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Monday, December 10, 2018

STATE OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT WACHUMA - San pedro

The Wachuma has remained outside the legislation on drugs and public attention. Therefore, the aspects to be considered in this section are somewhat smaller.


Content and psychotropic action

E. pachanoi contains several alkaloids: mescaline or TMPE (trimethoxyphenylethylamine),
tyramine, metitiramine, methoxytriramine, ordinate, analonin and tricocerene. The main one is mescaline, which is formed in the green tissue adjacent to the outer skin of the branches; its content is approximately 0.12% in the fresh plant and 2% when it is dry. Mescaline concentration is higher in E. peruvianus than in E. pachanoi and varies according to the place where the plant grows;
Cacti that grow on powerful or "enchanted" hills are especially sought after. The alkaloid is found in the bark
green of the cactus in a proportion of 5%, is a yellowish liquid sparingly soluble in water, boiling at 140 degrees. Its salts are obtained in the form of hydrochloride (water-soluble crystals). In doses of 5 to 22 milligrams per kilo of weight, it has psychotropic properties.

Late identification of mescaline in wachuma

The alkaloid called mescaline was isolated in the 1890s in the United States, from the native cactus of northern Mexico called peyote (Lophophora williamsii). The peyote was the first cactus that, studied pharmacologically, allowed to isolate the Mescaline. This substance is only produced by some American cacti, therefore it was unknown in Europe and the other continents.
From the 1930s, Echinopsis pachanoi - "cultivated variety" - spread through nurseries, cacti and botanical gardens around the world, used as a basis for the grafting of other cacti species. This dispersion of the plant occurred before its content in mescaline was known. Although the traditional use of wachuma in northern Peru was known, chemists had not been interested in investigating its alkaloid content.
Only in the 40s, some doctors in Lima suggested -based on the use of Traditional- that could have mescaline in the "San Pedro". Cruz Sánchez, looking for the Finding new drugs, he carried out the chemical and pharmacodynamic study of an alkaloid isolated from the bark of E. pachanoi, and described its chemical characteristics suggesting that it could be mescaline. In 1960, the identification of mescaline in wachuma, relatively late compared to peyote (1890), would be confirmed.

Mescaline is on the list of prohibited substances. The plant species (all American cacti) that contain mescaline are in a "no man's land", they are not properly legal or illegal. In the Andean countries, there has not been a significant legal debate about the legal status of wachuma.

Psychotropic action

Mescaline has a molecular formula almost identical to noradrenaline, a hormone or chemical intermediate that naturally produces the body and stimulates alertness sensory and muscular in front of the outside world. An active dose of mescaline is 300 mg.
Assimilated orally, it acts on noradrenaline systems modifying or replacing some of the chemical intermediaries, by way of similar keys that they open the same locks. This is how it produces states of consciousness that differ qualitatively from ordinary consciousness.
The psychotropic action, of the drink elaborated with the cactus by the healers, is very different from that of purified mescaline. Wachuma contains other alkaloids whose effects substantially modify the action of mescaline, causing "(...) a sedative effect and, in higher doses, a true deep sleep without disturbances." "Such alkaloids could be attributed the narcotic effect that is always present in the ingestion of Sanpedro (...) "

The pharmacological action of wachuma is presented in two phases. The first phase lasts approximately one hour - after the ingestion of the brew - and is defined as a "Period of latency" with premonitory symptoms: laxity in some limbs, drowsiness, sensation of heat or cold, etc. The second phase corresponds to a state different from consciousness, characterized by cenesthesia, the most common is the sensation of levitating or flying, the perception of the body as very light, an exacerbation of the sensitivity of the skin and the senses in general, varied synesthesia (acoustic-visual, optical-auditory, etc.) and the deployment of thought through images symbolic The subjective effects produced by the plant are decisively influenced by the cultural context of use. Outside of its use in "traditional medicine", the wachuma could produce a "bad trip", illusions and mental confusion. On the contrary, in curanderismo, where the cactus is used in the context of a ritual guided by a specialist in its management and curative application (the healer), it promotes higher levels of understanding:
"During the states of heightened awareness, the networks of relationships established between
ideas among themselves and with external events, that is, between the psychic and physical realities,
make aware in a quantitative and qualitatively superior way, incorporating to the corpus of the conscious a huge range of concepts that are interconnected and they acquire a deep sense and total coherence. External and internal events are understand then as interdependent relationship units and, therefore, interchangeable, at a level of concatenation and clarity that fully justifies the ritualization and religiosity (...) A key word for the description of these forms of intellection is speed. This speed of thought is such that it allows a vision global of a certain reality. (...) This lighting, as well as the possibility of manipulating specific areas within the mentioned networks of relationships, and their therapeutic direction by those who are capable of such management, constitutes the essence of this type of quackery. "
"A key word for the description of these forms of intellection is speed. Is speed of thought is such that it allows a global vision of a reality determined. "
"The hallucinatory states, far from being devalued aspects of the psychic task are, in
this context and in its highest peaks, higher levels of intellection (...) "

According to Eduardo Palomino, a healer from northern Peru, wachuma favors:

"(...) a great" vision ", a clarification of all the faculties of the individual. It produces a
slight numbness in the body, and then tranquility. And then there's a
Detachment, a type of visual force in the individual, that includes all the senses:
see, hear, smell, touch, etc .; all the senses, including the sixth sense, the telepathic sense
that transmits it to one through time and matter ... Develops the power of
perception ... in the sense that if you want to see something that is far away ... you can distinguish
powers or problems or disturbances at a great distance, and deal with them ... [Also]
it produces ... a general cleaning, which includes the kidneys, the liver ... the stomach and the
blood."

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