Extracting Pure Mescaline From Peyote or San Pedro Cactus
From the Book: PEYOTE & Other Psychoactive Cacti by Adam Gottlieb
1977 Kistone Press

Typed and Uploaded by Elric of Imrryr
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The isolation of mescaline from cacti containing this
alkaloid is not difficult to perform and is perhaps one of the
most rewarding alchemical processes that one can attempt. The
chemicals required for this process are readily available and
their purchase arouses no suspicion or interest on the part of
government agencies [This may no longer be true, use reasonable
caution when purchasing any chemicals - EoI]. The equipment
employed is not expensive or particularly complicated or can
be constructed very easily from ordinary household items.
The entire process can be carried out in any kitchen in a
matter of hours by following the instruction below and in the
final stages one can verify the success of the procedure by actually
watching the crystals of mescaline precipitate in the solution.
One kilo (2.2 lbs.) of dried peyote buttons may yield between
10 and 60 grams of pure white needle crystals of mescaline
depending upon the potency of the plants used. On the average
the yield is about 20 grams. The usual underground price for
a kilo of dried peyote ranges between $125 and $250
(25 to 50 per button). From Indians in the southwestern
USA the price is closer to $50 (10 per button). The street
price for a gram of pure mescaline is $20 to $30 - if
one is lucky enough to find it. One can obtain from a kilo of
peyote $200 to $1200 worth of mescaline. If San Pedro is
employed one may anticipate a yield of 3 to 12 grams of mescaline
per kilo of dried cactus. One can legally purchase a kilo of
dried San Pedro for $5 to $10 and from it extract $60 to $250
worth of mescaline.

[Note from Elric: The above prices are in 1977 dollars. Neither
peyote or mescaline are commonly available these days, but San
Pedro cactus is still legally available in most cactus stores.]

PROCESS

[NOTE!! In NO CASE should any aluminum cookware, containers, or
utensils be used at any point in the process. Stainless Steel is
the best bet.]


Grind a kilo of the cactus, place this in a large
pressure cooker, cover with distilled water and boil for 30
minutes. Strain the liquids and save them. Return the pulp to the
pot add more water and boil again for 30 minutes. Strain the
liquids and combine with the first strainings. Repeat this
process about five times or until the pulp no longer has a bitter
taste. Discard the pulp and reduce the volume of the combined
strainings by boiling in an open pot. Do not use aluminum ware.
When the liquids have been concentrated to the thickness of cream
(about 1 quart) stop the boiling and stir in 400 g of sodium
hydroxide [Carefully and slowly, it will react with the liquid].
This makes the mescaline more soluble in benzene and less
soluble in water. If a large separatory funnel is available pour
the liquids into it and add to this 1600 ml of benzene
[Carefully again]. Shake the funnel well for 5 minutes and let
stand for 2 hours. If a separatory funnel is not available the
process can be carried out in a one gallon jug with a siphon
attached.

After standing for 2 hours the water layer will settle to
the bottom and the benzene layer will float to the top. Between
the two layers will be a thin emulsion layer of mixed water and
benzene. Drain off the water and emulsion layers if you are
using a separatory funnel or siphon off the benzene layer if you
are using the makeshift jug-siphon aooaratus. Be certain that
neither the water or emulsion layers get into the benzene layer
when separating. If any of these layers do get into the benzene
during the separation, pour everything back into the separator,
let stand and repeat the separation more carefully. It is better
to leave some benzene layer in the water and emulsion than to get
the water or emulsion in the benzene. Nothing will be wasted.
All of the benzene which contains the mescaline will eventually
be salvaged. Sometimes the layers will fail to separate
properly. If this is the case immerse the funnel or jug in a
deep pot of hot water for two hours. This will break up the
emulsion and bring about the separation.

Prepare a solution of 2 parts sulfuric acid and 1 part
water. (Never add water to the acid or it will splatter; add the
acid a little at a time to the water by pouring it down the
inside of the graduate or measuring cup containing the water.)
Add 25 drops of the acid solution one drop at a time to the
benzene extracts. Stopper the jug and shake well for 1 minute.
Thenlet it stand for 5minutes. White streaks of mescaline
sulfates should begin to appear in the benzene. If these do not
appear, shake the jug more vigorously for two or three minutes
and let it settle for another 5 minutes. I have found that when
extracting mescaline from San Pedro it is sometimes necessary to
shake the mixture more thoroughly and for a longer time to get
the mescaline streaks to form. This is probably because of the
lower mescaline content in the plant. This would also apply to
any peyote that does not have a high mescaline content. After
the streaks appear add 25 more drops of the acid solution in the
same manner, shake as before and let settle for 10 minutes. More
streaks will appear. Add 15 drops of acid, shake and wait about
15 minutes for more streaks to form. Add 10 drops, shake and wait
about 30 minutes. Test the solution with wide range pH paper.
It should show that the solution is between pH 7.5 and 8. Allow
the mescaline sulfate crystals to completely precipitate. Siphon
off as much of the benzene as possible without disturbing the
crystals on the bottom of the jug.

The next steps are to salvage any mescaline still in the
water and emulsion layer. Combine the benzene siphonings with
the water/emulsion layer, shake these well together for 5 minutes
and let settle for 2 hours as before. Carefully remove the
benzene layer, treat it again with acid, precipitate the crystals
and siphoned benzene with the watery layer and repeat this again
and again until no more crystals precipitate. Siphon off as
much benzene as possible without drawing crystals through the
siphon.

The next step involves removing the remaining benzene
from the crystals. There are two methods to choose from. The
first is the quickest, but requires ether, which is dangerous
and often difficult to procure. Shake up the crystals with the
remaining benzene and pour it into a funnel with filter paper.
After the benzene has passed through the filter rinse the jug
with 100 ml of ether to salvage any crystals in the jug and pour
the ether over the crystals in the filter. After the ether has
passed through the filter repeat the rinsing with another 100 ml
ether. Then let the crystals dry. If ether is not available or
if you do not wish to use such a highly combustible substance,
the precipate and residual benzene can be poured into a beaker.
The jug should be rinsed several times with a little benzene and
added to the beaker so that no crystals are left behind. The
beaker is then placed in a heat bath until all of the benzene has
been evaporated.

The next step is to purify the mescaline sulfate
crystals. After either of these methods has been carried out
dissolve the dry crystals in 200 ml of near-boiling distilled
water. Add a pinch of activated charcoal (Norite) and filter
while still hot through #2 filter paper. The hot water which
contains the mescaline will pass through the filter. The Norite
absorbs impurities from the mescaline. After the liquids have
passed through the filter pour a little more hot water over the
filter to rinse through any remaining mescaline which may have
impregnated the filter paper. Add 10% ammonia solution a few
drops at a time to the hot filtrates until the solution
registers between pH 6.5 and 7. Place a boiling stone in the
solution and reduce its volume to 75 ml by boiling. Remove the
boiling stone and allow the solution to cool to room temperature.
Place the solution in a freezer or in a refrigerator turned up to
the coldest possible temperature and the solution to cool almost
to freezing. Tiny white needle like crystals will form around
the bottom and sides of the beaker. Break up the crystals with a
glass stirring rod while the solution is still ice cold and pour
through a filter. Mescaline sulfate is insoluble in near
freezing water and will not pass through the filter. Rinse the
beaker with fresh ice water and pour this over the filter. The
crystals will now be pure white and can be dried under a heat lamp
or in an oven at 250 F. More mescaline can be salvaged from the
water that has passed through the filter by boiling these liquids
down to about 20 ml. adding Norite while hot, filtering through
#2 paper as before, chilling the filtrate to near freezing once
more, filtering while cold, rinsing with ice water and drying the
crystals. This repetition should obtain at least 2 more grams of
mescaline sulfate. If large volume mescaline extraction is being
conducted it would be worthwhile to repeat this salvaging
procedure several more times.



[DONE]

Coming Next: Mixed Alkaloid Extraction from Peyote and San Pedro
Cacti