Macro-Dosing Mescaline: The Danger of Not Consuming Enough San Pedro

Jerry Toth
11 min readSep 28, 2019
Wild San Pedro at an undisclosed location in the Ecuadorian highlands.

Not all San Pedro journeys are created equal. There are several key variables that influence the quality of the experience. Reaching critical mass with dosage can be the difference between disappointment and ecstatic connection with the fundamental nature of existence. Knowledge about different preparation methods and mescaline potency is useful. As always, the principle of “set and setting” applies. And there’s a few things you should definitely not do.

The suggestions contained in this article are based on seventeen years of personal experimentation in addition to conversations with hundreds of other people who have also experienced San Pedro (otherwise known as Huachuma).

I do not consider myself the foremost expert on this subject. I’m just one of many ongoing students of a sacred cactus that has the power to connect human beings with an immense source of wisdom. By the same token, I welcome feedback from anyone else who has experience with this particular plant. The goal, as I see it, is to collectively refine our understanding about something that is and always will be delightfully mysterious.

Whether you brew San Pedro tea or dehydrate/grind the flesh into powder, the first steps are always the same: remove the spines and outer skin (bowl on the left), extract the green flesh (bowl on the right), and disregard the white core (bottom). Only the green flesh is used for processing and consumption.

Not All San Pedro Experiences Are Created Equal

Extensive conversations with a broad sampling of other San Pedro explorers led me to a surprising realization. This process started in 2018 when I published an article called “DIY Mescaline: How to explore San Pedro without a guide.”

I eventually included my email address in the article and asked people to contact me if they’d like to see the final cut of a film we’re currently making about San Pedro in its native land. Many of the people who responded were kind enough to share with me their own personal San Pedro experiences, and we developed a back-and-forth dialogue.

What didn’t surprise me was that most people described their experience in glowing terms. What did surprise me is that a decent number of people described their experience as disappointing. I followed up with questions about set, setting, preparation method, and dosage. And I…

Jerry Toth

Professional rainforest conservationist, cacao farmer, chocolate entrepreneur, and metaphysical explorer based in Ecuador.