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Research Sceletium alkaloid extraction

Research done by (or for) the DMT-Nexus community


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I performed a CIELO-type extraction on 43 g of Sceletium tortuousm with 80 ml water and 13 g CaOH. It was a bit too much water as a tiny amount of water came out in the first pull when I squeezed it with the coffee plunger. The water did not seem to pass through the coffee filter though.

I dumped the citric acid without any stirring and it resulted in a very thick goo. Unfortunately, there was plastic that came loose from the lid of my jar and some probably dissolved into the ethyl acetate. I had to redissolve the product back in water and try to filter the plastic out.

Yield 1.37% mesembrine (and related alkaloids) citrate

I tried to make the benzoate salt by doing a mini A/B with NaOH but struggled to redissolve the freebase back into ethyl acetate or acetone. The bit that did dissolve I salted with by dropping the benzoic acid directly and it made a less waxy but still not crystalline product.

I might try to dissolve some in pg/vg to vape it, though I am a bit wary of the plastic from the lid.

The second picture below is next to a mescaline extraction that I was doing at the same time, right after having added the citric acid. The last picture is the citrate salt.


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I repeated a second extraction using 50 g S. tortuosum.

75 g water, 13 g CaOH, 5 x EA pulls totaling about 420 g. The amount of water was perfect and none came out when squeezing hard with the French press.

This time I did a fridge rest before salting. Something started precipitating in the fridge so I placed the EA in the freezer. About 30 mg worth of some white precipitate formed. I vaporized a small amount (1~3 mg?) but could not feel effects past placebo. It seems to have a very low boiling point as it vaporizes very quickly on my convection e-mesh setup. It is likely not mesembrine as the literature states mesembrine freebase being a brown oil.

The EA was then salted with citric acid, yielding 550 mg (1.1%) of the alkaloid salt. This time I redissolved the citrate alkaloids into water and then evaporated the water on a plate in the oven at around 60 °C. Interestingly, the resulting extract is very hard to scrape and when scraped small shiny crystals can be seen. Shortly after scraping the extract seems to have picked up water and gone back to a thick syrup texture.

Since the yield came out lower than the first extraction I decided to combine it with the leftover sceletium from the first extraction and do more pulls. I was able to (so far) recover 170 mg more.

I tried playing around with other salts (benzoate and fumarate) but struggled to redissolve the freebase (which I converted using NaOH) into either ethyl acetate or limonene. **I found out recently that NaOH and ethyl acetate should not be combined due to hydrolysis. I have only been able to recover 100 mg of freebase by evaporating the lye solutions and pulling with acetone so I am not sure what has happened to the rest.


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I have not gotten around to trying it properly yet. Only vaporized a tiny bit of the crystalline material on e-mesh during the comedown of a bufotenine experience so I could not quite tell the effects :giggle:.

I will try run some TLC plates.
I have vaporized a bit more and put small amounts under my tongue. The effect so far has just been a subtle mood boost, but perhaps I just need to up the dose. It's hard to weigh given the stickiness.

Attached is a TLC plate I ran with DCM:MeOH 3:1. The sample was dissolved in MeOH. The two columns are just two replicates.


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