic experience are peyote, which is for the most part illegal, and several species of Tri- chocereus (such as San Pedro), which are still legal.
This cactus has gained considerable fame in the past five years after numerous reports that it is hallucinogenic, contains mescaline, and is readily available from cactus nurseries. This plant known botanically as Trichocereus pachanoi, is native to the Andes of Peru and Equador. Unlike the small peyote cactus, San Pedro is large and multi-branched. In it's natural enviorment, it often grows to heights of 10 or 15 feet. It's mescaline content is less than that of peyote (0.3 - 1.2 percent), but because of it's great size and rapid growth, it may provide a more econom- ical source of mescaline than peyote. One plant may easily yield several pounds of pure mescaline upon extraction. San Pedro also contains tyramine, hordenine, 3-methoxytyramine, anhalaninine, anhalonidine, 3,4-dimethoxyphen- ethylamine, 3,4-dimethoxy-4-hydroxy-B-phenethylamine, and 3,5-dimethoxy-4- hydroxy-B-phenethylamine. Some of these are known sympathomimetics. Others have no apparent effects when ingested by themselves. It is possible, how- ever, that in combination with the mescaline and other active compounds they may have a synergistic influence upon one another and subtly alter the qual- itive aspects of the experience. It is also possible that any compounds in the plant which act a mild MAO inhibitors will render a person vulnerable to some of the above mentioned amines which would ordinarily be metabolized before they could take effect.
The effects of San Pedro are in many ways more pleasant than those of peyote. To begin with, it's taste is only slightly bitter and the initial nausea is not as likely to occur. When the full psychotropic experience takes hold it is less overwhelming, more tranquil and not nearly as physical as that from peyote.
San Pedro may be eaten fresh or dried and taken in any of the manners describ- ed for peyote. Cuttings of San Pedro sold in the USA are usually about three feet long by four inches diameter. A piece 4-8 inches long will usually bring about the desired effect. The skin and spines must be removed. The skin should not be thrown away, however. The green tissue close to the skin con- tains a high concentration of mescaline. Some people chew the skin until all the juices are extracted. If you don't what to do this, the skins can be boiled in water for several hours to make a potent tea. The woody core of the cactus cannot be eaten. One can eat around it like a corn cob. The core does not have much alkaloid content, but can be mashed and boiled as a tea for what little is there.
To dry San Pedro slice the cactus into disks (actually stars) 1/2 inch thick and dry thoroughly in the sun or in an oven at 250 degrees F. The spines must be removed either before drying or before chewing. Also one must be careful of the splinters from the woody core.
If a tea is made from fresh San Pedro, the cactus must be either sliced, chopped or crushed before boiling.
San Pedro is a hardy cactus and endures cold climates quite well. It grows at altiudes from sea level to 9000 feet high in the Andes where it is most freq- uently found on western slopes. The soil in this region is very rich in humus and various minerals. This helps in the production of mescaline and other alkaloids.
There are several cacti which look much like San Pedro and have even been mistaken for it by trained botanists. In 1960 when Turner and Heyman disc- overed that San Pedro contained mescaline they erroneously identified the plant as Opunita cylindtica. A few other South American species of Tricho- cereus also contain mescaline with related alkaloids. These include: T. BRIDGESII, T. MACROGONUS, T.TERSCHECKII, and T. WERDERMANNIANUS.
There is evidence that the ritualistic use of San Pedro dates back to 1000 BC. Even today it is used by Curanderos (medicine men) of northern Peru. They prepare a drink called CIMORA from it and take this in a ceremonial setting to diagnose the spiritual or subconscious basis of a patient's illness.
Live plants of any of the species mentioned in this guide - with the excep- tion perhaps of peyote - can be purchased from suppliers named at the end of this chapter. Freshly harvested peyote cuttings are frequently available on the underground market for 50 cents to one dollar per button. When select- ing peyote cuttings for planting choose ones which are firm and unbruised with at least 1/2 inch of taproot below the top. If the bottom of the tap- root is still delicate where it has been cut, the button should be placed bottoms up in partial shade for a day or two until the severed area has a dry corky texture. If this is not done, the plant will be prone to rot.
The best soil mix can be prepared from 3 parts coarse sand, 1 part loam and 1 part leaf mold. Bake this mixture in an oven at 400 degrees F for an hour to kill fungus, bacteria, weed seeds and insect eggs. After the soil mix has cooled it is ready to use. The taproot of the plant may be dipped in a rooting mixture, such as ROOTONE, before planting. This enhances root development and hinders decay. Place the bottom just deep enough so that the soil does not quite touch the green part of the plant. The soil should be kept slightly moist and evenly so. If you are planting a tall cactus like San Pedro, the cutting should be placed deeply enough in the soil that it will have sufficient support to stand. San Pedro type cacti can also be laid upon the ground and will send down roots from their sides while the buds grow upwards. San Pedro can grow well in almost any soil as long as there is decent drainage.
Cacti tend to grow mostly during spring and autumn, to send down roots in the summer, and to rest through winter. Although cactus cuttings may be planted anytime of the year they stand the best chance if planted in the late spring. They should be watered thoroughly once or twice a week depending upon how rapidly moisture is lost. The soil an inch below the surface should always contain some moisture. Watering can be cut back to less than half during the winter.
Experiments conducted by Rosenberg, Mclaughlin and Paul at the University of of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1966 demonstrated that dopamine is a precursor of mescaline in the peyote cactus. Tyramine and dopa were also found to be mescaline precursors, but not as immediate and efficient as dopamine. It appears that in the plant tyosine breaks down to become tyramine and dopa. These then recombine to form dopamine which is converted to nor-mescaline and finally to mescaline. One can take advantage to this sequence by inject- ing each peyote plant with dopamine 4 weeks prior to harvesting. Much of the dopamine will convert to mescaline during this time, giving a considerable increase in the alkaloid of the plant. Prepare a saturated solution of free base dopamine in a .05 N solution of hydrochloric acid and inject 1-2 cc into the root of each plant and the same amount into the green portion above the root. Let the needle penetrate to the center of the plant, inject slowly and allow the needle to remain in place a few seconds after injection. It is best to deprive the plant of water for 1-2 weeks before injection. This makes the plant tissues take up the injection fluids more readily. If dopamine is not available, a mixture of tyramine and dopa can be used instead 6 weeks before harvesting for comparable results. San Pedro and other mescaline- bearing cacti can be similarly treated for increased mescaline production. Inject at the base of the plant and again every 3-4 inches following a spiral pattern up the length of the plant. A series of booster injections can be given to any of these cacti every 6-8 weeks and once again 4 weeks before harvesting for greater mescaline accumulation.
It is also possible to increase the macromerine and nor-macromerine content of Donana cacti using tyramine or DL-norepinephrine as precursors. Injections should be given 20-25 days before harvesting. Series of injections can be given 45 days apart for higher alkaloid accumulation.
B-O-methylsynephrine: Phenolic B-phenethylamine found in citrus trees and some cacti. No data on pharmacology, but similar compound B-O-methylepin- ephrine produces considerable CNS stimulation.
3-dimethyltrichocereine: B-phenethylamine alkaloid (N,N-dimethyl-3-hydroxy- 4,5-dimethoxy-B-phenethylamine). Found in Pelecyphora and some Trichocereus species.
Dolichotheline: Imidazole alkaloid properly known as N-isovalerylhistamine or 4(5)-[2-N-isovalerylaminoethyl]imidazole. Found only in Dolichothele and Gymnocactus species. Pharmacological action still unknown.
Homoveratrilamine: a dimethoxy form of the mescaline molecule (3,4-dimeth- oxy-B-phenethylamine). It has no activity by itself, but may alter the mescaline experience slightly when taken in combination. It is found in San Pedro cactus and in the urine of certain types of schizophrenics.
Hordenine: Phenolic B-phenethylamine found in barley roots and several cacti. Also known as anhaline (N,N-dimethyltyramine). Has mild sympatho- mimetic activity and antiseptic action.
Macromerine: Nonphenolic B-phenethylamine (N,N-dimethyl-3,4-dimethoxy-B- hydroxy-B-phenethylamine. Found only in Coryphantha species. Reputed to possess 1/5 the potency of mescaline.
Mescaline: Nonphenolic B-phenethylamine (3,4,5-trimethoxy-B-phenethylamine). main psychoactive component of Peyote, San Pedro, and several other tricho- cereus species. Also found in traces in Pelecyphorea.
Metanephrine: Weak sympathomimetic found in Coryphantha species.
3-methoxytyramine: Pheneolic B-Phenethylamine found in the plant kingdom for the first time in San Pedro cacti. Also found in the urine of persons with certain types of brain disorders and cancer of the nervous system.
N-methyl-3,4-dimethoxy-B-Phenethylamine: Found in Pelecyphora aselliformis, Coryphantha runyonii and Ariocarpus species, but not in peyote. Has slight activity in depletion of cardiac norepinephrine.
N-methylphenethylamine: Nonphenolic B-phenethylamine alkaloid recently found in the Dolichothele species. Also found in Acacia species and other plants. Goats and sheeps in Texas sometimes eat Acacia berlandia and suffer a condition known as limberleg or Guajillo wobbles. Pressor action of this alkaloid has been shown experimentally to occur with low toxicity. Phenealanine and meth- ionine are it's biosynthetic precursors.
N-methyltyramine: Phenolic B-phenethylamine found in some cacti, mutated barley roots and a few other plants. Probably an intermediate phytochemical step in the methylation of tyramine to form candicine. Has mild sympathomim- etic action and probable antibacterial properties.
Normacromerine: Nonphenolic B-phenethylamine (N-dimethyl-3,4-dimethoxy-B- hydroxy-B-phenethylamine) found in Coryphantha species. Shows less effect on rats than macromerine.
Pellotine: Tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloid (1,2-dimethyl-6,7-dimethoxy-8- hydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline) found in Lophophora and pelecyphora.
Synephrine: Phenolic B-phenethylamine (N-methyl-4-hydroxy-B-phenethylamine) found in citrus plants, some cacti, and human urine. Well known sympathomim- etic agent. Probably an intermediary in phytosynthesis of macromerine.
Tyramine: Phenolic B-phenethylamine found in several cacti. Mild sympatho- mimetic with some possible antiseptic activity.
Cactus Gem Nursery, 10092 Mann Drive, Cupertino, California 95014
The Desert Plant, 2519 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, California 94704
Desert Plant Company, PO Box 880, Marfa, Texas 79843
A. Hugh Dial, 7587 Deer Trail, Yucca Valley, California 92284