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Working with fresh cactus - a pictoral.

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The Root
OG Pioneer
I have always found it preferable to work with fresh cactus, it is always available fresh and i just dont see the benefit of drying it prior to extraction.

Working with the fresh cactus can be tedious and a few little tips can make things so much quicker and easier.

After working with many many many meters of cactus, injuring many thumbs(by getting the skin of the cactus under the nail - usually the thumb nail) the easiest and safest(finger wize) way i have found is as follows.



First the spines need to be removed, a usefull little tool iv found for this is a little item by victorynox knives.
This makes the job much faster but is by no means neccicary.


The way i found it quickest to proceed is to first make an incision on the one side of each areole


Working your way down each rib, rib after rib, until the entire cactus is done - half way.


Once that is complete the spines can be removed by rotating the peice and repeating the proceedure on the uncut side of each areole


Within 7 minutes(incl taking photos) the peice was clear of spines


A little knife can be used and is just as accurate but more time consuming


knife used on left areole - victorynox tool used on the right one


Once the cactus is free of spines its time to strip it into snakes
Take the cactus and cut along each valley between each rib - making sure to cut on the v
If the core is soft - cut to the center, if not cut to the core(the peice in the tek was softish but was still cut to the wood for purposes of demonstration)


Once the log has been sliced down the ribs, run your thumb down between the ribs to split the sections somewhat - this makes the next step easier.


Using your thumbs, carefully separate the cactus from the wood


Work the snakes off the core keeping them in one peice - if they start to split up a bit - use a knife to get them back on track with being removed in one peice.
This should leave u with some cactus snakes and a core


If the core was soft and one cut the middle - they can easily be sliced off with a knife.
Any little bits of core left clinging to the snakes can be removed too.

The snakes should now be cut to a size that is easy to work with.


using ones nail the skin should be worked off each peice starting on one side - moving slowly from left to right, little by little
This is after moving across once


this is after going across twice


after repeating this on the other side the skin comes off in one peice


This process is rather quick and took only 22 minutes


Optionally one can now fillet the cactus to separate the dark green flesh from the inner white flesh

To separate the 2 parts the best way i have found is to cut each snake down its back lengthwize


then lay each peice down so it can be filleted



if done carefully the separation can be quite accurate


i dont usually bother with this as the white flesh contains plenty of actives
what i found best to do is to slice it up like a carrot



then do 2 tea pulls with minimal straining, freeze/thaw then blend for the final 2 tea pulls

Just out of interest the original peice before being prepped weighed - 1888g
After being prepped - 1422g
The cactus in the pic is an almost spineless pedro - it cant hurt u - u can toss it to a friend and they can catch it any way they want without chance of injury.
No thumbs were hurt in the making of this post.

Hope this tek helps someone out.
holy syncro, did you cut that up today? My last dream before i woke up this morning was of cutting up some cactus and it looked EXACTLY like alot of those pictures, the knife and board were the same!! Good thread phlux thanks, even though i'm a little freaked out! Especially since i just got my pedro in the mail
btw phlux, did you ever get to try making resin? because for resin, one can just cut the cactus up in slices, the whole thing with spines and the center and all, and boil that.. then there's no need to worry about cleaning it all up.. I guess one could also just extract from that.. I think I remember reading somewhere that other parts of the cactus appart from the green flesh also have a significant amount of alkaloids that would be wasted when cleaning it up , but im not sure where I read this anymore

would be interesting if someone would test making a side-by-side extraction from the same batch, one with the cleaned cactus, and another with the full cactus like when making resin, and check if yield is indeed different
iv got well over 1% from the white layer.

i made resin from this cactus and i am amazed to say the least.
i consumed half of the resin of the first tea pull - i would guesstimate it to have been equivelent to perhaps 500-600mg mesc hcl but it was not in hcl form so the duration was very different - took longer to kick in then when it was over it just stopped - like bang - back to normal.
Yum!!!! Nice pics Phlux-, Im envious that you have such huge peices of fresh cactus. I bet it just grows where you are... heh
Interesting. I have a cactus waiting to be consumed this summer, so I'm currently doing my homework and looking for a good tek. You seem to be quite knowledgeable on the subject, so if you don't mind I'd like to ask some rather newbish questions.

First, I don't understand how you can do a tea pull from those pieces if they're not blended yet? Are they so soft that they can be squeezed easily?
Second, I've read about the freezing/thawing before, but I don't get the point of it. Can't you just blend those pieces immediately?

I was origingally planning to follow this tek. It's quite different from yours (it involves boiling, and no need for removing the skin and spines since those will be filtered anyway). It certainly looks less time-consuming than your tek, but maybe you could tell me whether there any (dis)advantages to either tek compared to the other one?

Edit: Just noticed in another thread of yours that this is just a preparation for a later extraction. Would I get much lesser results if I just drank the tea as described in the tek I linked to? I'm afraid I'll mess it all up with using those chemical substances (not to mention that I'd have to find them first).

Thanks in advance for your help.
blending it up works fine - its just alot more work and more time consuming - i usually do like 2 pulls on chunks (plenty comes out as chunks) then i freeze(it bursts the cells making more actives avaliable) it then i blend and do the last 2 pulls.
I find the skins muck things up and the spines bother you when filtering.
Thank you. I can imagine the hassle of spines and skin when filtering. I'll remove them.

I was also wondering what the advantages are of extracting the mescaline, as opposed to just drinking it in tea-form? Surely there must be a reason why you guys all go through that extracting process.
:) if you havent had cactus before - and know ur cactus is good - i highly suggest a tea.
If its a good tea you will purge - not puke - and it will be good.
The experience of tea is unlike any other way of dosing cactus - it is the full experience of each individual cactus imo - you really get the feel for the small and big differences in cacti this way.
The taste is fairly undescribable - almost as if i have a mental block against remembering it :)

Once one has met The Old Man, mescaline can be used as it has far less body load and jackpotting is not always guarenteed but often welcomed - also mescaline is nice because one can take small doses without the stress of tea.

That said - i have a friend that works closely with cactus - he says he doesnt mind the taste - once one understands the taste and gives into it fully - it is not a bother.

Good luck.


a tip on tea -

make the tea - then put it in the fridge to stand overnight - in the morning decant the clear tea and consume that - the muck at the bottom is what adds all that extra flavour.
Also - filter a few times - it speeds up reduction time and tastes better in the end.
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