How is Mescaline Used for Mental Health?

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Research

In recent years, there has been an increase in interest in the use of psychedelic drugs for therapeutic purposes. One well-known psychedelic drug is mescaline.

Mescaline is a natural alkaloid produced in several cacti, including Peyote and San Pedro. In this post, we’ll explore what mescaline is, how it’s used for therapy, and what the potential benefits and drawbacks are.

What Is Mescaline?

Mescaline is a psychoactive substance. Like many other entheogens, mescaline has been used for centuries by indigenous people in North America for religious and spiritual purposes. The Peyote cactus, from which mescaline is produced naturally, is native to Mexico and the southwestern United States.

How Do You Consume Mescaline?

Mescaline can be consumed in a number of ways. You can eat the raw Peyote cactus, drink a tea made from the cactus, or take capsules or tablets containing mescaline.

How Does Mescaline Work?

As with many other psychedelic medicines, mescaline works by mimicking the action of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in mood regulation. When taken in small doses, mescaline can produce short-term changes in perception, mood, and thought.

These effects are usually felt within 30 to 60 minutes after consumption and can last for up to 12 hours. When used for therapeutic purposes, mescaline is often combined with psychotherapy. It is similar process as ketamine therapy, or other psychedelic-assisted therapies.

Benefits of Mescaline for Mental Health

The benefits of mescaline-assisted therapy have been explored in a limited number of studies involving humans. While more research is needed in this area, preliminary evidence suggests that mescaline may be beneficial for treating conditions like depression, anxiety, alcoholism, and drug addiction.

One survey of over 452 people who reported consuming mescaline found that

“Many respondents (35-50%) rated the mescaline experience as the single or top five most spiritually significant or meaningful experience(s) of their lives. Acute experiences of psychological insight during their mescaline experience were associated with increased odds of reporting improvement in depression, anxiety, alcohol use disorder and drug use disorder.”

Although the majority of survey participants (74%) reported consuming mescaline “for spiritual exploration or to connect with nature”, it was also noted that

about 50% of the sample reported having a psychiatric condition (i.e. depression, anxiety, etc.), and most (>67%) reported improvements in these conditions following their most memorable experience with mescaline.”

The scientific review of this survey is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. In their review, researchers concluded,

“Findings indicate that the mescaline in any form may produce a psychedelic experience that is associated with the spiritual significance and improvements in the mental health with low potential for abuse.”

Potential Risks of Mescaline

There are also some potential drawbacks to using mescaline-assisted therapy. These include the fact that the long-term effects of mescaline are unknown, as well as the potential for adverse reactions for short-term effects like nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness.

Overall, there is promising but preliminary evidence to suggest that mescaline may have benefits for treating certain mental health conditions. However, more research is needed in this area before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.