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Note error.png Note: This page is a transcription of Lextek[1]. The content is to remain accurate as such.


Section 1: Extraction of DMT

Materials needed

(Quantities can be scaled accordingly to work with smaller or larger amounts of material)

  • 2 kilograms of DMT containing plant material (Acacia Obtusifolia bark will be used here)
  • 250 grams of Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda / Lye) – Bunnings / Safeway
  • 1 Litre of white vinegar (dilute Acetic Acid) – Safeway
  • 2 Litres of Shellite (non-polar solvent) – Bunnings
  • 12 Litres of distilled water (polar solvent) – Bunnings

The idea behind the extraction is that DMT is in the plant; we can get it out.

At our advantage, the state of the DMT can be changed between a salt or freebase by using acids or bases respectively, ie: if you have a pH 4 (acidic) solution containing DMT, the DMT will be converted to a salt (using acetic acid: DMT Acetate, using tartaric acid: DMT Tartrate, etc..) If you now basify this to pH 14, all the DMT salt will be converted to its freebase form.

As we change the state of the DMT, we also change its solubility properties:

  • DMT salts are soluble in polar solvents (water, alcohol) but insoluble in non-polar solvents.
  • DMT freebase is soluble in non-polar solvents (Shellite) but is insoluble in polar solvents.

Understanding these basic points allows an extraction technique to be devised:

  1. Prepare Your Bark
    Chop up and grind your bark to maximise its exposed surface area.
  2. Acid Cook
    Simmer the bark in pH 4 acidic water (using vinegar). Keep the liquid and discard the bark.
    The low pH ensures all DMT is in its salt form, which will dissolve into the water.
  3. Basify
    Basify the liquid to pH 14 with Sodium Hydroxide (Caustic Soda / Lye).
    The high pH ensures all DMT is in its freebase form, which is soluble in Shellite.
  4. Initial Shellite Extraction Add an amount of Shellite to the above solution, shake, separate, and repeat.
    The freebase DMT will dissolve into the Shellite, along with some unwanted plant gunk.
  5. Defat Step 1: Acid Wash
    Acidify water to pH 4 using acetic acid (vinegar) and add to the combined Shellite extractions.
    This will convert the DMT freebase to the water-soluble salt, DMT Acetate.
    The DMT Acetate will move from the Shellite to the water leaving behind the plant gunk.
  6. Defat Step 2: Basify
    To the water + DMT Acetate solution, add an amount of Sodium Hydroxide.
    This will again convert the DMT to its freebase form, which is soluble in Shellite.
  7. Final Shellite Extraction
    Add an amount of Shellite to the above solution, shake, separate, and repeat.
    The freebase DMT will dissolve into the Shellite. At this point no plant gunk remains.
  8. Freeze Precipitation
    The last step is to get your DMT freebase out of the Shellite.
    At freezing temperatures, the DMT becomes insoluble in Shellite and will precipitate out.

Step-by-step guide

Part 1: Prepare Your Bark

Preparing the bark is a crucial step to ensure your yield is as high as possible. The aim is to maximise the surface area of the bark so the majority of the DMT is exposed and not protected inside thick layers of wood.

I have tried many methods and I find this one to work at least. Some methods are better than others; its personal choice so be innovative and find the one that works best for you.

  1. Weight an amount of bark, for this extraction 2 kilos will be used.
  2. Using secateurs chop the bark into pieces no larger than pictured here - the smaller the better.
  3. Fill your grinder to about a third of its capacity with bark and grind.
  4. Shaking it around while grinding helps to ensure that most of the bark comes into contact with the blades.
  5. Do this until all your bark is powdered (or as close as possible to).
  6. Be sure to give your grinder a rest between loads if you can feel it heating up too much.

Part 2: Acid Cook

The acid cook will convert the DMT into its water-soluble acetate salt (acetate as we are using vinegar – acetic acid). The DMT Acetate will migrate away from the bark, into the acidic water.

Most acids can be used without a problem. We will use white vinegar (which contains roughly 5% acetic acid) diluted in distilled water. It is easy to get and fairly safe to work with.

  1. Acidify an excess amount of distilled water by mixing one part vinegar to three parts water. You are aiming for a pH of 4.
    Use a digital pH meter or litmus paper to determine the pH of the solution.
  2. Place all the bark into a large saucepan and fill with the acidified water, ensuring all the bark is well covered. Four litres per cook was used here.
    Bring the mixture to a light simmer and proceed to cook for a further hour.
    Once complete, pour off and save the liquid. Perform this step a further two times.
  3. Combine all liquids and filter out the fine bark particles through a muslin cloth.
  4. Reduce all liquids down to a few liters on low heat. This may take several hours.
    For your own sake BE SURE that your kitchen has adequate ventilation. Humidity can build up quicker than you think and before you know it your ceiling and walls may be dripping in oily red acidic liquid !!

Part 3: Basify

Basifying the acidic solution to pH 14 with Sodium Hydroxide will convert the DMT Acetate to the DMT base.

The DMT base is insoluble in polar solvents (water) but soluble in non-polar solvents (Shellite).

Performing this conversion is preparation for Part 4: Initial Shellite Extraction

  1. Let the reduced acidic solution cool to lukewarm and pour into a HDPE jug like the one the water came in.
  2. Weigh 100 grams of Sodium Hydroxide and SLOWLY add 10 grams at a time, shaking well each time. This will raise the pH to 14.
    The solution will turn black.
    Use a digital pH meter or litmus paper to determine the pH of the solution.
    NOTE: Adding base to water is an exothermic reaction (releases heat) and if added too quickly to already hot water, spitting can occur.
    You DO NOT want this stuff on you !!
    Once the solution is basified and stable, swirl it around to homogenise the mixture.

Part 4: Initial Shellite Extraction

Shellite is a non-polar solvent and can be used to remove non-polar substances (DMT base) from polar solutions (water).

Note: This step must be done while the solution is HOT to maximise the solubility of the DMT base into the Shellite. Without heat, yields will be greatly reduced.

  1. Pour 250mL of Shellite into the basified solution. Put the lid on and shake.
    NOTE!! The first few shakes will cause a rapid release of vapors which must be released. Watch the pressure carefully and release frequently !!
    Adequate ventilation is a must at this point
  2. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes. Looking closely you will see two layers.
    The top layer is the Shellite layer which now contains the DMT base and some fats and oils from the bark.
  3. Using a siphon device or some other method, separate top non-polar layer from the bottom polar layer.
    Experiment with different ways to do this (turkey baster, ghetto separatory funnel, etc..) and find one that works for you.
    I find siphoning the bottom layer to another jug allows for good separation.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 another two times and combine the Shellite pulls. For the third pull use 500mL of Shellite.
    Remember to ensure that both the solution and Shellite are HOT to aid in the extraction. Use a hot water bath for this.
    DO NOT use an open-flame heat source !!!
    For the third pull, add another 50 grams of Sodium Hydroxide to the solution before extracting and shake real well, this will heat the solution significantly.

Part 5: Defat Step 1: Acid Wash

As the Shellite solution pictured above contains both DMT base and plant gunk, we are now going to remove the DMT from the solution and leave the plant gunk behind.

This will be done by washing the Shellite + DMT + plant gunk solution with acidic water, resulting in the DMT base once again becoming the water-soluble salt, DMT Acetate and migrating away from the Shellite, however leaving behind the plant gunk.

  1. Again, acidify an excess amount of distilled water by mixing one part vinegar to three parts water. You are aiming for a pH of 4.
    Use a digital pH meter or litmus paper to determine the pH of the solution.
  2. Add approximately 250mL of acidic water to the Shellite solution. The mixture does not need to be hot; in fact it is better if all liquids at this step are kept at room temperature as otherwise plant gunk will come back across.
  3. Using the same siphoning method in Part 4 - Step 3, siphon off the top non-polar layer from the bottom polar layer, this time keeping the polar layer (acidic water).
  4. Repeat step 2 three more times and combine the three polar layers.
    For the third time use 500mL.

Part 6: Defat Step 2: Basify

Once again, in preparation to extract the DMT from the acidic water solution, we are going to basify the liquid.

This will again convert the water-soluble DMT Acetate salt into the water-insoluble DMT base. Note that no plant gunk exists in the vinegar solution; the solution at this point consists only of acidic water + DMT Acetate.

Slowly add 60 grams of Sodium Hydroxide to the solution to raise the pH to 14.

Use a digital pH meter or litmus paper to determine the pH of the solution.

Note that the solution has been placed into a new vessel.

Part 7: Final Shellite Extraction

We will now extract the DMT base from the basified solution with Shellite.

As previously explained, adding Sodium Hydroxide (base) to the acidic water + DMT Acetate solution converted the DMT Acetate salt to the DMT Base which is insoluble in our polar solvent (water) and soluble in our non-polar solvent (Shellite).

  1. Measure 250mL of Shellite and add it to the acidic water.
    Heat the mixture in a hot water bath and shake.
  2. Allow the layers to separate and siphon and separate, keeping the non-polar layer this time.
    Repeat step 1 two more times and combine the Shellite extractions.
    Again, for the third pull add another 30 grams of Sodium Hydroxide (to reheat) and extract with 500mL of Shellite.

Part 8: Freeze Precipitation

Our solution is now clean enough to proceed to removing the DMT Base from the Shellite.

  1. Pour the solution into a wide-mouthed jar that you can fit your hand into and with the use of a fan, evaporate approximately half of the solution.
    You may notice that your solution has turned milky and an oily film has formed on the glass where the solvent has been evaporated. This is actually a bunch un-crystallised DMT. If you want to get your efficiency right up then heat up the solution with a hot water bath and swirl it around plenty to re- dissolve all this DMT.
  2. Place the solution in the freezer and resist all temptation to disturb it for at least 48 hours.
  3. After 48 hours or more, pour off the Shellite being careful not to lose any DMT floaters with it. You should see something like this!
    Evaporate all excess Shellite with either a fan or just leave it alone until no scent of Shellite remains.
    For your own curiosity you can let the Shellite you poured off evaporate slowly over a week or so and see if any DMT remained in the Shellite.
  4. Once the DMT is dry you can scrape it out and admire the end result of your hard work.

Pictured is 5.9 grams of some damn clean spice
I attribute the ultra-high purity of the end result to the post-defat process used in this tech.
This yields a fairly low 0.3% (0.4–0.5% expected) however the tree used was very young (about 5 years old) which could be a major factor.


  1. Lex's DMT Extraction v1.0 Oct. -2007[1]