Cacti - T. bridgesii
Citation: Aeon. "Low Dose Mescaline: An Experience with Cacti - T. bridgesii (exp107275)". Erowid.org. May 30, 2020. erowid.org/exp/107275
Low Dose Mescaline
Previous Drug Use: LSD, Mescaline, Weed, Opiates, Cocaine, and Speed.
Rationale: Having taken mescaline some 30 to 40 times in doses ranging from 100 mg up to 300 mg, I would always be plagued by the fact that at the higher doses of 200 to 300 mg, while I would experience a rich psychedelic experience, it would always be offset by a significant agitation or extreme restlessness and mental “looping.”
This would not occur at lower doses of mescaline of 100 to 150 mg, but those doses were just threshold psychedelic and would leave me wanting more, to get to a higher level, but I would know that going above 200 mg would always bring about an annoying level of anxiety and agitation (I suspect due to the phenethylamine structure of mescaline).
A couple of months ago, after a 300 mg trip, which was a very hard trip, I felt so frazzled afterwards that I swore off mescaline use. But after reading reports of low dose mescaline use, that is, nonpsychedelic doses of 50 to 75 mg, I decided to give that a try. Low doses are usually a tease and are accompanied by a compulsion to take a higher dose, to try and get to a higher level; but for me, clearly understanding that higher doses aren’t meant for me, I felt that I could possibly be content with “LDM”- low dose mescaline use, and thus prompting this experimentation.
Preparation: Having 31 gm of Trichocereus bridgesii (Bolivian torch) on hand, I placed 350 ml of xylene and 31 mg of dried cactus powder (outer green flesh) into a 1 gallon HDPE bucket that came with a vapor lock lid. I next added 150 ml of 10% NaOH solution (i.e., 15 gm of NaOH dissolved in 150 ml of H2O). I stirred / beat the mixture for 10 minutes with a wire spatula and then placed on the lid and let it settle overnight. On day 2, I removed the xylene layer with a baster, filtered it, and then I added 150 ml of xylene and beat the mixture again with a wire spatula for 10 minutes and allowed the mixture to settle overnight. On day 3, I again removed the xylene layer with a baster, filtered it, and then I added 150 ml of xylene and beat the mixture again with a wire spatula for 10 minutes and allowed the mixture to settle overnight. The following day, I took the combined filtered xylene layers, which now contain the mescaline free base, and I placed them into a 1 liter glass separatory funnel and performed three extractions (each 7 minutes in duration) with dilute HCl solution (each extraction consisted of 70 ml of H20 to which I had added 5 drops of concentrated HCl (30% muriatic acid)). I took the combined dilute HCL extracts, which now contain mescaline HCl, and evaporated the water to obtain 487 mg of alkaloid crystals (1.6 % yield).
Disclaimer: While the big unknown is: “Of the dried alkaloid salts obtained by this acid-base extraction method, what percentage is actually mescaline hydrochloride?,” it has been my experience in performing dozens of such extractions on numerous different batches of San Pedro cactus, Peruvian torch cactus, and Bolivian torch cactus, that when the mescaline content is high, the total alkaloid content is high; and when the mescaline content is low, the total alkaloid content is low. Such that I never took 200 mg or more of an alkaloid from such an extraction that was not intensely psychoactive.
Experience: I awoke Sunday morning, feeling euthymic, neither depressed nor elated. I took a capsule containing 75 mg of mescaline HCl (see above disclaimer) and had a light breakfast. After 1 to 2 hours I began to feel some mild waves of a stimulated feeling, definitely above a placebo level. (It helps to have experienced higher doses of mescaline. If one is familiar with its effects, one can recognize the more subtle workings of the drug at lower doses.) There was a heightened perception that made music on the radio more enjoyable. My mental focus and my concentration remained sharp (not drifting off into a dream-like or trance-like state that accompanies psychedelic doses of mescaline) and I could play my electric keyboard with fluidity and ease.
I left my apartment and went out into the public. I experienced feelings of empathy and compassion toward others. While I don’t claim to have experienced deep psychological insights, I did experience feelings of a unity of life; an appreciation that all humans want the same thing: happiness and freedom from suffering. Other people aren’t our enemy. It is the ignorance in other people that is our enemy. I found myself being less judgmental. As I encountered other people, I reminded myself that if one does not have all the facts, one should not judge or criticize others.
Conversing with others was enjoyable and engaging. At low doses, mescaline can be a social drug.
Through the day I experienced a feeling of optimism toward life, the world, and the future: take good care of the present moment and the future will take care of itself. I reflected upon causality. Every effect has its cause and its condition. Life is just a stream of ever changing phenomena occurring in dependence on conditions. I appreciated the natural order of things. An appreciation that things happen for a reason, and are not just random, haphazard occurrences.
The effects of the LDM seemed to gradually wear off after about 6 or 7 hours, and become much less noticeable.
Conclusion: At low dosages, mescaline has a mild stimulating effect. It heightens perceptions and makes music and conversation more enjoyable. It is also an empathogenic drug and contributes to a positive and optimistic mood. A good starting dose for experimentation was 75 mg. A 50 mg dose may be too subtle in its effects, and doses over 100 mg begin to be psychedelic doses. While “LDM” will not be for the psychonaut whose ultimate goal is ego dissolution, it may be a worthwhile experience for those who appreciate the benefits of the sacred cactus, but are bothered by anxiety and agitation at psychedelic doses. More is not always better. Sometimes less can be better.
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