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Chemical name3,4,5-Trimethoxy-
phenethylamine or
Chemical formulaC11H17NO3
Molecular mass211.26 g/mol
Melting point128–129 °C
CAS numbers54-04-6
Chemical structure of mescaline

Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a hallucinogenic alkaloid of the phenethylamine class.

It occurs naturally in the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) and the Peruvian Torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana), and it is also found in a number of other members of the Cactaceae. It can be extracted from these sources. Mescaline was first isolated and identified in 1897 by the German Arthur Heffterand first synthesized in 1919 by Ernst Späth.

Usage and history

Mescaline powder

The use of extract from peyote in Native American religious ceremonies has been noted since the earliest European contact, notably by the Huichols in Mexico.

Dosage and effects

For the drug to take effect, disk-shaped buttons are cut from the roots, on the top of the cactus, and dried. It is chewed to produce its effect or soaked in water for an intoxicating drink. The effective human dosage is 0.3–0.5 grams, with the effects lasting for up to 12 hours. Users typically experience visual hallucinations and radically altered states of consciousness, often experienced as pleasurable and illuminating but occasionally as accompanied by feelings of anxiety or revulsion. It is not physically addictive.

Legal status

In the US it was made illegal in 1970 by the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. It was prohibited internationally by the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances[1] and is categorized as a Schedule I hallucinogen by the CSA.


A common synthetical approach starts from 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzaldehyde. the chemecial make-up is C11H17NO3(PiHKAL entry).

Effects and side effects

One or more of the following effects may or may not accompany any individual experience with mescaline.

See also

References & Bibliography

Key texts



Additional material



External links


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