What is a Peyote Button?

Peyote is a mescaline-containing cactus that has a rich history of use in North America. When people use peyote, they do so by consuming “peyote buttons”.

In this story, we describe what peyote buttons are, exploring what they look like, the alkaloids they contain, their history of use, their effects, and how they work.

A Brief Description Of Peyote Buttons

Peyote buttons are disc-shaped buttons that are the top or “crown” of the peyote cactus.

Peyote buttons average about eight centimeters (three inches) wide and five centimeters (two inches) tall. They are spineless, soft, and typically blue-green to grey-green in color.

Peyote buttons contain the psychedelic compound mescaline, as well as at least 28 other alkaloids, including the following.

- Tyramine - N-methyltyramine - Hordenine - Anhalamine - Anhalonidine

The History Of Peyote Buttons

Two archaeological specimens of dried peyote buttons have been discovered in Shumla Cave No. 5 on the Rio Grande, Texas, dating to 3780-3660 BC.

The researchers who chemically analyzed these buttons found that they have a mescaline concentration of 2 percent. No other alkaloids were detected.

The Effects Of Peyote Buttons

As with other psychedelics, peyote buttons can induce a range of physical, perceptual, emotional, psychological, and spiritual effects.

Physical Effects

- Increased stimulation - Physical euphoria - Pupil dilation - Increased heart rate - Nausea - Vomiting

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