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Q: Does the cactus/succulent Matucana madisonorium contain mescaline?

A: From guest answerer, Kakster from Kak-tall-a-tree.



Paul Hutchinson of the University of California Botanical Gardens discovered Borzicactus madisoniorum about 1963 or so in an valley in Peru. It is now alternately called Submatucana madisoniorum or Matucana madisoniorum, named after the town of Matucana. Being a small globular plant with ribs resembling Lophophora, the ones that lack spines look so much like peyote that the uninformed may think they actually are.



I had a large old specimen outside that disappeared while some Mexican workers were working in the yard - I suspect they stole it for ingestion. In natural habitats they grow slowly and are very hard like jade, but in greenhouses or grafted they grow quickly with tissue that is less firm. I had a sample analyzed by GCMS once and it was completely negative for alkaloids.

Regardless, they have been seen for sale in some Peruvian markets, leading to speculations that they might be psychoactive. Obviously there are other reasons why a cactus might be sold in the market...for all we know they could be used as an ingredient in crafts, for medicinal purposes to cure physical symptoms, or for some other unrelated use.



Narcotic and Hallucinogenic Cacti of the New World (pp.47-48) cites several cactologists as believing that this species is psychoactive.



There are likely several cactus that have the word Matucana in their name because they come from that area. I have not heard of any Trichocereus with that species name.




Kakster

Asked By : Jaymun
Answered By : Kakster, earth
Published Date : 7 / 26 / 2001
Last Edited Date : 9 / 2 / 2001
Question ID : 2780

Categories: [ Cacti ] [ Mescaline ]



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