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About Anodyne

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  1. If you were going for quick/easy/food-safe with min ingredients, then.. maybe? Some folks have suggested that boiling might actually denature the enzymes which are mostly responsible for that conversion though - I'm not sure if there was any research to back that up, but if your goal was maximum breakdown, then it might be best to let the leaves sit in a bag (in the fridge?) for a few days or something before boiling, just to give those enzymes extra time to work their mischief? I seem to recall researchers running simple reduction reactions to give the results you describe, but that would've been using isolated cathinone - I'm guessing that trying to do the same thing on a crude extract would likely get messy fast & cause a whole heap of unintended reactions & byproducts.
  2. Correction - that should have said "0.1%" - so 100g fresh leaves yields around 100mg* cathinone. Some researchers have gotten ~1% yields from dried material. Sorry about that! (*anywhere between 30-300mg seems pretty standard - though the lower yields tend to have much higher ratios of cathine+norephedrine, suggesting that their cathinone yields could've been higher with less destructive storage/extraction methods.) I also shoulda mentioned that the cathinone->cathine conversion isn't limited only to harvested leaves - the older leaves on the plant will also contain cathine (ref). Again the data is sketchy & results vary depending how they went about it, but lets say 50:50 with cathinone. So even though older leaves aren't as good to chew (not just because of the lower cathinone levels, but also because they're full of saponins, tannins, & tough fibres), they work just fine for making tea, as the cathine is heat-stable. The effects (less euphoric, more straight-up stimulant) may not be as nice as chewing high-cathinone fresh material, but it's one way to make use of old leaves. Kind of a middle-ground between tea (cathinone-destroying) & chewing quids (which is not really socially-accepted in Oz as a drug ROA) might be this method where they just chuck fresh leaves & cold water (1g/ml) into a high-speed blender, strain thru a cloth, and then freeze the "juice" until needed. They were only storing it for a short time, but it'd be interesting to see how the cathinone held up in frozen juice prepared this way. I'm guessing you'd actually be speeding up the degradation reactions (as all those enzymes would end up in your extract, plus extra oxygen+light, less protective cell walls...) if you left the juice sitting around at room/fridge temp, and probably even at freezer temps some breakdown would continue... but it might be ok for an immediate-use situation, especially if quid-chewing wasn't your thing? As a side note, "khatamines" (I guess coined by these researchers) is a great term & should be used more often.
  3. Damn, vodka-khittie-sours sounds like a dangerous mix. Freeze-dried leaves may be more stable/high-yielding/whatever, but also contain significantly less delicious counteractive drug combo. I wonder if my plants are big enough to massacre for an experiment? Any reports, people? (also someone please bring back OTC codeine so catha-booze stops sounding like a good idea. Pre-mixed drinks are never a good idea.)
  4. About the study Alchemica linked to (this one) suggesting "anti-depressant-like" effects, there are some real problems with their study design that you should consider before accepting their conclusions, especially these bits: In the first part, they seem to actually mean "anxiolytic" and just using "sedative" as a synonym, which it isn't. I can't even work out where the "muscle-relaxant" claim is coming from at all - unless it's mentioned in one of the other papers they reference - they seem to just be pulling that out of their arse. That they didn't make a quantitative analysis of their extract is also an issue, as it makes duplication difficult - they confirmed that cathinone was present, but we have no idea how much. But the major issue is the tests they've used to screen for "anti-depressant-like" activity, and their limitations: the forced-swim-test (FST), tail-suspension-test (TST) & hole-board-test (HBT). In the first two, the rodents are deliberately put into an uncomfortable/stressful situation, then the researchers time how long they keep struggling or trying to escape. The test ends when they stop moving, and that time is recorded. It is assumed that they stop moving because they've given up & lost hope of escaping. Leaving aside the problems of acute-vs-chronic-depression-models (which this article covers well: Doubt about antidepressant-like effect ), a big issue when using these tests for any kind of stimulant drug is that the rodents might keep moving around longer just because of the stimulant effects, and not because of any anti-depressant actions. This isn't to say these tests have no value, just that in the particular case of investigating stimulants (or depressants), they should be paired with other tests which take that into account, and try to separate the drugs effects on locomotor activity from its effects on mood. Given that this limitation was mentioned in the very first discussion of the TST in 1985, the fact that it's completely ignored in this 2017 paper (not only in their study design, which could be due to time/cost limitations, but also in their discussion/conclusion) is pretty inexcusable. Here's a few more recent papers which also discuss this problem & suggest some possible ways to account for it: Tail suspension test does not detect antidepressant-like properties of atypical antipsychotics Anti-immobility activity of different antidepressant drugs using the tail suspension test in normal or reserpinized mice - "Comparison of anti-immobility activities of putative anti-depressants in non-pre-treated and in reserpine-pre-treated mice, using the tail suspension test, may be useful to discriminate amphetamines from antidepressant drugs and to differentiate between categories of amine re-uptake blockers" Utility of ethological analysis to overcome locomotor confounds in elevated maze models of anxiety - "These results confirm that under certain test conditions, psychostimulants are capable of producing "false-positives" in elevated maze models, and that both traditional methods and the ethological measures used in this study fail to unequivocally dissociate drug effects on anxiety from effects on locomotor activity." (different test, but maybe applicable) And the other test used (which measures how much the animals will explore an unfamiliar environment, and assumes a link between this behaviour & anxiety levels) has similar limitations: Some doubts about the basic concept of hole-board test - "It is concluded, that the inverse relation between anxiety state and head-dipping activity is true only in a certain range of anxiety level. In more aversive situations, when the anxiety level of the animals is high, the holes nay represent a possible way to escape from the aversive environment instead of an explorable object." The exploratory behaviour of rats in the hole-board apparatus: Is head-dipping a valid measure of neophilia? - "Many unconditioned tests, such as the open field, potentially confound general locomotor activity with exploration. The hole-board apparatus appears to avoid this confound, as head-dipping into holes in the floor is assumed to be a valid measure of the subject's attraction towards novelty (neophilia).... Rather than being a measure of neophilia, these results support the hypothesis that head-dipping represents an escape response, which declines as the subject becomes less fearful." Summary version is that it seems more likely to me that the behaviour observed in that 2017 study could be attributed to khat's stimulant effects, rather than any anxiolytic/anti-depressant action.
  5. Fresh khat might contain around 1% cathinone by weight (it's hard to get accurate numbers as many extraction methods hasten the breakdown). If dried poorly, nearly all of that can be converted to other compounds like cathine - stored at room temp one study ( Degradation of cathinone from Catha edulis (khat) leaves ) observed that 50% of the cathinone was lost by the 2nd day, and almost all of it was gone by day 3. But if you can prevent these reactions, then the cathinone stays cathinone (it's stable once extracted, or well-dried), and you don't need to worry about separating out the breakdown products, as they just won't be there! The trick to preserving the cathinone seems to be to dry the leaves as quickly as possible, or freeze them: Using a little heat (sun or oven) to speed up the drying process might not be ideal, but is probably better than leaving half-dried leaves sitting around (eg. in a humid climate where they won't dry in a day) - keeping a third of the cathinone is still better than losing all of it.
  6. Are the fungi pretty much dried at this point - but just mouldy? Though not common, there are some really nasty mycotoxins out there, which can be concentrated in either the spores or the mycelia of the mould fungus (i.e. inside the infected material, not just on the surface). The problems are that: 1) you have no way of telling if your mould is one of the toxic ones (& some people will react even to non-toxic moulds just via immune response to the spores) 2) many mycotoxins are stable to heat, oxidation & acidic conditions (at least when compared to the alks you're interested in) - so boiling them in vinegar might kill the mould fungus, but it is also a great way to extract those toxins straight into your solution. So it's up to you whether you think it's worth the risk. If you're hellbent on proceeding, you could try washing the whole mushrooms in a water/vinegar mix to remove the surface mould at least. If the mushrooms are mostly dry/sound (i.e. not already rotting & breaking down), then this should only remove a fraction of your alks - and you could then grind up the rinsed mushies & go ahead with your extraction. As to extracting with vinegar, the main issues with this method are: 3) it converts the psilocybin (which will be the main active in dried mushrooms) into psilocin, which is less stable & will degrade more quickly/easily. 4) if you want to skip the basification/non-polar-solvent part and still end up with a concentrated extract, it would involve evaporating off a lot of vinegar solution - and (unless you have a rotavap) this will expose the extract to a lot of heat/light/air, whichever way you go about it. In summary, it's not a good way to extract these alkaloids for storage. What you could do instead (this is just setting aside the potentially-toxic mould situation) is just make a tea - acidify some water slightly (keep it palatable, you don't need a lot) using some kitchen ingredient (ascorbic/citric/tartaric acid, lemon juice, etc), and then throw the pulverised (or if using fresh, you can freeze & then thaw to break down cell walls) mushrooms. Warm but don't boil - keep it under 70-80'C if you can - cool, strain. Then drink immediately or freeze for later use. Maybe not the highest-yielding extraction method, but it's ultra-simple, cheap, quick, uses no nasty solvents/reagents, and the resulting product should be much more stable than the vinegar-extracted one.
  7. Nice work spooge! Those are some funky fungi indeed. So how much did it cost you to have each of these samples tested? I found their pricing page, but am still a bit unclear on which items you chose and what you would do differently next time. Just to give us a rough idea of the cost, waiting time, and level of sample-prep needed from our end - a little more info on this would be great! I'm confused - I thought this was what you'd done! The files are labelled "1F +ITS4". Or did you just mean using a more specific ITS primers? I gather that ITS1/ITS4 combo is kinda general (the "universal fungal primers") - and others may work better with particular fungal families or testing/sampling conditions. I guess if there's an existing database of reference samples then you'd want to match their methods so you got comparable results (maybe?)... but what are those? And how important are the differences?
  8. No, it's been S4 since 2015 or thereabouts - I don't think anything has changed on that front, has it? Here is the most recent "poisons list" from the TGA with a complete list of all scheduled drugs... the specific description under schedule 4 is "CANNABIDIOL in preparations for therapeutic use containing 2 per cent or less of other cannabinoids found in cannabis", so I guess that not just any ol' oil will do. Plus all those other hoops that waterboy mentioned. They are supposedly starting to figure out domestic supply situation [finally!], but that isn't up & running yet, and doesn't look like it will ease any of the restrictions involved in getting a script anyway - you still need to be dying (or suffering one of the approved conditions) AND find a sympathetic doctor who is willing to scale the mountain of paperwork involved.
  9. dontcha hate.... bloody bloody PAWS. C'mon brain, you can get through this. Just look at all the practice you've had.
  10. I'd have thought that you'd have better luck searching for cubensis in that area at this time of year? I know subs (aka: australiana) have been found up around those parts as well, but thought they were comparatively-rare and cubes were the MUCH more common species. There'll be pockets of pan cyans around in the warm/wet weather too. Try to befriend some cattle farmers.
  11. I had another few bad injuries & health crises after I wrote that, and only got back on my feet properly a few months ago. So... not much shack progress, the termites are winning that one. But I am smashing the hermit side of things.
  12. Never looked into the psychoactive ones, but I know some Tagetes (mainly T.patula) are used in Georgian cooking - dried ground petals are used to give certain spice blends their yellow colour & earthy flavour - a little like turmeric is used in Indian curries, I gather? The petals have also been used to make fake saffron threads. I also remember reading that certain of the [pesticidal?] compounds are photo-activated, and can cause photosensitive skin reactions on some people - that may be something to watch out for if handling fresh material. And if you ever have leftover tea, you can always use it to germinate seeds in: "...results showed that marigold species can be used as a potential organic priming agent"
  13. @Sallubrious - funny, I was just about to say the same thing! I haven’t taken any of this personally. There were some remarks which addressed me personally, & I responded to those in kind, but I didn’t assume they were personal attacks. Of course, since several of the more inflammatory comments have since been deleted/hidden, much of the context for the more heated arguments is now missing, and it appears as if me & Horsie are just overreacting to the comparatively-moderate comments that are left. But even of the more outrageous remarks, most weren’t responses to anything I’d actually said - so it’s hard for me to get too offended by those, since the only people I saw being attacked were strawmen. (Personally-offended, that is - I can be still be offended by falling debating standards ) I’ve seen the whole thing as an interesting discussion & intellectual debate. I might *have* emotional responses to comments, but I try not to confuse my own reactions with someone’s intent, or to assume a personal attack unless that’s explicit. Likewise I wasn’t trying to attack you personally - I addressed some of your remarks directly, but I thought that’s what people do in debates. I was challenging the *ideas* that you presented, not you, or your “honour”. We’ve had some good discussions over the years, and I consider you a friend. Nothing has happened to change that, and if you decide to stay on I will look forward to our future discussions. Just y’know, maybe not this particular topic. And we should table any future debates until our respective real-life dramas are resolved/improved, because the stress from these life-&-death situations is fucking hectic and we’re probably projecting a lot of that into an already-tense topic - which doesn’t make the best environment for any kind of constructive dialogue. In the meantime, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help - I’m still your friend and am here for you if you want.
  14. @Responsible Choice, wow. The "like" seemed insufficient, this needs a "HOLY SHIT!"