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DMT Extraction

distilled water works great as polar solvent but it takes too much things with dmt salt such as tannins, this cause bad emulsions and SWIM always has to work with a lot of solution to keep density low.
My question is : is there a more selective polar solvent instead of water? I heard about good results with Isopropilic alcohol but i’m not sure it can get all the dmt salt.

IPA will pull a lot more oils and tanins then water.

dmt is freely soluble in alcohol but yes so are a great many other things. defatting should remove oily material. or do you mean that when defatting you have too many emulsions?

Distilled water that is 10% sodium chloride (table salt) is more polar that pure water and pulls less junk out. It also helps prevent emulsions.

Here are the XlogP numbers of several common solvents listed from least polar at the top to most polar at the bottom. You can see that DMSO is the most polar of these. Only water is more polar.

n-Heptane: 4.3
D-Limonene: 3.7
Chloroform: 2.1
Dichloromethane (DCM): 1.5
Ether: 0.9
Ethyl methyl ketone (MEK): 0.4
Isopropyl alcohol (IPA): 0.4
Acetone: 0.2
Alcohol (ethanol): -0.1
Methyl alcohol (Methanol): -0.5
Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO): -0.7

You can use PubChem to find the XlogP of almost every chemical there is. See the following very helpful PubChem link:


Freebase DMT will dissolve in all of the above, especially acetone, IPA, and MEK. As the XlogP goes up past MEK, to solvents like Ether, DCM, etc, the solubility starts to drop a little. Freebase DMT is far more soluble in acetone than in n-Heptane (which is similar to naphtha). It is quite soluble in DMSO despite the high polarity of it. SWIM tested solubility of DMSO and found that 1 drop could easily dissolve 1 mg of DMT in about 1 second.

DMT salts are usually the opposite. They should dissolve easily in DMSO, methanol, alcohol, but not so well in acetone, MEK, etc. DMT’s solubility doesn’t exactly follow the XlogP of the solvents. For example, DMT citrate is more soluble IPA than in acetone. It’s insoluble in D-Limonese, n-Heptane, etc.

Here’s a useful link showing a different rating system called the polarity index. Here you can also see that Dimethyl Sulfoxide is the most polar, other than water.…ts/Polarity%20index.htm

Dimethyl Sulfoxide is hard to work with because it has a very high boiling point and takes forever to evaporate. However, you can easily get it in food grade form at many online vitamin shops. D-Limonene can also be obtained on-line in food grade form. The other solvents are hard to get in food grade form unless you buy from a chemical supply store. Isopropyl alcohol and Acetone found in drug stores are USP grade, which is extremely pure. But the acetone is used as nail polish remover and usually has other things added to it so it needs to be distilled.

The XlogP and Polarity Index should be treated as a rough guide as they are not accurate, especially when talking about specific alkaloid solubility or water solubility. For example, the XlogP of MEK is the same as IPA, but MEK is actually less water soluble than IPA. The same problem exists with the Polarity Index where IPA is shown as less polar than MEK.

Polarity is not the only thing you want to take note of when extracting. It’s best to find the most selecting solvent possible for the target alkaloid. In this regard the alcohols are usually considered the worst (IPA, ethanol, methanol). They usually extract a broader range of junk than all of the other solvents. Second to them are usually DCM, chloroform and ether. The most selective are usually heptane, d-limonene, and acetone.

If the initial extraction is done with acetone, heptane, or d-limonene, emsulsions are usually not a problem. But when extracting DMT using any of these, the DMT should be in freebase form first. The only solvent of these three that will extract a DMT salt is acetone, but it does a very poor job of it.

SWIM says for extracting a DMT salt from a plant, the best choice is salt water (distilled water that is 10% sodium chloride) to avoid emulsion problems. But just remember that if the water is concentrated down, then the salt goes up past 10% and that’s not recommended. If the water will be concentrated down, the salt should be added after that and before doing a de-fat.

Some sources claim that DMSO is more polar than water.

I’ve seen someone mention extracting DMT salt from a plant before
a bit confusing, because it doesn’t exist in salt form in plant material, just as an alkaloid (weakly basic).

dmso is an interesting one, since it passes freely though cell membranes. I wonder if free base DMT in dmso solution, administered transdermally, would be active

DMT exists in salt form in nearly all of the plants people commonly use to extract DMT from because the plants have a naturally acidic pH of about pH 5-6, otherwise extracting with a non-polar solvent would work without adding bases like sodium hydroxide, and it clearly doesn’t work for Mimosa, Psychotria, Diplopterys, Anadenanthera, etc. If you tried to extract DMT from any of those plants using naphtha without adding base, no DMT gets extracted. This proves that it’s not in freebase form in those plants. So I don’t know where you heard about it being present in freebase form in a plant, but that information is definitely wrong for these plants.

If you know of a plant that actually has freebase DMT present in it, then please post about it so that people can start extracting freebase DMT straight from a plant using only heptane or naphtha and no base at all (sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate, etc.). That would be a complete revolution to DMT extraction that would make many extractors very happy.

Posted by admin on August 4, 2010.

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