How Long Mescaline Stays in Your System

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii), Cactaceae.

DEA/C. DANI / Getty Images

Several factors are involved in determining how long mescaline is detectable in the body, including which kind of drug test is being used. Mescaline—also known as buttons, cactus, mesc, moon, peyote—can be detected for a shorter time with some tests, but can be "visible" for up to three months in other tests.

The timetable for detecting mescaline in the system is also dependent upon each individual's metabolism, body mass, age, hydration level, physical activity, health conditions and other factors, making it almost impossible to determine an exact window for when mescaline will show up on a drug test.

The following are estimated time-frames during which mescaline can be detected by various testing methods:

  • Urine: Mescaline can be detected in the urine for 2-3 days
  • Blood: Mescaline can be detected in the blood for up to 24 hours.
  • Saliva: A saliva test can detect Mescaline for up to 1-10 days
  • Hair: Mescaline, like many other drugs, can be detected with a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days.

Preventing Side-Effects

Mescaline comes from the small peyote cactus plant, but can also be manufactured through chemical synthesis. The peyote buttons are usually dried and then chewed or made into a liquid or tea for consumption.

Usually, only a very small amount of mescaline—0.3 to 0.5 grams (equivalent to 5 grams of dried peyote)—is needed to produce hallucinations. The effects last about 12 hours, but it can remain in the system for much longer than that.

The physical effects of mescaline can be similar to those of other hallucinogens, including:

  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Profound sweating
  • Flushing

Long-Term Effects

In rare instances, repeated or long-term use of hallucinogens like mescaline can cause the development of persistent psychosis, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Symptoms of persistent psychosis can include:

  • Paranoia
  • Mood disturbances
  • Visual disturbances
  • Disorganized thinking

Flashbacks or HPPD

Some users of hallucinogens, including mescaline, can also experience flashbacks, a phenomenon is known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD).

Even when they are not using mescaline at the time, some people report seeing "trails" following moving objects or "halos" around people or objects.

These symptoms can become so persistent that they are sometimes mistaken for symptoms of stroke or brain tumors.

Symptoms of persistent psychosis and HPPD have been reported by users even after only one exposure to hallucinogens like mescaline. However, persistent psychosis symptoms are very rare in mescaline users and seem to occur mostly in those with a history of psychiatric problems, according to the NIDA.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Addiction Resource. How Long Does Peyote Stay in The System? Updated December 19, 2019.

  2. Drugs.com. Mescaline (Peyote).

  3. American Addiction Centers. Effects of Peyote Abuse. Updated September 5, 2019.

  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Hallucinogens DrugFacts. Updated April 2019.

  5. Hermle L, Simon M, Ruchsow M, Geppert M. Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorderTher Adv Psychopharmacol. 2012;2(5):199-205. doi:10.1177/2045125312451270

  6. Kurtom M, Henning A, Espiridion ED. Hallucinogen-persisting Perception Disorder in a 21-year-old Man. Cureus. 2019;11(2):e4077. doi:10.7759/cureus.4077

Additional Reading
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry. Lab Tests Online. Drug Abuse Testing. Updated November 20, 2019.