Four Trichocereus bridgesii cacti

Simon’s Trichocereus Bridgesii (Achuma) Guide

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Trichocereus bridgesii, also called Bolivian torch or Echinopsis lageniformis is a columnar cactus. As the name suggests, it is native to Bolivia.

Trichocereus bridgesii can grow to the height of 2-5 meters. The diameter of the cactus is about 15-20 cm while its spines, located in groups of four, are about 6-7 cm long. The plant also grows rather rapidly, about 30 cm a year.

Trichocereus bridgesii is referred to by one more name, achuma (or wachuma). However, this name is also used for other cacti species, specifically those with mescaline content, such as the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi).

Trichocereus bridgesii has been used in shamanistic rituals of indigenous tribes for several hundred years. Outside of the area it’s native to, it is often cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Trichocereus bridgesii in a pot
Trichocereus bridgesii


Effects of the Trichocereus bridgesii:

Like other cacti of this name, the main active ingredient in Trichocereus bridgesii is also mescaline. In fact, the Bolivian torch contains the second largest concentration of the compound among the mescaline cacti (after Peyote).

Mescaline, or 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine is an alkaloid with effects similar to psilocybin and LSD. Mescaline is a serotonergic psychedelic, which means it binds to and activate the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor, as well as the serotonin 5-HT2C receptor. Exactly how this results in psychedelic effects is yet unclear, though but it likely involves excitation of neurons in the prefrontal cortex.

Mescaline causes several cognitive and physical effects, but it is most often used for its hallucinogenic properties. Visual hallucinations include enhanced colours and brightness, geometric forms and complex fractals.


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Trichocereus bridgesii guide




 Trichocereus bridgesii – legal status


Trichocereus bridgesii is, in itself, not a controlled plant in most countries, and both the seeds and the live plants may be bought and possessed. The cactus is mainly cultivated for ornamental purposes.

Mescaline, on the other hand, is a controlled substance practically everywhere. As a result, while the plant itself is legal, extraction and possession of mescaline is illegal. The legal status of “prepared” – e.g. powdered – variants of mescaline cacti is unclear, on the edge between legal and illegal.

As Trichocereus bridgesii is not widely used for recreational purposes, there is little information regarding its legal status in most countries. At least one person in the US has been prosecuted for possession of powdered achuma cactus. However, the case did not go to court and the charges were consecutively dropped.

Source: US Department of Justice – Drug Enforcement Administration – Microgram Bulletin – April 2004

Because of the controversial nature of Trichocereus bridgesii, it is more advisable to purchase live plants than prepared products. Also, make sure to check the corresponding laws before making the decision to buy or try the Bolivian torch.


Buy Trichocereus bridgesii


Buy Trichocereus bridgesii – US

I can’t personally recommend any US vendors right now.


Buy Trichocereus bridgesii – Europe, Netherlands

You can buy Trichocereus bridgesii at the following link:

Buy Trichocereus bridgesii /Shipped from the Netherlands./



Trichocereus bridgesii effects


The main psychoactive compound in Trichocereus bridgesii is the alkaloid mescaline. The Bolivian torch contains the highest concentration of mescaline among cacti of its kind. Trichocereus bridgesii also contains other alkaloids such as hordenine.

Hordenine is an alkaloid that is a selective substrate for MAO-B. This compound can act as an inhibitor, preventing the body from metabolising mescaline too fast, which contributes to the cactus’ effectiveness.

The molecular structure of mescaline, 4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine
Structure of mescaline

Mescaline, or 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine is a serotonergic psychedelic, which means it exerts its effects through activating the  serotonin 5-HT2A receptor with a high affinity. However, exactly how this results in the psychedelic effects is still under research.


Cognitive effects

Mescaline is considered a consciousness-expanding substance. Users report enhanced thinking and analytic capabilities as well as accelerated thought processes.

Although conceptual thinking is enhanced, mescaline use may also cause disorganised thinking, delusions, and a distorted sense of time.

Other cognitive effects are related to memory: many users report feelings of déja vu or memory suppression. The latter is often related to a sense of disassociation from one’s self, to the point of “ego death“.

The traditional and recreational uses of Trichocereus bridgesii focus on the visual effects caused by mescaline. Hallucinations can include simple geometric patterns and whole scenarios as well. This is often accompanied by auditory effects and synesthesia.

Visions are often considered spiritual, mystical or religious in their nature. Generally described as a positive experience, some users have reported seeing unspeakable horrors as well.


Physical effects

Mescaline has a stimulating effect, making users feel more energetic and motivating them to participate in various physical activities such as running or dancing. This is accompanied by an increased control over one’s body, as well as enhanced tactile sensations.

Like other stimulants, use Trichocereus bridgesii causes elevated heart rate and wakefulness. Nausea is also among the more common physical effects caused by the achuma cactus.


After effects

The onset of the primary effects takes about 40 minutes and usually lasts for 8-12 hours. After effects are normally experienced for about a day after the consumption.

Physical after effects caused by mescaline include joint stiffness, muscle aches and physical tiredness. This is the result of the body returning to its normal state from elevated blood pressure and the stimulating effect of mescaline.

Cognitive after effects of Trichocereus bridgesii are more vague, such as confusion. Insomnia is common even after the primary effects have faded.


Sources: Drugs.comPsychonautWiki


Dangers of Trichocereus bridgesii


Mescaline cacti such as Trichocereus bridgesii are considered relatively harmless compared to other substances with similar effects. Achuma does not cause physical addiction, though psychological addiction is always a possibility.

There have been no reports of lethal overdoses from Trichocereus bridgesii (though users should always be cautious, especially with larger dosages).

The Bolivian torch does, however, have some negative side-effects. Though bad trips are rare, several users have reported a strong sense of anxiety. Consumption of the plant is also rather nauseating.

Trichocereus bridgesii is a stimulant, elevating heart rate and blood pressure (avoid if you have high blood pressure or a heart problem). It should not be consumed in combination with other stimulating substances. Also, achuma and MAO inhibitors may interact adversely.



Trichocereus bridgesii health benefits


Cacti with mescaline content such as Trichocereus bridgesii have been used extensively for healing purposes. However, very little research has been done to either support or contradict the supposed health benefits.

Mescaline cacti have been used to treat pain, fever, asthma, and several other ailments. Also, mescaline supposedly has a mind opening effect, allowing users to reach a deeply introspective state with enhanced thought processes.



Trichocereus bridgesii preparation and consumption


The mescaline content of Trichocereus bridgesii is estimated to be around 25 mg per 100 grams of fresh plant. This varies greatly from plant to plant, but it is reported to be one of the strongest of the mescaline cacti.  Because of this, caution should always be exercised when trying larger doses.

The threshold amount for mescaline is 100 milligrams, while up to 1000 mg is considered a heavy dose. Naturally, the mescaline content of a specific plant would be difficult to measure. As a rule of thumb, many recipes recommend one foot of achuma cactus.

Trichocereus bridgesii can be prepared and consumed in multiple ways. It may be chewed or drank as a tea, either in its fresh form or after drying out.

Before consumption, the spines and inner core need to be removed, these will not be necessary. The remaining plant tissue may then be dried, preferably in a dark environment.

Apart from simply eating the dried cactus, the most popular way to consume achuma cactus is as a tea. When preparing the tea, the spines and core may still be removed, though they will be filtered out later anyway.

The plant material is added to a pot of water. The concoction should be brewed on medium heat for several hours. When it is ready, boil away as much of the water as you’d like – smaller amounts are easier to ingest. Filter out the pulp, making sure to get all the liquid from it.

The solid or liquid cactus can be consumed after preparation. The plant is reported to taste rather unpleasant in all its forms. Having pineapple juice, or some other chaser with a strong taste at hand might help .

Trichocereus bridgesii is, as other mescaline cacti, also nauseating. Throwing up after consuming the cactus diminishes the effects. Many psychonauts suggest either not eating anything a few hours prior to consumption, or taking Dramamine beforehand to alleviate the nausea.


Buy Trichocereus bridgesii


Buy Trichocereus bridgesii – US

I can’t personally recommend any US vendors right now.


Buy Trichocereus bridgesii – Netherlands

You can buy Trichocereus bridgesii at the following link:

Buy Trichocereus bridgesii /Shipped from the Netherlands./


Trichocereus bridgesii trip reports


The following are Bolivian torch trip reports from ordinary people who shared their experiences online.


Stronger effects are kicking in. I feel really quite affected, and visual distortions like warping of objects are increasing in intensity.

It is still getting stronger. It is a challenge to handle it. I have limited control over my thoughts – whatever I think of becomes extensively elaborated upon by unconscious cognitive processes that are beyond my control. There was a definite visual element to this, and it didn’t seem to have much connection to whether my eyes were open or closed.

– Excerpts from Sir_jeans’ Trichocereus bridgesii trip report

“After about 1 hour, I feel myself slipping from sanity. The ties that bind my rational personality are slowly melted away. I try to be positive and control the trip, but the trip controls me, increasingly pulling me from reality. I begin to get increasingly paranoid, and glance around the room .

I look over to the kitchen and see something moving on the linoleum. A hand slowly pushes its way through the tiles, and an arm and head follow. The whole world around me is lit up like a giant neon display, too intricate too decribe. the ‘ man’ slowly works his upper half through the linoleum and looks at me with his featureless face.


I see the ceiling above me crack open and crumble away and universes and galaxies rush by. The secrets of life are exposed to me. my life is just an insant on the infinite span of time. The universe expands forever within me and without. Races and civilizations are born and die immeasurable times. I cry from the beauty of the things im exposed to.”

– Excerpts from Rye’s Trichocereus bridgesii trip report


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Share your own trip report in the comment section below (to ensure anonymity don’t use your real name or real email address when submitting trip reports)!

Some of the information presented here might be outdated or incorrect (check “last updated” below). If you are planning to try out any of the substances, make sure to to research them yourself as well.

I’m 100% committed to safe and responsible legal high consumption. If you have a few minutes to spare please read my blog post about responsible and safe legal drugs use.


Trichocereus bridgesii is only one of the legal highs included in Simon’s legal high guide, check out the others as well.

If you are only interested in legal psychedelics, then check out Simon’s Legal Psychedelics for more.


Last updated: 2015. 12. 14.

Simon's Trichocereus Bridgesii (Achuma) Guide
Article Name
Simon's Trichocereus Bridgesii (Achuma) Guide
A guide detailing the properties, effects and legal status of trichocereus bridgesii, including experience reports.

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