Psychological And Cognitive Effects Of Long-term Peyote Use In Native Americans

In the peripheral nervous system, mescaline produces a sympathomimetic trisyndrome consisting of mydriasis, diaphoresis and psychomotor agitation. Changes in catecholamine metabolism and adrenal medulla function may be responsible for the peripheral effects of the agent. In animals, mescaline reduces the synthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide cofactor in the brain. It is one of eight hallucinogenic alkaloids derived from the peyote cactus, whose slices (“peyote buds”) have been used in religious rites by Native American tribes in the Americas for thousands of years.

The buds are usually chewed or boiled in water to produce a psychoactive tea. However, the taste of the cactus is bitter and most people have nausea before they feel the onset of psychoactive effects. Therefore, today’s users often grind it into powder and pour it into capsules to avoid flavor. It is also found in small amounts in certain members of the Fabaceae family, including Acacia berlandieri. Trichocereus peruvianus and Trichocereus bridgesii, both commonly known as wachuma, are used, although less commonly compared to Lophophora williamsii and Trichocereus pachanoi. Another mescaline-containing cactus, Pelecyphora aselliformis, is known as peyotillo among Native Americans, or “small peyote,” because it is smaller than the common peyote cactus.

Peyotillo does not contain as much mescaline as peyote, and Native Americans use it in folk medicine. Lophophora williamsii is the main representative; in English, it is known as peyote (i.e., Spanish loan), mainly native to the highlands of central Mexico and south Texas in North America. Regardless of decriminalization, renewed interest in medicinal plants in general has created a demand and a market for peyote ceremonies that take place outside the context and long history of indigenous traditions. This erodes and, of course, further elevates the cultures of which peyote is native. Some people see “exotic” spiritual practices such as peyote ceremonies as a substitute for the declining organized religions of the West.

Several approaches have been described to reduce the vomiting, such as mixing plant material with fruit juices or gelatin, or spraying the buds and placing the powder in gelatin capsules. In rabbits, mescaline metabolism occurs mainly in the liver due to the action of an amine oxidase. Although it shows a significantly lower expression of amine oxidase, the lung also contributes to the elimination of mescaline, due to increased blood flow, compared to the liver. Mescaline undergoes detoxification primarily by oxidative deamination in an intermediate and unstable aldehyde, 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenylacetaldehyde, which is rapidly oxidized to inactive TMPA or reduced to inactive 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenylethanol. The fact that the peak effects of mescaline do not coincide with the peak concentration in the brain provided evidence for the contribution of its metabolites to hallucinogenic effects.

However, despite these complications, a growing body of research shows that the plant can provide significant health benefits, a fact that will come as no surprise to Huichol shamans, who have been celebrating these traits for more than a millennium. In high doses that profoundly alter perception, psychedelics serve as religious sacraments. Psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD, are being evaluated in Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of depression.

Mescaline is primarily metabolized to trimethoxyphenylacetic acid by oxidative deamination, but several small metabolites with possible clinical and forensic repercussions have also been described. Peyote is a small, thornless, mind-altering cactus that has been terribly misunderstood by Western society for centuries. It grows naturally in the thorny thickets of the desert along the Texas-Mexico border to north-central Mexico and has been used by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The reason for this classification is that one of more than 60 alkaloids, the natural chemicals, mescaline, is known to produce bright and vivid geometric visions.

Mescaline was first isolated and identified in 1896 by German chemist Arthur Heffter and first synthesized in 1919 by Ernst Späth, who converted 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid into the respective aldehyde, later reduced to mescaline. We are a volunteer-led organization led by a team of experts and enthusiasts who freely give their time to bring education and cultural understanding about psychedelic medicinal plants to a wider audience. Consider becoming a monthly donor so that your impact extends throughout the year. Peyote, scientific name Lophophora williamsii, is a small spiderless cactus that belongs to Cactaceae with psychoactive alkaloids, especially mescaline. Peyote is a Spanish word derived from the Nahuatl peyōtl, which means caterpillar bud, from a peyōni root, “to shine”.

But what exactly is peyote and what are the common myths about the so-called magical cactus? The effects of peyote can begin to be felt between 20 and 90 minutes after ingestion, and can last up to 12 hours 2.4. Taking peyote is known as a “journey” and the overall experience can be very unpredictable. Mescaline is the active hallucinogenic ingredient in peyote, a small, thornless cactus 1. Common street names for peyote or mescaline are “cactus”, “mesc”, “peyote” and “buds”1,2. Its current status, as a controlled substance, limits the availability of the drug to researchers, and on this basis, very few studies have been conducted since the early 1970s on the activity and possible therapeutic effects of mescaline in humans.

It causes hallucinogenic effects by stimulating serotonin and dopamine receptors in the central nervous system. It selectively binds to and activates the serotonin receptor 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A with a high affinity as a partial agonist. It is unclear how 5-HT2A receptor activation leads to psychedly, but it is likely to involve excitation of peyote cactus sale noradrenergic neurons on the locus coeruleus and areas of the prefrontal cortex where hallucinogens exert their most prominent effects. In addition to serotonin receptor activity, mescaline also stimulates dopamine receptors; However, it is unclear whether mescaline possesses dopamine receptoragonism properties or initiates dopamine release.

The natives fight to protect and preserve their respective native languages. Similarly, we must now fight to protect and preserve ancestral knowledge about the medicinal use of native plants. Like buffalo and all the other savages that live and grow, the native plants rooted in Ina Maka are part of our identity as indigenous peoples.