- What is the Trichocereus Peruvianus?
- Peruvian Torch Cactus Strain Guide
- Peruvian Torch Cactus Similar Species
- Peruvian Torch Cactus Habitat and Distribution
- Mescaline Content of Peruvian Torch Cactus
- Effects of Peruvian Torch Cactus
- Cultivating Peruvian Torch Cactus
What is the Trichocereus Peruvianus?
The Trichocereus peruvianus is synonymous with Echinopsis peruviana. Both scientific names refer to the same species of psychedelic cactus – the Peruvian Torch cactus. This plant contains several alkaloids including the well-research mescaline.
Keep reading to learn more about this exotic hallucinogenic cactus.
Peruvian Torch Cactus Strain Guide
Healthy specimens of the Peruvian Torch cactus have a bluish green hue. They are columnar and can grow up to 3 to 6 meters tall in the wild with stems up to 8 to 18cm in diameter. Because of the weight brought by its height, it sometimes arches over despite starting out as fully erect. In some instances, the cactus even becomes fully prostrate.
The Peruvian Torch cactus has 4 to 8 ribs. Each rib has groups of 6 to 8 honey-colored to brown spines which can reach lengths of 4cm. They evenly-spaced and are approximately 1 inch apart.
Peruvian Torch Cactus Similar Species
This mescaline cactus species is often confused with the Echinopsis pachanoi, a related species with shorter spines. To the untrained eye, the Echinopsis pachanoi, also known as the San Pedro cactus, is identical. Hence, it’s very possible many plants are being sold with the wrong name.
On top of the extreme similarities, hybrids between the two exist thus making proper identification difficult.
To make matters even more confusing for the Peruvian cactus hunter, this cactus species has at least 12 known varieties: ancash, ayacuchensis, cuzcoensis, H14192, huancabamba, Huancavelica, huancayo, huaraz, matucana, puguiensis, Rio Lurin, tarmensis, and trujilloensis.
Peruvian Torch Cactus Habitat and Distribution
This fast-growing columnar cactus grows in the western slope of the Andes in Peru. Peruvian Torch cactus is typically spotted between 2,000 and 3,000 meters above sea level. However, this plant can be cultivated from seeds or cutting as long as they are placed in an environment with a tropical to temperate climate.
Mescaline Content of Peruvian Torch Cactus
The Peruvian Torch cactus is one of many Trichocereus cacti indigenous to the Andes which are reported to contain the psychoactive alkaloid mescaline. The other species are T. pachanoi, T. lageniformis, T. scopulicola, T. santaensis, and T. puquiensis.
Mescaline concentrations can vary even within specimens of the same species. Factors which can affect their mescaline content include temperature, and water availability. Studies have reported dried Peruvian Torch cactus contains approximately 0.24% mescaline.
Effects of Peruvian Torch Cactus
You can eat the Peruvian cactus raw after removing its thorns and skin but it’s not really a palatable substance.
A traditional way of ingesting this cactus is by drinking. Simply remove the thorns, peel off the skin, and let the cactus dry. Once it’s dry enough, grind it into powder. This powder can be mixed with a sweet or fruity drink to mask the taste. Orange juice contains plenty of Vitamin C to facilitate better absorption.
Baked Peruvian Cactus can be prepared by drying the cactus, cutting it into slices, and putting it in an oven at 50 degrees C for 4 or 5 hours. You can eat the slices but make sure you removed all the inedible thorns.
Peruvian Torch cactus will make you feel like you’re walking through a foreign landscape accompanied by colorful and spiritual visions. It can also give you a surge of powerful euphoria. But because the amount of mescaline varies between the Trichocereus species, it’s difficult to determine how heavy the trip will be.
Rest assured tripping on the Peruvian Torch cactus is not as intense as a peyote trip. Also, the nausea you’ll experience in the first hour is predictably less intense than with peyote.
Interestingly, some people measure doses of Peruvian Torch cactus base on length instead of weight. A small dose is 15 to 25cm and it will produce a light t moderate trip. Meanwhile, a big serving is 25 to 35cm.
If you don’t know which dose of Peruvian Torch works for you, it’s best to start with half a dose, wait 60 to 90 minutes, and see what the effects are. If you’re able, take another half dose. It takes 2 to 2.5 hours for this cactus to peak and you’re guaranteed to have trip lasting for 6 to 12 hours.
When you’re taking Peruvian Torch cactus for the first time, make sure you have a person who can help you out if your trip takes the wrong turn. Do not combine this cactus with alcohol, antidepressants, or other stimulants. Stay away from the Peruvian Torch cactus when you’re pregnant, nursing, or under medication.
Cultivating Peruvian Torch Cactus
This cactus can be grown either from seeds or cuttings. The top 15cm end of a cactus column can be cleanly removed by a knife and propagated into a genetic clone of the parent plant. The cutting can be left to heal for a couple of weeks in scattered in indirect light.
It should be kept away from too much moisture which will encourage the proliferation of microbes. Place it in an area which receives plenty of good airflow.
Once these conditions are met, you can expect the plant to start healing by forming a calloused seal. Cuttings should be buried deep enough to make sure it’s stable for the root network to form well and still have adequate access to moisture. Roots will emerge from the bottom between 3 to 6 months. Rooting hormone doesn’t need to be used because the chemicals may just damage the plant’s soft tissues.
While it’s still establishing a root system, keep the plant way from extremes in both light and heat. Proper light will mimic the sunlight from the mountainsides of the Andes where it came from. A good light system balance is 5 hours of direct sunlight with several hours of bright indirect light.
The soil should drain well enough but still be able to hold enough moisture for a week or more without drying out. The soil shouldn’t have too much nitrogen. An ideal soil mixture consists of a basic “cactus soil mix” supplemented with 25% washed sand and 35% perlite.
Once the Peruvian Torch cactus has established itself in soil, it will be capable of handling large amounts of water compared to other cactus species. Watering should alternate with keeping the soil moist and allowing the plants a short drying out period to keep the microflora in check one every 10 to 14 days.
If you don’t have the green thumb to grow your own mescaline cactus, you can simply order mescaline cactus online. Have these psychedelic plants shipped directly to your front door and get started on your spiritual journey.