Lophophora williamsii, also known as peyote, is found primarily in dry regions from central Mexico to Texas, particularly in regions along the Rio Grande. Peyote is commonly used in rituals and as a hallucinogen (due to its mescaline content). In 1990, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states may prohibit the use of peyote for religious purposes. Although peyote is illegal, the Dona Ana cactus, Coryphantha macromeris (Engelm.) Br. and R. and its runyonii (Br. and R.) L. Benson variety have been promoted as natural and legal psychedelic agents with about one-fifth of the potency of peyote.
To date, there are no available clinical trials investigating the use of peyote for any indication. However, preliminary study investigating peyote has not found long-term cognitive deficits, although more study is needed to make any firm conclusions about peyote's safety.
Some experts believe that proper use of one psychoactive substance, such as peyote, within a spiritual or clinical context helps to free an individual from the adverse effects of their addiction to another substance and thus restores them as functioning members of their community or group.

Related Terms

Cactaceae (family), cactus methanolic extract, Lophophora, Lophophora williamsii, mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.