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Short-Term Effects of Peyote

Short-Term Effects of Peyote

Learn more about what peyote is, the short-term effects of peyote, and getting help for peyote addiction.

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What is Peyote?

Peyote is a small cactus indigenous to Mexico and regions in the southwestern United States. This plant contains numerous constituents including psychoactive components like mescaline. Mescaline has been discovered to interfere with thought, perception, and mood.1

Peyote has been used medicinally and for traditional ceremonies by indigenous communities for centuries. The short-term effects of peyote have also been associated with personal growth and spiritual experiences.

Religious and Medicinal Uses of Peyote

Peyote is a staple in the Native American Church, which was established in the 19th century based on Christian and indigenous beliefs. They use peyote for religious meetings called peyote ceremonies or peyote meetings.2

It has also been put to medicinal use for the treatment of arthritis, diabetes, fever, toothache, and inflammation.

Apart from these uses, peyote is known for certain potentially serious short-term effects. In this article, we consider the short-term effects of peyote and how they are handled professionally.

What are the Short-Term Effects of Peyote?

Peyote has been consumed in different ways to benefit from the psychoactive effects of some of its constituents like mescaline. Some people chew on the dried crowns of the cactus, take peyote capsules, or brew the cactus to make tea.

Whether you take whole peyote or opt for mescaline, the hallucinogenic properties of the plant are present. Mescaline influences serotonin activity in the body like most of the other classic hallucinogens.3

We can see the result of this activity in the short-term effects of peyote. Below are some of the short-term effects of peyote use.

Altered Perception and Synesthesia

This is one of the major short-term effects of peyote that attract many users. It tends to accentuate sensory experiences.

One can notice that bright colors seem more radiant and sounds become distorted or intense, stationary objects appear to move or change in shape or size, and many others. Some people even begin to hear colors and see sounds in a phenomenon called “synesthesia.”

Mood Swings, Euphoria, Paranoia

The hallucinogenic effect of peyote may affect your mood and emotions. You might record a wide range of emotions from peaks of euphoria to intense paranoia and fear. You may also find that you connect with people more easily and have an out-of-body experience.

Cognitive Changes and Reduced Attention Span

You might have a hard time retaining information when you are on peyote or mescaline. It also influences your:

  • Problem-solving ability
  • Concentration
  • Communication ability
  • Attention span

Harmful Cardiovascular Effects

Peyote and mescaline increase serotonin activity which is known to increase heart rate and blood pressure. This results in a range of cardiovascular effects which may be harmful if you have a pre-existing condition. Symptoms may include shortness of breath and chest pain.

Gastrointestinal Effects and Dehydration

Short-term effects of peyote like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea can be troubling. They may lead to electrolyte imbalances associated with dehydration.

Motor Impairment

Peyote can influence your coordination and motor skills, making it difficult to drive or operate machinery.

Some people have positive experiences with peyote while others experience dangerous effects. The short-term effects of peyote can vary widely depending on individual factors such as:

  • Dose
  • Setting
  • Sensitivity to the drug

What are Some Factors that Influence the Duration of Action?

Peyote effects can be influenced by certain factors including route of administration and individual variation. Below are some of these factors.


Short-term effects of peyote are usually associated with smaller doses or earlier points following larger doses. There might be a direct correlation between the dose and the duration of the activity.

Route of Administration

Smoking or injecting peyote leads to a shorter effect. Ingestion produces the effects at a slower rate where they last longer. Most people either smoke or ingest peyote in tea form.

Individual Factors

People respond to medications differently due to factors, including:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Weight
  • Genetics

These influence metabolism and the short-term effects of peyote. A person with a higher body fat content might experience the effects of peyote use for longer.


The setting in which peyote is used can also affect the duration of its effects. Factors such as the presence of other people, noise, and distractions can all influence how long the effects of the drug last.

Other Substances

The use of other drugs or medications can also affect the duration of peyote’s effects. For example, taking certain medications or drugs that affect liver function may prolong the effects of peyote.

It is important to keep in mind that while these factors can influence the duration of the short-term effects of peyote, the drug can still have unpredictable effects on different individuals.

What is the Time Course of Peyote?

The time course of the short-term effects of peyote can vary depending on several factors. These may include the dose, individual sensitivity to the drug, and route of administration.

In general, the effects of peyote can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours to begin and may last up to 10-12 hours. The peak effects occur around 2-3 hours after ingestion.

How Method of Ingestion Impacts Duration of Effects

The method of ingestion influences the duration and extent of the effects. For example, oral ingestion leads to slower but longer manifestations of the short-term effects of peyote.

The reverse is the case when peyote is smoked or injected. Some users experience an afterglow period following peak effects. They feel more relaxed and euphoric. However, the motor and cognitive impairments of peyote may still be present.

Can People Be Addicted to Peyote?

Addiction is a condition that is associated with compulsive drug-seeking behavior regardless of potential negative outcomes. Though peyote contains the psychedelic mescaline, it is not considered to be as physically addictive as substances like opioids and benzodiazepines.

However, frequent and prolonged use can lead to psychological dependence. Especially in cases where people take peyote to cope with emotional or psychological trauma, peyote use can lead to dependence.

How Tolerance Impacts Addiction

Tolerance is a major parameter in drug use and addiction conversations. It describes a state where the regular dose of a drug does not induce the same effects as it used to. The common response is to increase the dose and this increases the risk of overdose.

This also intensifies the short term effect of peyote.

Treatment Options for Peyote Addiction

Treatment options for peyote addiction may include:

What are Some Potential Risks and Side Effects of Peyote Use?

The short-term effects of peyote include certain health risks. While some of these resolve over a short period, some of these can persist and cause lifelong issues. Let’s briefly consider some of these risks.

Psychological Risks

Peyote can induce a range of psychological effects that may be distressing. Some of these include:

  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations

These effects may be more pronounced in people with a history of mental health issues including depression or schizophrenia.

Cardiovascular Risks

Peyote use can predispose one to cardiovascular issues by raising blood pressure and heart rate.

Gastrointestinal Risks

Peyote use can lead to negative gastrointestinal symptoms, including:

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Motor Impairment

Peyote can impair coordination and motor skills, making it unsafe to drive or operate machinery.

Accidental Injury

Impaired judgment and perception can increase the risk of accidental injury or death. This is why you should not engage in activities such as driving, swimming, or climbing after using peyote.

Legal Risks

The possession of peyote is illegal in some countries. Seeing as it is considered a controlled substance in most places, this is not surprising.4

Spiritual and Cultural Appropriation

Non-indigenous people using peyote might be offensive to indigenous people who have used it for spiritual and religious purposes for centuries.

The short-term effects of peyote and other health risks make caution necessary when using it. People with pre-existing conditions should take extra care.

Importance of Responsible Use and Harm Reduction

The responsible use of peyote is important for several reasons, including health and legal considerations. Peyote poses a wide range of health risks that could affect your life negatively. When used responsibly, these risks can be reduced.

Also, since it is a controlled substance in most countries, its sale may be controlled and possession might have legal consequences.

Sustainability of an Endangered Plant Species

Peyote is an endangered plant species, thus there are concerns about sustainability regarding its use. Responsible use can ensure that it is available for future generations and preserve the integrity of the ecosystem.

Peyote has proven to have positive effects on self-awareness, emotional healing, and personal growth when used responsibly. These benefits are still being studied; however, they help us see that the plant has the potential for mental health care.

Treatment for Short-Term Peyote Use at San Diego Detox

Recovery from the short-term effects of peyote use can happen quickly without much professional help. However, since people react differently to drugs, these effects might become more pronounced in your life or that of a loved one.

At this point, you might consider getting professional help to resolve peyote addiction or remedy the risks associated with its use.

What is San Diego Detox?

San Diego Detox is a full-service detox center located in San Diego California which offers a variety of detox and mental health care services. Our facility is located in a serene environment that encourages recovery and wellness.

We specialize in medical detox, subacute detox, and inpatient drug rehabilitation. We work closely with your relatives and relevant organizations to ensure a continuous and comprehensive care journey.

Levels of Care Offered

Our levels of care include:

Personalized Treatment

We understand that people respond to substances differently, so we get to know each patient before starting treatment. This helps us get familiar with your personal experience with the short-term effects of peyote use.

Our team of experts develops an individualized plan for your treatment that is tailored to your unique needs.

Contact San Diego Detox Today

At San Diego Detox, we believe that your treatment begins when you first put a call through to us.

Get treatment for the short-term effects of peyote and other mental health issues today. Call us (619-655-3328) or fill out the form at the bottom of this page for a call from a member of our staff.

The Importance of Support From Loved Ones in Recovery from Peyote Addiction

Having family and friends around you strengthens your resolve to fight addiction. Although peyote has a lower potential for psychological dependence, this can be raised in the presence of emotional imbalances.

If a loved one or relative is experiencing short-term effects of peyote use, there are several ways that you can help them.

Ensure Their Safety

Short-term effects of peyote can alter perception and impair judgment. You can protect your loved one from making choices that they will regret later on.

Elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and difficulty breathing are other effects that may need urgent care. Being around them allows you to get the help they need urgently.

Provide Emotional Support

Peyote leads to intense fluctuations in emotions and feelings. A person can be extremely anxious one moment and become very relaxed the next.

Your loved one needs a supportive and calming environment while they recover. You can provide the emotional support that they need during this period.

Encourage Hydration

People recovering from the short-term effects of peyote may experience vomiting and diarrhea. These can lead to dehydration which affects normal physiological processes adversely. You can encourage them to drink water and other hydrating fluids. Providing these fluids is a great place to start.

Prime the Environment

You can help to provide a suitable recovery environment by bringing some of their favorite items and playing soothing music. You also want to prepare a comfortable place for them to rest as they recover from short-term effects of peyote.

Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help

The short-term effects of peyote may wear off within a short time. However, due to individual differences, they may persist for longer. You should encourage your loved one to seek professional help for their recovery in that case.

If a loved one or relative is experiencing short-term effects of peyote use, it is important to:

  • Ensure their safety
  • Provide emotional support
  • Help them stay hydrated
  • Keep them calm and comfortable
  • Encourage them to seek professional help if necessary