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Offlinemogur
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Registered: 11/15/05
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Notes on heat preservation of cubes * 1
    #5295426 - 02/13/06 05:37 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

When I first reviewed the shroom cultivation teks, I was bombarded with the message that heat should scrupulously avoided during the preservation phase. From the MMGG- ?What ever you do, don?t use heat to dry them. Heat is very harmful to the psycho-active compounds. You will drastically reduce the mushroom?s potency if you use heat to dry them.? From the Simple Cubensis Growing Technique- ?It is very important when drying that the mushrooms never be exposed to heat. Psilocybin and Psilocin, the main active chemicals in Psilocybe mushrooms, are very heat-sensitive chemicals that will break down if exposed to heat. You can get away with drying them in the sun, but expect some loss in potency.? But I quickly realized that this subject is vociferously debated in the forums, and the opposite side of this issue claims that ?Psilocybin IS NOT DESTROYED at temps as high as 442F? [Shdwstr, link].

Ya gotta go to the scientific literature for answers when the anecdotal info is at odds. These are the guys that can actually perform quantitative analysis. Unfortunately, the studies are not designed for easy answers to home cultivation questions. I did a little research, and will attempt to share my insight, as biased as it undoubtedly is.

Psilocin is the active indole that is able to pass the blood-brain barrier and get us ripped. Since cubes contain a relatively minor amount of psilocin, most of the shroom effect comes from the conversion of psilocybin into psilocin within our bodies by enzymatic action. It is said that psilocin is 10 times more psychoactive than psilocybin. It is also said that psilocin is 1.4 times more psychoactive than psilocybin. It is further said that they are equally active. These are all accurate statements, within different contexts. It is ten times easier for a molecule of psilocin to pass the blood-brain barrier than a molecule of psilocybin. However, since psilocybin is rapidly (within a half hour) converted to psilocin once inside our bodies, they are essentially equivalent. A psilocin molecule is 1.4 times less massive than a psilocybin molecule, therefore, on a per weight basis, it is 1.4 times more active than psilocybin. But no matter how you cut the cheese, the reality is that on a molecule to molecule basis, psilocin and psilocybin are functionally equivalent in activity.

Since unpreserved harvested animals, plants, and fungi will all rot within a week or two, they must be refrigerated, pickled, dried, frozen, canned, or freeze-dried to remain safely edible. Drying has been demonstrated to be a simple and effective method of preserving cubes. Psilocybin is one of the most stable indole compounds known. The cause of this stability is the protection by its phosphor group against oxidation. Psilocin, on the other hand, oxidizes fairly easily into an O-quinone compound [Horita and Weber ] that is responsible for the blue coloration when cube cells are damaged and psilocin is exposed to atmospheric oxygen.

To gain information on the effects of heat in relation to home preservation of cubes, we must extract mostly incidental references of its effect from scientific studies that do not directly address this issue. Nichols and Frescas synthesized psilocybin crystals and noted that the crystals were ?stable when stored in the cold, but slowly darkened on storage for several months at ambient temperature?.

Beug and Bigwood performed chromatographic analysis of psilocybin and psilocin and found that-
?For quantification of psilocybin and psilocin levels in wild mushrooms, we found that prompt freeze-drying of the fresh-picked carpophores was important. Freeze-dried mushrooms retained their psilocybin and psilocin levels for over 2 years without noticeable loss when stored in a freezer at -60C or at -5C, whereas dried herbarium material often lost all activity after 1 year.? They further noted- ?The recovery of psilocybin and psilocin ?spikes? from Ps. Foenisecii in four trials was 90+/- 7% for psilocybin and 60 +/- 8% for psilocin after freeze-drying and room-temperature extraction. Extraction at higher temperature or in a Soxhlet extractor led to partial or complete loss of psilocin although loss of psilocybin was generally less than 20%. The methanolic extracts could be stored in a freezer at -5C for over 1 year with little change, although storage at room temperature led to complete loss of psilocin and some loss of psilocybin within a few months.?

Catalfomo and Tyler studied the production of psilocybin in submerged cultures of cubes and dried the mycelia pellets ?in a forced-air drying oven at 48C for a minimum period of forty-eight hours and subsequently stored in a desiccator over anhydrous calcium chloride. After determining the pH values of the filtered culture media, the filtrates were evaporated to dryness in a flash evaporator at 40C under reduced pressure. The residues were carefully extracted with 2-ml portions of absolute methanol to dissolve the psilocybin and psilocin, and the solutions were stored in a refrigerator until subjected to chromatographic analysis.?

Gartz states- ?In physiological old mushrooms of Psilocybe cubensis the spontaneous bluing is a sign of a significant decomposition of the alkaloids. But in P. semilanceata , I. aeruginascens , and P. subbalteatus this oxidation process with slight bluing does not cause a significant destruction of psilocybin and baeocystin.? In another study, he found- ??the levels of the unstable substance psilocin decreased during storage. The samples from 1984 were analysed 3 years later, the others only a few days after harvesting.?

What do we get out of all this data? You mileage may vary, but I read that heat below the combustion point has virtually no direct effect on degradation of the actives, however, over a sufficient period of time, it facilitates oxidization, especially in psilocin. This amount of time, in certain circumstances, can be quite long, as residual psilocybin has been detected in 114 year old mushroom samples. Practically, I wouldn?t worry about heat exposure during the drying process, too short a time. Once dry, protection from oxygen is the most important factor. Reduced temperature is a secondary factor, so storage in a cool or cold environment can help. Keep in glass jars, since plastics are just about all semi-permeable to air, particularly ?baggies?. Put an relatively inert gas in with the shrooms to exclude oxygen (CO2, Freon, argon, nitrogen). Light has not been mentioned in the studies that I have found, but it is a factor in the degradation of many organic substances, so is probably best avoided.

What about other preservations? Well, honey has natural antibiotics and sugars that will help ?preserve?, but fresh shrooms contain so much water that spoilage may still occur, and if you dry them first, why bother to re-hydrate them in honey? Never heard of anyone canning cubes, but why not? Freeze-drying is excellent, but don?t know of an easy, cheap method. Vinegar pickling sounds yucky, but ?????? How about a barrel of salt cured shrooms?

I could list references if anyone is interested, but why bother? No one is still reading this shit, they have either given up, or turned to stone by now.

PS- Shdwstr, hope you don't mind the link to your post, as I basically agree with your position.


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OfflineCubensisCutter
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: mogur]
    #5295506 - 02/13/06 05:50 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

all i read was the first 2 paragraphs and all i can say is that i had cubes from a field and sun dryed them and the next batch used a desiccant chamber. i noticed an extreme difference in potency. an 8th of the sun dried cubes gave a me a little buzz and i felt good but was nothing compared to the ones i put in the desiccant chamber. both were picked from the same field and eaten about 3 months apart. when i had eaten the sun dired cubes they were the first ones i had eaten in about 4 months so i know it had nothing to do with my tolerance. i dont thinkl its the heat from the sun that kills it though, i think it may be the sun itself


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                                                                  thats right cubes in december bitches


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OfflineSnaggletooth
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: CubensisCutter] * 1
    #5295691 - 02/13/06 06:27 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

Well I read the whole thing, and it was a good read. Clear in thought and well put together. It was not long enough, though I love to read, especially when the writing is good. I have saved this one, thanks for taking the time and it was not in vain.

:grin:


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Atheist Chat


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Invisiblecappa
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Registered: 02/12/06
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: CubensisCutter]
    #5295696 - 02/13/06 06:28 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

If I understand that information, it is oxygen that is the culprit.

Unfortunately, heating things tends to break open otherwise stable chains of elements because you are adding energy to the structure. When that happens, either while hot, or while cooling, it leaves these chains in an unstable state. It is at that time that more reactive elements will insert themselves into the chain(reactive elements like oxygen, clorine, the halide group, etc.).

Basically unless you supply something easier than oxygen to bond to these chains during the heating and cooling phase, oxygen will enter.
Either that, or flood the structures with something inert to displace the oxygen. Perhaps you could flood the drying chamber with nitrogen for instance while heat drying.
Then most importantly, is preventing the oxygen from reaching those valuable Psylocin(spelling?) chains.

I'm planning on using those vaccuum food packers that you can buy. Then finalizing storage by wrapping the plastic vaccuum packed bags in butcher paper(stop light and another air barrier). Then freeze them. We will see how it goes.

~Cappa.


--------------------
Their are 10 types of people. Those that understand binary, and those who don't.
~Cappa.


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Invisibleagar
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: cappa]
    #5295748 - 02/13/06 06:46 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)



I dry them in an Nesco brand American Harvest dehydrator, on a low setting (105F +/- a few degrees). Once cracker dry, vacuum seal in an AUTOCLAVE BAG (not a baggy of any sort).

Then, simply store the bag in a dark cool dry safe place. They stay POTENT for a year. After that, I don't know. As, I have never stored them longer than that. :rolleyes:

=


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Offlinekrill
absolute gonzo
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Registered: 10/25/05
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: agar]
    #5295821 - 02/13/06 07:01 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

i'm a firm believer in dessicating (damp-rid) any dried shroom as a final touch.
same thing with weed... dried ISN'T the same thing as cured.
people will always disagree.

any notes on using a vacuum-sealer (bags or vacu-cannister)???


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"DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MIND.  IT IS REALITY THAT IS MALFUNCTIONING." - Robert Anton Wilson

NO LEFT TURN UN-STONED


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OfflineSnaggletooth
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: krill]
    #5295893 - 02/13/06 07:17 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

I have started to ues them.......


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Offlinekrill
absolute gonzo
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Registered: 10/25/05
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: Snaggletooth]
    #5295916 - 02/13/06 07:24 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

i know some of the higher-end models have a "crush-free" setting on them for preserving "flowers or delicates"... :smile:


--------------------
"DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MIND.  IT IS REALITY THAT IS MALFUNCTIONING." - Robert Anton Wilson

NO LEFT TURN UN-STONED


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Offlinemogur
regnartS

Registered: 11/15/05
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Loc: Puget Sound
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: CubensisCutter]
    #5296366 - 02/13/06 08:53 PM (15 years, 8 months ago)

CubensisCutter- yeah, maybe UV light from the sun.

Thanks for the compliments, Snaggle.

If Catalfomo, Tyler, and agar all use heated dehydrators, then I'm convinced.

Krill- vacuum sealing would seem to be one of the very best and easiest ways of excluding oxygen. The plastic bags are obviously impermeable to air. Since agar and Snaggle are doing it, again, I'm convinced. If a vacuum sealer isn't available, I would suggest a sealable glass jar and CO2 from either a cartridge or a chunk of dry ice. Or, displace the oxygen with any variety of 'dusting' sprays in aerosol cans that contain non-toxic, inert gases. Like agar says, for long term storage, keep it cool and dark. A freezer, even, if convenient.


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OfflineJSshroom
dont be paranoid, just aware

Registered: 06/16/05
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: mogur]
    #5814504 - 07/03/06 03:43 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

another way to displace oxygen i picked up in microbiology class was to put a candle in the 1 gallon 1/2 gallon jar. it burns out all the 0xygen and puts itself out leaving only co2. That way we can grow gonorea<sp> on petri plates. I think spore works or one of those other myco sites also has oxygen eliminator pills.

side note for those using air lock bags. when you are sealing a lot. Shake the bag if you can while its sucking the air out to release any pockets of air there may be. Just my 2 cents but I was vacuum sealing a bunch of rats and had to shake the bags to get the air out from between there bodies.


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First Grow No more carpet tek


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InvisibleRoadkillM
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: JSshroom]
    #5814576 - 07/03/06 04:26 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

JSshroom said:

I was vacuum sealing a bunch of rats and had to shake the bags to get the air out from between there bodies.





lmfao


I have to ask...

why you were vaccum sealing rats?




tc


--------------------
Laterz, Road

Who the hell you callin crazy?
You wouldn't know what crazy was if Charles Manson was eating froot loops on your front porch!


Brainiac said:
PM the names with on there names, that means they have mushrooms for sale.



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OfflineEraserhead
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: Roadkill]
    #5814883 - 07/03/06 08:04 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Probably saving some frozen dinners for his herps (snakes I assume)

Only reason I've ever had vaccume sealed rats in my freezer :wink:


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Invisiblefastfred
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: Roadkill]
    #5814924 - 07/03/06 08:17 AM (15 years, 3 months ago)

> Psilocin, on the other hand, oxidizes fairly easily into an O-quinone compound [Horita and Weber ] that is responsible for the blue coloration when cube cells are damaged and psilocin is exposed to atmospheric oxygen.

Interesting post. I've discussed psilocybin chemistry here a bit, here is a diagram I made...




> "Freeze-dried mushrooms retained their psilocybin and psilocin levels for over 2 years without noticeable loss when stored in a freezer at -60C or at -5C, whereas dried herbarium material often lost all activity after 1 year."

This should tell you pretty clearly that heat does affect psilocybin storage. Not only will additional heat reduce potency, but a reduction in heat to below room temp. will increase storage time. I don't think there's really any question about that. The question is how much reduction in potency is involved? Many people argue that heat doesn't cause a noticeable reduction in potency, but I think any reduction is a waste.

> But I quickly realized that this subject is vociferously debated in the forums, and the opposite side of this issue claims that "Psilocybin IS NOT DESTROYED at temps as high as 442F"

Raising an acetic acid solution to 70C will dephosphorylate the psilocybin to psilocin, so I think heat can cause problems other than just thermal breakdown at 442F.

> "Notice the temps listed 220C - 228C, That's 428F - 442F and it's the melting temp only.
If you take a solid and raise it's temp to its melting point, it becomes liquid.
Return that same liquid to it's solid temp and... you get the same original solid (it is not destroyed)
So... Psilocybin IS NOT DESTROYED at temps as high as 442F"

I'd like to see you melt psilocybin and then resolidify it under a normal oxygen atmosphere and see if you can get ANY back unchanged. My guess is that even if you did it in a capillary tube in a normal melt-temp device about half of it would burn before melting, which would remove the oxygen from the tube, and the other half would be mostly degraded.

I've tried to find melting points for many substances that have literature values listed and had them burn up or decompose far below their listed melting points. Just because a literature value is listed doesn't mean you will ever be able to actually melt the stuff without extensive purification and a specialized apparatus.

Thermal decomposition isn't the only problem related to potency loss. There's also dephosphorylation, oxidation, and enzymatic degradation. All three of those are greatly increased by any amount of heat.

As far a sun drying... Psilocybin has UV-Vis spectroscopic absorption peaks reported as 262, 271, 282, 293 and 221.0(4.44), 267.5(3.66), 278.5(3.57), 290.0(3.42)nm. Psilocin at 222.5(4.55), 268.0(3.72), 284.5(3.62), 294.0(3.58)nm and 222, 260, 267, 283, 293nm.

All of these are in the UV range so it is probably fairly sensitive to UV. I don't want to hurt my brain trying to think about HOMO/LUMO interactions, but my guess is that UV is quite capable of degrading both psilocybin and psilocin.


-FF


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OfflineJSshroom
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Registered: 06/16/05
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: fastfred]
    #5816522 - 07/03/06 06:05 PM (15 years, 3 months ago)

Yup roadkill they were rats for my Kitty. Thats my snakes name.

interesting info fastfred. I am really interested in drying at higher temps then 95F because its just a pain not too. On the other hand I do not want to compromise the goods for speeding the process up. Reading in Stamets Mycoremediation book He makes several references to dramatic chemical changes in mushrooms dried in the sun. Specifically gill side up. I do not know how this apply's to cubes or any other active as he does not discuss those issues but I have no doubts that UV has degrading effects on cubes active and non active chemical bases.


--------------------
First Grow No more carpet tek


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Invisibleusng
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: mogur]
    #8009390 - 02/11/08 05:59 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Great Post


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Whatever is stated above is truly fictional and was typed by my cat. I have nothing to do with it.


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Invisiblefastfred
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: usng]
    #8015660 - 02/13/08 01:04 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Update: Conversion of psilocybin to psilocin is considered to be mostly enzymatically dephosphorylated by phosphatases. The relation of heat and pH is not really that clear.


-FF


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Offlinewoefuljungle
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: fastfred] * 1
    #8015756 - 02/13/08 01:41 AM (13 years, 8 months ago)

dam good post tons of info love it!!!!


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OfflineMisterScience
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Re: Notes on heat preservation of cubes [Re: woefuljungle]
    #16403304 - 06/19/12 02:12 PM (9 years, 4 months ago)

This is an awesome post. Lots of information I've already gathered, but nice to have it all in one place.

As for the heat degradation, there is still a lot of controversy. But, in order to preserve psilosin or psilocybin in alcohol at concentrated levels, heat is necessary to ensure it does not crystallize and become filtered out from the slurry. But a low heat seems to be enough to keep it in solution, despite it having a melting point of 220-228C.


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