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    Dr. Paddo - Monday 23 March 2024

    The San Pedro cactus: everything you wanted to know

    The San Pedro cactus contains mescaline and is therefore a natural psychedelic agent. It has been used for thousands of years in South America and has even survived Spanish colonialism. Now the cactus is used all over the world. Many people will have the San Pedro cactus with its mind-expanding effects on their windowsill without even knowing it. In this blog you can read where this special cactus comes from, what the effects are and whether there are any risks associated with its use.


    San Pedro cactus: strong and a survivor

    Do you already know the San Pedro cactus? It originally occurred on the western slopes of the Andes mountains in Ecuador and northern Peru. It grows at altitudes between 1500 and 3000 meters. Research shows that this cactus was already cultivated in 600 BC for its psychoactive properties. Because it can survive at high altitudes, this tough cactus can withstand temperatures of -10 degrees. A piece that has been cut off can form roots and continue to grow on its own within a few weeks.


    The San Pedro cactus can now be found everywhere, from North America to Europe and Australia. It produces beautiful, cream-colored flowers and can grow about 30 cm larger every year. That is also useful, because that is the average amount you need for a trip.


    What are the mind-altering properties?

    It is the substance mescaline that provides the mind-expanding properties of the San Pedro. Mescaline is a phenylethylamine, a substance that belongs to the same class of drugs as MDMA. Mescaline has a stimulating effect and affects the dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin receptors. Many psychedelics work on the serotonin system, especially the 5-HT2A receptors. And mescaline does that too, but it also affects the 5HT2C receptors, which are associated with dopamine and adrenaline.


    In addition, the San Pedro cactus contains even more alkaloids and these can also have mild psychoactive effects. As a result, this cactus has several unique effects that distinguish it from peyote and synthetic mescaline. Although this sounds impressive, the effects of the San Pedro are not very intense. Most people describe them as dreamy. A survey by Dr. Uthuag shows that a trip with mescaline is considered a gentle, euphoric and physical experience.


    What is striking when you use the San Pedro cactus is the long start-up time. It can take about two to three hours before you feel the effects. A trip can come in waves and the high is energetic and clear. This can last for 10 to 14 hours. Users indicate that a trip can be introspective and lead to deep insights. Forgotten memories can also return.


    Visual hallucinations may also occur, but these are different from, for example, ayahuasca. With mescaline, you stay better grounded in your body. You can also become more sensitive to light and color. Your perception of time can change.

    Is the San Pedro cactus safe?

    In addition to a quiet but energetic trip, you can also have other experiences. Sometimes confusion, dizziness and paranoia occur. Physical complaints are also possible. You can think of this as a cleanse, but it boils down to nausea and vomiting. However, this is less common than when you have used ayahuasca.


    In principle, the San Pedro cactus is safe to use. But this drug can also entail risks. Psychedelics can cause you to become mentally disturbed, especially if you already have mental complaints such as schizophrenia, psychosis or other conditions. An advantage is that San Pedro is not addictive. In fact, the opposite is true, the cactus is being researched for its potential to treat addiction.


    Grow your own San Pedro cactus

    This cactus is one of the oldest plant medicines in the world. Evidence has been found that people have been using it for thousands of years. Yet San Pedro is not as well known as other well-known psychedelic superstars, such as shrooms, rapé of LSA seeds. But the San Pedro cactus also has a lot to offer. That's why it's interesting to know that you can now grow it yourself at home with a handy cactus growing kit or by yourself seeds to plant.


    In the growing kit you will find everything you need to grow your small cactus (choose the right type before you order, you can choose from different ones). It contains seeds, soil and food for the plant. You can also buy seeds yourself in our shop, where different varieties of the San Pedro cactus are also available.


    The San Pedro needs a lot of light and warmth. It naturally grows in nutrient-rich soil, so it is good to add extra nutrition every now and then. Your little cactus does need time to grow, so patience is required when growing. It will take several years before it is big enough to harvest, but then you will have your own fresh San Pedro cactus to use.

    Making a cutting is also possible. So do you know someone who has this cactus? Then ask for a spot. Wait until the area where you cut has dried thoroughly. Then you can place the cutting in the ground, after which it will take root. It also takes a long time for a cutting to grow properly, but in the end it will be worth it! You can also buy individual pieces of San Pedro cactus in our shop. A cutting is approximately equal to a dose, for example San Pedro cutting Macrogona.

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