Botanical Extraction

Recreational DMT Extraction Poses Safety Concerns

Written by Antonio DeRose

Advances in research on the therapeutic potential of psychoactive substances like psilocybin, ibogaine, and N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), are sparking a great deal of interest in extracting these substances. Testimonies from people like legendary quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who recently shared his ayahuasca DMT experience with NBC Sports, are making the topic of DMT more mainstream. [1]

This increase in interest has many recreational extractors looking for ways to extract DMT.
Although DMT extraction has been done for centuries by indigenous people in the North and South America for religious and ceremonial purposes, recreational extraction using current extraction technology can pose several safety concerns.

 

Using Common Solvents to Extract DMT

A study published in the Journal of Psychedelic Studies examined DMT concentration after using five different extraction solvents commonly used today. The initial goal was to determine if any of the five solvents would extract non-purified DMT from the roots of the Mimosa tenuiflora plant also known as Mimosa hostilis. [2]

 

The five solvents tested were:

  1. n-hexane
  2. Ethyl acetate
  3. n-butanol
  4. Dichloromethane
  5. Chloroform

 

DMT concentration after solvent extraction was measured using Ultra performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-MS/MS) analysis. “All organic solvents were found to contain non-purified DMT.” [2]

 

DMT Concentration Levels by Solvent

  1. Dichloromethane – 3.73 mg/ml
  2. n-butanol – 3.54 mg/ml
  3. Chloroform – 2.03 mg/ml
  4. Ethyl acetate – 1.28 mg/ml
  5. n-hexane – 0.22 mg/ml

 

Although dichloromethane turned out to produce the highest concentration of DMT extract, “studies have shown that the solvent dichloromethane reacts with DMT to produce N-chloromethyl–N, N-dimethyltryptamine chloride”. [2] This leaves to question the purity of DMT concentration when using dichloromethane, which was not analyzed as part of the experiment.

N-hexane had the lowest amount of extracted DMT and has been used previously in other DMT extraction procedures. However, due to its toxicity, researchers recommend that “further investigations should contemplate using of N-pentane or N-heptane as a substitute for n-hexane”. Going on to state, “Recreational users of these non-purified, home-made extracts of DMT from M. hostilis could be potentially exposing themselves to chemical products with unknown toxicology or pharmacology.” [2]

Ultimately, this study confirmed that DMT can be extracted from Mimosa hostilis roots using any of the five solvents listed above. At the same time, it brings into question the safety of the final extract, which warrants the need for more research into safe and effective DMT extraction.

 

References:

[1] FMIA: Ja’Marr Chase Is On A Quest For Greatness And How Aaron Rodgers Learned to Love Himself. NBC Sports. 2022. https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2022/08/08/nfl-training-camp-fmia-bengals-packers-titans-peter-king/

 

[2] Novak Rossi, G. et al. Internet method for the extraction of N,N-dimethyltryptamine from Mimosa hostilis roots: Does it really extract dimethyltryptamine? Journal of Psychedelic Studies. 2019. V3. Issue 1. Pg 1 – 6. https://doi.org/10.1556/2054.2019.009 Times Cited: 2 Journal Impact Factor: 2.5

 

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Antonio DeRose

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