Raw opium in any state of freshness/dryness is dissolved into a volume of hot water at approx 10 times the volume of the opium. This is heated over low heat and SIMMERED! NEVER BOILED! for 15 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up and dissolve the opium as much as possible.
Any H2O loss to evaporation should be adjusted with the addition of small amounts of water. Traditionally the solution would then be set still and allowed to cool, and the insoluables reportedly then sink to the bottom. However it is said to be better to filter the entire solution through a coffee filter while still hot, as to avoid the possible precipitation of any alkaloids during or after cooling. After filtering, the filter will now contain a surprizing amount of grayish, waxy, & worthless insoluable material which should be discarded. In the opium trade, this material is reportedly saved, dried and sometimes reused as a weight & volume-enhancing adulterant to raw opium when the opium is being sold to the unscrupulous. Now, the filtered solution will be an amber color and should be 100% free of any particulate matter. Filter again if necessary. The solution can now be SIMMERED again over low heat to evaporate off the water. Great care should be taken as to avoid scorching the opium, especially toward the end of the evaporation process. Reduce heat to a high-warm setting for the last few minutes of evaporation, stay in attendance, and be patient. This step should also be performed in a device or container which can be conveniently scraped out afterward. When final evaporation is complete, the opium will be in a different form than it was raw. It will be a deep amber or coffee color, and if fully dried it will flake and powderize when scraped from the container. Care should be taken to avoid flicking the small flakes airborn while scraping.
Smoking the cooked opium is relatively the same (usuing an indirect flame), but since the opium is now a dry lightweight powder, care must be taken so that the powder is not inhaled directly through the pipe before its vaporized. It will liquify to a bubbly paste when properly heated for smoking. This powdery 'cooked' form of opium is also sometimes mixed with the tarry residue (called 'dross') of a well used opium pipe prior to smoking. Perhaps this is to reduce the possibility of the lightweight powdery 'smoking opium' being inhaled directly through the pipe before it is liquified & vaporised.