Psychoactive cacti

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Many cacti are known to be psychoactive, containing alkaloids such as mescaline and phenethylamines.[1] However, the two main ritualistic (folkloric) genera are Echinopsis, of which the most psychoactive species is the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi, syn. Trichocereus pachanoi), and Lophophora, with peyote (Lophophora williamsii) being the most psychoactive species. Several other species pertaining to other genera are also psychoactive, though not always used with a ritualistic intent.[2][3][4]

Ethnic Use

Several world regions have historically used psychoactive cacti for their properties, particularly Indigenous peoples from Central and South America, such as in Mexico and the Andes region. For this purpose (which includes commercial harvesting) cacti plants are specifically grown in the millions.[5]

"Peyotes"

Other "peyotes"

Other North American psychoactive and/or medicinal cacti-

  • Carnegiea gigantea
  • Echinocereus salm-dyckianus (var. scheeri); triglochidiatus; and other species
  • Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum; pringlei

Trichocereus

text
San Pedro with flower

Other South American psychoactive and/or medicinal cacti

  • Armatocereus laetus
  • Browningia spp.
  • Epostoa lanata
  • Matucana madisoniorum
  • Neoraimondia macrostibas
  • Trichocereus terscheckii
  • Stetsonia coryne

References/Sources

  1. Bruhn, Jan G.; Hesham R. EI-Seedi, Nikolai Stephanson (2008). "Ecstasy Analogues Found in Cacti". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 40 (2): 219–222. PMID 18720674. doi:10.1080/02791072.2008.10400635. 
  2. Bruhn, Jan G. (1973). "ETHNOBOTANICAL SEARCH FOR HALLUCINOGENIC CACTI". Planta Med 24 (8): 315–319. doi:10.1055/s-0028-1099504. 
  3. Bruhn, Jan G.; Catarina Bruhn (1973). "Alkaloids and ethnobotany of Mexican peyote cacti and related species". ECONOMIC BOTANY 27 (2): 241–251. doi:10.1007/BF02872994. 
  4. Pummangura, S.; J. L. McLaughlin, R. C. Schifferdecker (September 1981). "Cactus Alkaloids. XLVII. β-Phenethylamines From the "Missouri Pincushion", Coryphantha (Neobessya) missouriensis". J. Nat. Prod. 44 (5): 614–616. doi:10.1021/np50017a022. 
  5. Gottlieb, Adam (1997). Peyote and Other Psychoactive Cacti. Ronin Publishing. p. 96. 

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