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Virgin changa woes: red harmalas and brown goo Options
 
Barnacle
#1 Posted : 12/8/2019 9:17:02 AM

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For my first attempt at making changa, I attempted to dissolve 500 mg harmala mix (2:1:1 THH:harmine:harmaline) and 500 mg DMT in 20 mL warm anhydrous acetone, then soak 800 mg shredded caapi leaf and 200 mg Pau d'arco with the resulting solution.

I made two mistakes...

(1) First I thought my harmala mix was freebase but it was in fact HCl salts. When I added it to the warm acetone, the solution immediately turned bright red, but most of the harmala mix didn't even dissolve (the DMT easily and immediately dissolved).

(2) I set my leaf mix soaking in the acetone solution to evaporate on a hotplate set to low heat. I let it sit on the heat a little too long-- I noticed when I detected the delicious scent of roasted Pau d'arco in the air. The mix appears fine, but some of the plant matter seems to have gotten a little darker (very lightly cooked). There is also a thin layer of sticky brown resin on the bottom of the beaker.

Here are my questions:

(a) Why did my harmala salts turn red in acetone?

(b) Did I damage my harmalas, or can I expect that whatever part of them did in fact dissolve has been successfully absorbed intact into my changa mix?

(c) Is the sticky brownish layer of residue normal when evaporating solvent for changa, or is this a result of the heating I applied?

(d) After doing some research it looks like relatively high-purity ethanol (e.g. 190-proof Everclear) is best for dissolving freebase harmalas. But I'm not sure now if my remaining harmalas are freebase. Might they have protonated my freebase DMT in the acetone solution? How would you recommend I proceed with getting the remaining harmalas into my now dry leaf mix?
 

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Eaglepath
#2 Posted : 12/8/2019 9:56:39 AM

I rather root my values in my own hallucinations than in society´s neurotic illusions..


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A) Probably due to when it got dissolved in the acetone the impurities dropped away and your Harmalas turned red as they should..

B) No dont worry..

C) Thats usually what the plant material cant absorb..

D) You still have your Harmala salts as long as you dont add any base..
You can try your mix and see if its working good.. The alkaloids should be intact the only concern could be harsch smoke from after you burned the plant matter on your hot plate.. If this is the case just re-dissolve it in acetone and evaporate new into new plant material.

"Too cute to live, too cozy to die" - Eaglepath
 
Barnacle
#3 Posted : 12/8/2019 9:36:59 PM

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@Eaglepath

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't aware that the harmalas turned red in solution, it is my first experience with them. I can see now reading the extraction teks that this is expected.

Based on your answers I have a new round of questions:

(a) It appears that some of my harmala salts dissolved in the acetone and some did not. There is quite a bit (maybe 250 mg?) of the original 500 mg of harmala solids left, and it would surprise me if these were all impurities, since I think my harmala mix is relatively pure. Could this be because only a subset of harmine/harmaline/THH salts dissolve in acetone?

(b) My changa mix is now infused with harmala salts. I have read that this is not wise to smoke, with reports of nausea and stomach cramps, though I'm not sure why this would be. Aren't most freebase alkaloids converted to their protonated (i.e. salt) form in the bloodstream anyway? I would think that if there is a problem from smoking the salt form, it would be a respiratory issue. So, what is the theory behind issues with smoking harmala salts? And if anyone here has done it themself, what was your experience?

(c) If I wanted to convert the harmala salts infused in my leaf into freebase, would it be safe to soak the leaf in a sodium carbonate solution and then evaporate off the water? Presumably this would successfully convert the salts to freebase, but it would also leave me with either excess sodium carbonate or possibly sodium oxide in my changa.
 
Nereus
#4 Posted : 12/8/2019 11:16:25 PM

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Barnacle wrote:
@Eaglepath

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't aware that the harmalas turned red in solution, I purchased them online and it is my first experience with them. I can see now reading the extraction teks that this is expected.

Based on your answers I have a new round of questions:

(a) It appears that some of my harmala salts dissolved in the acetone and some did not. There is quite a bit (maybe 250 mg?) of the original 500 mg of harmala solids left, and it would surprise me if these were all impurities, since I thought I was purchasing a relatively pure harmala mix. Could this be because only a subset of harmine/harmaline/THH salts dissolve in acetone?

(b) My changa mix is now infused with harmala salts. I have read that this is not wise to smoke, with reports of nausea and stomach cramps, though I'm not sure why this would be. Aren't most freebase alkaloids converted to their protonated (i.e. salt) form in the bloodstream anyway? I would think that if there is a problem from smoking the salt form, it would be a respiratory issue. So, what is the theory behind issues with smoking harmala salts? And if anyone here has done it themself, what was your experience?

(c) If I wanted to convert the harmala salts infused in my leaf into freebase, would it be safe to soak the leaf in a sodium carbonate solution and then evaporate off the water? Presumably this would successfully convert the salts to freebase, but it would also leave me with either excess sodium carbonate or possibly sodium oxide in my changa.



The impurities that remain after dissolving HCl harmalas in Acetone could be mainly NaCl which is used to help precipitate these alkaloids during the extraction phase. If you still have the leftovers, you could dry them and have a taste, find out for yourself what they actually are. Even if they're not sodium chloride leftovers, you said the extract was relatively pure so no harmful substance should be there in place of NaCl or actual harmala alkaloids.

The consensus about commercial extracts/end products here is that they should be avoided at all cost if, when and where possible, reason being to minimise the negative impact these could have on these experiences. Instead, nexus encourages your own research/experimentation and there's a lot of knowledge here to back it up.

Know that, while in their salt form, harmala alkaloids are highly soluble in most solvent types, especially Acetone. Their freebase form on the other hand has low solubility with most solvents, except methanol.

Harmala salts, or dmt salt fwiw are not wise to smoke due to the harsh vapor entering the lungs. I advise against doing that, but proceed as you wish. As for the psychoactivity of the salts when smoked, it does not degrade.

Regarding point (c) your only option at this point is to re-extract your actives from the changa blend and recover them, render both of them in freebase form and create a new blend.

Edit: This is just my individual opinion. Before you proceed with anything, it would be best to wait for the input of other members, maybe you'll find a solution to troubleshoot this issue.
 
Nereus
#5 Posted : 12/8/2019 11:54:41 PM

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Barnacle wrote:


(c) If I wanted to convert the harmala salts infused in my leaf into freebase, would it be safe to soak the leaf in a sodium carbonate solution and then evaporate off the water? Presumably this would successfully convert the salts to freebase, but it would also leave me with either excess sodium carbonate or possibly sodium oxide in my changa.


I've raised the question of salvaging your blend in the chat and had a couple reply's from other members. One of the proposed more simple methods had been to add drops of a concentrated/saturated sodium carbonate solution into the actives loaded acetone so the freebase conversion takes place.

There could be more workarounds for this issue, it just depends on how you want to proceed with it.
 
Homo Trypens
#6 Posted : 12/9/2019 12:57:16 AM

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Given that you basically have finished changa, and not a huge amount, I think you should probably just smoke it as it is.

Smoking salts is generally a bad idea because you might smoke some amount of acid (or its pyrolisis products) that was used to salt the alkaloids. This should be mostly a respiratory risk I guess.

I personally have made 0.5g of changa with only salts, dmt fumarate and harmala HCl infused on sage using water, and it smoked pretty well - a tad offensive when it hit the throat, but then it went down nice. I could smoke 3 bowls in an evening without noticing respiratory difficulties. I am a regular smoker though, ymmv.

Please make sure you cleanly evaporate all acetone. I recommend curing the changa for at least 1-2 weeks (leave it in a jar, open the lid a few times per day). I experienced nausea only from residual solvents - curing longer always got rid of the problem in these cases.

I don't have any experience with THH.
Harmine and Harmaline are pretty strong when smoked. I made my first changa 1:1 dmt:harmalas, then reduced harmalas. I found my sweet spot at 3:1. So if only half your harmalas dissolved, imo the changa should be just fine now in that regard.

I'd say the brown residue is a mix of harmalas / dmt / plant solubles. When you evaporate the solvent, stuff coats your herb, and stuff coats the glass. Swirling the container from time to time during evaporation helps improve the herb:glass ratio.

Next time, consider extracting your own! It's a bit of work, but it's very rewarding.

When you have harmala HCl again and want to use it for changa, you'll know to convert it to freebase first.
 
Barnacle
#7 Posted : 12/9/2019 2:05:32 AM

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@Nereus, @HomoTryptens

Thanks to you both for your insights. Extra thanks to Nereus for even raising my question in chat. HomoTryptens, good to hear you've smoked a salt changa without issue before. I will make sure to cure my changa.

Here is what I ended up doing:

- Took another 20 mL anhydrous acetone and mixed it with the insoluble harmala residue under low heat. This time the solution did not turn red, but rather slightly yellow/orangish, with most of the solid remaining suspended. I aggressively mixed it with a magnetic stirrer as well for maybe five minutes.

- Dumped the acetone solution and remaining solid on my caapi mix, then added two 2 mL of 10% sodium carbonate

- Am currently evaporating the mixture under low heat on the hot plate-- acetone is pretty much gone but the 2 mL of water from carbonate solution will take a while.

I am not sure whether 2 mL of 10% sodium carbonate is enough to convert most of the protonated alkaloids to freebase. The carbonate solution had a pH of 11.7, but the alkaloids already in the changa probably act as a significant buffer, and the equilibria with H+ and OH- ions are probably quite disturbed in a solution that is 90% acetone... Also, the volume of the acetone was too small to use my pH meter on (also not sure whether a digital pH meter will even work in a non-aqueous solution).

In any case, I possibly I have a mix of protonated and freebase alkaloids, but I am convinced it should be OK to smoke. Fortunately I've learned some lessons for next time!
 
Eaglepath
#8 Posted : 12/9/2019 7:22:56 AM

I rather root my values in my own hallucinations than in society´s neurotic illusions..


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Sorry Barnacle I didnt had time to answer your follow up.. But good luck with what you are doing and hope it works out in the end.

I really dont understand this whole debate of smoking salts.. I mean when you do a 20X Caapi for example.. You still smoking salts in the end and no problems for me at least, and its some years now.. And even in normal tobacco, you are smoking salt no?
"Too cute to live, too cozy to die" - Eaglepath
 
ijahdan
#9 Posted : 12/9/2019 10:06:06 AM

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Just a thought, clear ammonia could be used to freebase the changa (herbs, hamalas and dmt together), then evaporated off, leaving no residue.

Sodium cabonate residue shouldnt be a problem anyway, as it wont vaporise at changa smoking temperatures.
 
Tony6Strings
#10 Posted : 12/9/2019 1:12:41 PM

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Eaglepath wrote:


I really dont understand this whole debate of smoking salts.. I mean when you do a 20X Caapi for example.. You still smoking salts in the end and no problems for me at least, and its some years now.. And even in normal tobacco, you are smoking salt no?


Good point Eaglepath!! I could never get freebase harmalas to dissolve in isopropyl, so I gave up on changa. Maybe I'll try again with salt form.
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You need to hit it with intention to get where you want to be!

"We have arrived at truth, and now we find truth is a mystery- a play of joy, creation, and energy. This is source. This is the mystic touchstone that heals and renews. This is the beginning again. This is entheogenic." -Nicholas Sand
 
Barnacle
#11 Posted : 12/9/2019 2:34:55 PM

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@ijahdan

Quote:
Just a thought, clear ammonia could be used to freebase the changa (herbs, hamalas and dmt together), then evaporated off, leaving no residue.


Hmm... wouldn't ammonia still leave a residue? While the basic form of ammonia NH3 evaporates, the protonated ammonium ion NH4+ will not evaporate, and will form a salt (e.g. ammonium chloride, NH4Cl) as the solvent evaporates. And if ammonia is effective at basifying the target protonated alkaloids, there should be a molar equivalent of ammonium ions generated.

If the above reasoning is correct, then it might even be that an equivalent volume of 10% sodium carbonate actually leaves less residue for the same basifying power (store-bought "clear ammonia" and 10% sodium carbonate are quite close in pH). That' s because carbonic acid, the twice-protonated conjugate acid of carbonate, spontaneously decomposes into H2O and CO2. But I don't know if this would occur enough under the described conditions to be significant.

Also, I've never used ammonia but it looks like standard formulations contain additives, whereas sodium carbonate is available in a pure form as Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda".

- Arm & Hammer "Super Washing Soda" ingredient disclosure: https://churchdwight.com...super-washing-soda.aspx

- Walmart "Clear Ammonia" ingredient disclosure: https://i5.walmartimages...3f9-fb86d93621d2.v1.pdf

Can anyone else offer further insight here? Also, did I just pick a brand of ammonia that happens to have additives, or is ammonia generally available in pure (i.e. just ammonia and water) form?

@Eaglepath, @Tony6Strings

Quote:
I really dont understand this whole debate of smoking salts.. I mean when you do a 20X Caapi for example.. You still smoking salts in the end and no problems for me at least, and its some years now.. And even in normal tobacco, you are smoking salt no?


That is a good point. Also, it's unclear to me what "smoking salt" even means. A "salt" alkaloid in solution (as in a living cell) is just a protonated form of the alkaloid-- the negative half of the salt (e.g. acetate, chloride ion) is also solvated and thus not even associated with the protonated alkaloid. But when plant material is dried out, what exactly happens? Are there tiny crystals of, say, nicotine hydrochloride in dried tobacco leaf? And when you smoke the leaf, what happens? Do individuals ions of protonated nicotine become dissociated in heat and float through the air into your lungs? Calling chem gurus...
 
 
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