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Research The Cactus Analysis Thread

Research done by (or for) the DMT-Nexus community
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Thanks for getting on this, Elrik! YOu must have quite a garden!

Any chance we could get pics of the plants?

Also you are coring & then running them thru a chipper?
I have to be careful about photos of plants in the field. It would not be advantageous to me if the locals were to know about my hobbies, to put it mildly 😉

What I meant by chipping was reducing to dried chips.
After cutting the spines off a stem with clippers [wear goggles] what I do is cut it in half the long way through high points of opposing ribs, then cut wedges the long way through the high point on each rib [these are important details that speed drying]. Once the stem has been reduced to long strips of adjacent half-ribs I peel out the core and throw it away, then take a bundle of strips and cut them into 3-5 mm thick slices. Dont have the waxy skin layer against the cutting board or facing the ceiling as that makes them hard to cut, have the strips on their sides when cutting and use a very sharp knife. 3-5 mm Thick slices will get fully dry in my electric food dehydrator in 8 hours when its set to 68° C as long as I dont overload the dehydrator.
Four boils gets all the bitterness out of the chips, I then reduce the tea to 400 ml for each 100 grams of chips, base with one heaping teaspoon of lye for each 100 grams of chips after rounding UP to the nearest hundred, and do four hour pulls with a stir plate using xylene. Five or six pulls gets nearly all the product out. After letting the xylene fully clarify and removing any droplets of water I then salt with HCl to pH 7.
I am really interested in screening my cactus using TLC. I've read think thread several times studying it thoroughly.

Some pics of young peyotes I am growing along with small trich's , bridgessi, peruvianus and pachanoi. Looking to add new cactus to my collection, I really look forward to using TLC to learn a little about each cactus and determine what cactus farms have shaman quality cactus.

some cactus powderI made by de-spinning, slicing the chlorenchyma from the green outer cortex tossing the core of of 5 feet of san pedro . I boiled and removed the waxy cuticle reduced the cactus until a paste that I dried and am going to extract using the method outlined by AN1cca using a soxhlet extractor. I've been slow because I need to make my own 25% ammonia solution and I work best when I am in no hurry in a safe place.

I am a new guy but hope I can contribute something more than just a few pics.😁


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Aren't babies cute :d... If you've got any questions regarding the TLC-procedure, don't hesitate to post. There's a dedicated thread as well...

Good luck!
Elrik, nice work indeed! I really like the idea of growing cacti to become self sustaining in my production :)

Is there any particular reason why you don't go with 69Rons's dry tek for extracting? I really dislike working with something like xylene as it is too toxic.
Oh theres a couple reasons.
From the age of 8 I learned chemistry from my grandfathers and great-grandfathers generations so I'm just reflexively very old-school in my sentiments. I'm not averse to innovation, I just finished trialing an experimental extraction method of my own design [it was a measurable improvement, but not enough of one to report on] and I'm gearing up to do a series of experiments on another experimental method. But any time I first envision a chemistry operation my brain shows it to me in 1930's or 1950's technology like I'm in some old black and white film.
"Its Alive! ALIVE!!!" :p
I also trust my ability to get maximal yield by working with liquid-on-liquid extractions. I like that I can extract chips until theyre spent, then pull on the tea until the last pull increases my yield by just a near trivial amount.
And, finally, I simply havent found limonene or food grade calcium hydroxide here and I try to minimize potentially 'suspicious' online purchases so the few red-flag purchases I do have to make online can better blend in with the small amounts of plant hormones, medicinal plant seeds, etc. I also buy. I dont want to set off too many red flags designed to spot meth cooks [meth is the main drug in my region].

I dont specifically advocate xylene based methodologies, and if my upcoming experiments are actually successful I might even leave them behind, theyre just my current personal preference given the available options.
Interesting to see. I tried the xylene in the beginning but de-fatting the tea was a nightmare and without de-fatting the separation between the phases wasn't great or at least there was a fat layer between the NPE and the base.
I went this way in the beginning because I studied chemistry at university. There we extracted caffeine from black tea using ether (followed by column chromatography).

I think the biggest weakness of 69ron's tek is scalability: the more you use, the worse your yield will be. On the part of the rock where I happen to be born limonene is easy to get from 3d-printing shops and Ca(OH)_2 for fish keeping :) Personally I think that with extracting stuff from plants your are so under of the radar in most countries that you don't need to bother.

Anyway, keep up the good work!
I forgot to mention previously, I defat the tea with paraffin wax from canning supplies in the supermarket. Its not miraculous, some fats get past, but it helps and its very safe and easy.
A quantity of paraffin wax is added to the hot tea and its gently stirred for about two minutes. The tea is allowed to cool and refrigerated, the wax can then be removed with a spoon and with a sieve.
Its how my great grandfather deodorized opium so children and fussy neurotics would take their opium tincture :lol:
After 3 or 4 uses that wax can be saved for making candles, sealing vials, etc.

If any suspended particles of plant waxes are left in xylene after all the water microdrops settle out, just pouring it through the same small filter repeatedly will get it crystal clear.
I have tried the limonene tek and while I got something it was a pain to work with and clean the glassware afterwards. I got more limonene than I can use for house cleaning. I am thinking it's not worth recycling the time energy..ect.

I am really learning a lot from you guys, maybe the old ways are the best ways after all.

I saw something this morning on using paraffin how very interesting.
LC001+LC002 chips from aged stems: 0.8% as the hydrochloride

Several different seed grown plants of these two reciprocal hybrids of spanish pachanoi and bridgesii parents were harvested and the stems set on a shelf for 12 months. The cores were then discarded and the flesh was dried to yield 268 grams of chips. This was extracted to yield 2.23 grams of faintly orange hydrochloride.
I'll cautiously say that all were planted as seed in 2008

On SS02 X Kimuras Giant, and reciprocal, they were planted I think in march 2008 and grown without much interference until this harvest when I savagely cut back one main stem from each plant. I extracted all but the most recent years growth, saving the tip to root if potency was any good. I'll be rooting them ;)

The LC001 and LC002 were more complicated. Libertycaps started handing out seed as gifts in 2007 and I got mine going somewhere in 2008 but after a few years I cut basal pups off many of the plants and mixed them together to grow as grafting stock. The LCs make nice peyote stock, I think. What I extracted was some of that mixed 'grafting stock' group, probably representing four years of growth. The attached pic shows what became of a few of those stems that were actually used as grafting stock.

The predominant european scopulicola I'll be extracting in a month or so was obtained as an etiolated cutting around 2004 and I've been duplicating them ever since. All I can say is two months ago I chopped down the top meter of fat growth off like half a dozen of the plants.


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Ok, so we know that they have reached alkaloidal maturity by 10 years old at least.

It would be great to somehow track a seedling by analyzing content from the time it is a baby until it starts producing nice amounts of alkaloid, probably using An1cca's methods.

Also more work needs to be done comparing grafted and non grafted lophs from the same seed batch, that is a long term goal of mine...
Indeed Urtica, I'm quite confident that the outlined TLC method can provide an adequate means to this goal. As you've probably read, a batch of seedlings with good genetics failed to demonstrate M-presence when they were about 4cm tall. Too bad, I really hoped that I could select my little entheogenic garden at toddler-age :p.
I am very excited to undertake this journey of cactus analysis. I got my TLC kit and 10gm of Ninhydrin.

I recently tested an extract I made a while back. I used the TLC test kit and the marquis reagent. I concluded that the 10lbs of cactus I bought from cactus kate, san pedro, was of little value to me. I came to this conclusion because of the weak reaction of a concentrated extract tested.

I got several cactus to test and some ready to work with as far as making as close to pure reference sample as i can.

I took a sample to work with soon, I used a 5mm tube to get the sample, then froze and I think instead of using distilled water I will use the solvent provided with the kit. Methanol/ammonia solution. It seems to make sense to me.

Instead of pressure cooking I intend on mashing the sample, sealing the eppindorf vial and in a glass container keep warm in a water bath for a lenght of time perhaps 8hr. Then extract using a filter draw into a syringe to load into a cap tube for TLC/test.

I suppose I should do a second sample by freezing then pressure cooking the sample.

Has anyone any experience in testing using paper chromatography as paper is less expensive and was widely used and still is today as far as I read.

Any suggestions?

Love it, thank for getting on this!

I bet you got a load of PC from verne, not much alkaloid in there although it IS ACTIVE which is a mystery I would love to solve. My own analysis showed that there was only about 1 mg/kg mesc in that clone but I have found it active at ~2.5kg...

I think An1cca could comment on your prep methods better than I could.

I would just use TLC plates personally. You are thinking of using printer paper or something like that?
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