Hallucinogenic cactus

NB! Drugs effects vary according to the psychological state and the health of the person concerned, the context in which the drug is taken as well as the quality of the drug and the quantity consumed.


Peyote is a small cactus from Central America having mescaline as its active principle. The hallucinogenic cactus is normally taken orally but it can also be inhaled by smoking milled peyote buttons.

The hallucinogenic cactus is a psychoactive substance which is:

  • illegal
  • natural
  • hallucinogenic.

Desired effect

  • Feeling of wellbeing
  • Perception distortions (time and space), hallucinations and stimulation of the senses

Physical symptoms

  • Increase in body temperature
  • Muscular relaxation
  • Dilation of the pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting

Immediate risks

  • Drop in blood pressure, slowing of heart beat (strong doses)
  • Panic attacks and psychosis (“bad trip”) which can be accompanied by dangerous behaviour
  • Concentration and memory disorders
  • Headache, drying of the skin

Long-term risks

  • Anxiety, depression, disorientation, panic attacks, inability to differentiate between illusion and reality
  • Lack of motivation, mood disorders, flashback hallucinations

The risks are greater in those suffering from psychiatric problems.

Sciensano collects data and analyses the consumption of drugs, the drug market, the consequences for health, requests for treatment and the policies implemented with regard to drugs in Belgium.

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