San Pedro cactus

The San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus Pachanoi) is the oldest known magical plant from South America. Originally this plant comes from Ecuador and Peru, there it still grows on the highlands on 2000-3000 metres.

This fast growing cactus has 4 to 9 ribs and a strong root system. In nature the San Pedro cactus will continue to grow until it falls over under its own weight. The fallen cactus will root again and produce many new shoots. The San Pedro is often used as a base for grafting other, more difficult to cultivate, cacti on top of it.

The San Pedro itself can be grown from seeds. It can be grown under dry as well as wet circumstances. It grows up most quickly when it's watered regularly. However, without water the plant can survive for years and even produce new sprouts.

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The active alkaloids of the San Pedro cactus are:
  • mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxy-B-phenethylamine)
  • 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-B-phenethylamine
  • 3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxy-B-phenethylamine
  • tyramine
  • hordinenine

Mescaline is the most important alkaloid. The San Pedro contains a bit less mescaline than the Peyote cactus, making its trip more friendly.

Size Average diameter Average weight
6-8 cm 3 cm 45 g
25-30 cm 4 cm 250 g
50-60 cm 5 cm 600 g

San Pedro effects / trip

Mescaline cacti allow you to explore your inner fantasy world. They will give you a trip with spiritual, colourful visions and feelings of inner tranquillity, oneness with life, heightened awareness and rapid thought flow. The subject-object consciousness disappears, and you feel you are melted away in the sensory (mainly visual) perception. This comes mostly together with indescribable feelings of happiness.

The San Pedro trip is less heavy, and more friendly than the Peyote trip. The nausea during the first hour after consumption will not be as strong as with Peyote cacti.

Preparing the San Pedro cactus

The traditional way to consume the cacti is to eat them. They can be eaten fresh or dried. Try not to eat at least 6 hours before consuming the cacti. Remove the skin and thorns. Make sure you peel thinly as most of the active substances are concentrated just beneath the skin.

You can now eat the meat around the wooden core of the cacti. Beware of splinters. The cacti taste very bitter. The best thing to avoid the bitterness is to eat them with fruit juice. A tastier way of consuming the cacti is make tea of them. Remove the thorns and cut the cacti in small pieces. Boil them for 2-3 hours in a closed pan with low heat. After letting it cool down you can mix it with fruit juice or honey.

The cacti can be dried by cutting them into slices and putting them in an oven on 50°C for 4 or 5 hours. Then you can eat the slices. An often occurring first effect is nausea. Some people say eating ginger helps to avoid the nausea.

Another way to prepare San Pedro is as follows: Cut off 30 cm of cactus (first cut off the thorns with scissors and wear protective gloves while you do this), weigh it to see if it's approximately 500 grams, and then use a bread knife or saw to cut it into smaller pieces. For this method of preparation it's not necessary to remove the wooden spine or skin. Put the pieces in a Tupperware box and place it in the freezer. Take them out next morning and put some of the pieces in a blender and add an equal amount of water. Collect all the mush in a bowl while you keep blending more pieces, and then separate the clear green liquid by pouring the blended material through a sieve covered by a cheese cloth (or clean t-shirt). When you're done, fold the cheese cloth and try to squeeze out all the liquid from the pulp.

The sacred beverage will be quite bitter (although it would have been more bitter if you had cooked the cactus), but with all the fibre removed it can be swallowed easily and will cause minimal gastrointestinal discomfort. The visionary experience that ensues may last up to ten hours and can be quite overwhelming. Prepare yourself well before you embark on this journey.

San Pedro - Dosage

When taking cacti that have an average height of 15-20 cm, an average diameter of 3,5 cm, one to one and a half cactus should be enough for a light to moderate trip, two to two and a half cacti for a strong trip.

Remember that potency can vary greatly. Therefore it is best not to take the dosage all at once, but to build up the dosage gradually: take half of the dosage, wait an 60 to 90 minutes to see what the effect is, then if desired take half of what is left over and if necessary repeat. A San pedro trip takes about two to two and a half hours to peak.

Fresh cactus to mescaline ratio
400 g contains about 480 mg mescaline - 0.12% mescaline per gram of cactus (according to Schultes & Hofmann)

400 g contains about 200 - 300 mg mescaline - 0.05 - 0.075% mescaline per gram of cactus (according to another source)

Dried cactus to mescaline ratio
100 g contains about 200 - 300 mg mescaline - 0.2 - 0.3% mescaline per gram of cactus
Dry weight is 25% of the fresh weight (75% water)

Mescaline dosages

150 mg Minimum dose.
150 - 300 mg light to moderate dosage
300 - 400 mg strong trip last 6 - 12 hours
450 - 500 mg possible ego dissolution, trip will last about 12 hours
500 - 600 mg definite ego dissolution , trip can last up to 24 hours


Do not combine with alcohol, MAO-Inhibitors or other stimulants.
Do not use when pregnant, depressed, on medication, driving motorized vehicles, under 18 years old. When you're using San Pedro make sure there's someone with you to assist you when necessary.

Azarius Encyclopedia: Using Psychedelics Safely

Post a review More reviews

  • Flore


    Just received my san pedro cactus, looks beautiful. Thank you Azarius!

  • Me


    Hi, i bought 5 of the: San Pedro cactus, 25-30 cm.
    I ate about 1 of them raw, after skinning & de-thorning. Tastes like old & bitter cucumber.

    Pleasant effects: Clear thought flow, no "mindfuck"
    waves of euphoria. Got incredible COEV´s at one point i saw a _diamond cat in space farting rainbows_ True story.!

    Unpleasant effects: Nausea that lasts for very long time if you can't puke.
    A synthetic- like, edge to the experience.

    I took a pretty low dose, however the effects were quite apparent, maybe I'm very sensitive to this stuff or the cactus was quite potent.?

    I had so much high hopes for the cactus but I am disappoints.
    The only "medicine" I have left to try now is the Peyote and Ibogaine.
    So far Ayahuasca is the only thing that feels real, to me.

    Them feels...

  • BULE


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Last updated on 2014-04-24 | © 1999-2014 Azarius International

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