Erowid References Database
“Editorial: Peyote (mescaline) and human chromosomes”.
JAMA. 1975 Oct 26;234(3):313.
Given the controversy of the late 1960s and early 1970s over the possible induction of chromosomal damage by
psycho-active agents like LSD and marihuana, the peyote study of Teplitz et al (p 299), is reassuring. It is, first of all, comforting to know that in vivo studies of agents that are possible chromosomal mutagens can produce, when properly designed and executed, clear-cut results. Second, it is nice to know that these results can sometimes be negative. The authors have not demonstrated any increase in chromosomal aberrations in the peripheral-blood lymphocytes of the Huichol Indians of northern Mexico, lifelong users of the hallucinogen peyote, a mescaline-containing cactus. (We may now only hope that there will be no mad rush, among our younger generation in particular, to experiment more heavily with peyote or with the chemically purer mescaline by dint of this apparent absence of chromosomal effects.)
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