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Cacti extraction curiosities including HCl and CIELO

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#1 YoshiTrainer


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Posted 07 May 2022 - 04:12 PM

I had a variety of extraction ideas and decided to run a few experiments to test them. This is not meant as any sort of TEK, there are already some great ones, just settling some curiosity. These extractions were done with commercial San Pedro that contain very low M content. This was done as a test of ideas, not for any real yield.

Three columns about 4" diameter x 6' long, were harvested in winter and aged in the dark for 3 months. They were then cubed and extracted using white vinegar. 3xfour hour vinegar boils and 1xtwo hour water followed by filtering then a lot of reducing. The final product was 2 quart jars, mostly filled with dark, sticky cacti syrup. On a side note, after 2 days of breathing boiling vinegar, I'll use citric acid next time.

The HCl extraction was done following Greenskeeper's a point. Unfortunately, i neglected to take pictures.

The question I had was whether you could run an emulsion through the entire extraction or if it HAD to be broken before proceeding. First, I forgot to add the pectic enzyme which is supposed to help fight emulsions. Secondly when the d-limonene was added for the pull, I shook the seperatory funnel like a paint can. I had a nice frothy emulsion that immediately started separating. After sitting for 15min you could see distinct layers form including the emulsion.

I ran off the based cacti solution. As the emulsion condensed in the lower part of the funnel, some of the emulsion broke on its own or with the help of gentle swirling. I drained the remaining solution and emulsion leaving behind the solvent which was collected separately. The pull procedure was repeated 5 times. All the collected solvent was filtered through cotton balls stuffed in a glass turkey baster. The separatory funnel was cleaned and the onto salting as usual. The final product was a little dirty and needed an acetone wash and maybe ISO? I would guess maaaaaybe 50-100mg finished if I'm lucky. So at least carrying an emulsion through the entire run is possible. If I'd been a little more precise in my overall procedures, it would have been a cleaner final product.


My other questions involve Loveall's ++ CIELO extraction which is a STB.

My first question was could you use CIELO as part of an A/B? The 2nd quart of dark sticky cacti syrup was used for this. I ran a small test run using CIELO's %. It calls for 300g water, 100g cacti powder and 25g pickling lime. I weighed my cacti liquid as though it was water and cacti powder combined but only used 100g of solution and 6g of lime for the test. The test seemed mostly succesful so i moved forward with the rest of the cacti solution.

Roughly 800g cacti solution and 50g lime were mixed in 1/2 gallon Mason jar. After mixing everything, it looked like a pH of 12. The dark cacti liquid stained everything so bad it was hard to get a proper reading. After mixing the lime and a rest, there was a fluffy emulsion on top.


The addition of EA knocked the foam down. The liquids were decanted off the sediment, poured into a sep funnel and allowed to separate as best as possible.


There was a bit of an emulsion between the two phases so, it was run off with the cacti solution. Because the cacti solution stuck to and stained everything so bad, the pulls were all done in a dirty sep funnel.



Well, the 6th and final pull was done in the freezer, it freed most the remaining EA from the emulsion. The combined EA was decanted off any cacti solution that may have snuck in, then filtered through cotton balls in a glass turkey baster.



The collected liquid was salted with 10g citric acid and left to crystallize. After 72 hours, the EA was filtered through cotton balls in a glass turkey baster. The baster and salting jar were allowed to dry completely then hot water was poured through and collected on an evap plate. Unfortunately, the salting jar had noticeable amounts of undissolved citric acid in it.


After evap, the residue left was clear-ish and very sticky.


This brings me to my next question about reXing the goo. I added about 2oz hot water to the sticky goo covered plate and used a gloved hand to help remove all the residue. The liquid was dumped in a small jar and pickling lime was added. Unfortunately I got the bright idea to add more lime trying to form a traditional CIELO paste. A bad idea that made for more filtering later and probably loss of yield. When the EA was added, there was barely an emulsion layer. I filtered the thick liquid a few times until it was much thinner. I probably should have diluted with water instead. The pulls were done in a sep funnel, were very clean looking and had a pretty solid division between the two phases. The EA layer was still run through cotton balls in a glass baster to be sure though. After salting and sitting for 72hrs the EA was drained through cotton balls in a glass baster. The cotton balls and salting jar were allowed to evaporate before hot water was poured through and collected on evap plate. The final product was perfectly clear and not sticky to the touch,  though it still scraped up as a goo.



The next step would be to tighten up the procedure and run it with active colums. Ideally, cut them up and mix them for some uniformity of starting material. Dry half and extract the other half in liquid with citric acid. Run HCl with wet and dry and citric with wet and dry then compare the results.

If anyone is trimming their columns and would like to donate to science, let me know!!! :)

If not, maybe in a couple years I'll be able to revisit these experiments with my own cacti.
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#2 Phineas_Carmichael



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Posted 08 May 2022 - 01:14 PM

Very nice write-up Yoshi! It's great to see confirmation of the newer extraction protocols. What do you suppose is the reason that the citric salting came out as a goo?
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#3 YoshiTrainer


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Posted 08 May 2022 - 05:59 PM

Thank you Phineas.
I don't know that the goo is 100% confirmed but excess water in the process, perhaps partially absorbed by the EA is the leading candidate, AFAIK.

I do have a couple feet of Peruvianus currently aging in the dark, I'm shooting for 6 months with it. My plan is to dry and grind it then run a side by side between HCl and citric again.

Edit: If it is water absorbed by the EA causing goo, couldn't you add more fresh solvent to dilute the absorbed water to a level that would allow crystal formation?

2nd edit: after thinking about it, excess dilution might disrupt crystallization? Maybe after filtering the solvent from the pull, evap the solvent to a thick syrup then wash with fresh EA into salting jar? I wonder if I could just dissolve the goo in warm EA after salting and evap again?

Edited by YoshiTrainer, 08 May 2022 - 09:23 PM.

#4 Phineas_Carmichael



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Posted 09 May 2022 - 04:00 AM

I've been skeptical about this CIELO TEK from the very beginning, mostly because Ethyl Acetate is miscible with water at 8.3g/100mL @20°C.

Using a miscible solvent to extract the basic cactus dough just invites water to come over and play with the target molecule & make a goo...

I think drying the mescaline-containing Ethyl Acetate with anhydrous magnesium sulphate or another food-safe drying agent before salting might be something to think about... That would be a huge loss vector though...

For that matter, I don't know how much water is in the Ethyl Acetate (MEK Substitute) commercially available at the hardware store! Perhaps we should be drying the EA before we use it, much like we make the acetone anhydrous before the freezer-cold mortar & pestle wash we do with mescaline HCl...


Please forgive all the "..."s

I'm old (lol) and in my youth we used to send each other postcards (5c stamp for a postcard vs 27c stamp for a letter)from vacation with text like this:

Yellowstone is Awesome...
We sat in some Hot Springs...
I saw a Buffalo...

"..." means something different today. It's an aggressive punctuation mark that I didn't mean to invoke...
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#5 YoshiTrainer


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Posted 09 May 2022 - 12:06 PM

Thank you Phineas.

On the Nexus thread, when CIELO is run right with dried cacti powder, etc. it seems to be a very effective and mostly safe extraction technique. Please don't let my curiosity take away from something that seems to work, most of the time. I believe on the Nexus thread they did try drying the EA before the pulls and I think before salting? I think they tested 3-4 different drying agents?

In a few more months, I will dry a small section of Peruvianus and run a side by side, following the directions this time. :)

Is there any issue using cold acetone to clean up Mcitrate?

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