Acid-base DXM extraction
This guide is provided for informational and educational purposes only. We do not encourage you to break the law and cannot claim any responsibility for your actions.
Please note that it is critical to understand that this process can only be used with syrups containing DXM only, or with Guaifenesin added as well, as the active medical ingredients. It will not remove Tylenol or any other drug, so they will end up in your finished product, and could hurt you, or worse. Ensure you check your labels.
In modern DXM containing cough syrups (Usually indicated by DM on bottle or box), DXM is mixed with a large amount of sugars and fillers, which make drinking syrup miserable and add undesirable effects to the trip. However, since the DXM in cough syrup is attached to a HBr molecule, we can use the Acid-Base method to separate the DXM from the undesirable bits. Firstly, we use ammonia to turn the DXM into freebase. We agitate the mixture, then immediately add our non-polar solvent Naphtha to the mix and agitate. Let settle. Since the DXM is now in the non-polar Naphtha, we titrate the bottom red layer away and keep the clear naphtha. Next we add our lemon juice to the naphtha, agitate, and let separate. This time, however, we keep the bottom layer- That's the lemon juice that just pulled our DXM out of the Naphtha by turning it into a salt. There we are, Agent Lemon. On average, 10% of your input DXM will be lost after finishing all of the extraction, so you may wish to adjust the amount of input you use.
- Pen, paper, and (preferably) internet access for planning dose and volumes needed.
- DXM containing cough syrup. Cough syrup containing Dextromethorphan HBr ONLY is ideal. Syrups that also contain Guaifensin are acceptable. Do NOT use any syrups containing any other active ingredients, such as acetaminophen. Products marketed as "Dry cough relief" are your best bet, but ALWAYS CHECK INGREDIENTS.
- Ammonia (clear, unscented, non-sudsy). Usually found at large grocery chains in the kitchen/bathroom area.
- Naptha or Lighter Fluid (Fluid should evaporate leaving no residue when placed on a mirror). Hardware store, smoke shops
- Citric Acid or Lemon Juice
- Large freezer bags (We will hang these up with our Syrup/Naphtha and Naphtha/Lemon Juice mixtures inside, to allow separation.
- 2 litre, threaded cap container, such as a soft drink bottle. Depending on the total volume of your ammonia/naphtha/syrup mixture, you may opt to use a large mason jar with a lid.
- Glass pot for boiling Agent Lemon on stove, or pyrex container/measuring cup for in microwave. (Acidity of lemon juice will dissolve metal/teflon into your mixture!)
- Use a DXM dose calculator, such as the Darkridge DXM calculator. DXM is extremely sensitive to weight, and there is no single "One fits all" dose. For example, the second plateau may require "730 mg" for a 250 pound person, whereas a 135 pound person may only need "430 mg" to reach the same experience.
- Use the correct cough syrup. Using a cough syrup with active ingredients other than Dextromethorphan HBr is very dangerous.
- If you absolutely cannot do it outside, try to make your extraction in a room with constant ventilation, such as a bathroom. It won't stop you from being exposed, but it can help contain vapours to that room.
- Ammonia is flammable and irritating/caustic to the skin. It is caustic to the respiratory system if vapors are inhaled.
- Naptha is a hazardous chemical with multiple safety concerns. It is extremely flammable. It is irritating to the eyes and skin. Vapors can be irritating to the respiratory system and in high concentrations can depress the CNS.
- Try to avoid using Naphtha with plastic, if possible. Naptha can chemically attack and degrade many plastics.
- If you are new to this extraction, try to get into contact with someone who has experience with it and the DXM trip itself.
- While higher plateaus are more demanding than lower ones, it is generally a good idea to always have a trip sitter, or someone you trust nearby who knows what you're doing. Make them aware of what to expect.
Calculate your required dosage with a DXM dosage calculator and determine the amounts of materials needed. If using citric acid, prepare a solution in water ahead of time. For each bottle of tussin, use 1.5 tablespoons of citric acid in 4 ounces of water. If using lighter fluid, be sure it evaporates without residue.
- Add the cough syrup to the large glass bottle or sealable container.
- Add in the same volume of ammonia (some excess is not a problem) and stir.
- Tightly seal the container and shake vigorously for about 3 minutes.
- Add in Naptha or lighter fluid, approximately 10% of the mixture in volume (a 1/2-1 inch layer) and shake for another 5 minutes.
- Pour the liquid into a large gallon-sized zip lock container.
- Let the mixture separate for 5-15 minutes. The resulting product should have two layers: the naptha layer (which the DXM is now bound to) on top and the ammonia-syrup layer on the bottom.
- Cut a small hole in one corner of the zip-lock bag to drain. Dispose of the ammonia-syrup layer and collect the naptha/organic layer in a glass jar.
- Optional: Adding 8 ounces of water to the organic naptha solution and allowing it to separate will minimize the amount of inactive ingredients (ammonia, cough syrup). Repeat this stage 1-3 times.
- Now mix the solution with the pre-prepared citric acid solution or lemon juice. If using lemon juice, add an equal amount into the solvent layer.
- Shake vigorously for at least 5 minutes.
- Pour the solution into the gallon sized bag and allow it to separate, wait at least 45 minutes for the separation.
- Now the citric acid/lemon juice layer is on the bottom with the naptha layer on top. Drain and collect the bottom layer and safely dispose of the top layer.
- Boil the lemon juice for a few (5-10 minutes) to eliminate any left over organic solvents.
- Allow to cool, this is your finished product.
- Drink and enjoy!
- The final product, concentrated DXM in lemon juice, is extremely bitter. This product will be more easily handled if it is cold, so refrigeration is recommended. It can also help to add 8 ounces of water and a couple teaspoons of sugar to alleviate the taste. Others prefer to reduce the volume as much as possible and "chase" it down, much like an alcohol shot.
- Q: Why does the Agent Lemon smell like lighter fluid/ why am I tasting lighter fluid if I burp?
A: The scent or taste you have is a result of the aromatic particulate of the lighter fluid remaining in your agent lemon. This is a very common occurrence if you have used lighter fluid, and does not mean that there is actually any lighter fluid left- Just that you'll have some nasty breath for a while.
- Q: What is this sudsy/bubbly layer I have in my separation?
A: You've probably used syrup containing guaifenesin- This is the aforementioned guaifenesin forming a oily layer in your mixture. It'll take around an hour or more, but it'll settle out and be fine to use.
- Q: Drinking the mixture makes me retch! Can I take an antiemetic (Anti-nausea) such as Gravol (Dimenhydrinate), Diphenhydramine, or Cannabis beforehand?
A: Some people have reported that a small amount of anti-histamine (Dimenhydrinate up to 200, Diphenhydramine up to 100 - According to experience reports) can help with nausea and gag reflex upon drinking agent lemon. If you take too much, however, it can lead to an entirely different drug trip (See: DXM & DPH in combination). Cannabis may work for some as well, but taking both Cannabis and DXM can intensify and alter the trip as compared to DXM alone.