Erowid References Database
Wiegand TJ, Smollin CG..
“Ingestion of Mescal Beans (Sophora secundiflora) Causing Agitation in an adolescent - A New Intoxicant”.
Clin Toxicol.. 2007 May;45(4):344.
[This case is the first clinical description of intoxication from Sophora secundiflora. Additionally, it illustrates use of the internet for finding new or natural psychoactive drugs.]
Mescal beans from Sophora secundiflora have historically been used by Indians of the southwest and Central and South America duri ng ritualistic ceremonies to obtain divinatory states. Toxicity, however, limited extensive use and upon the discovery of the hallucinogenic properties of mescaline found in Lophophora williamsii (peyote) use of Sophora secundiflora waned. Although detailed studies are lacking, the mescal bean is known to contain the alkaloid cystine which is similar in action to nicotine and has activity at both nicotinic and muscarinic receptors. This case is the first clinical description of intoxication from Sophora secundiflora. Additionally, it illustrates use of the internet for finding new or natural psychoactive drugs.
A 20-year-old young man became agitated shortly after being arrested by police. During a search of his person “red beans” described as similar size and shape as pistachio nuts were discovered. The patient was brought to the Emergency Department for evaluation and was noted to be mumbling that he took mescaline. In the Emergency Department the patient responded to verbal stimulation but only with single words. He had a fluctuating level of consciousness with intermittent agitation and was noted to be diaphoretic.
His initial vital signs included: temperature 100.4 (rectal), heart rate 130 beats/ minute and blood pressure 150/88 mmHg. On physical exam he had marked mydriasis. The patient’s agitated delirium was treated with benzodiazepines and his mental status was significantly improved after three hours. Urine screen for drugs of abuse was positive for 1THC, otherwise laboratory tests were unremarkable. The patient subsequently clarified that he hadn’t taken "mescaline" rather he’d eaten "mescal beans", after reading on the internet that they were hallucinogenic.
There is limited information in the medical literature describing Sophora secundiflora as an intoxicant yet it is listed in the website Erowid as a hallucinogenic plant. Despite its inclusion as a hallucinogenic plant on various informational websites (Erowid) and other than historical references there are no reports of human toxicity from the mescal bean. This report is the first documented case of intoxication from mescal bean ingestion. It also serves as a reminder that while internet web sites such as Erowid serve as sources of information for rare and/or emerging drugs of abuse, for some individuals this information is used for finding new or alternative intoxicants.
|Notes # : Erowid Mention
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