Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a naturally occuring psychedelic alkaloid identified in peyote (Lophophora williamsii), San Pedro (Echinopsis pachanoi), Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis peruviana), and a variety of other natural sources from the Cactacae and Fabacae families.
The use of mescaline is much like the history of psilocybin mushrooms. It dates back for thousands of years almost exclusively in Mesoamerican cultures, since the plant that contain it don't grow anywhere else in the world.
Peyote probably has the most extensive historic use of mescaline in human culture. Two dried peyote "buttons" were found at the archaeolgical site known as the Shumla Cave No.5 on the Rio Grande River. Using radiocarbon dating, researchers placed the age of the buttons at around 3,700 years old; the most historic known use of mescaline to this day. Many ancient cultures of Mexico have constructed entire religions revolving around the use of the peyote cactus; it was and still is clearly a huge entheogen. The drug has been used ever since then as a recreational and spitirual entheogen, but when the United States government became concerned about the drugs psychoactive properties, attempts to iradicate it's religious use within Native American cultuers became widespread. Currently, the Native American Church is one of a select few that legally use peyote in a spiritual practive.
As with most, the effects experienced from ingesting mescaline are similar to those experienced when under the influence of LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, and the like. Subtle differences are apparent, however. For example, the mescaline user is surrounded by visuals that take on geometric patterns, rather than free-forming kaleidoscopes or fractals. Stripes, spikes, checkerboards, circles, polychromatic dots, etc. are the most common forms of visual distortions. Colors are vastly enhanced as with most hallucinogens; they gleam and shimmer and change. "Geometricization" of reality is a common theme with mescaline use. Essentially, the world looks flattened or unusually pronounced, with everything being seemingly and semi-seemlessly composed of geometric shapes. Many people relate the distortion to being in a cubist painting in certain ways.
Mescaline is most commonly known for its spiritual and religious potential. When taken in conjuction with general meditation or sensory deprivation, overwhelming feelings of spirituality and a presense of omniscience or omnipotence can arise. Empathy for the micro and macro world is also a very common emotion felt while on mescaline.
Along with the chemical's psychological effects, an increase of emergy can occur as well as an increase in sweating and heart rate. Mild to severe mydriasis is also expected.
Mescaline in it's purest form has a dose ranging from around two hundred to four hundred milligrams, which is around ten to twenty grams of dried peyote buttons. When mescaline is attached to hydrochloride, the dosage is reduced to around 180-350 milligrams. The duration is almost equivalent to that of LSD: ten to twelve hours.
Physical: 0 - 1
Psychological: 0 - 3 (for the same reasons as LSD)