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DMT for the Masses
A Mimosa tenuiflora (= M. hostilis) Root-Bark Extraction Tek
by Noman
v1.4 - Jun 26, 2012
Revised version of an article originally published in The Entheogen Review
Citation:   Noman. "DMT for the Masses (v 1.4)". Erowid.org. Jun 26, 2012. Online edition: Erowid.org/plants/nutmeg/nutmeg_article#.shtml. Original published in The Entheogen Review. Autumn 2006;15(3):91-92.
NOTE: Before performing any extraction procedure, it is always a good idea to read the entire description of the process from start to finish. Please see the Addendum at the end of this tek for additional tips, refinements, and clarifications regarding to the processes described. Also see the related article Keep that Mimosa Mud? by J. Cocktoasten.

Disclaimer
Performing this procedure is illegal in most countries. I do not advocate performing it where illegal and I do not perform it myself where illegal.

The intent of this tek is to simplify the extraction procedure as much as possible, so that the average person can complete it in a kitchen in one evening. While I think that I have accomplished this goal, experimentalists must still do their homework. It is a good idea to read a few different teks before deciding which one to use, and to research safe handling procedures for the chemicals and equipment required. I don't provide instructions for decanting, siphoning, and filtering, for example, because I assume that those interested in performing kitchen chemistry will educate themselves on such basic procedures.

Materials
  • Mimosa tenuiflora (= M. hostilis) root-bark
  • A coffee grinder or heavy-duty blender (one that will crush ice)
  • A wide-mouthed glass mixing jar with a tight-fitting lid (a quart jar can do 50 grams of root-bark, a gallon pickle jar can do 200 grams)
  • Water
  • Lye (granulated sodium hydroxide)
  • A bottle of vinegar (for neutralizing any lye spills)
  • A dust mask, safety goggles, and rubber gloves
  • Naptha (VM&P, not lighter fluid)
  • Four wide-mouthed 8-ounce glass collection jars with lids (canning or jelly jars work well)
  • A separatory funnel or gear to siphon or decant
  • Coffee filters
  • A rubber spatula
  • A freezer set to a very cold temperature (it should freeze ice cream rock-hard)
  • Non-sudsy ammonia (10% solution, e.g. "janitor strength", is optimal, but 5% "household strength" will do as well)
  • An eyedropper

Process
1) Snap the Mimosa tenuiflora root-bark into small pieces and run it through the coffee grinder or blender at high speed. You may need pruning shears to cut the root-bark small enough to grind properly. Pulverize it until it is just fiber and pink/purple dust--it needs to be completely broken down. The dust produced is very fine and astringent to one's respiratory tract. Unless you dig big cakey purple boogers, wear a dust mask. After grinding, wait for a bit before opening the top of the coffee grinder or blender, so that the dust has some time to settle.

2) Combine the lye and the water in the mixing jar. Use 15 ml water and 1 gram of lye for every gram of powdered root-bark that will later be added into the mixing jar. [Note: See Addendum, point #1 below.] For example: 50 grams of root-bark powder would require 750 ml water and 50 grams of lye. One level tablespoon of lye weighs about 15 grams. [Note: Lye is dangerous. Blind-you-forever dangerous. Have a bottle of vinegar handy as an acid to neutralize the caustically basic lye when cleaning up any spills that occur, and wear eye protection and rubber gloves when working with lye. Add the lye to the water, while slowly and constantly stirring until it has completely dissolved. Always add the lye to the water, and not the other way around. Adding water to lye may cause a volcano-like reaction. Erowid Note: Dissolving lye in water must be done slowly because it causes an exothermic (heat-releasing) reaction and this heat can cause dangerous splashing, the container to be too hot to touch, and can even crack non-borosilicate glassware, all of which could lead to dangerous situations.]

3) Add the powdered root-bark into the lye/water solution in your mixing jar. Cap and shake the jar, then let it sit for about an hour.

4) Now add to the mixing jar 1 ml of naphtha for each 15 ml of water used to create the lye solution. [Note: See Addendum, point #2 below.] Turn the jar end-over-end. Do not shake or splash (or there will be a tendency for the solution to form an unwanted emulsion); simply roll the naphtha around in the root-bark-powder-solution to mix it. Gently do this for one minute, and then let the jar stand until the naphtha has mostly separated and is floating on top. Then repeat this agitation process three more times.

5) After the final agitation, allow enough time to pass for the naphtha to again float on top, and then separate the two layers. The naphtha (top layer) goes in one of the collection jars, everything else stays in the mixing jar. A separatory funnel is the easiest means to accomplish separation of the two layers, but various techniques of siphoning or decanting could also be employed. None of the dark (lower) solution should be allowed into the collection jar--just the naphtha. [Note: If you save the dark (lower) basified solution, this can be used to extract "jungle spice" from: see Entropymancer 2008. "'Jungle Spice': Mystery Alkaloid(s) of Mimosa Root-bark", The Entheogen Review 16(3): 87-108.]

6) Repeat steps 4-5 above three more times, but do not add any new powdered root-bark. You will be reprocessing the same original root-bark material, in order to thoroughly extract the DMT from it. With the final (fourth jar) extraction, leave the powdered root-bark soaking in the naphtha for a day or two (agitating it occasionally), to better extract any remaining DMT before separating off the naphtha. [Note: See Addendum, point #3 below.] When you have finished, place all four collection jars into your freezer and go to bed. You will have four "snow globes" waiting for you in the morning.

7) Pour the naphtha from each jar through a coffee filter, saving the naphtha. (The naphtha can be reused for your next batch of extractions, or it can be evaporated off to produce a residue that can be further refined--see "Recrystallization" below). [Note: It has been pointed out that using fresh naphtha for each extraction results in significantly better quality material, with less DMT-oxide and oils in the final product and a better freeze precipitation.] A lot of paste will stick to the jar, so use a small rubber spatula to scrape this paste from the jar's sides down into the filter as well. Spread out each filter to dry. There will still be some residue in the jars; a bit of Salvia divinorum or Cannabis can be used to scrub them out, providing an enhanced aspect to those herbs.

8) The paste must be allowed to dry thoroughly; chop and stir it a couple of times to make sure that this is the case. Once it seems to be dry, crush up any lumps. [Note: Minimize the airflow above your product while evaporating-off the solvent and drying the DMT. Having a fan blowing above the product (not recommended) has been reported to transform white crystals into yellow goo; such airflow may convert some of the DMT into DMT-oxide, which is a yellow, sticky goo (and apparently not as strong as DMT or different in effect, depending on who you talk to).]

9) [Note: If you intend to recrystallize your material in order to further purify it, you can skip this step. Also, see Addendum, point #4 below.] Combine all of the dried material into one coffee filter. Wash this material by pouring freezer temperature non-sudsy ammonia over it and through the coffee filter. It is imperative that the ammonia you use is of the non-sudsy variety. You can shake the bottle to tell; if it creates suds, get a different kind. Rinsing won't take much ammonia, about 4 ounces for a 200-gram batch. Stir the powder around while rinsing to make sure that all of it is thoroughly wetted. A good bit of the mass will wash away--perhaps 25-45%--but it's nothing you want to be smoking anyway. You should be left with about 0.5% of the weight of the root-bark in DMT powder. When dried, it is perfectly smokable at this point, but it can be refined further by recrystallization. Although recrystallization inevitably results in some product loss, once you've had a hit of DMT that left absolutely nothing behind in the pipe, you won't want to use anything else.

Recrystallization
For our current purposes, the idea behind recrystallization is that the chosen solvent holds more DMT when hot than when cold, and that some impurities remain more easily within cold solvent. While naphtha will work for recrystallization, a better solvent to use at this point is heptane. Heptane is available in Bestine®, a rubber cement remover available at art supply stores. [Note: We have been informed that not all types of Bestine® use heptane, so check to make sure that this is the sole ingredient.]

Place a glass container holding the DMT and a glass container filled with the recrystallization solvent together in a pan of hot water. Shot glasses in a saucepan work well for a gram or two. The fumes from your solvent are extremely flammable, so only use a contained electric heating source. (Electric ranges with coil style elements can ignite fumes, as can the heat coils in electric ovens. Gas ranges or any sort of open flame, obviously, must be avoided.) The DMT will already be melting if the water is hot enough. Using an eyedropper, add the hot solvent little-by-little while agitating the DMT until all of the material has dissolved. Use 20-30 ml of solvent (or less) per gram of powder; you want to use as little solvent as possible. When all of the material has gone into solution, the solvent will be a clear yellow.

Leave the pan of water with the DMT container to cool down to room temperature. Then remove the DMT container and place it into your refrigerator. Later, move it into your freezer. This step-wise process allows for gradual cooling and the precipitation of crystals. You will end up with DMT crystals of varying purity on top of a pellet of slag, which still contains quite a bit of DMT (but also some lye, if you skipped the ammonia wash). Do the coffee filter bit again to dry the material, and then separate the crystals from the slag. The crystals can be further refined, through one or two more recrystallizations, into pure clear DMT. The slag can also be further refined or simply redissolved into the next batch. The solvent can be reused or evaporated down, with the residue scraped and cleaned. And don't forget to scrub those jars and utensils with some of your favorite smoking herb.

Addendum
by Noman and Entropymancer

1) If pre-powdered bark is being used, 1.5 to 2 times of the water called for will be required. Pre-powdered bark requires more water because commercial suppliers pulverize the fibrous bits that a home blender (or a coffee bean grinder) leaves intact; this material turns to a sludge in the lye solution that won't release the naphtha if it's added while the solution is still sludgy.

2) Regarding the freeze precipitation process: When the tek was written, commonly available Mimosa tenuiflora (= M. hostilis) root-bark was of much higher quality than what has been available more recently. Due to the lower-quality material, these days a partial evaporation is sometimes necessary to get the solution concentrated enough to precipitate. Using a bit less naphtha allows the extractions to be concentrated enough to freeze-precipitate more reliably. (It may end up taking one or two more pulls to get all the DMT, but easy freeze-precipitation is a good trade-off for one or two extra pulls.) By using around 0.4 ml of heated naphtha per gram of bark, every pull except the last one freeze-precipitated easily. (This was with an acid/base extraction in a sep funnel, but it should likely work just as well with a straight-to-base extraction.)

3) Using heat for the last pull will increase the yield. This was left out of the original tek for the sake of simplicity, but it is probably worth mentioning. [Note: Again, naphtha is flammable. Naphtha-based extractions can be warmed by partially submerging the closed extraction jar into a hot water bath.]

4) Get rid of the ammonia wash. For whatever reason, it seems to cause problems for at least half the people that use it. Change it to a wash of the naphtha with a weak basic solution. [According to Vovin's Tek: Dissolve a pinch of sodium carbonate in about 50 ml or distilled water, then add a small amount of this solution (approximately one-twelfth by volume) to the naphtha, shake well, then allow the water to separate from the naphtha and discard the water. Following this, wash the naphtha two more times using pure (non-basified) distilled water (again using an amount of approximately one-twelfth by volume). Vovin cautions to avoid leaving the water in the naphtha for too long, saying: "no sitting for hours letting it 'soak'; you need to get it in and out."]

Notes
This is a revised version of a tek published under the same name in The Entheogen Review (see citation above). An error in the printed ER version of this article made it appear as though the root-bark should be thrice run through a new lye/water mix and then extracted with naphtha. This is not the case. The *same* lye/water/root-bark should be used in each of the three re-processesings; only new naphtha is added each time. -- David Aardvark, The Entheogen Review

For some additional tips related to this extraction process, see "Keep that Mimosa Mud?" by J. Cocktoasten.

For general information about various teks used, see the "DMT Extraction Overview" by Entropymancer.

An adapted spin-off version of this article, containing color photographs is available here.

Revision History #
  • v0.8 - Nov 2006 - Initial version
  • v1.0 - Dec 2006 - Published in The Entheogen Review
  • v1.1 - Jul 6, 2007 - Erowid - Revised version published, edited by zhah and Erowid.
  • v1.2 - Mar 17, 2009 - Erowid - Added Erowid Note about exothermic lye-water reaction.
  • v1.3 - Jan 3, 2010 - Erowid - Added Addendum by Noman and Entropymancer; added links to related articles; minor edits by Erowid.
  • v1.4 - Jun 26, 2012 - Erowid - Directly referenced Addendum points within text; removed link to outdated printable PDF; added link to "DMT Extraction Overview"; fixed spelling of naphtha and Entropymancer; additional minor edits to add clarification.