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OTC Solvents FAQ v1.0 The following artical was copied and pasted from Erowid.

com This is version 1.00 of the OTC Solvents FAQ. It was preceded by two draft versions, one of which has been widely distributed. This version has been significantly updated, expanded, and corrected Please destroy any earlier drafts of this document, as the corrections and clarifications in this version may help avert potential disasters which could result if the older information is relied upon. Significant effort has gone into the preparation of this FAQ, but it is still lacking in a few areas. I need help with improving the "solvents" section, especially what these solvents will and will not dissolve. Some of the solvents listed are missing information on how polar they are. It would also be nice to know which are the best solvents for various substances. Also, I would like to expand the "other substances" section, specifically adding information on what will and will not dissolve various interesting substances (or substances contained in) including but not limited to: cinnamon, cannabinoids, citrus oils, DMT and relatives, hot peppers, psilocybin/psilocin, aromatic oriental mushrooms, LAA, garlic, opiates, ginkgo biloba, coca/cocaine, ephedra, pseudoephedrine, ginsen, kava, and anything else you have information on. (Information on any controlled substances would be just for the purpose of satisfying curiosity; not to do anything illegal, of course.) I only took about 1 year of general chemistry in college, so I am not exactly an expert on organic chemistry. It would be wonderful if someone who is more knowledgable would suggest massive improvements to the FAQ, or, better yet, if they would take over maintenance of this FAQ altogether. Just keep in mind that the intended audience is the not-too-much-above-average kitchen chemist. (Sometimes, it seems that the more knowledgable people get a little too impatient with the less knowledgable ones. Please don't be arrogant.) It wouldn't

hurt, however, to add extra information that would be useful to more experienced chemists. Please post any comments/additions/corrections to alt.drugs.chemistry (or e-mail them to me by replying to the anonymous remailer if you can figure out how to do it). Unfortunately, my news feed sucks, so I may not see the comments posted to the alt.drugs.chemistry. If you feel your comments have not been addressed within a week or two, please post again so I will have a greater chance of seeing it. All additions to this FAQ derived from comments, etc. will remain anonymous unless otherwise requested. Many thanks to those who have already contributed to this work. ========================= OTC* Solvents FAQ ========================= * OTC = over-the-counter First draft: by "The Goose" on September 29, 1994 Draft version 0.1: by "The Goose" on October 25, 1994 Version 1.00: by "The Goose", last updated on May 19, 1995 PURPOSE: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This document is intended to provide information on solvents and other substances to people who have less than an expert knowledge of chemistry. This information can be used as an aid and a reference by kitchen chemists, etc. who desire to do relatively simple organic extractions (e.g. THC from pot, DMT from whatever, LAA from morning glory, psilocybin/psilocin from shrooms, etc. for those who don't mind breaking the law. Mint oil, citrus oils, and essences from various herbs, for those like myself who would rather stay legal.) Recipes for organic extractions are not provided here. There is an extensive file on organic extractions at (in /drugs/misc/chemistry-extracting). DISCLAIMER/WARNING: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I do not advocate breaking the law. References to illegal substances

are included, however, for informational purposes only (just to satisfy everyone's curiosity). The authors of this document assume no responsibility for the actions or consequences of what anyone may do with this information. Even though efforts have been made to assure accuracy, the information presented here is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete. The use of any information contained in this document constitutes an agreement to release the authors from any and all liability for the said use of this information no matter what the outcome of that use may be. Most of the substances discussed in this FAQ are toxic to one degree or another. Usually, after sufficient evaporation/separation/etc., such small quantities remain, that there is not a great risk of poisoning, but you still need to watch out for contaminants. Many of these substances contain contaminants of unknown toxicity. DO NOT ingest unless you know what you are doing! You have been warned! Also, it is not a good idea to breath the fumes from most of these substances. You could get poisoned that way too. When evaporating or boiling off solvents, make sure there is adequate ventilation. Most of these solvents are flammable (or explosive). When working with flamable solvents, avoid sparks (e.g. from electrical switches) and open flames (e.g. from gas stoves). Using a hot plate with an extension cord to get it away from the house is a good idea. Good ventilation is the key to preventing both poisoning by inhalation, and explosions resulting from the build-up of flamable fumes. ALWAYS read the label of the products before you purchase them to make sure they contain what you are looking for, and are not mixed with a lot of other unwanted things. (See section on PURITY) P.S. This information is incomplete, Never assume that something is safe just because the information is not there! P.P.S. Only you are responsible for your own actions!! P.P.P.S. Use your head, damn it!!! ---------------- Answers to Frequently Asked Questions ---------------1) What is petroleum ether?

A: Petroleum ether refers generically to the lower boiling fractions of petroleum. Analytical grades may be quite pure, containing only hexane and/or pentane, and having a boiling point no higher than 69 degrees centigrade. The lower boiling fractions are most useful when the solvent is to be evaporated or boiled off. The petroleum ethers most often mentioned on the 'net usually consist of somewhat higher boiling fractions of petroleum (e.g. 100 to 175 degrees centigrade). These are more useful when the solvent is to be separated and discarded (e.g. when removing oil soluble contaminants from water soluble extracts). 2) Are ether and petroleum ether the same? A: No! Petroleum ether is a petroleum product. "Real" ether is more commonly known as diethyl ether or ethyl ether. Its chemical formula is C2H5-O-C2H5, and it is not a petroleum product. Diethy ether is the "ether" that was traditionally used as an anesthetic the early 1900's. Petroleum ether is sometimes referred to as "ether" because its solvent properties are similar to that of diethyl ether (i.e. it dissolves similar types of substances and has a low boiling point). Often (but not always), petroleum ether and diethyl ether can be used interchangeably. It is usually easier for the layman to obtain petroleum ether. 3) Where can I get petroleum ether? A: Chemical supply houses usually can provide petroleum ether. Ask for it by boiling fraction or specific component (e.g. hexane, pentane, etc.). It is best to have a reasonable knowledge of chemistry when purchasing chemicals or solvents from professional establishments. Many substances are controlled to some extent. Often they will ask you to show identification, and sign a statement explaining what your intended use is. This information can be provided to government agencies such as the DEA. Since most laymen would have a difficult time bluffing their way in a chem supply shop, they probably would be tempted to use an industrial grade which may be more easily obtained from local retailers. These may take the forms of mineral spirits, petroleum spirits, naptha, automobile starter fluid, etc. See

the SOLVENTS section below for more information on these products and where to obtain them. 4) Where can I get solvent ? A: Most solvents can be obtained from chemical supply houses. Just keep in mind the precautions mentioned in #3 above. Many solvents may be obtained from local retail establishments in industrial grades either semi-pure or mixed with other (possibly useful) solvents. For over-the-counter sources, see the SOLVENTS section below. 5) What are polar and non-polar solvents? A: The easy answer: Polar solvents dissolve substances that are water soluble, but do not dissolve oily substances. Non-Polar solvents dissolve oily substances, but do not dissolve water soluble substances. Moderately polar solvents have a tendency to dissolve both types of substances. Petroleum distillates are non-polar, alcohols are moderately polar, and water is polar. The better (but not necessarily more helpful) answer: Polarity is a somewhat vague notion which gives a general idea of what will dissolve what. The chemistry-extracting file at hyperreal states the following: Polarity and solubility is a nebulous concept. If you actually look at what is dissolved by what, you can only find vague general principles, and plenty of exceptions. Some authors have tried to make 3 and 4 dimensional polarity or solubility graphs, and put various solvents in various points as having a combination of different types of solvent power. See the SOLVENTS section below for more information on the polarity of specific solvents. 6) What is the advantage of using a polar (or non-polar) solvent?

A: The advantage is that you are able to dissolve what you are after, leaving behind the things you don't want. (e.g. petroleum ether will dissolve cannabinoids but leave behind chlorophyll and sugars. Alcohols and acetone will dissolve cannabinoids, chlorophyll and sugars.) 7) What type of solvent should I use for extracting substance ? A: Don't ask me. This FAQ was never intended to be a compilation of recipes. Look at the various extraction techniques which have been posted on the 'net or look in the chemistry-extracting file at (hint: oily substances dissolve in non-polar solvents, most other useful substances will dissolve in water.) 8) What is an acid-base extraction? A: This is a technique in which alkaloids are extracted by taking advantage of common solubility properties of most alkaloids. In general, alkaloids are soluble in an acidic water solution, and become insoluble when the solution is made basic. The solubility rules for alkaloids are reversed for non-polar organic solvents. The basic form (precipitate) is soluble in non-polar solvents, and the acidic form is insoluble in non-polar solvents. Most other materials in plants do not have these same solubility properties. This allows for the isolation of alkaloids from most of the other unwanted junk. For more information on specific extractions, see the various extraction techniques on the 'net or look at the chemistry-extracting file at 9) Why does my extracted material still smell like solvent? A: Your extract may still smell like solvent because it still has some solvent left in it or because some of the aromatic components of the solvent are overstaying their welcome. Some solvents have a high boiling point which makes it difficult to separate it from your extract by boiling it off. Even if most of the solvent solution boils off at a lower temperature, there may have been a portion of it that has a higher boiling point. One way to reduce the amount of excess solvent is to heat up the extract even more. Be careful because higher heat may destroy

some extracts. Another way to lessen the smell is to to let the excess solvent evaporate on its own by leaving your extract exposed to the air for an extended period of time (anywhere from overnight to several days). The down side of this is that the longer your extract is exposed to air, the more it can be destroyed by oxidation. Warmer temperatures encourage both evaporation and oxidation while cooler temperatures do the opposite. Room temperature is probably ok for most purposes. It may well be next to impossible to get all of the residue out, however. Picking a good solvent from the start can help you avoid these problems to a large extent. 10) How dangerous are over-the-counter solvents? A: It is always best to acquire reagent grade solvents, but since this IS an over-the-counter solvents FAQ . . . Some solvents are very dangerous by themselves while others are almost harmless. Some contaminants in industrial grade solvents could be quite dangerous (poisonous, carcinogenic, flammable, etc.), while others are not. Most contaminants are not highly toxic, and the government imposes some regulations on manufacturers to prevent highly hazardous contaminants from being distributed, so one could assume that the risks posed by contaminants is fairly low. However, if you choose to use an industrial grade, you always run some risk. Research and common sense can help reduce this risk. See the section on PURITY below for a more lengthy discussion on this topic. See the SOLVENTS section below for information on the hazards of specific solvents. See the OTHER SUBSTANCES section below for information on the hazards of other miscellaneous substances. ------------------- REFERENCE & GENERAL INFORMATION ------------------TERMS: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "bp" = boiling point (or boiling fraction in some cases) note: boiling points are slightly lower at high altitudes "C" = degrees centigrade

"dens" = density (in grams per ml unless otherwise specified) "dis:" = what it dissolves "F" = degrees Fahrenheit "LD50" = (lethal dose 50%) dosage at which 50% of test subjects (rats, dogs, etc.) died. "mis" = miscible with "mp" = melting point "otc:" = (over-the-counter) where to find it, etc. "pol:" = polarity ( > = more polar than, < = less polar than ) "prop:" = physical properties "sol:" = what it is soluble in "tox:" = data on toxicity. if not listed, DON'T assume it is safe! "uses:" = common uses. this is nice to know when you are asking a store clerk to help you find it. SOLVENTS: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACETONE (dimethyl ketone, ketone propanone, propanone) prop: mp -94.6 C, bp 56.48 C, dens 0.80 dis: water solubles, oils; mis: water, alcohols, chloroform, oils pol: polar?/moderately polar? tox: oral LD50 (rat) 9750 mg/kg otc: hardware stores (acetone) uses: thinning fiberglass resins, dissolving 2 part epoxies, cleaning brushes and tools used with resins or epoxies, cleaning greasy stuff otc: some drug stores (pure, small quantities, expensive) uses: dissolving fats, waxes, etc. caution: flamable, reacts with some solvents note: acetone is also used in fingernail polish remover, but it is mixed with water, fragrance, etc. note: may react with some alkaloids, may extract more organic compounds than is desirable ALCOHOL see ethyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol BENZENE (C6H6, benzol, phenyl hydride, coal naptha) (included for comparison and cautions) prop: mp 5.51 C, bp 80.1 C, dens 0.8794 dis: oils; mis: alcohols, chloroform, ether, acetone sol: slightly soluble in water (1 part per 1403 parts H2O) pol: non-polar

tox: 3000 ppm vapor considered high concentration, toxic via inhalation or skin absorption as well as oral ingestion, prolonged inhalation of low concentrations also toxic otc: none known (you wouldn't want it anyway) note: do not confuse with benzine which is a petroleum distillate caution: a recognized leukemogen (causes leukemia)! caution: highly flamable caution: can react vigorously with oxidizing materials BUTANE (C4H10, n-butane, methylethyl methane, butyl hydride) prop: bp -0.5 C dis: oils pol: non-polar sol: ether, alcohol, water otc: anywhere (butane cigarette lighters) uses: lighter fuel, butane torches, curling irons (yes, really) caution: extremely flamable note: if you use this, you will have to work with sub-freezing temperatures or at least higher pressures like a small jar with a tight lid (higher pressures tend to raise boiling points thus improving solvent capabilities). the advantage is that you could boil it off at room temperature! CHLOROFORM (CHCL3, trichloromethane) (included for comparison and cautions) prop: mp -63.5 C, bp 62.26 C, dens 1.498 dis: oils, fats, rubber, alkaloids, waxes, resins sol: 1mL in 200 mL water; mis: alcohols, ether, petroleum ether pol: non-polar tox: oral LD50 (rat) 800 mg/kg, prolonged inhalation can cause unconsciousness and poisoning (or even death) otc: none known note: non-flamable caution: reacts violently with acetone + base, methyl alcohol + sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide DICHLOROMETHANE see methylene chloride DIESEL FUEL (fuel oil #2) composed of heavier hydrocarbons than gasoline prop: bp higher than gasoline dis: oils

pol: non-polar tox: recognized carcinogen, see also petroleum distillates DECANE (CH3(CH2)8CH3) a minor component of kerosene, may be a minor component of gasoline prop: mp aprox -29 C, bp aprox 174 C dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: see kerosene, gasoline caution: flamable DIETHYL ETHER (C2H5-O-C2H5, ether, ethyl ether, anesthesia ether, ethyl oxide) prop: bp 35 C dis: oils, etc. pol: moderately polar ( < water, alcohols; > petroleum distillates and toluene ) tox: moderate oral toxicity, low inhalation toxicity, oral LD50 (rat) 1700 mg/kg, oral LD50 (human) 420 mg/kg otc: found in automobile starter fluid caution: very flamable, can form explosive peroxides with prolonged exposure to air note: this is the ether that was used extensively as an anesthetic a few years back ETHANOL see ethyl alcohol ETHYL ALCOHOL (ethanol, methyl corbinol, spirit of wine, grain alcohol) prop: bp 78.32 C, dens 0.79 dis: water solubles, oils; mis water pol: polar? / moderately polar? ( < water; > isopropanol ) tox: oral LD50 (rat) 21,000 mg/kg otc: liquor store (Everclear, 95%) uses: party, party, party! caution: flamable, could get you drunk :-) note: there have been reports of people using denatured alcohol as a solvent. this may be ok if it is denatured only with something that will be eliminated when the solvent is boiled

off (e.g. with methyl alcohol). if you don't think you can eliminate the denaturant, then don't use denatured alcohol! FUEL OIL (fuel oil #1 through fuel oil #6) increasingly viscous petroleum distillates, generally with increasing boiling fractions. dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates caution: flamable note: fuel oil #1 is kerosene, fuel oil #2 is diesel oil note: there are not many applications that could benefit from using fuel oils as solvents GASOLINE (petrol, gas, white gas) composed of octanes, some heavier hydrocarbons (nonanes, etc.), and some lighter hydrocarbons (heptanes, etc.) prop: bp aprox 35-180 C (depending on what it contains) dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: gas stations uses: automobile, etc. fuel caution: very flamable note: gasoline for automobiles contains additives, better to use white gas. KEROSENE (fuel oil #1, ultrasene) composed mostly of heavier hydrocarbons than gasoline (10 to 16 carbon atoms per chain) prop: bp 175-325 dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: oral LD50 (rat, rabbit) 28,000 mg/kg, oral toxicity is low, see also petroleum distillates otc: fuel distributors, hardware stores caution: flamable uses: stoves, heaters, lamps note: ultrasene is deodorized kerosene HEPTANE (C7H16)

a component of starter fluid, gasoline, and some petroleum ethers prop: bp aprox 98 C dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: found in starting fluid and some napthas caution: highly flamable HEXANE (C6H14) a component of starter fluid, and some petroleum ethers prop: bp aprox 69 C dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: found in automobile starting fluid and some napthas caution: highly flamable ISOPROPANOL se isopropyl alcohol ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL (dimethyl alcohol, sec-propyl alcohol, isopropanol) prop: mp -89 C, bp 80.3 C, dens 0.79 dis: water solubles, oils; mis water pol: polar? (hydrogen bonded?), ( < ethanol; >> diethyl ether ) tox: oral LD50 (rat) 5,840 mg/kg otc: automotive stores (fuel dryer, 99.9%) caution: flamable note: rubbing alcohol is usually only 70% alcohol, and 30% water METHANOL see methyl alcohol METHYL ALCOHOL (methanol, wood alcohol) prop: bp 64.8 C, dens 0.79 dis: water solubles, oils; mis water pol: moderately polar? (hydrogen bonded), ( < water, > diethyl ether ) tox: oral LD50 (rat) 13,000 mg/kg, eliminates slowly and can build up with repeated exposure/ingestion. toxic metabolites include formaldehyde and formic acid. damages optic nerve. otc: automotive stores uses: fuel dryer otc: hardware and paint stores uses: shellac thinner, alcohol stove fuel

caution: flamable note: often mixed with paint removers or varnish removers note: good at penetrating cell walls and membranes METHYLENE CHLORIDE (CH2Cl2, dichloromethane) prop: bp 39.8 dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: oral LD50 (rat) 2136 mg/kg, VERY dangerous to eyes, produces highly toxic fumes when heated to decomposition (e.g. by open flames, etc.), may be carcinogenic in rats otc: paint and hardware stores (mixed with methyl alcohol, etc.) uses: paint and varnish remover note: fire hazard is low (by itself) MINERAL SPIRITS see petroleum spirits NAPTHA (see below for types) dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: hardware and paint stores uses: paint thinner, some lighter fluids, some spot removers note: boiling fractions are similar to gasoline NAPTHA (coal tar, naptha solvent) prop: bp 149-216 C, dens 0.86-0.89 tox: see petroleum distillates caution: flamable NAPTHA, V.M. & P. (benzine, 76 degree naptha) prop: bp 100-140 C, dens 0.67-0.80, flash point 20 F. tox: see petroleum distillates note: do not confuse with benzene caution: flamable, autoignite 450 F NAPTHA, V.M. & P., 50 degree flash prop: bp 115-143 C, flash point 50 F tox: see petroleum distillates caution: flamable NAPTHA, V.M. & P., high flash prop: bp 138-165 C, flash point 50 F

tox: see petroleum distillates caution: flamable NONANE (C9H20, n-nonane) a component of gasoline, a component of some napthas prop: mp aprox -54 C, bp aprox 151 C dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: see naptha, white gas, gasoline caution: flamable OCTANE (C8H18) a major component of gasoline prop: bp aprox 126 C dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: hardware and paint stores (some napthas) otc: sporting goods stores (white gas) caution: highly flamable PAINT THINNER see petroleum spirits, turpentine PAINT and VARNISH REMOVER usually composed of methylene chloride and methyl alcohol. may also contain toluene and other solvents. see individual components for more information PENTANE (C5H12, n-pentane) a component of some light petroleum ethers prop: bp aprox 36 C dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: see petroleum spirits caution: highly flamable PETROLEUM DISTILLATES (gasoline, naptha, petroleum ether, mineral spirits, petroleum spirits, fuel oils, xylene, etc.) dis: oils pol: non-polar

tox: generally low to moderate toxicity, laboratory experiments show a slight carcinogenic potential for most petroleum distillates. higher boiling fractions may be more carcinogenic. caution: flamable to highly flamable note: petroleum distillates do not dissolve most water-solubles note: petroleum distillates include everything from pentane to heavy tars PETROLEUM ETHER see petroleum spirits, naptha, starter fluid note: generally (but not always) refers to the lower boiling fractions of petroleum distillates PETROLEUM SPIRITS (petroleum benzine, petroleum naptha, light ligroin, petroleum ether, mineral spirits) prop: bp 35-180 C, dens .64-.66 dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: see petroleum distillates otc: hardware and paint stores uses: paint thinner caution: flamable note: "petroleum spirits" often refers to the lower boiling fractions of petroleum distillates. However, one "odorless paint thinner" claiming 100% mineral spirits had a boiling point of 175 C. note: do not confuse with benzene STARTER FLUID composed of hexane, diethyl ether, and heptane. see individual components for more information. otc: automotive stores uses: starting stubborn automobiles on cold days caution: very flamable note: some starter fluids may contain heavier lubricants alpha-TRICHLOROETHANE (CH3CCl3, 1,1,1-trichloroethane, methyl chloroform) prop: bp 74.1 C, dens 1.3492 dis: oils, etc.? pol: non-polar?/moderately polar? (insoluble in water) tox: oral LD50 (dog) 750 mg/kg, avoid fumes

otc: super markets, hardware stores, etc. uses: spot remover (brand name: "Energine"), industrial uses include cleaning of metal parts and metal molds caution: can react violently with acetone note: non-flamable! TETRAHYDROFURAN (OCH2CH2CH2CH2, diethylene oxide, cyclotetramethylene oxide-1,4-epoxy butane) (included for comparison and cautions) dis: oils, etc.; mis: water, alcohols, ethers, hydrocarbons pol: moderately polar otc: none known note: peroxides may be removed by treating with strong ferrous sulfate solution made slightly acidic with sodium bisulfate caution: same as diethyl ether (slightly more dangerous) TOLUENE (C6H5CH3, methylbenzene, phenylmethane, toluol) prop: mp -95 C to -94.5 C, bp 110.4 C dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: oral LD50 (rat) 5000 mg/kg, oral toxicity is moderate, inhalation of 100 ppm can cause psychotropic effects, 200 ppm can produce CNS effects otc: paint and hardware stores (mixed with methyl alcohol, etc.) uses: furniture refinisher, liquid sandpaper, paint remover note: low fire hazard (by itself) TURPENTINE (spirit of turpentine, turpentine gum, turpentine oil) prop: bp 154-170 C dis: oils ?, etc.? pol: non-polar? (insoluble in water) sol: alcohols, chloroform, ether, glacial acetic acid tox: aspiration causes pheumonitis, oral ingestion causes damage to GI tract and kidneys, inhalation toxicity is high otc: paint and hardware stores uses: thinning varnish, paint, & enamel; cleaning brushes caution: moderately flamable WATER (H2O) prop: mp 0 C (32 F), bp 100 C (212 F), dens .99999 @ 4 C dis: anything that is water soluble

pol: polar tox: non-toxic unless contaminated with a toxic substance otc: your kitchen sink (contains chlorine, etc.) otc: grocery store (distilled water or purified water) uses: drinking, washing, etc. note: distilled water is better for most things (and it's cheap). water is ofter used with petroleum ether to separate watersolubles from non-water-solubles. i.e. combine and shake vigorously until your arm falls off, then separate. WHITE GAS (petrol, gasoline) prop: see gasoline dis:, pol:, and tox: see petroleum distillates otc: sporting goods stores uses: fuel for camp stoves and camp heaters caution: flamable XYLENE (C6H4(CH3)2) prop: (m-xylene) mp -47.9 C, bp 139 C (o-xylene) bp 144.4 C (p-xylene) bp 138.3 C dis: oils pol: non-polar tox: oral LD50 (rat) 5000 mg/kg, see also petroleum distillates otc: super markets, hardware stores uses: some cleaners (e.g. for dissolving chewing gum, brand name: "Goof-off"), some lighter fluids caution: flamable OTHER SUBSTANCES: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ACETIC ACID (CH3COOH, vinegar acid, methane carboxylic acid, ethanoic acid) prop: mp 16.7 C, bp 118.1 C sol: water tox: oral LD50 (rat) 3310 mg/kg otc: grocery stores (vinegar) uses: cooking, cleaning caution: dangerous in contact with: chromic acid, sodium peroxide, nitric acid, potassium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, xylene, oleum. decomposition (at high temp.) evolves toxic fumes

note: normal vinegar is 5% acetic acid, vinegar concentrate is 18% acetic acid note: can be used for extracting some alkaloids from plant material AMMONIA see AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE AMMONIUM HYDROXIDE (NH4OH, ammonia, aqua ammonium, water of ammonia, ammonium hydrate) prop: mp -77 C sol: water tox: oral LD50 (rat) 350 mg/kg, oral LDlo (human) 43 mg/kg, inhale LClo (human) 5000 ppm otc: grocery & hardware stores uses: household cleaning ammonia note: ammonia is a gas at room temperature. it is sold otc dissolved in water (much as is done with hydrochloric acid). note: a weak base. can be used to precipitate some alkaloids from slightly acidic solutions. CANNABIDIOL (CBD) found in marijuana, organicly converted to THC, can be isomerized into THC by refluxing with dilute acid prop: mp 66-67 C, bp 187-190 C @ 2mm Hg sol: acetone, petroleum distillates, alcohols, etc. note: this is an oily substance, not water soluble CANNABINOL (CBN) found in marijuana, a degradation product of THC prop: mp 76-77 C, bp 185 C @ .05mm Hg sol: acetone, petroleum distillates, alcohols, aqueous alkaline note: this is an oily substance, not water soluble EPHEDRINE HYDROCHLORIDE (C6H5CHOHCH(CH3)NHCH3 HCL, a[1(methylamino) ethyl]benzyl alcohol hydrochloride) prop: mp 187-188 C sol: water (1gm/4ml), (insoluble in diethyl ether) tox: oral LD50 (mouse) 400 mg/kg otc: truck stops (Mini Thins, MaxAlert, etc.) uses: bronchiodialator (for asthma) caution: decomposes into toxic fumes at higher temperatures

note: pure ephedrine is no longer available otc in the U.S. current otc varieties usually have guiafenesin note: slightly stronger that ephedrine sulfate note: pure ephedrine can be converted into methcathinone note: now a controlled substance in the US EPHEDRINE SULFATE ((C6H5CHOHCH(CH3)NHCH3)2 H2SO4, 1phenyl-2(methylamino)propanol sulfite) prop: mp 247 C sol: water (1gm/20 ml), alcohol (1gm/0.2ml) tox: oral LD50 (rat) 600 mg/kg otc: same as for ephedrine hydrochloride? caution: decomposes into toxic fumes at higher temperatures note: slightly weaker than ephedrine HCl note: pure ephedrine can be converted into methcathinone note: now a controlled substance in the US HYDROCHLORIC ACID (HCl, muriatic acid, chlorohydric acid, hydrogen chloride) prop: mp -114.3 C, bp -84.8 C, dens 1.639 g/liter gas @ 0 C tox: oral LD50 (rabbit) 900 mg/kg otc: hardware stores (muriatic acid) uses: cleaning calcium or lime deposits from cement, brick, swimming pools, and ceramic tile. caution: caustic note: useful in isomerizing CBD to THC. useful in extracting some alkaloids from plant material. HCl is found naturally in low concentrations in the digestive juices of your stomach. LYE see SODIUM HYDROXIDE PARAQUAT an herbicide used by Latin-American drug enforcers to kill marijuana crops in bulk tox: oral LD50 (rat) 57 mg/kg, dermal LD50 (rat) 80 mg/kg, can cause severe damage to lungs (nasty stuff!) note: avoid all marijuana that looks like it has any dye on it. unfortunately, not all paraquat is used with dye. TETRAHYDROCANNABINOL (THC)

found in marijuana, the psychoactive stuff prop: bp 200 C @ 0.02mm Hg (other cannabinoids may have bp's lower than 185 C) sol: polar solvents, acetone, alcohols, etc. note: this is an oily substance, not water soluble SODIUM HYDROXIDE (NaOH, caustic soda, sodium hydrate, lye, white caustic) prop: mp 318.4 C, bp 1390 C, dens 2.120 tox: oral LDlo (rabbit) 500 mg/kg otc: hardware stores, etc. (Red Devil Lye, etc.) uses: unclogging drains caution: highly corrosive to body tissue caution: can react violently with acetic acid or tetrahydrofuran note: useful in precipitating some alkaloids from acid solutions SODIUM SULFATE (Na2SO4) by product of isomerization of CBD to THC when sulfuric acid is neutralized with baking soda sol: water note: insoluble in alcohol note: can be removed by dissolving resin in petroleum ether and shaking with water SULFURIC ACID (H2SO4, oil of vitriol, dipping acid) prop: mp 10.49 C, bp 330 C, dens 1.83 tox: oral LD50 (rat) 2,140 mg/kg otc: plumming supply stores (plummers' sulfuric acid) uses: unclogging drains otc: automotive supply stores (battery acid) caution: battery acid may have lead in it caution: caustic, use care when mixing with water as it heats rapidly when dissolved and causes spattering (add slowly to water drop by drop) note: useful in isomerizing CBD to THC VINEGAR see acetic acid SUBSTITUTIONS: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . It is not always easy to come up with the exact solvent discussed in any particular recipe. Consequently, it may be advantageous to

consider substituting an over-the-counter solvent for a hard-to-get one. This can often be done successfully if you keep a few things in mind. The main thing to look for is what the solvent dissolves. If you are trying to dissolve an oily substance (such as cannabinoids from pot or oil from lemon peels), look for solvents that will dissolve oils (e.g. polar solvents, etc.). Be aware that some solvents may dissolve more than you bargained for. Alcohols and acetone will dissolve things that petroleum distillates won't, like sugars and chlorophyll. Another thing to look for is boiling point. Naptha solvent (coal tar naptha) has a boiling point so high that you wouldn't be able to boil it off to separate it from THC (the THC would boil off with it). Solvents with lower boiling points are much easier to boil off, and usually leave less residual solvent. Petroleum distillates are usually a mixture of various hydrocarbons with a variety of boiling points. The boiling fraction of any particular petroleum distillate refers to the range of boiling points of its components. PURITY: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . There are basically two ways that impurities can get into solvents, etc. The first way is inherent in the manufacturing process. Very few products are pure at the time of manufacture. The general idea is to produce a product that meets certain minimum purity requirements. The product is refined to remove contaminants until the minimum purity level is reached. Most manufacturing methods favor low cost production over purity of product. Industrial grade products are used in applications that require only marginal purity. With reagent grade chemicals, however, a high degree of purity is required. Reagent grades are refined until they are ridiculously pure (e.g. something like 99.999% pure). This additional refining is costly, and as a result, reagent grades are usually many times the price of industrial grades. Industrial grades are used in a lot of commercial products, and are often available at hardware stores, etc. Reagent grades are generally only available at chemical supply stores. Unfortunately, most kitchen chemists would have a difficult time bluffing their way in a chem shop without arousing suspicion. Additionally, many reagent grade products are watched closely by certain government agencies, where the industrial grades are not. (e.g. acetone)

The other way impurities can be introduced is when the manufacturer intentionally places additives into a product to enhance its performance (or appearance) or to dilute an expensive component. Since the performance enhancing additives usually cost more, the expensive, big brand names are the ones most likely to use them. When performance enhancing additives are present, the product labels often boast a lot of features. The less expensive, more generic looking products are less likely to add performance enhancers but are more likely to dilute their product. Some additives may actually be useful, however. e.g. Paint and varnish removers often combine methylene chloride with methyl alcohol, and furniture refinishers often have toluene combined with methyl alcohol. When dealing with industrial grades, always read the label carefully to determine if it contains things you don't want. Unfortunately, not all products list every component on their labels. Try calling the emergency accidental poisoning numbers listed on the labels. Tell them your dog ingested some of their product, and that the vet asked you to call the number. Try to get as much information from them as you can about what the product contains. Work up a likely story (including symptoms) before you place the call. One crude method of testing for contaminants in solvents would be to place a few drops on some clean glass, and let it evaporate. The amount of residue remaining gives a very rough idea of how much other crud is in the solvent. Feed a generous amount of this residue to the neighbor's cat, and if it dies, the product may be too toxic. :-) Actually, the likelyhood that contaminants in an industrial grade product are highly toxic or carcinogenic is probably much lower than most people think. Relatively few substances are highly toxic and/or significantly carcinogenic. Many things in our everyday environment are carcinogenic if you are exposed to massive quantities, but potent carcinogens are not all that common. Due to government regulations, many (if not most) industrial grade products are not allowed to contain significant amounts of dangerous substances, anyway. (Who wants a cleaner or solvent that will leave a highly hazardous residue?) Even with all of these assurances, there is always a certain amount of risk associated with the use of industrial grade products. In order to reduce the risks associated with contaminants, the

following precautions are in order: 1) use reagent grades when possible 2) if reagent grades cannot be obtained, then make every effort to acquire the purest product available (read labels, study manufacturing methods, etc.) 3) purify the product (if you can) before using it 4) use minimal amounts of these products (a liter of solvent boiled down to a few cc's may still contain a liter's worth of contaminants) Some people recommend purifying petroleum distillates by adding water, shaking vigorously for a long time, and then discarding the water. This will only help remove water soluble contaminants. A better way to purify most liquids is to distill them. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to do if you don't have the right equipment. One thing I have been intending to try is to shake paint stripper (containing methyl alcohol and methylene chloride) with a generous quantity of water to see if I can separate the methylene chloride. If anyone has comments on whether this will work, please let me know. USEFUL HINTS: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boiling off solvents with low boiling points (less than 100 C): Place the solvent into a small pan or shallow, wide mouth jar. Shallow containers with wide openings aid in allowing the vapors to escape quickly. Place the container with the solvent into a larger pan of simmering water. Don't allow the water to come to a full boil. Boiling water is really no hotter than simmering water. Rapidly boiling water can splash into your solvent, or cause the solvent container to tip over. Watch the level of the solvent as it boils away so that the container won't get too light, and tip over. If the level of the solvent is too low (i.e. 1 cm below the level of the water), then remove some of the water. Anchoring the solvent container in place may help. Use hot pads to avoid burning yourself. Remember to use good ventilation to avoid the build-up of toxic or flamable fumes. If the boiling point of your solvent is too close to 100 C, you can add sugar or automobile antifreeze to the simmering water to raise it's boiling point a little, or use the method below

for higher boiling point solvents. Boiling off solvents with higher boiling points (greater than 100 C): Follow the method and precautions for lower boiling point solvents with the following differences: Use melted shortening (or vegetable oil if you don't have shortening) instead of simmering water. If your solvent container is glass, place it in the shortening as soon as it is melted, and then heat it up from there. This will help keep the jar from cracking. Elevate the solvent container slightly from the bottom of the larger pan to aid in even heating. A few nails in the bottom of the shortening works for me. Place a candy thermometer in the shortening to measure it's temperature. Heat the shortening until it is 20 or 30 degrees centigrade hotter than the highest boiling point of your solvent or until the solvent begins to boil at a comfortable rate. Always keep the temperature of the shortening well below the boiling point of the dissolved product you are trying to recover, or you may loose significant amounts of it to evaporation. Be careful to not let solvent or water splash into the hot shortening or you may get some spattering of hot grease. If your solvent container is glass, allow it to cool slowly when you are done to keep it from cracking. If you are extracting cannabinoids or other oils of similar or higher boiling points, you may want to raise the temperature of the shortening to about 160 C for a minute or two to help eliminate solvent residue. (It can be tough to get rid of all of it, though.) Preventing boil-overs: Some solvents may have a tendency to boil over quite easily. This can waste valuable product as well as pose fire hazards, etc. By making sure that the solvent level is well below the top of its container, many boil-overs may be avoided. It is common practice in chemistry to use boiling chips to control excessive boiling. Glass marbles can serve the same purpose, and they are easy to get. Put as many marbles into your solvent as needed to control the boiling. Marbles may be removed a few at a time as the solvent level drops.

Remember that valuable extract may coat the surface of the marbles. Wash them with a very small quantity of solvent and add this to the rest of the solvent when it is mostly boiled off. Refluxing in the kitchen: Find a pan with a lid that can be put on upside down, and still remain stable with a reasonable fit. Place your solvent, etc. into the pan, and put the lid on upside down. Place ice in the lid. Heat the solvent until it begins to boil gently. The heat may be applied directly, or for better temperature control, you may use a method similar to the ones listed above for boiling off solvents. If you use hot shortening to apply heat, be careful to not let water from melting ice or solvent condensing on the sides drip into the hot grease. Tying a rag around the top of the solvent pan can help. As the ice melts, scoop out the water and add more ice. Getting rid of water in oil extracts: Sometimes water can get into an oil extract when it is purified by dissolving in petroleum ether, and shaking with water. As the last of the solvent boils off, the water forms beads in the bottom of the extract. These beads of water begin to spatter when the extract gets too hot. By adding a small amount of acetone or alcohol, the water will tend to evaporate off as the alcohol or acetone is boiled off. Make sure that the alcohol or acetone is not contaminated with large amounts of water or this may be counterproductive. This process may be repeated until all of the water is gone. REFERENCES: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, Litton Educational Publishing, Inc. (got a lot of good information here) - CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics - The Merck Index - Some dictionary of technical and scientific terms - Labels from numerous OTC products

- Comments from people on the 'net (many thanks to contributors) - The chemistry-extracting file at - Things I remembered, but don't know where I read them - My own ingenuity and experience (nothing illegal, of course!) If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so Thomas Jefferson