|Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 11:58 am:||
Salvia Divinorum Extraction Q and A
#1575733 - 05/25/03 12:14 AM Reply Quote Quick Reply
Q&A for Salvia Extractions:
I am neither a chemist or a doctor, the following is offered from the point of view of a hobbiest. I do not recommend the use of this entheogen, The following is offered for informational purposes only.
There are different methods that can be succesfully used to extract from Salvia Divinorum leaf. You can use whole, crushed, or powdered leaf to extract Salvinorin using any one of many different kinds of solvents. The following are my experiences using Acetone and Isopropanol on whole to powdered leaf, from room temperature to chilled.
When using room temperature Acetone or 99% Isopropanol to extract Salvinorin from whole or crushed leaf for very brief periods of time of less than a minute you can obtain a fairly pure Salvinorin extract without hardly a trace of Chlorophyll waxes but the amount of Salvinorin extracted will be one quarter or less the amount that will remain in the leaf. By extending the amount of time that whole or crushed leaf is in either solvent you can increase the amount of Salvinorin extracted at the cost of increased impurities. When using powdered leaf instead of whole or crushed leaf the efficiency will be increased some for Acetone and by at least 50% for Isopropanol, especially for short periods of time but with an increase of impurities such as "black wax" being carried over into the solvent. Last year I accidentally happened upon a technique to extract Salvinorin from whole or crushed leaf using chilled Acetone. I was intending on trying Acetone on whole leaf to see if it might extract a small amount of fairly pure Salvinorin if the time was brief enough, hoping that the Salvinorin was far more soluble to Acetone than the waxes in the leaf. Since the leaf was whole or unbroken and not powdered I was hoping that I might get a few mg of fairly pure Salvinorin. However, I had left my solvent outside in my vehicle during freezing temperatures which caused the Acetone to reach a very low temperature. Regardless, I went ahead and used it as it was in its chilled condition with whole leaf for just one minute. The solvent took on very little color which was encouraging to me, when I evaporated the Acetone out I was very pleased to find some extremely clean crystaline Salvinorin in the bottom of my bowl. Since then I have tried variations of time and temperature on whole, crushed and powdered leaf to determine the best method for extracting Salvinorin from leaf. Chilled Acetone is a great solvent to reduce the amount of black wax extracted, however, when using chilled Acetone you are compromsing between purity and efficiency. Although short extractions with chilled solvents extract less waxes from the leaf, less Salvinorin is also extracted but what is extracted can be very clean. When referring to "black wax" this term is used to describe the concentrated Chlorophyll compounds from the leaf that appear black when highly concentrated. Because of the purity of the extract that can be obtained using chilled Acetone, some individuals prefer using this method over a normal room temperature extraction process which is more efficient
How much solvent is required to extract leaf?
If extracting from a whole kg of powdered leaf, whether using 99% Isopropanol or Acetone a gallon ought to be more than enough. If your extracting from a full kilo of crushed leaf then it requires about twice as much solvent due to the volume of crushed or whole leaf compared to the much smaller volume when powdered.
When using chilled Acetone what temperature should I use?
Whether Acetone is chilled to 20 deg. F., or -20 deg. F. it will still work wonderfully, but if your Acetone is at -20 F. you need to double the amount of time that the leaf is in the solvent (See time figure below) and then after your extraction is done do another extraction on the leaf for a longer period of time at room temperature just to be sure to get any remaining Salvinorin out of it.
When extracting from powdered leaf should I use a bowl or a jar and how long should I soak the leaf?
When extracting from 50 grams to 250 grams of leaf I like to use a quart sized jar for powdered leaf and enough solvent so that the jar is no more than a quarter full of powdered leaf with just as much fluid on top of the leaf so that the jar is about half full of both leaf and fluid. I then cap it and shake it up really well for at least five to ten minutes each time when using room temperature solvents, twice as long if chilled below zero deg. F. Be sure to leave the jar at least a quarter empty or the sealed container won't have enough room in it to allow the fluid to move around to be able to shake it up really well to thoroughly mix the leaf around in the fluid. After your done shaking be sure to let the leaf completely settle out and then pour the liquid out into a collection container and pour more solvent in and do it all over again. I would do this at least three times in a row to your powdered leaf and then after your done wash the leaf through at least a couple more times with fresh Acetone. You would do well to do another long term extraction of your leaf just to make sure you get all of the Salvinorin. Just pour in more solvent and cap your container and let it soak for a few hours or even days for that matter but shake it up at least once a day if doing that and wash it through with more solvent a couple of times when your done. If your trying to process a full kilo of leaf all at one time then you probably won't want to try to put all of it in a huge jug to shake it, but you could. It might be better have a big container to mix it all up in. You can just put it in a large pot and stir the solvent in for five to ten minutes and this will work too, but I like shaking powdered leaf in a jar because I believe that it is more efficient that way because the fluid gets mixed more thoroughly. I don't recommend trying to process that much leaf at one time, break your kilo into four 250 gram piles and do each one seperately. The first quarter can be a trial run so that you can get the hang of it. Many times people first starting out with these extractions don't allow enough time for all of the leaf particles to settle out, or don't allow enough time for all of the sediments to settle out and then evaporate out their fluid and get a mix of leaf bits and sediments, nothing like the purity that I have been getting. It takes great care and patience. Be sure that all of the sediments settle out before trying to pour the liquid off of your settling container. The best way to minimize the amount of sediments coming over is to separate the sediment three times at eight hour intervals, leaving about 10% of the fluid behind each time because that last 10% of fluid will have sediments in them that churn up as you try to pour the fluid off the top of them. When your done separating the fluid from the sediments take all of them along with the 10% portions left behind and put them in a jar and pour in more Acetone and extract from it again, this ought to get the remaining Salvinorin out of the sediments that might be left behind. Of course, you will need to let that jar settle out too! If your just using the extract to enhance leaf then worrying about little bits of leaf carrying over into your extract, or sediments isn't something that you might want to be concerned about, your extract will be higher quality without the sediments in them, but if your just putting it back on leaf I don't know that it really matters all that much.
What are the relative solubilities of different solvents used to extract Salvinorin, how much of these solvents does it take to hold an amount of Salvinorin?
Acetone: 23 mg per ml of fluid.
Methyl Alcohol: 3.15 (Methanol)
Ethyl Alcohol: 1.28
Isopropyl Alcohol: .74
Why so much solvent if only a milliliter of Acetone will hold so much Salvinorin?
The amount of solvent I have recommended will be in excess of the amount needed to dissolve the amount of Salvinorin in your leaf on a solubility basis (for the amount of Salvinorin in the leaf) but you need to use lots of solvent so that you have enough solvent to allow the leaf to get lots of exposure to solvent when stirring or shaking your leaf in a jar. I like to use a ratio of powdered leaf to solvent that is close to 50% powdered leaf to 50% solvent, when using this much then there is no question as to having enough solvent. You could do it with less, but solvent is relatively cheap compared to leaf so why limit yourself. I have been outlining short extractions of just a few minutes but done mulitiple times to powdered leaf, one after the other because when you continue to extract the same leaf over and over again you will get more and more of the Salvinorin out of the leaf. Multiple extractions helps increase the efficiency, especially when using short soaks such as 5 to 10 minutes each. It is very important to do this when working with Isopropanol because it isn't as effective as Acetone, but you would still want to do the same thing with Acetone because although it is more efficient and takes less time to get the Salvinorin out of the leaf, multiple washings of the powdered leaf removes some of the old solvent each time you wash it. Because Acetone can hold so much Salvinorin per ml, reported to be up in the 20 mg per ml or more, you really need to wash it through several times. This is because if you only extracted from your leaf once, when your pour the solvent off the powder will still have lots of Acetone in it. You want to get this Acetone out because it can hold so much Salvinorin per ml of fluid. You can try squeezing it out but you can't get it all out that way. IMHO the best way to get the solvent out is just to pour more solvent in to dilute the amount of Salvinorin that will remain in the wet leaf. Each time you wash it you will be diluting the amount in both the leaf and the old solvent left behind that will be carried away with each additional washing with fluid.
I thought I waited long enough for all of the sediments to fall out of my Acetone (or IPA) but when removing the waxes through Naphtha and IPA washes I have found that my extract won't clean up to a light colored Salvinorin, only brown.
If you are finding that your extract won't clean up into a light colored Salvinorin all is not lost. Just put all of the IPA that you used to clean the extract, along with the sediments back into one container and evaporate out every bit of solvent. Now scrape it up and put it all into a small pint sized canning jar and pour in fresh room temperature Acetone and stur it up really well for just two or three minutes (don't shake a canning jar with its sealed lid on it, the rubber gasket might melt when in contact with Acetone and contaminate your extract) . Now let it sit for eight or more hours. All of the sediments will be in the bottom of the glass. Now carefully pour off about 80-90% of the Acetone, leaving the sediments behind. Pour in fresh Acetone into the sediments and keep extracting from them until the Acetone appears to be taking on very little color. Now take all of the Acetone and evaporate it. Your extract should now be free of sediments and ready for further cleaning with either Naphtha or 99% Isopropanol. If you are trying to clean your extract into white Salvinorin the sediments are by far the largest problem. They are so fine that even though the fluid might appear to be clear enough with loads of sediments in the bottom of your container these fine sediments can still be in the fluid in fairly large amounts, even if you can't see them. For a gross extraction that is just going to be used to enhance leaf sediments are not going to really make much difference, but even then I recommend waiting no less than eight hours to let the majority of the sediments fall out of your IPA or Acetone before pouring the fluid off. However, if your trying to clean your Salvia Divinorum extract into light colored Salvinorin you will need to pour the solvent off the sediment at least three times in a row, waiting at least eight hours between each pouring. You will find sediments each time your pour the fluid off. Even after waiting a total of 24 hours and three pourings in that period of time you can still find trace amounts of impurities that have settle to the bottom of your container when pouring it off the last time. If you want to clean an extract into a white purity you must be very patient and wait for the sediments to fall out of the fluid or they will contaminate the purity of your extract.One of the tests that I do to confirm that my Salvinorin is fairly pure, even if it is a light color, is to dissolve all of it into Acetone and wait to see if any sediments are found in the bottom of the glass container. I have had extracts that were cleaned up with Naphtha and IPA which I fully believed were fairly pure because there was so much Salvinorin in the extract that it was a very light color. However, once dissolving all of it into Acetone I found that half of its weight was sediment. This is a good last step after your done cleaning an extract, even if it appears light gray to near white, just to be sure that you don't have sediments in it.
How much time should I soak my leaf when using room temperature solvent compared to chilled?
When working with room temperature Acetone you should be able to get the majority of the Salvinorin out of the leaf in just five minutes when powdered (as long as you wash it through a couple of times afterwards), but you should soak the leaf longer when it is either whole, crushed or when using chilled Acetone for the same efficiency that you would get at room temperature. Using chilled Acetone at 20 degrees F. with crushed or whole leaf extracts far less chlorophyll for a given period of time than powdered leaf and can produce an extract that has substantially less wax if the time is limited to no more than three minutes per soaking done three times in a row (one right after the other). You want to make sure that the Acetone does not warm up to more than 40 degrees F. while your leaf is in it or you will start to extract out lots of black wax in a hurry, but to really minimize the waxes when extracting with chilled Acetone and whole or crushed leaf you want to be sure to keep the Acetone at or a little below 20 degrees F the whole time your leaf is in it. The efficiency is lower for a given amount of time when using whole leaf and chilled Acetone, but the extract is almost free of black wax when done that way. Once you extract from leaf you can't use chilled solvents again and get a wax free extract, even if you dry the leaf and try again with cold Acetone it will pull out lots of black wax the next time you try it. Using crushed or whole leaf with chilled Acetone is a compromise between efficiency and black wax. You leave Salvinorin behind but also the bulk of the black wax. I still like to do chilled Acetone extractions using crushed leaf, but I don't recommend it for whole leaf anymore because it takes too much Acetone when the leaf isn't finely crushed. Using powdered leaf with chilled Acetone would be superior to crushed leaf but the amount of time that you can keep your leaf in the solvent will be less than the amount of time I have outlined for crushed or whole leaf. Powdered leaf with room temperature Acetone will work just fine and will be as efficient as I believe you can get for extractions. If extracting powdered or crushed leaf with room temperature Acetone you can remove just as much wax as you would leave behind by using chilled Acetone by washing the dried extract with Naphtha and 99% IPA. Here is a link to a pictorial guide for whole or crushed leaf with chilled Acetone:
http://photos.yahoo.com/bc/salvinorin2003/lst?.dir=/Extractions&.src=ph&.order=&.view=t&.done=http%3a//photos.yahoo.com/bc/salvinorin2003/lst%3f (Be sure to click "show all" to see all of the photos in that squence.) The method shown in that photo guide shows using whole or crushed leaf, but if your going to do the chilled Acetone method I now recommend using powdered leaf. Powdered leaf with chilled Acetone ought to be a great compromise between using the chilled Acetone whole leaf method, and the room temperature powdered leaf method. This coupled with the Naptha washes of the extract ought to produce a nice clean extract that has a fairly high efficiency.
Can I use 99% Isopropanol instead of Acetone for a chilled extraction on either crushed or powdered leaf?
I have found that 99% Isopropanol will extract the leaf almost wax free at 20 degrees F., the same as Acetone. However, the efficiency is approximately 1/4 the efficiency of Acetone for a given amount of time when at 20 degrees F. If using chilled Acetone with powdered leaf you will extract more Salvinorin when doing short 3 to 10 minute extractions compared to crushed leaf, but you will also extract more wax when the leaf is powdered compared to crushed. At one time I thought that using crushed leaf with chilled Acetone was the only way to go for Salvia extractions because so little wax was extracted when using either whole or crushed leaf. My main interest at the time was in extracting out fairly pure Salvinorin because I could then use it to make 25 mg portions of enhanced leaf which contained 1.5 mg of Salvinorin that were wax free enough for me as a non smoker to be able to tollerate. However, I later found a way to wash waxes out of extract using Naphtha and Isopropanol which worked so well that I abandoned using chilled Acetone in favor of increased efficiency. I don't recommend it, but if you decide to use chilled IPA with powdered leaf do not chill the solvent any lower than 40 degrees F. or your efficiency will be far too low to be worth your efforts. However, with Acetone if you chill it to only 40 degrees F. you will extract far too much wax. When using chilled Acetone I like to keep it at 20 degrees F., but due to working in a warm room I have had the Acetone warm up from 20 degrees to 40 degrees F. just as I finished the last of three extractions on a batch of leaf (one right after the other) and it didn't pull over too much extra wax, but extended soaks with Acetone at 40 degrees F. is far too warm to reap the benefits of using chilled Acetone to reduce the amount of waxes extracted. Because Acetone remains fairly efficient from 20 degrees F. through to room temperature it is the best solvent I have been able to find for chilled extractions. This is not to say that 99% Isopropanol isn't a choice with powdered leaf when at room temperature if you work with the leaf and soak it long enough, it sure isn't very impressive at low temperatures due to the low efficiency, even though it will leave the black wax behind when chilled.
At one time I compared the difference of 70% IPA and 99% IPA when chilled and the 70% IPA extraction came out terrible. At room temperature it might be better, but I guarantee that you will get gummy tannins if you have that much water in it, even if it does extract out Salvinorin. I know people have used 70% IPA or 151 proof Alcohol with success in the past for either enhanced leaf or tincture, so it will work. It just isn't as good and takes longer. Here is a link to my comparisions between chilled 70% and 90% IPA:
I can't find 99% Isopropanol anywhere. Can I use 70% instead?
You can use 70% but I would soak my leave for at least five days, shaking it five minutes a day or more. When using 70% IPA you will extract out tannins that make tincture taste harsher than it would without it and it takes alot longer to get Salvinorin out of leaf using something with that much water in it (30%).
You would be better off using 151 proof drinking Alcohol because it is 25% water compared to 30% water when using 70% IPA. 190 proof drinking Alcohol has only 5% water in it and it would be a good thing to try, it might turn out to be just about as good as 99% Isopropanol, but you would be extracting out more tannin with that too, even though it has only 5% water. That is why I stick with 99% IPA Alcohol, because compared to 70% IPA it takes less time to extract the Salvinorin and leaves more of the tannin behind. You can use 94% IPA too, but it might take longer than 99% IPA. I just don't know about using either 190 proof drinking Alcohol or 94% Isopropanol because I have never tried it. However, I have tried 70% IPA for a *short* extraction and it didn't work and only brought over gummy tannins.
I no longer recommend chilled Isopropanol for extractions, it is far too inefficient. If you decide to use Isopropanol use room temperature 99% Isopropanol on powdered leaf and then clean the extract with Naphtha and you will have something just as wax free as if you had used chilled Acetone, however you will be leaving up to a third or more of the Salvinorin behind. Since I found that I could use just Naphtha to clean the wax out of a long term extraction with powdered leaf using either Acetone or Isopropanol, then using chilled Acetone became completely moot to me but I won't use 99% Isopropanol because Acetone gets more Salvinorin out of leaf than I have ever been able to get out using 99% IPA. You might as well powder your leaf and just use room temperature Acetone to be sure your efficiency is high and then clean the extract with Naphtha than to bother with chilled Acetone because it comes out just as clean after Naphtha washes and your efficiency will be great. Having found how well Naphtha works at getting most of the wax out of an extract I see no reason for short extractions. Iif using 99% IPA it would be better to soak your powdered leaf in it for several days to help make up for its lower efficiency, but even then I am not sure that you will ever get the efficiency that Acetone gives, even with long term extractions. If using room temperature Acetone it only takes five minutes to get most of the Salvinorin out of *powdered* leaf if you wash it through a couple of more times with fresh Acetone after pouring the initial soaking off. After your have poured your Acetone off of leaf be sure to keep it in a dark area when waiting for sediments to fall out of Acetone because a chemist found that Salvinorin can be destroyed by exposure to light when it is in Acetone. Because of this I wouldn't leave your Acetone extract out in direct sunlight when waiting for the sediments to fall out of it, better to put it in a dark place, just to be safe. It doesn't happen really quick, but it destroyed a substantial portion of Salvinorin in a small sample of Acetone after an hour or so when exposed to floro lights, assummed to be due to the ultra violet wavelength produced by floro lights. It might be a good practice to put long term extractions away in a dark place, no matter what solvent your using.
I extracted my leaf and used 2000 ml of solvent but it has been sitting in a bowl for two days and has not evaporated much, how can I get it to evaporate faster?
Evaporating out either Isopropanol or Acetone can be very slow unless you have airflow across the surface of your solvent. The evaporation rate is increased even more if you evaporate your solvent in a large flat container. Pyrex makes some nice flat cooking dishes out of clear glass that are ideal for evaporating your solvent. To speed things up have a fan close enough to the container that it causes ripples, or waves on the surface of the fluid. If it is strong enough to do this, then 2000 ml of either Acetone or Isopropanol should evaporate out in a few hours when using a large six inch by sixteen inch or larger glass pan. One individual I know uses a crock pot with a screen on top with a fan attached to it to push air down into the pot set at 100 degrees F. This will work, but as the last ounce or two of solvent evaporates completely out the temperature will spike because the cooling from rapid evaporation will no longer keep it at 100 degrees F., I do not like to heat solvents above this temperature. Do not do this where static sparks might occur, or where open flame is present from a water heater or any other kind of heater or oven that has red hot heating elements which coulde ignite vapors. Never use a fan to evaporate solvents in a closed room without lots of air exchange because most fans use a comutator which produce sparks internally to the motor, if the vapors are a high enough concentration the fan could ignite the fumes. These solvents are very flammible and you do not want to have a high concentration of vapors for health reasons too, even if they can't catch fire.
I heard that heating Salvinorin powder in boiling solvents can cause the Salvinorin to be destroyed, is this true?
I had a problem with Salvinorin in hot Methanol one time, I still can't explain it but lost most of my Salvinorin. I have tried to find if this loss was typical by heating Salvinorin powder in hot solvents several times since and didn't have much loss, but I did have some loss. If you re-heat a vial full of Salvinorin powder in boiling 151 proof Everclear drinking Alcohol trying to grow crystals when it cools, you loose some of your Salvinorin each time you do this. I took the same 25 ml vial full of Salvinorin and re-heated it to boiling four times in a microwave oven (after fully cooling in an attempt to grow some nice crystals) and in the end lost about half of my Salvinorin. Whether that loss was due to the Salvinorin somehow being vaporized while in solvents and just evaporating out or what, I don't have an explaination for it. I wouldn't worry about it, the problem I had with Methanol can't be duplicated, at least, not to the extent I thought happened before. Ordinarily, I wouldn't boil solvents in a microwave oven, but I risked it for the small amount of fluid used in that open vial and kept away from it, setting the oven for only a few seconds. A better way of doing this is to use hot water to heat your vials, not any kind of oven.
Here is a link that shows the vial that I re-heated several times trying to get bigger crystals:
What can I do to get the black wax out of my extract if I either soak my leaf too long in chilled Acetone, or use room temperature solvent to extract from either crushed, whole, or powdered leaf?
If soaking whole or crushed leaf too long in chilled solvent you will find that your extract will contain nearly as much black wax as if you had done a room temperature extraction. You can remove the majority of this wax by washing the extract with just Naphtha making your extract just about as wax free as you would have had if you had used room temperature solvent. This can be done by completely dissolving the waxy extract into pure Naphtha, after sturring let it set for at least an hour, or even overnight before carefully pouring the dark Naphtha out off of the top of the extract that will have settled out. You will find that your crude Salvinorin will have fallen to the bottom of the container. It may be a dark green to black appearing substance when wet. Add more fresh Naphtha and wash it again, as long as the Naphtha is still a dark green color you can continue using it to remove waxes, but be sure to let it set for hours after each wash so that the Salvinorin particles fall to the bottom of the glass, otherwise the fine particles will be carried away with the Naphtha when poured off. You should save the Naphtha used to remove the bulk of the black wax because although Salvinorin isn't supposed to be soluble in Naphtha, some of it it will be carried away with it as fine particles or in the wax itself. This is why it is a good idea to let your Naphtha set for a long time after dissolving your extract into it so that the majority of the Salvinorin will fall out of it. Although waiting just 30 minutes will allow most of the Salvinorin to fall out of the Naphtha, waiting several hours would be even better just to be sure. After you have removed the solids from the bottom of the Naphtha wash I always evaporate all of the Naphtha to see if it turns into a gooey slime that seems to never dry all the way, or a hard substance that you can scrape off with a knife or a spoon. If it dries into a crusty substance that you can scrape off then it probably has lots of Salvinorin still in it and is worth another cleaning with more Naphtha to see if more solids fall out of it. For smaller extractions of 50-100 grams of dried leaf I have been recommending using small 25-30 ml containers using only small amounts of fluid and multiple washes with Naphtha, but if your doing a large extraction you can upsize your container. Also, there is no reason that you should have to do multiple washings of your extract when using just Naphtha, you could do just as well to use a larger container and work with several ounces of Naphtha at a time to dissolve your black wax into. I like to work with small containers when washing an extract because it gives me more control, but when working with larger extractions of 250 grams or more you might want to move up to a small pint sized canning jar for the Naphtha cleaning. If you want to clean the extract beyond what Naphtha can do, 99% Isopropanol will get more of the green out that the Naphtha can't touch, but it costs you Salvinorin each time. 99% Isopropanol only holds about .75 mg of Salvinorin per ml of fluid when working with near pure Salvinorin without any chlorophyll or what is called black wax from the leaf present, but when this substance is present Isopropanol can hold several mg per ml of fluid. This means that each time you wash an extract with 99% Isopropanol that has black wax in it then you will be removing substantial portions of the Salvinron with each wash. When cleaning an extract from 100 grams of leaf (after the Naphtha washes) it could take three washes using 99% Isopropanol to get your extract to lighten up to a light green color and as many six 15+ ml washes with IPA to lighten up the extract to white Salvinorin. All total the IPA washes could cause you to loose 25% or more of your yield when trying to purify the extract from 100g of leaf to white Salvinorin. If your trying to purify the extract from only an ounce or less of leaf, then the amount of Salvinorin lost by Isopropanol washes could be so great that you won't have hardly any, if any, Salvinorin left. If your just making enhanced leaf there is no reason to need to refine an extract into a light green powder because using just Naphtha you can remove the bulk of the black wax without the loss that using Isopropanol causes.
I was hoping I could use something easily available (like tequila) to make tincture, but from what I have read, it seems this would be totally useless... I don't think I can get my hands on 190 proof alcohol very easily... any suggestions??
You can use 151 proof drinking Alcohol of any kind to make tincture out of your extract but it contains close to 25% water in it which will cause it to be unable to hold as much Salvinorin as Alcohol without much water in it. If you use 151 proof Alcohol I would use something that has no flavor like Everclear® Alcohol. To me that would be a better choice, maybe 151 proof Rum might improve the flavor for all I know, but I have not tried it.
Regarding the use of Naphtha to clean the extract, is this done through evaporation? Doesn't Naphtha leave an oily residue behind - is this safe?
From my experience, the Naphtha I have used has always evaporated completely out of my extracts by being evaporated at room temperature. If your concerned about your Naphtha leaving a residue try putting an ounce of of it in a small bowl and let it evaporate. As long as there isn't any oil contamination in it, it ought to all evaporate out without a trace. Evaporating solvents at room temperature can take a long time if you don't have a fan blowing air across the top of the fluid. If you have poured all of the Naphtha off of your extract and all you have left is Naphtha dampened extract, you could put it in an oven set to 120 F. for a couple of hours or more and it ought to do the job quick enough. Is Naphtha safe? If it all evaporates out of your extract then the question is moot. I am confident that if you use clean Naphtha that does not leave a residue after evaporated in a test bowl that this is not an issue, but just to be sure I would leave your extract in an oven set to 120 degrees F. for several hours if your concerned that a few micrograms of Naphtha might be left in your extract. I am not a chemist or a doctor or professional of any kind when it comes to extractions, chemicals, or the use of this entheogen. If you want solid answers on anything I have written here, better check with a professional. If you don't like the idea of using Naphtha or even Isopropanol, you can use 190 proof Everclear drinking Alcohol for the extraction and to remove waxes from your extract. There is no reason that you have to use Naphtha, if your making enhanced leaf or extract for anyone but yourself I recommend using only 190 proof or higher (if it is possible to find) drinking Alcohol, that way your food grade all the way.
For tincture what kind of dosage would be required... I know that the dosage for sublingual absorbtion is a lot more than through smoking... The kind of tincture I had in mind would be one that would only require a drop or two to have an effect...
Answer: As far as I know, no one is making a Alcohol tincture that is strong enough to have effects with only a drop or two because Salvinorin isn't very soluble in Alcohol, because of this you can't get enough Salvinorin in the Alcohol to make it that strong. Daniel Siebert's tincture has been tested by someone who says that they found it to contain 1.36 mg of Salvinorin per ml of fluid. I am not sure what the upward limit is, but I believe it to be somewhere between 1.5 and 1.8 mg per ml if you have enough wax present in the Alcohol if the Alcohol is pure enough. I believe that Daniel's tincture uses 98% pure Alcohol, if I remember what that chemist who tested it told me correctly. I am not sure how much Salvinorin 151 proof Alcohol will hold on a ml basis with close to 25% water in it, surely less. Your leaf, if it is average potency ought to contain about 3 mg per gram of dried weight. 100g of leaf ought to have at least 300mg of Salvinorin but due to losses I wouldn't bet on being able to extract out more than 250 mg. If you extracted the leaf using 70% Isopropanol, even if for several days, it could be closer to 200mg, especially if the leaf wasn't powdered finely enough. An ounce of Alcohol contains 28ml of fluid (if I remember right) so if you had that much leaf you ought to be able to make at least 4 or 5 ounces of strong tincture, depending on how much Salvinorin is in your leaf and how efficiently the extraction went. I am being very conservative with those estimates, if your extraction went extremely well and your leaf had more than the average amount of Salvinorin in it, then you could make at least 6 ounces of strong tincture out of 100g of good leaf.
When working with solvents containing Salvinorin try to minimize the exposure of light because Salvinorin can be destroyed by light exposure while in Acetone. Be sure to keep everything, you might want to try working with it again just to be sure you get all of the Salvinorin out. I never throw away anything from my extractions. I keep the black wax, the sediment and the old leaf just in case I later learn something new and want to use it for something, or decide to re-extract from it again after finding another method of getting the last of the Salvinorin out that I might have left behind before.
Is there a way to remove the black wax from a long term room temperature Acetone or 99% Isopropanol extraction of powdered leaf?
BE SURE TO LET YOUR SEDIMENTS COMPLETELY SETTLE OUT OF YOUR EXTRACTION SOLVENT SO THAT THEY CAN BE REMOVED PRIOR TO EVAPORATING DOWN TO A DRY EXTRACT OR THE FOLLOWING METHOD WILL RESULT IN AN EXTRACT THAT IS MOSTLY SEDIMENTS. (Sediments with all of the Salvinorin in them, but fairly impure due to the volume of sediments.)
There is way to remove black wax from an extract regardless of using either chilled or room temperature solvents with whole or powdered leaf. Because this cleaning method works so well I see no reason to try to reduce the wax extracted using either chilled solvents or short extractions. With this process you can soak your leaf as long as you wish to obtain the highest efficiency possible and then clean your dried extract using nothing but strait Naphtha. When cleaning the dried extract from an extraction as large as 1 kg of leaf all you need is a small 25-50 ml glass container and clean Naphtha. Just load your container full of your dried extract so that it is no fuller than one third full and pour in some clean Naphtha, filling it to the top, stir it up, and then wait a half hour or more for the the crude Salvinorin particles to settle to the bottom of the glass. After a few washes you will end up with some light green Salvinorin. The reason this works is because the waxes are readily absorbed by the Naphtha, while the Salvinorin is almost insoluble to it. After a few washes of the extract with Naphtha will being to take on less color and become lighter and lighter, but it might not lighten up enough until after the seventh wash or more (if using a 25 ml container for a whole kilo's extraction). Once you have washes you extract to the point where the Naphtha is taking on very little color, this is clean enough to use to make 10-15X leaf, or tincture. Additional washes using small amounts of 99% Isopropanol will remove all of the remaining wax, altogether, but will also remove some of your Salvinorin because it is soluble to Isopropanol, unlike Naphtha where very little is carried away with the fluid.
Where can I get clean Naphtha?
It is difficult to find Naphtha that will evaporate completely clean. Do NOT try to use any kind of Naphtha unless your sure that it is only Naphtha and does not have oils, or rust inhibitors added to it, such as is common with camp stove fuels. What ever Naphtha that you choose to use, evaporate out a ounce or more of it and see if any residue remains, evaporating out as much as you intend on using is a better way to check, but since your pouring the Naphtha off of your extract evaporating an ounce ought to be enough to see because you will have far less than that amount in your extract, once poured off. If you do not want to use Naphtha, you can use just 99% Isopropanol to clean the waxes out of an extract if you are very careful to use as little as possible you won't loose too much Salvinorin, especially if the IPA is chilled, it will carry away even less Salvinorin with each wash when chilled because it is unable to hold as much Salvinorin but will still wash the waxes out.
I have tried one brand of Naphtha lighter fluid sold under the brand name of Ronsonol and have been able to evaporate eight ounces of it completely out without a hint of residues, but some people object to using it because it contains less than 3 parts per million benzene. Considering that it is only used to clean the extract and is not evaporated down with the extract, and that benzene evaporates out very easily, I don't see it as a big issue but you should be aware of it. I calculated out how much benzene might be present from washing the extract out of leaf, even if none of it evaporated from a whole eight ounce bottle and the figure was so low as to be within accepted exposure levels, IF IT ALL REMAINED. The amount of benzene that we each are exposed to on a daily basis (if you live in a city) is somewhere around 250 micrograms, just from breathing the air and nothing more. The amount remaining from using Ronsonol lighter fluid to clean the wax out of extract will be far less than that, if you don't evaporate it down into your extract and just pour it off, probably a few micrograms, or less than a microgram. At least, that is what the figures tell me. However, since benzene is supposed to be a carcinogen, you might not want to have any of it in your extract, certainly none if your making it for someone else or are selling it. As an interesting fact, along this line, the average smoker inhales an estimated 1800 micrograms of benzene every day they smoke, if they smoke 32 cigarettes, which is "average".
Link to cleaning photoguide:
Here is a link to some interesting Salvinorin crystal formations:
There is more than one way to skin a cat, and extractions is no exception. It just depends on what you want to do with your extract. You can do a regular room temperature extraction with powdered leaf that will produce an extract that is heavy with black wax and use it to enhance leaf without cleaning it at all and it will work, but you can't make leaf any stronger than about 6X without removing some of the black wax or your leaf will have far too much wax in it making it very difficult to smoke. If your going to make 10X leaf you have to remove close to half of the waxes or it will be too difficult to smoke due to the volume of impurities added back to the leaf. I don't recommend enhancing leaf stronger than 10X because then it can be far too easy to smoke. You can do it, but beyond 10X my belief is that the dosages need to be more carefully measured than just eyeing a tenth of a bag for a strong dose. Supplying someone a gram bag of 15-20X leaf would be inviting trouble because it is far too strong to pinch measure a dose and if selling something that strong you really ought to have pre-measured doses. Many vendors won't sell 12X+ leaf unless the doses are pre-measured because it is just too strong that way and opens the door for problems. There was a time when 5X was the strongest you could buy, competition seems to keep driving the X factor up.
Salvia Divininorum appears to have great potential for medical use as a unique compound to target specific receptors in the brain. We now know that it works as a k opioid selective agonist (see http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/182234399 ) but there is much that we don't understand. The Mazatec's have been using it for many generations without problems, but they weren't concentrating it to the levels that many people do today. Because of this I cannot in good conscience recommend its use when highly concentrated or smoked. I will write how to make your own extracts and clean them, but you will never see me telling people to try smoking it, or that I recommend anyone smoke it, no matter their age. If your younger than 23 years old this is something that I would warn you against using at all because brain developement continues to the age of 23. If you intend on smoking Salvia Divinorum you ought to consider the seriousness of your decision and spend a few weeks studying everything you can find on the net before making that decision.