Microdosing San Pedro purportedly provides limitless benefits to those who partake religiously. The tall, skinny, columnar shaped cactus holds a handful of beneficial alkaloids. Among these, mescaline is the most abundant and highly desired.
Although cultivated throughout the world, the cactus species Trichocereus pachonoi grows native to the Andes region of South America at an altitude of 6,600 to 9,800 feet. It acquired the name San Pedro when shamans fed the cactus to Catholic priests. They believed the plant showed them the heavens, subsequently guiding them to meet Saint Peter, who guards heaven’s gates. The traditional name for this plant medicine depends on the region in which it is found. Huachuma is the most common of these names.
Below, we will explain the benefits and proper dosage.
How Are San Pedro Doses Measured?
Mescaline is the sought-after psychoactive alkaloid in San Pedro, making up only about 0.1% of the substance when ingesting in raw cactus form. This is a very rough estimate; levels of mescaline vary widely in San Pedro, based on various factors.
When microdosing mescaline, suggested dosage is between 10–30 mg.
For a mild psychedelic experience, ingesting 200 to 300 mg of mescaline is recommended.
For a strong psychedelic trip, 300 to 500 mg is suggested.
Finally, for a “hero dose,” 1,000 mg and up is recommended.
The breakdown via raw cactus form is essentially one milligram of mescaline for every gram of fresh cactus. Again, this is a very rough estimate. Keep in mind that fresh cactus is not the same as dry, cured cactus powder.
Suggested San Pedro Dosage
San Pedro dosage depends on a number of factors. These are the age, location, and variety of San Pedro cactus, which affect the mescaline levels found in it.
Dosage amount is also drastically different based on the form of the San Pedro being ingested. When ingesting fresh cactus, 10–20 grams is recommended for a hallucinatory dose. When ingesting dried cactus, it is 3.3–10 grams for an actual dose.
An individual weighing under 140 lbs. should start with the lesser recommended dosage and increase the amount gradually. A person weighing over 140 lbs. can start with 5 grams dried cactus or 15 grams fresh cactus and adjust, based on their experience.
Again, microdosing San Pedro can vary dramatically by one’s body weight and the type being used.
|Weight||Dry Powder||Liquid Concentrate|
|Less than 140 lbs.||0.25–1 gram||0.5–1 ml|
|140–200 lbs.||0.25–2 grams||0.5–2 ml|
|More than 200 lbs.||0.25–3 grams||0.5–3 ml|
Common Research Doses
The indigenous people of Peru have used San Pedro in ceremony for over 3,500 years. A stone carving clearly depicting a huachuma shaman holding a San Pedro cactus was found at the Jaguar temple at Chavín de Huántar in Northern Peru, dating back to around 1300 BC.
Because of their thousands of years of experience, there is no question that individuals indigenous to San Pedro’s native region have the most knowledge to share about this medicine. Raimutsa, a Peruvian Shaman who has microdosed huachuma for over 15 years, has very strong beliefs on how it should be used. He makes his own San Pedro brews. He says the strength of his brew used for microdosing depends on the person that it is being made for.
Raimutsa explained, “If a person is struggling with life issues or addiction, I make a milder brew for them to take larger doses of up to 10 mg. The water from the cactus is super healthy. San Pedro water or tea is what I give to my dad. He has been taking it throughout quarantine. It is 30 mg per dose; it is not very psychoactive but it is incredibly medicinal. I see my dad chilled out and feeling healthy. It is good.”
Using a Tincture
The more common brew that Raimutsa makes, which is the one he uses personally, comes in a tincture bottle. He brews the San Pedro to equal 1 mg of mescaline per dropper. Raimutsa recommends 1–2 droppers in the morning with breakfast. He says he will take another dose at lunch if he plans to work late or lead a ceremony. “1–2 droppers helps me to function consistently at my fullest for six hours, 3 droppers makes you see colors…. The effects are subtle and it takes time to notice some of the them, but microdosing is also important to do for a period of time. This way you can develop connections and allow your energy vibration to rise and also allow your psychological aspect to have more clarity and introspection, an overall awareness.”
What to Know Before Microdosing San Pedro
When microdosing San Pedro it is important to know the source of your product. If you are new to microdosing or to psychoactive plants, it is wise to start at the lowest level of recommended dosage and work your way up. Microdosing San Pedro oftentimes requires patience and observation for an individual to find their “sweet spot.”
Common Effects When Microdosing San Pedro
Microdosing San Pedro is helpful for a number of reasons. The neurotransmitters that mescaline activates affect how we feel, and how we process information. This is extremely beneficial and can help with a number of emotional struggles. It can also increase beneficial brain activity for success in your career, personal relationships, and level of self-contentment.
Short-Term Benefits of Microdosing San Pedro Include:
- Reduced Anxiety
- Higher Energy Level
- Improved Mental Focus and Clarity
- Improved Organ and Body Function
- Enhanced Fluency of Ideas
- Improved Creativity (ability to think outisde the box)
- Heightened Empathy
- Heightened Sociability
Long-Term Benefits of Microdosing San Pedro Include:
- Ability to Reprogram Automatic or Unhealthful Behaviors
- Focus on Personal Health (San Pedro becomes a part of the healthy diet)
- Self Reflection
- Clarity for Personal Intention
How to Microdose San Pedro
Mescaline salts (hydrochloride, sulfate, citrate, acetate, etc.) are the most reliable form of microdosing San Pedro, but can be hard to come by. The salts will appear in crystal or powder form, or as a white waxy substance. They can be mixed in a juice or put in capsules to avoid the bitter taste. The recommended microdosage for mescaline salts starts at 10 mg.
Dried cactus is a common form of San Pedro, with a long shelf life. The core of the cactus is removed and the cactus is stripped and dried, or dehydrated. The strips are often ground into powder form. When kept in a dark, cool, dry place, San Pedro powder can be stored indefinitely in an airtight container. This powder can be mixed with a liquid or honey or put into capsules. Microdosing powder is recommended at a dosage of from 3–10 mg, which is usually anywhere from 0.25–3 grams of dry cactus powder.
San Pedro brew contains a higher concentration than powder. It is important to know where the brew is from, and to be certain not to mix it with anything else. Brews can range in concentration so dramatically that a suggested microdose can be anywhere from 1 ml (one tincture dropper) to 30 ml. The schedule for microdosing San Pedro should be adapted on a case-by-case basis, but suggested dosage is at breakfast 5–6 days a week; then rest to digest 1–2 days without San Pedro, before starting over again.
Like Raimutsa, some may choose to dose twice a day, once with breakfast and again at lunch if they are planning a late night of work. The two days off are important to allow the body to rest and digest the medicine. This is a time for reflection, as well as providing time for the body to start producing new neurotransmitters in the brain. Microdosing San Pedro is done with the intention of developing a sensitivity to the medicine, eventually lowering your dose while still receiving the same benefits. The idea is to increase the level of neurotransmitters in the brain, and reap the benefits. This takes a while and one must be patient.
Long breaks are necessary when microdosing San Pedro. The recommended length of sessions is 3
–4 months. During the month-long break without the medicine, an individual has time to reflect on the experiences and personal growth. These breaks are important for your body, and to give yourself time to observe the effects of the medicine.
How San Pedro Works Inside Your Body
Mescaline is a different chemical class from other commonly microdosed psychedelic substances like LSD (an ergoline) and psilocybin (a tryptamine). As a phenethylamine, mescaline activates the serotonin 5-HT2A and 5-HT1A receptors. Serotonin is one of the most important neurotransmitters, affecting not only how we feel but also how we process information.
Mescaline also affects the dopamine receptors in our brain. Ingesting San Pedro increases the amount of dopamine available for nerve cells, which explains the sometimes euphoric and emotional responses individuals have when ingesting the powerful cactus.
Common Interactions When Microdosing San Pedro
No research is available on the topic of mixing microdosed amounts of San Pedro with other substances. In general, do not mix alcohol with mescaline. The combination put add extra stress on the liver. Alcohol also creates drastic change in an individual’s mood, running the risk of creating a bad trip. Again, this concerns mixing a larger dose of San Pedro with alcohol.
How Much San Pedro Causes an Overdose?
San Pedro is considered one of the safest psychoactive plants. There have been no reports of deaths linked to thousands of years of shamanic use. A person would have to ingest such a large quantity of San Pedro to make it lethal that it would not likely happen by accident.
It is important to understand that San Pedro can be brewed with other substances that render the combination lethal. The more common of potentially lethal substances to watch out for are tobacco and toe’ (also known as Angel’s Trumpet or Datura). These brews should be taken with extreme caution. Do not take any brew without knowing the source and the ingredients. Be certain that the person brewing the mixture has a wealth of knowledge and years of experience.
RS Contributing Author: Pimienta Fantasma
Fantasma is first and foremost a world traveler. She has cultivated a dynamic understanding for human diversity, residing in Germany, Peru, and all over the United States—including the Big Island of Hawaii, Boulder (Colorado), New York, and the good ole Midwestern Indiana (“Ain’t no place a Hoosier hasn’t been”—Vonnegut). She has been curiously experimenting with a wide range of psychedelics since the ripe age of 14 years of age. She owes a great deal of gratitude for her personal evolutionary journey to the power of psychedelic medicine. Fantasma has had multiple hero-size doses of LSD, psilocybin, San Pedro, Mescaline, Ketamine, MDMA, DMT, Ayahuasca, LSA, 2CB, 2CI, and Changa—to name a few. These experiences are responsible for the rainbow-laser-sharp, otherworldly, and overall chakra-explosive lens kit through which Fantasma views the world.