Does Cactus Juice Make You Hallucinate?

Yes, some species of Cactus are hallucinogenic because they contain Mescaline, a substance that produces a “tripping” sensation. Drinking cactus juice is a natural source of vitamins and minerals.

In recent decades, people are drinking Cactus juice for healing. Although growing in popularity, many others are averse to accepting it as a viable health elixir. This is mostly because of the taboos around drugs like Peyote.  

Do All Cacti Make You Hallucinate?

Cactus Juice

For a Cactus to induce psychedelic states, the same way psilocybin does, it must be a Mescaline containing Cacti. Mescaline is an alkaloid compound found in Cactus fruits.  

For instance, a Nopal Cactus (Prickly Pear) isn’t a mescaline-containing Cactus and you won’t trip if you drink Nopal juice. But, there are some species of Prickly Pear that are hallucinogens.


You can ingest the dried or fresh seeds, chew on the buds or directly drink the fruit too. There’s also the option of consuming the dried powder in a capsule or by smoking it.

But, the most frequent way is to drink the water. An infusion comprises boiling either the button-shaped seeds and fruits or tiny pieces of the whole plant. 

Types of Mescaline Containing Cacti

Mescaline Containing Cacti

The most popular of these plants is Peyote Cactus or San Pedro Peruvian Cactus. Indigenous tribes across the desert expanse of North and South America have used these for centuries.

They attest to its healing effects with deep and profound spiritual implications. Only in modern times has there been an increase in Mescaline as a recreational drug.

But, there are at least 16 families with thousands of cactus species. The following are some mescaline-containing Cacti:

  • Andean Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Argentine Saguaro
  • Aztec Cactus
  • Baja Organ Pipe Cactus
  • Beavertail Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Blue Candle Cactus
  • Bolivian Torch Cactus
  • Buckhorn Cholla
  • Cane Cholla
  • Creeping Devil
  • Golden Torch
  • San Pedro Cactus
  • Pereskia Rose Cactus
  • Peruvian Torch Cactus
  • Peyote Cactus
  • Silver Cholla
  • Toothpick Cactus

Is Cactus Good to Drink?

Whether Cactus is good to drink or not will depend on each person. The taste is very unpleasant and bitter. Plus, when the effects begin, symptoms arise that include dizziness, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and a fast heartbeat. 

Albeit brief, individuals experience these in various ways and combinations. Some hardly feel nauseous while others encounter total sickness. But Cactus isn’t addictive and no one dies from consuming the juice.

What Happens When You Drink Cactus Water?

What Happens When You Drink Cactus Water

The effects of drinking Cactus water is similar to LSD or magic mushrooms (psilocybin), where you take a “trip” that lasts for 10 to 12 hours.

While it’s common and pleasurable to have extrasensory visions with altered consciousness beyond normal reality, some people do feel revulsion or anxiety.

You are quite awake while experiencing color, light, and shape psychedelia amid heightened spiritual awareness. You may also feel drowsy and lethargic with numbness.

Positive Side Effects

Once it wears off, users say they have clarity of sight and acuity in hearing. They also feel cleansed, with a marked lightness to the body and an unburdened mind. These side effects can last for several days afterward.

How Much Cactus Juice Is Safe to Drink?

About 8 to 10 ounces of cactus juice is safe to drink. Be cautious to avoid drinking it daily because drinking too much cactus juice can lead to digestive problems.

The type of Cactus and the experience of the person determines the dosage. But, with Peyote or San Pedro Cactus, around 12 ounces is sufficient. Experienced users may have more.

Why Would Someone Want to Drink Cactus Juice?

Although vomiting and headaches don’t seem very inviting, people have many reasons for drinking Cactus water. As with recreational drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms, Mescaline use via Peyote or San Pedro, focuses on the “high.” But there are medicinal and spiritual applications too.


There is promising evidence that Mescaline can be a treatment for alcoholism, depression, low blood sugar, healing wounds, and poor blood circulation. However, human studies have yet to verify these.


Mescaline is a long-held tradition of high spiritual regard among many Native Americans. The Aztecs, Incas, Mayans, Navajos, and the Lakota have intricate and ancient rituals surrounding the consumption of these hallucinogens. 

Is It Illegal to Have Hallucinogenic Cacti in the US?

Technically, Mescaline is an illegal drug. It’s on the Schedule 1 classification of drugs that come with serious charges, fines, and jail time. But these legalities are tricky.

Religious Freedom

If you’re part of a Native American church that uses Peyote, it isn’t an illegal drug because it’s protected under the First Amendment. Plus, there are many Cacti more potent than Peyote, like San Pedro Cactus or Peruvian Torch Cactus, and aren’t illegal. 


Cactus juice could be a beneficial drug with many healing and psychological applications. It’s not dangerous, but there are many taboos surrounding its use. But centuries of tradition attest to its cleansing and life-enhancing properties. If science can confirm these ancient claims, the healing possibilities are infinite.

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