Mescaline study shows high potential for mental health, low chance of addiction

Researchers from The Netherlands, U.S. and U.K. conducted a study with 452 respondents who have used mescaline.

Mescaline comes from two species of the cactus plant, commonly known as peyote and San Pedro. Gleti/Getty Images


A new study demonstrates the huge potential by mescaline in improving mental health.

Moreover, the study shows that mescaline use produces a low probability of developing an addiction to the psychedelic substance.

Mescaline comes from two varieties of the cactus plant, commonly known as peyote and San Pedro.

Researchers conducted the study based on a survey of 452 respondents. The subjects have used mescaline at least once in their lifetimes.

In particular, the study found that mescaline “may produce a psychedelic experience that is associated with meaningful and spiritually significant experiences”.

As well, the psychedelic experience leads to “improvements in mental health, and has low probability for increased use and misuse”.

The Journal of Psychopharmacology published the work online Wednesday (May 5).

The study is titled The epidemiology of mescaline use: Pattern of use, motivations for consumption, and perceived consequences, benefits, and acute and enduring subjective effects.

The authors noted that almost half of the respondents reported mental health issues prior to their “most memorable mescaline experience”.

To illustrate, 49 percent reported anxiety and 44 percent, depression.

In addition, 20 percent reported a history of drug use or disoder; 17 percent, post-traumatic stress disorder; and 17 percent, alcohol misuse or disorder.

The study noted that a large proportion of respondents reported that their conditions improved.

Among people with depression, 86 percent reported an improvement, and anxiety, 80 percent after their most memorable experience.

Moreover, of people with post-traumatic stress disorder, 76 percent reported feeling better; drug misuse or disorder, 68 percent; and alcohol misuse or disorder, 67 percent.

Study finds low risk of mescaline abuse

The study also looked at the potential for abuse.

In particular, it noted that most respondents or 55 percent reported that they never consumed more than one dose in a session.

“Additionally, very few respondents reported craving for mescaline (9%), ever being arrested or in legal trouble due to mescaline use (1%), or ever being in therapy or psychiatric treatment (<1%), and none reported seeking medical attention (0%), as a result of mescaline use,” the study stated.

Moreover, most respondents or 90 percent reported that their usage in the past year had decreased or remained the same.

In addition, “almost all (97%) reported that they never attempted to quit using mescaline or to reduce their use”.

Users typically consume the substance by ingesting the plant or in extraction or synthetic forms.

The authors recalled that mescaline is “among the oldest of psychoactive substances in the New World”.

The study noted evidence suggesting ceremonial use of mescaline-containing cacti by Indigenous cultures in the U.S., Mexico, and Peru for more than 7,000 years

The practice survived “despite efforts by early Spanish conquerors to eradicate the practice beginning in the 16th century”.

Indigenous peoples in North and South America have traditionally used the substance for ceremonial purposes.

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter at @carlitopablo

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