Peyote, scientifically known as Lophophora williamsii, is a small, spineless cactus native to southwestern regions of North America, primarily in Mexico and the southwestern United States. It is renowned for its historical and cultural significance among indigenous peoples, particularly Native American tribes. The cactus contains psychoactive compounds, making it a central element in religious and spiritual ceremonies.

Other names given to Peyote:

  • Mescal Button
  • Divine Cactus
  • Hikuli
  • Hikori
  • P
  • Peyotl (its Nahuatl name)
  • Medicine of God


Consuming peyote typically involves ingesting the small, button-like tops of the cactus. This is often done by chewing or brewing a tea from the dried or fresh peyote buttons. The experience can be intense and profoundly spiritual, often accompanied by vivid hallucinations, altered perceptions of reality, and deep introspection. The effects can last for several hours, with varying degrees of intensity.


The primary psychoactive compound in peyote is mescaline, a powerful hallucinogen. The effects of mescaline and peyote consumption may include:

  • Altered perception of time and space
  • Visual hallucinations, such as geometric patterns and vivid colours
  • Euphoria and a sense of interconnectedness
  • Deep introspection and self-reflection
  • Potential nausea and vomiting during the onset
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

How to

  • Fresh or Dried Peyote Buttons: the cactus is consumed most commonly in its natural form. The “buttons” are the small, rounded tops of the cactus, which are cut off and can be eaten fresh or dried.
  • Chewing: The fresh or dried buttons are often chewed to release the mescaline. Chewing can be quite challenging due to the bitter taste.
  • Brewed as a Tea: Peyote buttons can be boiled in water to make a psychoactive tea. This method is often used to reduce the bitterness and make consumption easier.
  • Ground into Powder: The dried buttons can be ground into a powder, which can be swallowed, encapsulated, or mixed with water.

Can you mix it with other substances? Click here for a detailed chart of safe drug combinations.

Benefits & Risks

BenefitsSome users report profound, life-changing insights and spiritual experiences during a peyote journey. It has been used traditionally for healing, divination, and self-discovery.
RisksThere are potential risks associated with peyote use, including the risk of a “bad trip” with intense fear and anxiety, as well as the possibility of enduring psychological distress. Physical side effects can include nausea, vomiting, and increased heart rate. The cactus is not recommended for individuals with a history of mental health issues, as it can exacerbate these conditions.

Therapeutic Use

In recent years, there has been growing interest in the therapeutic potential of mescaline, the primary psychoactive component in peyote. Some research suggests that mescaline may have therapeutic applications in the treatment of conditions like depression, anxiety, and addiction. However, these studies are still in their early stages, and more research is needed to establish the safety and efficacy of mescaline-based therapies.

Personal Growth

Many individuals have reported personal growth, spiritual awakening, and enhanced self-awareness after consuming peyote in a controlled, ceremonial setting. These experiences are often seen as opportunities for deep introspection and confronting unresolved issues.


The legality of peyote and mescaline varies by location. In the United States, the cactus is illegal for recreational use but is protected for use in Native American religious ceremonies under the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. In some countries, mescaline-containing cacti like peyote are either legal or subject to varying degrees of regulation.

History & Stats

Peyote has been used for centuries by indigenous peoples, particularly in Native American religious practices. The Native American Church is one of the most well-known religious groups that use the cactus as a sacrament. Peyote use became controversial in the early 20th century but received legal protections for religious use in the United States. The plant continues to be a central element in the spiritual practices of many Native American tribes.


There are various myths and misconceptions surrounding Peyote, such as:

  • One common myth is that peyote is extremely dangerous and deadly. While excessive use can lead to health risks, peyote is not considered exceptionally toxic, and fatalities from its consumption are rare.
  • Another myth is that peyote experiences are always positive. In reality, experiences can vary greatly, and some users may encounter challenging aspects during their journeys.
  • Some misconceptions also exist about the addictive nature of peyote. It is not considered physically addictive, but it may have the potential for psychological dependence in some individuals.

It’s important to approach Peyote with caution and understand its effects and risks. Have you had an experience with Peyote and need support to integrate it? Or do you plan on having one and want the best setting possible? Book a session with one of our coaches.

Our Psychedelic Coaches Integrating Peyote Experiences