Cold Water Extraction (CWE)

by Jannie on July 19, 2013

Cold water extraction (CWE) is a famous technique that is utilized to take out opiates from pharmaceutical drugs which contain a mixture of opiates & acetaminophen (i.e. paracetamol). A better example of such drug is Darvocet.


The cold water extraction method works mainly because acetaminophen is only very little soluble in water (particularly when it is cold), while opiates are very soluble in lukewarm or cold water.

This process is best suitable for drugs that are a mixture of acetaminophen &:

  • Oxycodone
  • Codeine;
  • Hydrocodone
  • Dextropropoxyphene;

Caffeine cannot be detached with the cold water extraction technique.

Cold Water Extraction

The existence of APAP in medicine is to donate to the relief of pain, but it is hazardous & sometimes deadly if taken in huge quantities as it may damage the liver, particularly if alcohol is taken along with it. The common dosage of APAP that is adequate to be taken every day is 4000 mg or 4gm; nevertheless, some people having high tolerance for opis will take the pills that would together contain more APAP than the suggested dosage, damaging their liver & in some cases source them to take a trip to the ER.
That is the reason same people use Cold Water Extraction to get rid of the APAP from the pills & worry only regarding the dosage of the opiates/opioids in their medicine. The pills which can be used are the ones with Acetaminophen, APAP or aka Tylenol. Medicine with opiate/Ibuprofen combination can also be used, though Caffeine generally cannot be extracted. Examples of this are Tylenol 3.

The science at the back this extraction is that Aspirin & Acetaminophen are extremely insoluble in water, & even more so in water at freezing temperature. Though, several opioid narcotics are very soluble in water. The thought is to suspend the soluble narcotic in the water & extract the crap (acetaminophen & aspirin) out of it.


Quick Step for making cold water extraction

1. Squash your pills into fine powder. Proper utensils for doing this will be a pharmaceutical pill pounder, or a mortal & pestle, but a spoon will also work. Take the powder into the first glass.

2. Take a little Cold (10 to 15C) water (about 2 to 20ml per pill) into the glass so the pill dust is underwater. Mix it around till it’s a milky goop.

3. Place a filter on top of second glass, dispense the goop on it, press the filter till left with a ‘plug’ of APAP in the filter, if you use a paper based filter this is risky & why fabric is extra efficient than paper.

4. Toss away the filter & drink your vile shot.

There is an option that also, you can evaporate the water & get a pure hydrocodone powder.


If you CWE’d extra dosage, split the liquid into proper doses. Or else just drink up the stuff. Be ready for an very bitter taste.

Keep in mind that codeine in fact dissolves better in room temperature than in cold water, utilizing warm water only waste the time by requiring the liquid to be fixed in the freezer, simply refrigerate the liquid if starting with warm water.

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