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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cactus alkaloids. XXXVI. Mescaline and related compounds from Trichocereus peruvianus.

Agurell has previously detected (tlc, glc-ms) tyramine, 3-methoxytyramine, and two unknown alkaloids in the Peruvian cactus, Trichocereus peruvianus Br. and R. The presence of mescaline in other similar Trichocereus species prompted us to reinvestigate this species, which is commercially available in the United States. The nonphenolic alkaloid extracts yielded an abundance of crystalline mescaline hydrochloride (0.82% yield) and a trace of 3,4-dimethoxyphenethylamine (tlc-ms). Crystalline tyramine hydrochloride, 3-methoxytyramine hydrochloride, and 3,5 dimethoxy-4-hydroxphenethylamine hydrochloride were isolated from the phenolic alkaloid extracts; the last compound has not been previously crystallized from nature, although it is the immediate biosynthetic precursor of mescaline. Crystalline 2-chloromescaline hydrochloride was isolated drom the nonphenolic extracts; but, as determined by mass-analyzed ion kinetic energy spectrometry, this new compound is an extraction artifact. Both 2-chloromescaline and 2.6-dichloromescaline hydrochlorides were prepared synthetically from mescaline. This cactus species has a mescaline content equal or superior to peyote and should be legally controlled as an item of drug abuse.[1]


  1. Cactus alkaloids. XXXVI. Mescaline and related compounds from Trichocereus peruvianus. Pardanani, J.H., McLaughlin, J.L., Kondrat, R.W., Cooks, R.G. Lloydia. (1977) [Pubmed]
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