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Psilocybin and Psilocin Extraction Solvents and Techniques

Written by Antonio DeRose

Psilocybin and psilocin extraction solvents and techniques are becoming more popular topics among extractors. Thanks to decriminalization efforts, states like Oregon and other major metropolitan areas like Denver, CO, and Oakland, CA have decriminalized magic mushrooms in the United States. These movements have sparked new interest, and demand for these therapeutic compounds is on the rise. The therapeutic benefits are why we will see the demand continue to increase as time goes on, and this is what extractors need to know.


Water Extraction

Water extraction is an old but tested method for extracting psilocybin and psilocin. According to a study published in 1985, water and acetic acid are used to create a pure extract that is high in psilocin and contains almost no contaminants. The solubility of aqueous acetic acid lets extractors extract the targeted compounds while leaving behind others. [1]


Methanol Extraction

Then, in 1994, another study comparing psilocybin and psilocin extraction solvents and techniques made some interesting discoveries. Pure methanol yields the highest concentration of psilocybin, but it also extracts baeocystin. This makes methanol extraction a good option for extracting high quantities of psilocybin but results in less purity than the water extraction method mentioned above. [2]


Methanol/Ethanol Blend Extraction

A blend of methanol and ethanol was used in the same 1994 study. Combining the two solvents results in higher psilocin to psilocybin ratios. This higher amount of psilocin is a result of psilocybin undergoing enzymatic destruction due to the solvent blend.


Sonication Extraction

Sonication extraction of psilocybin is a newer technique. Extraction companies, like Hielscher Ultrasonics, have already identified methods to use ultrasonic extraction on mushrooms. The technique results in a high yield of psilocybin. The primary benefit here is the increased extraction speed when compared to other extraction methods.

As the extraction of psilocybin and psilocin continues to be studied, there will surely be new extraction methods identified. For now, these are some of the top techniques for extracting these therapeutically magic compounds.



  1. Casale, F. An Aqueous-Organic Extraction Method for the Isolation and Identification of Psilocin from Hallucinogenic Mushrooms. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 1985. 30(1):247-50

DOI:10.1520/JFS10989J Times Cited: 30 Journal Impact Factor: 1.832

  1. Gartz, J. Extraction and analysis of indole derivatives from fungal biomass. J Basic Microbiol. 1994. ;34(1):17-22. doi: 10.1002/jobm.3620340104 Times Cited: 70 Journal Impact Factor: 1.909

About the author

Antonio DeRose