Plant-Derived Hallucinogens

Peyote (mescaline)


Mescaline comes from a small button-shaped portion of the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). These buttons can be eaten or made into a tea. They are very bitter-tasting. The drug can also be synthesized in a lab.

The drug in these buttons creates hallucinations, often in the form of a thoroughly altered perception of the world. The person high on mescaline may be unable to moderate his behavior and comments and so the tendency is to abuse this drug away from one’s family that might disapprove. The effects of this drug last up to twelve hours. The user may see colors more brightly or have a strong emotional reaction to music.

A mescaline trip may include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shaking hands and feet
  • Weakness
  • Colorful hallucinations that may last for hours
  • Distortions in physical senses
  • A floating sensation
  • Panic or terror attacks
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness
  • High blood pressure
  • Speeded up heart rate
  • Lack of appetite
  • Exaggerated emotions
  • Rapid mood swings
  • False feelings of power or safety
  • Confusion.

After heavy use of this drug, a person is at risk for these problems:

  • Increased risk of psychiatric illness
  • Problems remembering
  • Tolerance to the drug, meaning more must be used to get the same effects
  • Psychological dependence on the drug
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Flashbacks.

A woman is at risk for uterine contractions which can harm an unborn baby if she is pregnant.

The drug is not considered physically addictive but a person can develop a tolerance and a psychological addiction.

Nicknames: Beans, buttons, cactus, topi, cactus buttons, mesc.



This drug is obtained by eating certain types of mushrooms that grow in South America, Mexico or the US. They may be eaten when fresh or dried or be made into a tea. The resulting high may take a half hour or more to show up and can last six hours or more.

The drug causes intense changes in perceptions of light, color, sound and time and the user may hallucinate. Some people lose control of their trip and become terrified or may have a psychotic episode if they took a large dose.

Signs of use:

  • Physical weakness and loss of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Euphoria
  • Dilation of pupils
  • Changes in mood or behavior
  • Memory loss

A heavy user of psilocybin will develop a tolerance, meaning he must take higher doses to get the same effect, and he is likely to become psychologically addicted to the drug. After a heavy dose, a user may be unable to separate the fantasy world he is perceiving from the real world.


Boomers, little smoke, Mexican mushrooms, musk, sacred mushrooms, silly putty, simple simon, Las mujercitas



Salvia is a leafy herb that is smoked for its short-acting effects. Users often hide themselves out of public sight and the smoker may be accompanied by sober “sitters.” The drug produces a manic, hallucinatory state that peaks within ten minutes and wears off in less than an hour. The drugged person may run around uncontrollably and laugh without reason. Objects may look distorted and the person may only have partial control of body movements.

Some people find this drug so uncomfortable that they never try it a second time.


Phenethylamines are strong stimulants with hallucinogenic effects. Besides Ecstasy (MDMA), other drugs in this class include:


Bromo-DragonFLY was given this nickname because the shape of the molecule resembles a dragonfly. The difference between what is considered a “safe” dose and a fatal dose is very, very small. Several deaths have occurred as a result of this or similar drugs. Adverse effects of this drug include liver failure, kidney failure and amputation of fingers and toes.

Besides being very potent, the effects of this drug may last as long as three days. Confusion, heart problems, seizures and hallucinations often result.


May be sold as a white or off-white powder in a small plastic bag, labeled “not for food, drug, household or cosmetic use.”


This is a new form of phenethylamine that surfaced in 2012 and was associated with multiple deaths. It is also known as 2C-1. Use results in hallucination that are both seen and heard and self-destructive activity.

The other formulas of phenethylamine are known only by number-letter designation, for example:

2C-B, 2C-E, 2C-T-7, 2C-P.



GHB is short for gamma-hydroxybutyric acid or gamma-hydroxybutyrate. GHB is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant that slows the heart and breathing to possibly dangerous levels. It is particularly dangerous to mix with alcohol or opiates as they have a similarly effect. It is highly addictive.

GHB acts as a sedative and anesthetic that is usually sold as a white powder or clear liquid. It causes memory loss so it used as a date-rape drug. It is also used as a party drug. For some people, it causes hallucinations in what they see or hear.

GHB effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Sedation
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Short-term amnesia
  • Combativeness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Involuntary eye movement

Adverse effects, including those of overdose:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Tremors
  • Disorientation
  • Incontinence
  • Low body temperature
  • Fatal respiratory problems
  • Coma
  • Liver failure
  • Death

GHB nicknames:

Liquid X, Liquid Ecstasy, scoop, soap, grievous bodily harm, Georgie home boy, G-caps, everclear, G, smart drug, vita G.

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