ZyGoat (Stranger)
03-02-01 03:54
No 176110
      Extraction of psilocybin from fungal biomass  Bookmark   

I have tried extracting the magic from psilocybe mushrooms with methanol on several occasions, and each time the extract has been very effective. I would like to take the extraction process further though and obtain the alkaloids in a relatively pure state ( > 95% ) so dosing can be controlled more accurately, problem is I do not have any chromatography equipment.

The methanolic extract is always a golden syrup which I guess contains carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and some alkaloids. The literature on extraction procedures mentions pre-treating the dried fungal biomass with chloroform and acetone. I thought it would be just as effective and less wasteful to treat the extract itself with these solvents. This removes some contaminants (mostly lipids), but I still end up with the golden syrup stuff. I think the primary contaminants are simple sugars and proteins.

From what I understand, acid base alkaloid extractions are only possible when the free alkaloid base is virtually insoluble in H2O, and the acid salt of the alkaloid is water soluble. The problem with psilocybin is the free base is highly water soluble - here are the properties from Merck

Properties:  Crystals from boiling water, mp 220-228degrees; from boiling methanol, mp 185-195degrees . uv max (methanol): 220 , 267 , 290 nm (log epsi 4.6, 3.8, 3.6) . pH 5.2 in 50% aqueous ethanol. Soluble in 20 parts boiling water, 120 parts boiling methanol; difficultly soluble in ethanol. Practically insoluble in chloroform, benzene.

Does this mean an acid-base extraction is impossible with psilocybin?

One other option I have considered is using tannic acid as an alkaloidal precipitant. This typically gives insoluble precipitates with most alkaloids and metallic salts. However it also precipitates proteins, so I will have to somehow remove these from the extract prior to addition of tannic acid. The psilocybin tannate could be used as it is, or if I then treat an aqueous suspension of psilocybin tannate with sodium carbonate the psilocybin should pass into solution. Will the sodium tannate form a precipitate? How do I separate the psilocybin from any remaining carbonate in solution?

Any advice would be appreciated. I don't want to loose dozens of doses to fruitless experimentation, so if chromatography is the only viable procedure then please tell me so.
03-21-01 15:47
No 179676
      Re: Extraction of psilocybin from fungal biomass  Bookmark   

I have read of success using electropheretic diffusion through an agar matrix (a la dna fingerprinting). 

Meme is insane, imaginary, and lying.
(Hive Bee)
03-21-01 22:15
No 179747
      Re: Extraction of psilocybin from fungal biomass  Bookmark   

I just read that article in Science this afternoon.  ,Psilcybe sp. Extracts using gel electrophoresis.  Do tell more. Is there a tryptamine ladder(I'd eat it if there was):) So if you take the crude extract and slap it into some wells just swimming in a bufferoo, flip the switch.  BAMM.  If you are serious, I wanna know how you do a gel extraction, or do you just munch down a fat ass agarose gel.

Information is Not Knowledge