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High-Strength Extractions of Salvia Divinorum
by The Rev. Dr. Moo Moo

See also : Isopropanol or Reagent Grade Acetone
See also : Denatured Alcohol Extraction

After several months of experimentation with various types of Salvia extractions, i have finally settled on the following method as being the easiest and least expensive method for home cookers. The extraction is basically in two parts. The first being an extraction with water, and the second with acetone. This method produces high quality extracts by removing most of the resins that would leave you with a gummy mess. Home extractions up to 20x are possible in this manner. Please be aware that acetone is flammable and its vapors toxic.

for this you will need:

  • 100 grams salvia divinorum (whole leaf or large pieces prefferred)
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 large piece of muslin or cheesecloth
  • 1 gallon COOL distilled water (but not cold)
  • 1 large glass baking dish (9x13 or so)
  • a coffee grinder
  • 2 quart mason jar (must be glass)
  • 1/2 gallon of acetone(do not buy "extra strength" or anything like that, and please evaporate a few ounces to be sure it does not leave any residue, if it does, do not use it)
  • several coffee filters
  • 1 wire strainer (6 inch or so, to fit the coffee filters comfortably, cannot be plastic)
  • 1 small glass dish for evaporation (we use one that is 5 inch wide and 3 inch tall)
The recipe:

Take your mixing bowl and place the muslin or cheesecloth in it so that the edges are liberally draped over the side of the bowl. Place the whole Salvia leaf on the cloth. Fill the bowl with COOL distilled water to generously cover the leaf. Be sure to submerge and wet all the leaf. Allow this to sit for ten minutes (no longer, and if your leaf was crushed it should be for a shorter period, say 7 minutes). Gather up the edges of the cloth to make a bag around the leaf and lift it out of the water to strain the leaf. GENTLY squeeze most (but not all) of the water from the leaf. Discard the water. While Salvinorin is insoluble in water, it is quite probable that a small amount was lost in this step, being pulled out along with the resins and oils which it is soluble in. This is bearable when one considers that 12 grams or so of gooey resins were just removed from your final product. Place the leaves in the glass baking dish and dry in the oven at 200 degrees, turning and fluffing the leaf every couple of hours. When it is COMPLETELY dry, remove it and allow it to reach room temperature. Verify at this time that the leaf is in fact dry. Remove the amount you will use for the final product, crush it and set aside (5x=20g, 10x=10g, 15x=6.5g, 20x=5g). Grind the remaining leaf in the coffee grinder or blender to a powder. NO PLASTICS should be used beyond this point as the acetone will dissolve them. Place the powdered leaf into one of the mason jars and cover it generously with acetone. Allow this to sit for 24 hours, stirring it a few times. If the seal on your mason jar contains plastic(which it probably does), be sure not to allow the acetone to contact it. One can also simply lay a piece of glass, wood, or metal on top of the jar to prevent evaporation. After 24 hours, place the coffee filter in the strainer, and pour the solution through the filter into the second jar. Squeeze the remaining acetone out of the leaf powder. Return the leaf to the first jar, add more acetone and let it sit for 24 more hours. Repeat the straining and add the second liquid to the first. Discard the leaf.

Pour the acetone solution into the glass baking dish and allow it to evaporate down to about 8 ounces of solution. Place the crushed leaf (which you had set aside 2 days ago) into the small evaporating dish and pour the remaining acetone solution onto it, being sure to scrape the sides of the baking dish. When this evaporates to the point that the leaf is just moist and no liquid remains, add a few tablespoons of acetone to the leaf and use the leaf to wipe off the resin which will have crusted to the side of your dish. As this is evaporating be sure to stir it often to prevent more resin from collecting in any certain area. When this is dry, you will be finished. Congratulations!

Our own assays of this extract process shows that it produces basically the same potency as standardized extracts of similar strengths, but it should be remembered that, unlike standardized extracts, the quality and potency of the end product is proportional to the quality and potency of the starting material.

I would like here to strongly discourage against giving extracts stronger than 5x to people who are inexperienced with salvia. Many people find the salvia experience quite disturbing and unpleasant. It is far better to give a person a weaker extract than to have to physically restrain them or piece them back together psychologically. Salvia also seems to have rather variable effects between people, some people being very susceptable and some not. So it is better to give a small amount at first in order to see how strongly it affects a person. I, for example, am quite content to take two hits of 5x, while my wife must take 5-6 in order to obtain the same effects. So, for her, a 15x extraction might be preferable, whereas it would probably scare the shit out of me(which it has on many an occasion). Just try to remember that if you are giving this to someone else, they are someone else. They are not you, and will not necessarily react as you do. Be responsible, otherwise this ancient tool will become illegal as so many others have.