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Some cactus work...

Migrated topic.


Rising Star
I am so excited to get ahold of these TLC kits for research purposes.

I have been growing a number of Trichocereus species for many years, with the intention of doing some chemical analysis someday.

I also would love to figure out why it is the Trichocereus bridgesii is subjectively so much 'speedier' than Trichocereus pachanoi or peruvianus (in my and many other people's experience).

I hope that I will do this same process with a number of different Trichocereus species & clones over the next year or so.


Starting Material was 1025 g fresh Trichocereus bridgesii, a clone that I will call 'Kate'. Picture enclosed. Is was about 3 feet of skinny cactus. I also put 410g of the fresh material in a food dehydrator to dry.

The alkaloidal fraction was obtained using Kash's A/B tek, which can be found on the Wiki.

At the end of the extraction I was left with 633 mg of tannish powder. (o.633 g)

I tested this powder (about 5 mg) using Marquis reagent, and the color change (orange) indicated the presence of mescaline.

I then ran TLC on the alkaloid, again using ~5 mg, using the Bunk Police kit & following the enclosed directions.

I ended up with one nice clear spot and a streaky spot above that. Both flouresced under black light.

I have not yet run caffeine next to the alkaloid to compare RF values but maybe that will even happen today.

The spot reacted with the Marquis reagent in the same way that the original alkaloid did, while the streak had no reaction. Neither reacted to Ehrlich. (Picture enclosed)

I am led to believe that the streak is some residual plant goo as it did not react to the Marquis and I only washed the crystals once with cold MEK, not doing the final purification step that Kash outlines.

When the cactus came out of the food dehydrator it weighed 21g. This indicates that 95% of the fresh weight of this cactus was water (a little different than the 90% water weight that I usually hear).

So, my fresh cactus material had 0.06% alkaloid, if dried it would have contained 1.2% alkaloid.

Not bad!

Now where does the stimulation come from? I only see one spot so it must not be an alkaloid, although I am hoping to get GC/MS analysis done to see if that spot is actually composed of multiple alkaloids.

POSTSCRIPT 02/16 I bioassayed 300 mg of this extract and it was beautiful, so nice. It felt about as speedy to me as taking T bridgesii in whole form, so maybe there are not extra alkaloids? Or maybe the MAOI type constituent is not an alkaloid, but is still present in my second plant goo spot? The isolated alkaloid did seem, to me, to be lacking some of the magic of the whole plant, but it was still so beautiful & fun & fucking exhausting actually.


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Nice. I did some TLC testing a couple of weeks back as well. My mescaline spots travelled quite further on the plate, most probably because I didn't use concentrated enough ammonia in the methanol solvent.

I also tested the spot with Marquis and it came out deep orange as well.

Your spots are quite big to the ones on my test plates. What do you use as a spotter? I use a 10 uL syringe from eBay which allows very precise spotting.
I used those tiny glass capillary thingies, I am sure there is a better name for them.

What cactus did you analyze? Did you get multiple spots?
urtica said:
What cactus did you analyze? Did you get multiple spots?

I analyzed already extracted mescaline along with caffeine to compare the RF's and as a reference for future cacti testing. I only got one spot on the mescaline column and a very vague streak. It was cleaned up thoroughly.

At 1 mg/ ml the spot was barely if at all visible so I wonder if a crude methanol extract of some dried tissue will be detectable without doing a mini a/b on it. I also did about 3-5 mg/ml before I got some proper spots.

Interesting enough in most publications testing is done with 1 mg/ml so I really wonder how they came to proper results. It might be because of Chloroform is mostly used as an eluent for cacti instead of methanol.

I am also curious about being able to analyze a methanol extract of a small amount of tissue, both from cacti & from other plants (grasses come to mind...)

I wonder how Johnny Appleseed did all their TLC on the grasses, surely it was from a crude extract and not that they did an A/B on the grass each time...
#2 Trichocereus pachanoi 'PC'

The starting material was 1250 grams of fresh 'PC' pachanoi cuttings.

The cuttings were all very dehydrated and shriveled, i.e very stressed. Picture enclosed.

The cuttings that I used are also very woody in the middle. They took a lot of effort to cut with a strong serrated bread knife.

I used the same process as before, the only difference was substituting powdered citric acid for lemon juice.

This time I got a yield of ~102 mg. Pretty bad compared to the bridgesii but that was expected.

The alkaloid was of a darker brownish color, even after an ice cold MEK wash.

The TLC plates ended up looking almost the same except the second streaky 'plant goo' spots are much stronger and kind of take over the whole top of the plate...

The lower alkaloidal spots tested positive for mescaline via Marquis reagent, but to the analyst the reaction seemed less vigorous in both fizzing and color change.

No spot reacted to Elrich.

So, this version of 'PC' yielded 0.00816% fresh, perhaps 0.16% dry weight.
Here are the pics from the last entry (PC)


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Trichocereus 'JS04', I would call it a T. cuzcoensis at this point.

I bought a 5' cutting of this cactus, it is so beautiful!

10 inches cut off the bottom weighed 1600g, what a fatty.

I used that much material, did the same extraction as the other times, and got nothing!

A little bit of brown goo, that upon sitting out did indeed produce a tiny bit of crystals, which I tested using Marquis & had no color reaction at all, although it did bubble as usual. I thought maybe there was a little bit of color change, and was going to TLC to see if there was a bit of mescaline in there, but I think at this point I have lost the razor blade with the goo on it.

I would call the yield 0% even though that is not actually true.

Trichocereus cuzcoensis has been long used as a shampoo for rich and shining hair, and I think that is about all it is good for. Maybe all those nice slimy mucopolysaccharides would be nice for an upset stomach or something because there ain't no pesky alkaloids in there to upset your stomach.

Pics to come.

T pachanoi x peruvianus, 995g of fresh material, same process.

At the end of the process all I got was a tiny bit of somewhat crystally brown goo.

I did not even weigh it. It barely reacted to Marquis reagent.

I sent the bit of goo off for HPLC/MS analysis (I think?) & it did have some mesc, tiny yield tho.

I have attached a photo of the cactus.


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Thanks a lot for your work.
I'm the kind guy who dream about doing this for knowledge but the lazyness is stronger, so thanks again :thumb_up:

Few questions :
What is your climate, tropical, temperate, polar :p ?
Did you use ferts or no.
Could you tell how much they grow in one year ?
I guess those you grew were cutting not from seeds didn't they ?
My pleasure, it was fun. Except for the xylene which is disgusting.

I live in a temperate rainforest in the PNW corner of the country. The cactus need to come inside for the winter.

I do fertilize yes, with some organic blend, worm tea & sometimes bat guano.

I get anywhere from 6 to 18 inches of growth in a year depending on the species & clone.

These were all from cuttings, yes.
Tanks for your answers :thumb_up:

One last question and i stop :
During extraction, did you check the pH of the acid water to not got under 6,5 for the final pull on the xylen ?
It's to understand why you have only 59% of mescaline in the extract of the bridge and if it's possible to get it purer or not.

Sorry for the very delayed response.

No, I did not check the PH, and I was only going for a sort of "TA" from the cactus because I am interested in the differences in chemical make up between the various clones & species.

I imagine you could do column chromatography on the extract to isolate the mescaline.
Damn, I would love to run a column!

I did another clone, but shifted it over to the Cactus Analysis thread.
New results, also on the Cactus Analysis thread in the Plant Analysis and Substance Testing subforum. I am going to stop making posts over here.
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