Cacti - T. peruvianus
Citation: Lekt. "Peruvian Tea and the Revisionist Doctrine: An Experience with Cacti - T. peruvianus (exp42157)". Erowid.org. Nov 30, 2006. erowid.org/exp/42157
I had done mescaline once in the form of a less than appetizing San Pedro stir fry about six months before this experience. At the time, I recognized the drug to be something special and experience in the intervening half-year only confirmed this. Through experimentation with shrooms and acid, I realized mescaline to be something not really in league with other hallucinogens. It was this inkling that prompted me to purchase 4 ounces of dried Peruvian Torch cactus from an online supplier.
The main problem with my mode of procurement is that you basically never know how strong the cactus is. For this reason (being a man of scientific leanings) I set up an experiment to attempt to find an appropriate dosage. I devised a plan by which myself and four of my good friends would consume different dosages in order to ascertain the strength of at least this cactus from this supplier for future use. Needless to say, my best laid plans were completely unearthed by reality, but I still am confident that we learned something here.
I ground the cactus up into a dry powder, resulting in 109 grams of the green stuff. I boiled it for about 45 minutes with the juice of a single lime before straining it through a t-shirt. I repeated this step and would have repeated it a third time, but at that point I was discouraged by my methods and pretty badly burned from trying to strain the cactus effectively.
The reason why this method was so difficult was that when heated the cactus reconstitutes into a gooey mess that is very difficult to strain. This was essentially the texture of my final tea: a mix between mucous and water in consistency.
I poured out a bit less than twenty cups with seven ounces each of the tea. Then my friends and I started to drink it. The taste was foul, but the texture was fouler. Even having had choked down bits of the cactus in stir fry in my past, I found it difficult to eat without the aid of water, lots of ginger and mints. By chugging the glasses I managed to down five, as I had planned (attempt at 28 grams dried cactus in tea). My friend B managed 4, W had 3, K (a small one of about 125-130 lbs) had 3 and lastly, our friend M (who annoyingly, though not of any fault of his own, shares his name with me) managed only a single glass (though he too is small). This all transpired at around 11 am.
It was a beautiful day and we went to a hill to watch our university’s baseball game. About an hour later it began. Like last time, coming up was the most intense and unnerving part of the trip. I had incredible anxiety and minor visuals that were disturbing not because of what they showed me, but in and of their existence. I felt myself on the verge of a bad trip, when B and I left together alone. We walked across campus, and suddenly all was well. We explored the campus, appreciating the beauty and absurdity of the world.
Eventually we found ourselves at the top of a graveyard, well-known at my school for being the place of choice for trippers. Essentially, my visuals had died down to nothing and the world simply represented itself as lighter and more beautiful. B and I spent the day simply connecting as good friends and talking about what we observed in the graveyard and our past experiences. My thoughts were deeply personal, and I probably cannot communicate them, but needless to say I arrived at many revelations that seem much more applicable to my real life, now in retrospect, than much of what I realize on shrooms or especially acid.
It seems wrong to gloss over what I experienced, but it is simply impossible to really communicate such a personal moment in words. I was constantly content with the world and extremely appreciative of everything. The ground felt incredible on my bare feet. Smoking pot, which I did repeatedly, had little effect but a mild catharsis. B and I were eventually rejoined by the rest of the group but found we could not connect with such a large group of people. After they left us to ourselves, we joined with one of my best friends and watched the sunset.
Afterward we went to eat, and not having eaten all day, savored how wonderful the terrible cafeteria food was. It was extremely gratifying. I went back to my room still tripping and even attempted some sociality that night, but was too introverted to really connect. My eyes remained dilated, though the strongest aspects of the trip disappeared around 12 am, and I would say that at my dose I was probably tripping lightly until I tried to sleep at around 2 am.
On the experience: Mescaline is now one of my favorite drugs. Compared to it, drugs like acid seem flashy and fake, too profound to be of much use to one’s life. A drug such as shrooms, considered by most to be weaker, is comparatively fickle and too emotionally volatile. The beauty of mescaline is that a bad trip is not as easy to get into and the revelations are much truer. I will definitely explore this one some more.
On the process and dosage: While I had entertained grandiose notions of mescaline tea and its ease of preparation and use, this proved not to be the case. The process was abysmal and frustrating (not to mention painful!). The tea was reprehensible. However, the extraction was successful. Everyone who participated, even M (the other one) tripped a little that day. On M, he admitted later that he really observed an altered consciousness and expanded internal dialogue, and did not consider it a hardcore trip. Nevertheless, the experience was rewarding to him.
Three glasses worked perfectly for both K and W despite their massive differences in weight and height and they probably came down about 8-10 hours after the trip began. For B and I, four and five glasses (respectively) permitted us a different type of trip, with what I see to be a greater introversion, but also a greater profundity.
Just by estimates I would say I ingested 28 grams dried material, B around 23, W and K around 17 grams and M about 8 grams. These all brought out some response, and at least in a group there was certainly an aspect of “contact high”. While the figure I arrive at for a safe and manageable dose, around an ounce dried material, may not apply to you, I can provide it as a rough figure to start from for others.
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