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Deviations and the Observer
Cacti - T. pachanoi
Citation:   curious mind. "Deviations and the Observer: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi (exp23374)". Erowid.org. Aug 20, 2004. erowid.org/exp/23374

13.5 in oral Cacti - T. pachanoi (extract)
This was my first 'real' experience with San Pedro. I had tried once before but didn't have enough of a dose to feel anything significant.

I first wanted to give some info for those of you (like myself) who don't have an accurate scale & would still like to figure out a proper dose. After scouring over the web pages, mostly on this site, I found out that:

An 8cm long & 9cm diameter slice *ON AVERAGE* contains 400 mg mescaline
An 8cm long & 6cm diameter slice *ON AVERAGE* contains 180 mg mescaline

So, doing some simple calculations, the average SP contains 0.791 mg mescaline/cm^3 of SP. Since everyone has a measuring tape and knows that volume = length * (diameter/2)^2, everyone can figure out dose.

Also, looking up more stuff & doing the same conversion: The highest potency SP cactus is 1.88 mg/cm^3 and the lowest is 0.261 mg/cm^3. Onset dose is around 150mg and 300mg is a 'good' amount.

Sorry if that's a waste of time to people, but it was a pain in the butt trying to figure out how to 'measure out' a proper amount with nothing but my normal home scale (not accurate enough).


Onto the experience:

I had purchased some SP tips about 15 months ago and started growing them. This was as much because I thought it'd be fun to grow my own as because I don't like supporting illegal money. Like many of us may agree, drug prohibition is often more dangerous than the drugs themselves can be. Regardless, it was very cool to think that I had grown something that would be able to alter my mind. I think this mindset helped a lot. (I was sort of 'proud of the accomplishment', I guess.)

The week before consuming I had started reading up on proper ways to prepare it, etc. My last (unsuccessful) attempt with SP I ate it like 'cucumber sticks'. Argghh!! That was SO nasty I couldn't finish enough to get any effect. So, this time I decided to mash the cactus up, boil it along with some grapefruit juice (for acidity to help extraction), and freeze it (others here said that helped break down cell walls). I cut off a piece 18' long and on average 1.5' diameter--> 521 cm^3 and therefore (if my SP is average) 412 mg mescaline. I sliced it into disks/stars about 3/4' thick & cut away the inner core (not much mesc. in it & it supposedly tastes bad or makes you sick)-- I didn't bother to remove the skin or spines since I later strained the liquid. I threw these slices into a blender & easily whipped it into a *really viscous* liquid. I think poured this liquid into a pot (the pot was metal, this is supposed to be bad but I didn't have anything pyrex), added some concentrated grapefruit juice, and put it on a low simmer. I walked away & when I came back a LOT of the liquid had frothed over (it is REALLY viscous & easily boiled over!). I'm guessing I lost like 1/4 of it--> down to the 390 cm^3 mentioned above. I then strained it & put the 'solid' chunks back into the pot with some water & more grapefruit juice. I did this one more time, adding all three boilings together. I think boiled off these three boilings so that only about 2 coffee cups worth of 'tea' remained--> a green & somewhat viscous and opaque sludge. (Scraping any condensate back into the 'tea' as it boiled.) I then froze this over night.

I woke up the next morning & let the tea begin to thaw. I'd asked my wife to accompany me all day & be my 'enabler' so that I didn't have to worry about stressing out or anything. (Part of the reason I wanted to take this trip was to relax. I have had a really busy, hectic & stressful last few months and I still have a few more to go until things calm down. From my little experience pschedelics tend to make me overly 'paranoid'-- not quite paranoid but I can't think of a better word-- when I am already somewhat stressed out.) It was Earth Day and we went to a gorgeous nearby state park. I skipped breakfast and dinner the previous night (sort of a mini-fast). Being outdoors in a park was more important than I even realized beforehand.

I took the SP at around 10:30am or so. It didn't taste that bad (at least compared to the cucumber sticks... but I still wouldn't want to eat it as food). I also ate an apple along with it & some table salt. (The sweet & salty helped detract from the nasty bitter-- and it worked pretty well!) About 12pm or so (I didn't have a watch) I started to feel some mild effects. I'll now skip with the time because I think sticking to a 'theme' is more important than keeping events consecutive.

The thing I felt most during the whole experience is a dichotomy. Like, I was still me, still acting & thinking more or less like I would, but the variations got larger. Sometimes I could focus even better than I normally would, sometimes my mind would wander. Sometimes touch would get *SO* sensitive, sometimes it was as if my body were numb. Sometimes I'd be relaxed almost to the point of falling asleep, sometimes I'd feel I couldn't shed the excess energy. But there were some things that were constant throughout: I could almost always slip out of what I was thinking and observe it. Folks mention it's like you're outside of your body. That wasn't really it for me. It was more like I was in a 'meta-mind'. It's like my mind was observing my mind. It was a mild sense... nothing too 'trippy' or anything. Also, I felt on average much more content and happy. Not ecstatic, but satisfied with how things were. All the worries & stress that I was feeling had dissapated. It was like things were OK.

While we were walking along in the forest/meadow of the park, I saw SO MUCH that I normally would never have noticed. I don't think I was focusing more or better, but yet somehow I was seeing more. My wife was talking to me at one point while we sat on a log and I was staring at what looked like a tiny purple leaf about 10 feet away. It was barely large enough to see, but then I quickly 'felt' that it was actually a flower and specifically, an orchid. If you don't know, orchids are pretty rare things to find in a CA forest, and I had never seen one growing naturally before. I told her & she said sure, it could be. (I suspected that she didn't believe me, not knowing how my brain was acting at the time.) We then got up & as we got closer, it was indeed a *tiny* purple/red orchid. She couldn't even tell for sure until inches from it! Later on, while walking, I also saw an island out in the sea that neither of us knew about before. It was as if my mind were 'out of the box' and able to see things that we habitually ignore day after day. The best part of it, though, is somewhat inexplicable. When hiking I usually like noticing the little things about nature (watching a bug do its thing or whatever). Now, I could be completely consumed by it. Not obsessed, but consumed. I could let my whole mind focus on whatever one little thing in nature I was checking out. And, natural colors seemed to come more alive. (Later, when we were by buildings, it was as if the buildings seemed more drab. Even once back into 'civilization', my mind was always noticing the pretty-- or even not normally so pretty but now pretty to me-- gardens in front of houses.

There were tons of other little things that happened during the day, to make the experience feel significantly different (and better) from 'normal life' but not enough to make anything feel uncomfortable. The only bad vibe I had was at what I guess I would now have called the peak (it's tough to tell while happening) when I would jump from one extreme to the other too often/quickly. I felt like I needed to run & sit still at once (and other opposites at once), and that's kinda tough to deal with. (And there was a 'body load' felt around my neck, which I seem to feel with any phenethlyamine, but it was not a big deal at all.)

The comedown was the best part for me. Any of the difficult parts from these extremes died down and only all the good parts remained. My wife and I went out & bought Monopoly and played a game. (I was feeling lots of old memories during the whole experience, and she had been hankering to buy the game.) It's the sort of game where, eventually, someone always gets cranky. Well, she eventually kicked my ass, but I lost more graciously than I ever had before. The whole time I was making wise cracks & puns off the cuff faster than my mind normally ever would. It's like my mind was more 'alive' and jovial. We were laughing our heads off for hours. Yet, through all this, it was important to stay 'near nature'. I brought some of the flowers & plants throughout the house closer to us, so that I could look at them every now & again.

We had a long week, and the experience is actually a bit draining, so I went to bed about 11pm or so. I don't think I actually fell asleep until around midnight (it does keep your mind 'up' a bit) and still had some slight effects remaining. I woke the next day completely refreshed & feeling great. For the next few days it was like someone recharged my battery. The stress of work, etc. stayed out of my mind for a few days, unfortunately eventually returning.

I think I did a lot to make the trip turn out well (subdue the NASTY taste of the stuff by boiling&freezing, have a 'guide' with me, measure out what my dose was-- at least approximately, fast somewhat, 'plan' very little but something fun & 'rewarding'). It seems to me that mescaline is pretty tolerant to the frame of mind (I never would have taken acid while that stressed out, for example), but I still think it's worthwhile to try to arrange things so it's pretty relaxing. Oh, and give yourself the whole day. I read lots of people *consuming* at like 10pm. If you're a night owl or going to a rave, maybe. But I think this stuff is far better with your eyes open, things visible, and friend(s) around. (I did see some mild closed-eye visuals, but not enough to find it cooler than keeping my eyes open and 'noticing' all the new things I normally wouldn't notice.)

Thanks to all of you who wrote stuff here! You all helped make mine an excellent experience!

Exp Year: 2003ExpID: 23374
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Aug 20, 2004Views: 10,864
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Cacti - T. pachanoi (64) : Small Group (2-9) (17), Glowing Experiences (4), Preparation / Recipes (30)

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