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Usenet posts on Mescaline
However, I must disagree with the claim that mescaline isn't as well studied as LSD. It is true that LSD has been studied more in the recent past, but this research has usually only used it as a pharmacological tool. Back when studies were being done on LSD's effects on health, parallel research was being done on mescaline. The fact that mescaline had a higher effective dose compared to LSD actually proved helpful since it made it easier to do studies on mescaline's disposition in vivo. The metabolic pathways of mescaline have been pretty exhaustatively characterized.

Furthermore, mescaline, unlike LSD, had a long tradition of use (1600 years among the Huichol Indians) which allowed long-term studies to be easily done. For example, Oscar Janiger and some others published a study on the effect of peyote on human chromosomes (Dorrance, Janiger, and Teplitz (1975), JAMA 234:299-302) among the Huichols and found no abnormalities. They estimated that the people they tested took peyote up to 35 times a year and had been doing so for essentially all of their lives. Admittedly, I can think of no studies which evaluate how carcinogenic mescaline is, for example. But on the other hand, have such studies been carried out with respect to LSD? I really do think that mescaline is as well characterized as LSD. Every time he writes something about mescaline, Sasha Shulgin likes to introduce it as one of the most thoroughly studied drugs WRT metabolism and biochemistry. We might worry about subtle effects on health, especially given the fact that the effective dose is a pretty significant one, but for now these worries are unfounded.

You are correct that the duration isn't particularly different. I was estimating from limited personal experience, but the various authorities don't seem to support that idea. It seemed to me that there initial phase 'cut into' the psychedelic phase, but, again, I don't have any real evidence to support that. I haven't noticed a significant difference in onset.


From: Anonymous
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Re: T. Peruvians
Date: 7 Jul 1994 06:56:00 GMT

Regarding the relative concentrations of alkaloids in Trichocereus pachanoi and Trichocereus peruvianus:

1) Crosby, D.M. & McLaughlin, J.L. (1973). Cactus alkaloids. XIX.
Crystallization of Mescaline HCL and 3-Methoxytyramine HCL from
Trichocereus pachanoi. Lloydia, VOl 36, No. 4.

2) Pardanani, J.H., McLaughlin, J.L., Kondrat, R.W., & Cooks, R.G. (1977).
Cactus Alkaloids. XXXVI. Mescaline and Related Compounds from
Trichocereus peruvianus. Lloydia, Vol 40., No. 6, pp. 585-590.

In the former article, a concentration of 0.331% mescaline base was obtained from freeze-dried Trichocereus pachanoi. Note that the sulfate salt has a heavier weight and requires 300-500 mg for a full dose; the hydrochloride salt is less heavy and requires 225-375 mg for a full dose; the free base requires 205-343 mg for a full dose. Thus, a full dose of the cactus would be 57-96 grams, dry weight.

In the latter article, a concentration of 0.82% mescaline base was obtained. Thus, Trichocereus peruvianus analyzed by these authors was somewhat less than three times as potent as the T. pachanoi. The effective dose of T. peruvianus would thus be 25-42 grams of the dried cactus.

Hope that information is helpful.

From: (Yves Tanguy)
Newsgroups: alt.drugs
Subject: Mescaline Extraction (a culled guide)
Date: 21 May 1993 19:31:37 GMT
Message-ID: <1tjamp$>

The following is merely for informational purposes only. By no means is it meant as instruction for anyone to break the law.

The following was mailed to me and I'm just posting it.

Care should be taken with solvents and strong acids and bases. Out of concern for safety I would advise the use of methylenechloride as a safer alternative to chloroform or benzene as a non-polar solvent.

From Edward F. Anderson's Peyote: The Divine Cactus (without permission):

Several methods are available to isolate and identify mescaline within plant or animal tissue. Extraction is accomplished by methanol; this initial stage is then completed by filtration of the extract and its evaporation to dryness. The extract is then treated with chloroform and 0.05 N hydrochloric acid in a sep- aratory funnel; the aqueous portion is retained after several washings with chloroform. Ammonia or sodium carbonate is added to the aqueous solution in sufficient quantities to produce a slightly basic solution with a pH of about 8. This is followed by further extraction with chloroform and chloroform-ethanol (3:1). After adjusting the pH to about 10 a final chloroform-ethanol extraction is made. The chloroform extract which contains the alkaloids is then dried. The alkaloids can be separated into phenolic and non-phenolic groups by passing the extract (redissolved in chloroform) through Amberlite IRA-400 (OH-) ion-exchange resin. If thin layer chromatography is used for alkaloid separation and identification, several spray reagents are particularly useful. For example, Flourescamine (4-phenyl- spiro [furan-2 (3H), 1'-phthalan]-3,3-dione) readily distinguishes phenethylamines from tetrahydroisoquinolones. Mescaline may then be identified by comparison with known samples using infra-red spectrophotometry.

"Applied chemists" within the drug cult have devised ingenious methods of extracting pure mescaline from dried or fresh plant material. The basic process varies somewhat but a typical one is as follows: the plant material is first boiled to extract the alkaloids; this extract is then made basic by the addition of sodium hydroxide (lye). Next benzene (try methylenechloride) is added to further separate the alkaloids. The aqueous and benzene portions are allowed to separate following a gentle shaking. Dilute sulfuric acid (hydrochloric works as well) is next added in small quantitites to the benzene portion and the solution is again shaken. The mixture is allowed to stand, and the process is repeated several more times with the addition of a more dilute acid every time. A white precipitate will soon settle and can easily be dried. This is mescaline sulfate (or hydrochloride) and further steps can make it quite pure.

Joseph A. Tucker