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Salvinorin Extraction and Refinement FAQ v7.6

Written by 'Salvia_Divinorum'

Posted at The Lycaeum Forums September 13, 2004

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Although written as an instructional document the following is offered for informational purposes only. This extraction and refinement FAQ was written by a non-professional, I'm not an organic chemist and don't work in a field related to botany or chemistry. The solvents mentioned in this document are very flammable and can be easily ignited by red hot surfaces, open flame, electric or static spark! Avoid risking sparks from metallic utensils, desktop or computer fans, and don't try to evaporate solvents in closed areas. This document does not contain information related to the safe handling of solvents or their proper use for the manufacture of human consumable products. The use of either crude or refined salvinorin should never be attempted, it is far too potent to eye ball a sub-milligram dose of salvinorin which can only be accurately done if using a analytical balance with an accuracy within a tenth of a milligram or better costing many hundreds of dollars or more. See for cautions against the use of crude to pure salvinorin which has very real dangers created from becoming heavily intoxicated when attempting to dose with salvinorin itself.

The following extraction information comes from many hundreds of hours of extractions to find better ways to extract salvinorin without the need of an organic laboratory or expensive glassware. Much of what I have found was through trial and error extractions until I found techniques leading to a method which works very well. I am happy to offer this information to anyone who wants it for their own personal use or business as many have, the only thing I ask in return is that you keep Salvia divinorum away from adolescents, use it in a safe responsible manner and please don't equate Salvia Divinorum with illicit plants or drugs. Although Salvia divinorum is known as the most potent "natural" psychedelic it is far less potent and shorter acting than synthesized man made hallucinogens. For most individuals the psychedelic effects of smoking moderate to relatively large amounts of Salvia divinorum or enhanced leaf are very fleeting lasting only a very few minutes and when used as a tincture can be difficult to induce at all. Although I have never heard of anyone being harmed by any kind of toxicological effect from the use of Salvia divinorum, I do not casually recommend its use to anyone as this requires your own research to know if it is right for you. Personally, although I have been intensely interested in Salvia divinorum I have not used this entheogen but twice in a period of close to two years and even then in very moderate amounts because even though the visions it can induce are often awesome and extremely interesting, I now find that I have no desire to do so on a regular basis and take my time between journeys to fully integrate each experience. Many individuals who try Salvia divinorum find it to be far too much to handle and won't do so twice (especially if having used too much the first time), but a few find this plant to be their ally and are fascinated to the point where they use Salvia divinorum many times in a period of a few months, but almost all taper off to weeks and then months between uses as I have, now waiting close to a year between journeys.

Salvia divinorum is not something you can use to get "high" with and doesn't produce that kind of effect and should only be used for introspective meditation or for spiritual pursuits to widen the doors of your inner perception, never as a joy ride for the psychedelic effects or shared with anyone who might profane this sacred shamanic plant as some kind of substitute for illicit street drugs. Although this plant is not currently regulated or controlled by the US federal government my firm belief is that it should be restricted from individuals under the age of 21 in the same way that tobacco and Alcohol are restricted to minors because when Salvia divinorum is taken in large amounts it can be a very strong intoxicant, a sacred intoxicant yes, but intoxicating in much the same way that Alcohol can cause reduction of fine motor skills and should never be used in a public place or prior to operating machinery or driving unless three or more hours have passed since use. Salvia divinorum should only be used while under the supervision of a responsible, experienced and sober adult, especially if you are new to Salvia divinorum and inexperienced in the possible effects. Don't assume an amount suitable for someone else is the right amount for you or vice versa. Some individuals are extremely sensitive to Salvia divinorum while others will have no effect from it at all and require the use of enhanced leaf to obtain marginal effect. Never offer Salvia divinorum to individuals who have not been completely informed of the the possible effects. Never attempt to smoke Salvia divinorum products enhanced with large amounts of salvinorin or even tincture unless you have slowly worked your way up to that level and know your own sensitivity and what to expect. This document does not contain information regarding possible effects and must be researched from other sources to make an informed choice through knowing the potential risks of being light to strongly intoxicated by this plant and whether Salvia divinorum is right for you.

How do I extract Salvia divinorum leaf, should it be whole, crushed or powdered?

When I first started extracting Salvia divinorum leaf with Acetone I found that it didn't seem to make any difference whether the leaf was whole, crushed or even finely powdered, regardless I found that salvinorin was extracted from leaf from whole to finely powdered with the same efficiency. Since Acetone worked so well with whole or crushed leaf my assumption was that most, if not all of the salvinorin was coating the outside of the leaf instead of inside the leaf, either that, or Acetone was somehow able to efficiently draw the salvinorin out of the interior leaf membranes. Daniel Siebert recently published a paper confirming my belief that salvinorin is concentrated on the outside of the leaf, because of this it isn't necessary to powder the leaf to be able to efficiently extract salvinorin using any solvent which salvinorin can be dissolved into, but I like to either finely crush the leaf or powder it to reduce the volume of solvent needed to completely cover the leaf with an extra amount of fluid volume to make it easy to stir the leaf in it.

Is there a simple way to make enhanced leaf?

The following is as simple as it gets to make a gram of 5X enhanced leaf:

  1. Pour Acetone into a container of 6 grams of leaf and stir for ten minutes
  2. Pour Acetone off of the extracted leaf onto one gram of unextracted leaf and evaporate all Acetone while leaf is present in it.

Wha-la! Enhanced leaf.

Note: Due to extraction inefficiencies of only washing the leaf through one time an extra amount of leaf is required to make up for losses when using this super simple method. Do not extract from a larger ratio of leaf to enhanced leaf or you will end up with a very gummy leaf which produces too much smoke for most people.

I want to make my own standardized leaf, how can I do that?

The following was written for 100 to 250 gram extraction of dried Salvia divinorum leaf to make high quality Standardized leaf:

Do not attempt to use crude or refined Salvinorin as a drug. It is far too potent, especially when in crystal form.
5X Enhanced leaf is less than 1.5% Salvinorin by weight.

This process will work with any amount of leaf if you scale the amount of solvent used to refine the extract to smaller amounts. For example; if extracting from 25 grams of leaf and you want to purify your extract to white colored salvinorin, use no more than 1/4 to 1/8 the amount of 99% IPA when removing Chlorophyll impurities. The following process can be used to extract and refine salvinorin into a purity that is in the high 90 percentiles. It isn't necessary to go to these extremes to remove tannin impurity to make enhanced leaf but for the purists it's a delight to do it right which results in a very high purity extract which previous to this tek required the use of laboratory glass and column chromatography to approach this purity and efficiency:

Step 1

Extract finely crushed leaf in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel (no plastic or plastic utensils) container using room temperature Acetone completely covering the leaf with fluid in a ratio of at least ½ crushed leaf to ½ Acetone three separate times for at least three minutes each time, longer if desired to assure maximum efficiency but in my opinion unnecessary when using Acetone. If using 99% Isopropanol/IPA or 98% Ethanol Alcohol extract finely crushed leaf at least five times over for no less than five minutes each time with a ratio of 1/3 fine crushed leaf to 2/3 Isopropanol or Ethanol. Whether extracting with Acetone, Isopropanol or high proof Ethanol shake or thoroughly stir the leaf into the solvent the entire time.

Note: This will work with whole unbroken leaf just as well, crushing or powdering reduces the amount of solvent needed to cover the leaf. When extracting whole or broken leaf use only as much solvent as is necessary to completely cover the leaf. These figures are approximates, a somewhat smaller ratio of solvent to leaf or shortening the amount of time extracting the leaf by a minute each time shouldn't significantly impact the extraction efficiency whether using Acetone or Alcohol, but longer extraction periods will assure maximum extraction efficiency. If using 99% Isopropanol or high proof Ethanol warming them to 100-120°F will make these two Alcohols more efficient for extracting salvinorin compared to when at room temperature but produce far more vapors with added danger due to any kind of static or electric spark etc. which can ignite vapors. Salvinorin has been reported to remain nearly as solvent to pure Ethanol when chilled as when at room temperature, but when heated will increase solubility enough to be well worth it.

Step 2

After completing the outlined number of extractions to the same batch of leaf thoroughly wash the wet leaf through twice more with fresh Acetone (or what ever extraction solvent your using) to further remove residuals. This is done to dilute out all of the old solvent remaining in the wetted leaf which could still contain some of the salvinorin. At this point your done with the leaf might want to place all of your previously extracted leaf into a jar with solvent for a long term extraction to get what ever amount of salvinorin that might have remained behind in the leaf which should be very little if any, especially if having used Acetone. Re-extract the leaf as long as you like, but keep it in the dark to prevent any loss of salvinorin from long term exposure to UV light which can destroy a portion of the salvinorin while in solvents.

Step 3

Combine the solvent from all extractions and last washes, remove all leaf and fine leaf particles, filter tannin sediments from solvent or let the solvent stand undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours to allow enough time for most of these sediments to settle out of the fluid. While waiting for the ultra-fine tannin particles to settle cover your container and store in a cool dark place to both reduce evaporation and to prevent possible losses due to interaction of light. Once you have waited at least twelve hours for the tannin to settle out of the fluid slowly pour the extraction solvent off of the fine brown tannin sediments which have settled to the bottom of the container, being careful to handle the container very slowly without jarring or sloshing the fluid to prevent the fine particles from being stirred up into the fluid. I don't recommend trying to pour out the last ounce or two of solvent because a portion of the tannin will usually flow out with the last of the fluid. Although, when leaving a small portion of the fluid behind a dilute portion of the salvinorin is still in it you can recover it by adding a few more ounces of fresh solvent to the fluid and vigorously swirling the tannin into the solvent for a couple of minutes to make sure to get any that might be left in it too, then waiting another 12-24 hours to settle again before pouring the fluid off again. Of course, you will have to leave the last bit of fluid behind the second time too.

Note: I have tried using paper coffee filters to remove tannin from the extraction solvent, but even after pouring the extraction solvent through paper filters stacked three ply several times a fair amount of the tannin particles were still able to get through the papers. A filter made of cotton balls in a glass tube might work better than paper filters, but I haven't tried it to know. Because the amount of solvent used will completely dissolve and hold far more than the amount of salvinorin extracted there is no fear of salvinorin falling out of the fluid, only the tannin impurity will fall to the bottom of the container, but these tannins should be saved for further processing later by swirling the sediments into fresh solvent and let to settle out once more be be sure that none of the salvinorin was left behind in them.

Step 4

After the extraction fluid is poured off of and separated from the brown tannin sediments, completely evaporate the extraction solvent. This is best done using a large flat pan so that the fluid volume will spread out much further than when using a bowl because the shallower the pan the larger the surface area of the fluid, speeding the rate of evaporation requiring far less time than if using a deep bowl. You can increase the evaporation rate even further by using a fan to blow air across the solvent with enough force to cause ripples on the surface of the fluid, but not so much airflow that droplets start taking to the air carrying away any amount of your precious extract. If you live in a buggy part of the world covering the evaporation container with a fine mesh screen which will both allow air to flow through and keep bugs out might be necessary. A full gallon of 99% Isopropanol can be evaporated in under eight hours with this method and a gallon of Acetone in four hours or less. Due to rapid evaporation of Acetone, condensation from the air can cause an ounce or more of water to remain in the container which won't evaporate quickly. Also, if you have extracted leaf using 99% IPA or 98% Ethanol in addition to water from condensation you will have a percent or more of water remaining after the solvent spirits are completely gone. This water is usually a yellow color due to tannins dissolved into it which is something you don't want in your extract, so once you have evaporated all of the solvent off and are left with only water pour it off, being careful that none of the green particles of extract go out with it. Leave the extract in the evaporation container and completely dry by placing in an oven set to 150°F. (as long as not hint of solvent remains, otherwise the vapors could cause a fire).

Note: Although a large flat glass cassarole cooking pan works very well to evaporate the extract into, I like to use a non-stick Teflon(r) coated cooking pan over any other kind because once all of the solvent is has been evaporated off and your left with a waxy extract in the bottom of the container it's easier to scrape it all into a pile using a thin piece of plastic (not metal which will gouge the Teflon coating). It isn't necessary to use teflon coated containers, any kind of container (not plastic) is fine. Also, when the fluid level is being reduced by evaporation thin films of relatively high purity salvinorin are always deposited on the sides of the container which are more easily removed when using Teflon(r) coated evaporation containers. Test non-stick pans with clean Acetone before pouring you extraction solvent into the container to make sure that the solvent won't affect the coating, depending upon the manufacturer the non-stick coating of some pans might not be up to the job and rather than risk contaminating your extract it is best to test. Acetone should not be used in jars using tops with rubber seals unless manufactured for such use as Acetone will melt many rubbers and plastics. Using either Isopropanol or Ethanol Alcohol shouldn't be a problem for any kind of non-stick pan and most food container seals.

Step 4.5 (Optional)

This step is optional and can be skipped, or used to replace step six. If you want to go to extremes incorporate both this step and step six together to assure a maximum purity extract. At this point you could remove more of the tannin from the extract if all hint of solvent has been evaporated off but the extract is still water wet from either condensation of water due to rapid evaporation of solvent, or wet from the 1% of water contained in 99% Isopropanol if that solvent was used to extract the leaf. This extra step will only work if the extract is still wet right after all of the solvent has been evaporated from the extract but is still moist and has not dried yet. Scrape up all of your water wetted extract and place it into a cup of room temperature water and stir for a few minutes, breaking the particles up by hand as best you can into small particles by working all of the clumps out of the extract solids using your fingers. Depending upon how much water is used it can take on a light yellow to dark brown color. Once your done working the extract into the water let it set still undisturbed for an hour or for however long it takes for the particles to all settle to the bottom of the container and then pour the water off, add more water and stir the extract into it again. Keep doing this until the water no longer takes on any color and then completely dry the extract in an oven set to 150°F. until no hint of mosture remains.

Note: This step will not work once the extract has dried into a waxy consistency because water will not cut through the wax once dry and cannot be reconstituted with water to produce the same consistency which will allow the water to get to the tannin after drying. The extract that has dried on the sides of the evaporation container that is either a fine crust of high purity salvinorin, or waxy deposits cannot be washed with water and should be scraped off and saved for step 5., if necessary using Naphtha to remove these residuals from the sides of the container. It is important to remove all of the extract from the evaporation container so that it is completely clean as these films can contain a substantial portion of your yield. Save all of the water used to remove tannin and check it in a few hours to see if more salvinorin has settled out of the fluid.

Step 5

Once every hint of solvent has been evaporated out and the extract is completely dry of moisture pour in four or more ounces of pure Naphtha directly into the evaporation container (or if having already scraped it out of a large evaporation container transfer all of the extract into a smaller container so that you can work with it better). Completely dissolve all clumps of extract or wax into the Naphtha so that only fine granules remain in the fluid. Next, pour all of the Naphtha and every bit of the extract into a pint sized or smaller glass jar, setting it aside undisturbed for an hour or more. What your waiting for is for the ultra-fine salvinorin particles that are stirred up in the Naphtha to settle to the bottom of the glass which can take as much a hour or more for most of them to fall out of the fluid, this works with Naphtha because salvinorin is insoluble to this solvent. After waiting for the salvinorin particles to settle then slowly, taking great care not to let any of the particles flow out with the fluid pour off the dark green Naphtha leaving the crude salvinorin extract in the bottom of the glass. Next add more clean Naphtha to the jar and mix the extract into the fluid for five minutes and set aside for another hour or more before pouring off the Naphtha again. Continue using Naphtha to remove Chlorophyll waxes from the extract until the fluid becomes a light translucent green color, at this point it has become ineffective for removing additional Chlorophyll. When done completely pour off every last drop of Naphtha and completely dry the extract so that no hint of Naphtha remains.

Note: Since salvinorin is insoluble to Naphtha you don't need to worry about using too much, use as much as you like but take care to wait long enough for the ultra fine crystalline salvinorin particles to fall to the bottom of the container before pouring the fluid off. Using several ounces of Naphtha at a time might require waiting several hours for the majority of the salvinorin particles to settle to the bottom of the container, but when using a small one ounce glass most of them should settle in the first hour or so. Do not use Naphtha to remove Chlorophyll from your extract unless you know for sure that the Naphtha your using will evaporate completely clean without leaving any amount of residue. Although, if continuing to clean the extract with 99% Isopropanol these contaminates should be washed away I do not recommend using questionable purity solvents, especially when making commercial products. 99 percent Isopropanol or 98% Ethanol can be used in place of Naphtha. These two Alcohols will do the job even better than Naphtha. The only draw back to using Isopropanol to remove Chlorophyll is that salvinorin is weakly soluble to this solvent at room temperature, it will remove more of the salvinorin but no so much to be a problem if you use it very sparingly. The same with Ethanol, but it removes more than twice as much salvinorin per ml as Isopropanol. Salvinorin has been reported to be insoluble to Xylene or Hexane and if true either can be used in place of Naphtha.

Step 6

Although you won't see it the extract, it still contains an amount of tannin. Once you have removed all of the waxy Chlorophyll compounds that you can with Naphtha and the extract is dry, completely crush all of your extract into as fine a powder as you can in a bowl with a spoon and then pour in a few ounces or more of room temperature water, stirring the extract into the water for a few minutes and then set aside for an hour or for however long it takes for the particles to all settle to the bottom of the container. After the particles of crude salvinorin have settled pour all of the water off being careful not to pour any of the extract solids out with it and then add more water and stir again. As long as the water continues to take on a slightly yellow or brown color continue washing with more water. If using a cup or more of water at a time to dissolve small amounts of tannin contained in the extract you might not see any change of water color, but it will be doing the job. Once you are satisfied that the water is no longer taking on any more color, completely dry the powder in an oven set to 120-150°F.

Note: Water washes of the extract will not remove tannin until you have removed as much of the Chlorophyll as you can using Naphtha first, and have then evaporated all hint of the Naphtha out of the extract otherwise the water will not cut through a barrier of waxy Chlorophyll or Naphtha wetted extract enough to be able to dissolve the tannin. If you have done a good job removing tannin from the extraction solvent and then removed as much Chlorophyll as you can using Naphtha followed up by water washes of the extract to remove most of the remaining tannin, the amount of dried extract from a 250 gram extraction of average potency leaf should weigh close to one gram and be well over 50% pure. Save all of the water used to remove tannin and check it in a few hours to see if more salvinorin has settled out of the fluid.

Step 6.5 (Making Tincture)

Skip this step if your not making tincture.

Dried extract which has had this amount of Chorophyll and tannin removed by pure Naphtha (without any contaminate to leave any kind of residual and evaporated completely out first) is perfect for making tincture, just dissolve as much of the extract as you can into 151 to 191 or higher proof Ethanol drinking Alcohol of any kind while at room temperature and you will have an effective tincture, the higher the proof, the more effective. Removing more of the Chlorophyll than Naphtha can remove by continuing to wash the solids with 99% Isopropanol, at some point, will make the extract too pure for making an effective tincture if using 151 proof drinking Alcohol. When making a low Chlorophyll content tincture this should only be done when using extremely high proof Ethanol such as 98%, but even then an amount of the dark compounds from the leaf seem to help sublingual absorption of salvinorin. (which will be removed if continuing to clean the extract to a white purity as shown in step 7, below). When dissolving the extract in Ethanol to make tincture, decide on the amount of tincture which can be made out of the amount of salvinorin contained in the amount of leaf extracted from and dissolve all of your extract into that amount of Ethanol. If having extracted from 100 grams of dried leaf you should be able to make at least 5 to 6 ounces of 151-191 proof Ethanol tincture from that amount of extract. If you have extracted from enough leaf to make six ounces of tincture dissolve all of the extract into six ounces of Ethanol all at once instead of making each one separately, otherwise if using too much extract to make a single ounce of Ethanol the excess salvinorin which won't fully dissolve into the Alcohol will end up in the bottom of the tincture bottle as a solid, making a dose of tincture far too potent if a large portion of the solids are accidentally sucked up into a dosing dropper. Although, there is one positive way to look at it if you find Salvinorin solids in the bottom of your Alcohol, you can be assured that the Alcohol contains as much salvinorin as can be dissolved into it. This would be a good way to make sure the tincture is strong enough by using only half as much Ethanol as you believe is needed to completely dissolve all of the salvinorin extracted from your leaf, and then continuing to add more of the drinking Alcohol a little at a time until all of the extract completely dissolves into the fluid.

Note: If using 191 proof Ethanol this Alcohol probably won't hold much more than 1.2 mg of salvinorin per ml of fluid when at room temperature, 98% Ethanol should hold close to 1.3 mg per ml of fluid. A moderate amount of Chlorophyll compounds from the leaf dissolved into Ethanol have been reported to allow tincture to hold more salvinorin per ml, approaching 1.5 mg or more per ml if using very high proof Ethanol. I have found when making my own tincture using 151 proof Ethanol and dissolving near pure salvinorin into this relatively low proof Alcohol that the tincture was not at all effective without also having Chlorophyll compounds from the leaf present in the tincture too. If you have removed every bit of Chlorophyll that can be removed from your extract using pure Naphtha you don't need to be concerned, there will still be enough in the extract to make tincture out of any 151 proof drinking Alcohol of your choice. Whether tincture made from 151 proof drinking Alcohol needs some of the Chlrophyll compounds in it to make an effective tincture because without it, salvinorin can't be efficiently dissolved into 151 proof Alcohol which is nearly 25% water, or whether the Chlorophyll compounds actually help increase sublingual absorption of salvinorin is unknown to me at the time of this writing. Perhaps it does both.

Step 7

To further purify your extract begin washing the solids with very small amounts of 99% Isopropanol in a ratio of no more than 1/3 dried extract to 2/3 Isopropanol in a small 20-30 milliliter vial or shot glass until the extract is a light colored salvinorin. This is done by pouring in IPA and mixing the extract into it for a couple of minutes until the fluid becomes a dark color and then setting the small glass aside to wait for the fine crystalline salvinorin particles to settle to the bottom of the glass which can take an hour or more the first time. During the first wash of the extract with 99% IPA the fluid will likely become so darkly colored that once the majority of the salvinorin particles have settled it can be difficult to tell where the fluid and solids separate in the glass, because of this remove no more than half of the volume of fluid off the top before adding more Isopropanol. This can be done by either using an eye dropper to remove half of the volume of fluid from the top (don't dip too deep), or by carefully pouring half of the fluid out of the glass while closely watching under a strong light to make sure none of the solids start to flow out with the fluid, although when pouring the fluid off you probably won't be able to get the last third or more of the fluid out without also pouring some of the solids off to, so using an eye dropper is my preferred method to reduce losses. To continue washing your extract to a lighter color higher purity extract re-fill the glass with fresh Isopropanol and stir it in again for a minute or two and then set the glass aside for two hours to give enough time for all of the salvinorin particles to settle to the bottom of the glass. As the salvinorin becomes cleaner with each wash of the solids, the micron sized crystalline particles of salvinorin will take longer and longer to settle out of the fluid, taking as long as three hours or more to completely settle after each wash when using a single ounce sized glass, longer for larger capacity containers due to the increased amount of fluid. Don't pour the fluid off of the cleaned salvinorin in the bottom of the glass if the fluid has a cloudy look (assuming you don't have lots of tannin contaminate in it) because this means that you still have lots of fine salvinorin particles floating or suspended in the fluid and you should wait for however long it takes for them to settle before removing the fluid or you will be loosing too high a percentage of your yield. You can continue washing the extract until it is a light green color or all the way to white if you like, however this will increase your losses, up to 25% going as high as 50% if you don't wait long enough for all of the fine particles to settle which sometimes takes hours. Cleaning the solids to a white color isn't necessary because once it's a light green tint the extract is a high enough purity to consider it over 90% salvinorin for use to enhance leaf, just use 10-15% more extract when lightly colored to make up for being less than completely pure. Be sure to save all of your Isopropanol from the first wash plus as it can contain a quarter or more of your salvinorin, depending upon how much was used, how far you cleaned the extract and whether you waited for all of the salvinorin A particles to settle before pouring off. If having extracted from 100-250 grams of leaf, use no more than 25 ml of 99% Isopropanol per wash, if extracting from one ounce of leaf no more than 8-10 ml per wash. Although salvinorin is weakly soluble to 99% Isopropanol take great care to use as little as possible or you will loose too much salvinorin with each wash to the point of removing most of your yield if too much is used.

Note: Small amounts of Isopropanol can hold far more chlorophyll impurities than salvinorin on a milliliter basis and due to this when the extract is washed through several times with a few milliliters of this solvent at a time more and more of the green is removed while the bulk of the salvinorin will remain behind. However, in an inverse of the technique of waiting for the tannin sediments to fall out of the Isopropanol or Acetone used to extract leaf which on a ml basis will hold far more salvinorin than the amount which was dissolved into it, this time you will be waiting for the salvinorin to fall out of the Isopropanol because the limited amount of solvent used it cannot hold all of the salvinorin being washed. Half of the salvinorin particles will be relatively large and will fall out of the fluid in just 20 minutes and smaller particulates will continue to fall out of the fluid for three hours or more. To prevent large losses of your yield to the Isopropanol washes of the extract you must wait for all of the extra fine salvinorin particulates to fall out of the solvent, waiting for the fluid to become completely clear. The Isopropanol can be dark to lightly colored from white through shades of yellow all the way to dark almost black looking green, but never cloudy before you remove the fluid or you can loose a significant portion of your yield. However, you don't have to wait as long for the salvinorin particles to fall out of the fluid as you did for the tannin sediments because salvinorin is a relatively heavy compared to the tannin particulates and will fall out much faster.

When washing the extract with small amounts of Isopropanol in a one ounce or smaller glass container I recommend waiting an hour or more for the finer salvinorin particles to settle to the bottom of the glass before removing the IPA, but if after shaking the glass or stirring the glass for two minutes so the solvent will dissolve chlorophyll into it, if you place the glass in a microwave oven for just a few seconds, less than 10 seconds in my machine (top off), the extremely small bubbles which form in the solvent as it starts to boil will cause most of the salvinorin particles to almost immediately settle to the bottom of the glass. Only thing is you have to be very careful not to allow the fluid to go into a rolling boil which will cause the fluid to spill out of the glass and raise the already present danger of fire from vapors igniting in a microwave oven. I don't recommend anyone use a microwave oven for this technique, it would be better to find another way to heat the fluid to just under a rolling boil without flame or red hot surfaces etc. than to use a microwave oven. I have used a microwave oven to heat small one once containers of Alcohol to just under a rolling boil at least a hundred times in my machine, but what happens on attempt 101?

Using this tweak to the extraction tek you only have to wait as little as 5 minutes after heating the fluid for most of the particles to settle, although it would be best to place the glass in a freezer to cool the fluid to at least room temperature so that the solubility of the fluid is much lower prior to removing the IPA, because some of the particles will have just dissolved into the warm IPA which can hold much more salvinorin in the dissolved state which can make the fluid appear clearer than when at room temperature which was not warm enough for all of the finer particles to dissolve into, some of them taking several hours to completely settle if this technique isn't used. Regardless, the amount of the particles which dissolve are minor compared to the amount which will have fallen out of the fluid to the bottom of the glass. As soon as the IPA cools to 20°C. or less, which won't take long for a small amount of fluid if placed in a freezer, you can then remove the IPA from the small glass using an eye dropper or carefully pour the fluid off watching to make sure that the larger particles of salvinorin don't pour out with the fluid. Of course, you will then want to set the fluid you removed aside for an hour or even hours and recover the finer particles which will take longer to fall out of the fluid, but far less than you would have had otherwise.

Sometimes I just evaporate all of the IPA I have used to wash the extract completely down once more to dry extract and then start all over again removing impurities with more IPA, but in far smaller amounts because there will be less material to work with. I measured the amount of salvinorin lost to the IPA in a 30 ml capacity vial of 99% Isopropanol cleaning 430 mg of salvinorin and then heating the fluid to boiling to get the fine particles to drop, then allowing the fluid to cool to 60°F. in a freezer before pouring the clear green tinted fluid off and the amount of salvinorin removed from the extract was almost 20% or about 70 milligrams when doing a single IPA wash of fairly clean salvinorin which had already been washed twice before. As you can see, the losses from multiple washes of extract can add up quick and only two washes with 30 ml's of IPA can cause a loss of nearly 40% your salvinorin. A high price to pay to purify the extract, but not a real loss as you can recover most of it later by evaporating the IPA all the way out and starting over again. Theoretically, since 27°C. Isopropanol only holds 0.74 mg per ml of fluid I would not expect to loose as much as 70 mg of salvinorin to 30 ml of fluid, so I don't know why that much was removed when cleaning 430 mg of light green colored salvinorin, but that is the amount I measured even after letting the fluid cool back down to 60°F. before pouring it off of the salvinorin in the bottom of the glass. Perhaps I should have let the fluid cool much further down, to near 40°F. to be sure that the salvinorin fully precipitated out of the fluid before removing it.

If you have extracted from less than 10 grams of dried leaf I don't recommend removing Chlorophyll compounds from the extract using Isopropanol if having extracted from that small an amount of leaf, it can be done if you use small enough vials only using a couple of milliliters of 99% IPA per wash, but smaller amounts of leaf require a higher amount of skill obtained through practice. Only use 99% Isopropanol to purify extract, 70% will not work, 94% might not work either. 98% Ethanol can be used but salvinorin is almost twice as soluble to high proof Ethanol and will remove close to twice as much Salvinorin per ml of fluid. When refining salvinorin with 99% Isopropanol or high proof Ethanol all the way the extract will not be pure white, it will be a off white. Salvinorin can be refined to a bright white powder using limited amounts of Acetone, but this cannot be easily accomplished when working with small amouts of salvinorin. However, Acetone can be reasonable to use if refining the extract from from several kilos of leaf as a follow up process after first having removed as much of the chlorophyll as can be accomplished using 99% IPA. The reason to use 99% IPA first is because you will have far less losses of salvinorin in a solvent which salvinorin is weakly soluble to compared to the almighty king of solvents for salvinorin which is Acetone. If you have several grams of IPA cleaned salvinorin which is an off white color Acetone can be used to further purify the extract to produce an absolutely brilliantly white salvinorin powder, but at a fairly high cost of total yield due to the amount of salvinorin this solvent can hold per ml of fluid so use this solvent extremely sparingly. Of course, these losses are not real losses because you can save all of your salvinorin containing solvents used to purify your extract because they can be re-worked again to get most of the salvinorin out of them using smaller quanties of solvent via the same purification process.

Step 8

Once your extract has been cleaned to the color desired and completely dry and free of any other solvent, you can check to make sure it does not contain any tannin impurity by dissolving all of your extract into 100 ml of warm Acetone and waiting 12 or more hours to see if tannin particles fall to the bottom of the glass. You don't need to worry about trying to dissolve too much salvinorin in 100 ml of Acetone from a 250 gram extraction of leaf because that amount of Acetone should easily hold close to four times the amount of Salvinorin in the dissolved state which would be contained from that amount of average potency leaf, being able to hold approximately 2300 milligrams of salvinorin when at room temperature. If the fluid appears at all cloudy after dissolving salvinorin into it this means that either you didn't dissolve the salvinorin into the fluid thoroughly enough, or there is lots of fine tannin present. Unless tannin is present and stirred up into the Acetone it should be clear, it can be colored from a light yellow to a dark green tint if you didn't remove all of the Chlorophyll, but never cloudy before you pour the fluid off or something is wrong. If after a few hours the Acetone is still cloudy continue to wait, the tannin will fall out of the fluid eventually, taking as long as 24 hours in one case when I did it. When your ready to pour the Acetone out for evaporation to net your tannin free salvinorin don't try to get the last few milliliters of fluid out of the glass because some of the tannin will come along with them, better to add more Acetone and shake it up to dissolve what ever remaining Salvinorin there might be in the remaining fluid or mixed into the tannin sediments than to try to pour out every last drop of fluid. Of course, you will have to wait for the tannin to settle out again.

Here is a standardization procedure so that you can add salvinorin back to leaf.
This came from a well known Salvia divinorum researcher explaining how to make 6X enhanced leaf:

The method is simple: Dissolve a measured quantity of salvinorin A in a solvent, and then absorb it onto a measured quantity of crumbled salvia leaves. Evaporate off the solvent, and Wha-la!

Here is a more detailed explanation: To make salvinorin A enhanced leaf that contains 15 mg salvinorin A per gram of leaf, dissolve 12.5 mg* pure salvinorin A in 1 ml of warm acetone, and then add 1 gram of crumbled salvia leaves and stir. The leaves will absorb the salvinorin A-containing acetone. Place the container in a well-ventilated location and wait for the acetone to evaporate off. Stir the leaves occasionally during the evaporation period. Make sure that the acetone has evaporated completely--there should be absolutely no smell of acetone left on the leaves.

* The amount of salvinorin A to use will vary depending on the salvinorin A content of the leaves that it is being absorbed onto. If the leaves are of average potency, containing 2.5 mg salvinorin A per gram, then you would deposit 12.5 mg salvinorin A onto them to bring the concentration to 15 mg per gram (as in the above example). Of course, one can standardize the leaves to other concentrations as well. The more precisely you know the salvinorin A content of the leaves, the more accurately you can standardize them. I use very pure salvinorin A for this procedure. If you are using material that is impure, you will need to take into consideration the percentage of impurities when calculating the amount of material to use. Obviously, the same technique can be used to deposit salvinorin A onto other types of leaf.

I strongly advise against smoking leaf that contains more than 15 mg salvinorin A per gram unless the individual doses can be accurately weighed. At this concentration, the amount of smoke produced provides a certain amount of safety because it makes it difficult for a person to accidentally inhale too large a dose in a single inhalation. If you have a precision balance that can accurately weigh small doses, then stronger concentrations are preferable since the amount of smoke can be minimized without compromising safety.

Note: Acetone is the best solvent to use for enhancing leaf because so little fluid is required to completely dissolve relatively large amounts of salvinorin, and evaporates fairly rapidly compared to Alcohol.

Is there a way to make a less harsh smoking enhanced Salvia divinorum leaf?

Yes, although this might actually make the leaf too easy to smoke. I have found that Salvia divinorum leaf is much easier to smoke when most of the Chlorophyll and tannin has been removed from it. Here is how I make my own high quality standardized Salvia divinorum leaf:

The first thing I do is hand select each leaf for quality, setting aside the stiff dark to almost black colored leaf in favor of the lighter colored soft green leaves. Once I have my pile of leaf to be made into incense I carefully hand de-vein the stem running through the center of each leaf being careful to keep the leaf in as few pieces as possible. When I have a full bowl of de-stemmed and de-veined broken leaf I then extract the leaf with a room temperature solvent such as Acetone or 99% Isopropanol several times to remove as much of the Chlorophyll from the leaf as I can. Of course, I save the extract to be processed later, but because of the extra work required selecting the best leaf and de-veining them this process isn't meant to obtain Salvinorin, but rather to condition the leaf to ready it for salvinorin enhancement.

After your done extracting your leaf to remove as much Chlorophyll as you can with solvent, evaporate all of the solvent out of it so that it is completely dry without a hint of solvent smell in the leaf and then boil all of the leaf together in a pot of hot water for a half hour or more, once the water turns brown pour it off and add more water to boil the leaf again. Keep doing this over and over until the water will no longer take on a brown color. When done pour all of the water off of the leaf and spread it out on a cookie sheet and dry in an oven set to between 125 and 150°F. for however long it takes to completely dry, usually several hours in a convection oven. After the leaf is completely dry you can use it to make your own standardized enhanced leaf at what ever X factor you desire. When Salvia divinorum leaf is conditioned this way by removing most of the Chlorophyll and tannin first the leaf will then readily absorb salvinorin dissolved into Acetone when making standardized leaf.

If you have finely crushed leaf instead of large pieces you can process the leaf just the same, but I like to keep the leaf in as large and few pieces as possible because when drying in an oven they will shrink quite a bit. Also, I believe that large pieces of enhanced leaf are better than smaller pieces because it provides far more options for how it can be burned. The only thing is, when you have such nice big pieces of enhanced leaf you won't want to package it in small plastic bags which can easily allow the leaf to be crushed or broken further. For this kind of special standardized leaf I like to package the leaf in a small round tin so that it can't get smashed or broken into smaller pieces. These little tins can be purchased in large lots fairly cheaply from a company called

Is there still room in the market for more Salvia vendors?

Prior to this process being made available on the net the price of high purity salvinorin was from $5000.00 to $8,000.00 USD for a single gram. Most vendors who sell high purity salvinorin are getting from $750.00 to $1,000.00 a gram, costing them only $100.0 dollars for both leaf and solvent but the time invested to efficiently extract and refine a salvinorin into a gram of white purity crystalline powder can take up a whole weekend or more. If working with large batches of leaf the amount of time required per gram can be reduced because the same steps and amount of time are required whether working with large or small amounts of leaf. I do not sell salvinorin or enhanced leaf myself but several vendors using this same process are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year selling standardized Salvia divinorum leaf and due to the increasing popularity of Salvia divinorum there is plenty of room in the market for new vendors.

Extraction notes, insights to the process:

Extraction solvents and fluid volume

The solubility of pure salvinorin at 27°C. in Acetone is approximately 23 mg per ml of fluid, for 98% Ethanol 1.28 mg per ml and for 99% IPA .74 mg per ml of fluid. For Acetone extractions I like to use enough solvent so that its volume is at least the same as the volume of the powdered or crushed leaf being extracted and when using 98% Ethanol or 99% IPA at least two thirds or more times of solvent volume to the amount of crushed or powdered leaf which is in reality is more than required on a solubility basis, but due to these solvents being less effective at dissolving the salvinorin out of the leaf than Acetone I prefer to use more as an added measure just to make sure. Also, increasing the amount of fluid allows the leaf to be easily and thoroughly mixed within the solvent when stirring. The amount of time the leaf is soaked in either solvent can be extended for as long as you wish, this will only help increase the extraction efficiency, however I have found that when extracting Salvia divinorum leaf five times over for five minutes each time with 99% Isopropanol that it won't get all of the salvinorin out, usually leaving 10 to 20% of the salvinorin behind which requires an additional long term soaking of the leaf to get the last of it out. When using Acetone to extract leaf I have found that it will remove the salvinorin so efficiently that when re-extracting the leaf a fourth time over to check and see if any was left behind I have not been able to get enough additional salvinorin to be able to tell. If using Isopropanol I do not recommend using anything less than 99% for this quick extraction method as IPA with large amounts of water in it will dramatically increase the amount of time required to efficiently extract the salvinorin. 91% to 94% IPA found on some store shelves might work for short extractions, but I haven't tried it to know.

Tannin Removal

This extraction process has three separate steps incorporated into it to remove tannin impurities, the first step will get most of it, the second step another portion and the last step every bit of it if you are careful. Waiting 24 hours for the tannin to fall out is better than 12 hours but be sure to keep the extraction solvent in the dark the whole time while waiting because if it is left out in bright sunshine you can loose some of your yield due to the interaction of ultra-violet light which can destroy salvinorin while in solvent. Almost everyone has the same problem with tannin the first few times they try this extraction technique, ending up with far more of it in their extract than they believed possible thinking that all of it must have certainly settled out of the fluid when waiting as many as 24 hours for it to come out of the fluid, but it's still in there to some extent, especially if having used a solvent with any amount of water in it. To deal with this common problem I have worked an additional step into the process to wash out tannin that remains in the extract after cleaning with Naphtha (drying first) using water and then one more tannin removal step at the end of the process by dissolving the cleaned extract into Acetone and waiting 12-24 hours to see if more drops out of the fluid because at that point regardless of your best efforts you will likely still have some of it in the extract. Be careful not to touch your face or other sensitive areas of skin when working with Salvia divinorum wetted by solvent or when having residues from the extract on your hands. Something in the leaf can cause an allergic reaction which I believe is caused by the tannin in the leaf which is a acidic astringent causing sensitive areas of skin to become reddened along with an amount of swelling and later flaking of skin which can last several days. I have never had a problem with the skin on my hands or arms but my face always has this reaction if I scratch my nose or rub my eyes when slight amounts of extraction residues or are present on my fingers this happens every time.

Using Solvents to Remove Chlorophyll

The reason I use Naphtha to remove Chlorophyll from extract first, before switching to Isopropanol, is because salvinorin isn't soluble to Naphtha but the Chlorophyll is. Unfortunately, after a few washes of the extract with Naphtha it becomes ineffective for removing the last of the Chlorophyll requiring the use of another solvent such as 99% Isopropanol to get the last of it. Although 99% Isopropanol does an excellent job of removing the remaining Chlorophyll, this solvent removes at least three quarters of a milligram of the salvinorin per ml of fluid when at 20°C., more when IPA is warmer, less when cooler. Also, the solubility of salvinorin has been reported by an experimenter to be much higher in 99% IPA when large amounts of Chlorophyll compounds from the leaf are present which can result in a significant portion of your yield being removed with each wash of your extract if you use too much, so use it very sparingly. You can recover a large portion of the salvinorin lost to the Isopropanol washes by completely evaporating the solvent and removing the Chlorophyll waxes using the same process over again with Naphtha and IPA in much smaller amounts. Save all of your Naphtha used for the washes because although salvinorin is insoluble to Naphtha there are usually extremely small particles of salvinorin in the fluid which take much longer than an hour fall out of the fluid and can be found in the bottom of the container after a few hours netting another 10% of salvinorin. Save all of the IPA used to wash your extract because it can be evaporated onto leaf to make 5X enhanced leaf or after evaporation reconstituted into drinking Alcohol to make tincture, depending on how much salvinorin was removed through the washes. Be sure to scrape every bit of film from the sides of your evaporation container because high purity salvinorin films stick to the surfaces of evaporation containers whether stainless steel, ceramic or glass. This is one way to know you have salvinorin, because it sticks to these surfaces so well. To see photographs of a room temperature 99% IPA extraction of Salvia divinorum leaf and Chlorophyll being removed from extract using Naphtha and 99% Isopropanol, go to:

Reduced Chlorophyll Extractions Using Chilled Acetone

Although I don't believe it's necessary to go to the extent to use chilled Acetone to reduce the amount of Chlorophyll extracted from leaf when most of the dark compounds can be later removed from the extract using washes of pure Naphtha, Acetone chilled to between zero and +20°F. is an effective method of initially obtaining a cleaner extract which is somewhat easier to refine into white salvinorin. A chilled Acetone extraction is done using exactly the same steps as shown above for room temperature solvents, except to reduce the amount of Chlorophyll extracted the amount of time the leaf is in the cold Acetone should be limited to between three to four minutes at the most for each of the three extractions, extracting the same leaf three times over to maintain a fairly high extraction efficiency. When working in a room temperature environment pre-chilling both the leaf and the extraction container with the Acetone together to a temperature no higher than 20°F. will help keep the temperature below 40°F. throughout the extraction. You want to start out cold and keep the solvent cold throughout the extraction, but when working in a warm room the temperature of the fluid can increase by 20°F. to be as high 40°F. while finishing up the last of the three extractions. This amount of temperature increase is ok, but no warmer than that and only during the last couple of minutes the leaf is in the solvent or you will begin to pull over additional Chlorophyll in a hurry. When working in a warm room and extracting with Acetone chilled to close zero°F. this should keep the temperature of the leaf in the solvent at or below +20°F. the whole time which results in a cleaner extract, so if you can chill it that far down it's a good way to reduce the amount of Chlorophyll extracted even further without impacting your extraction efficiency because of the high solubility of salvinorin in Acetone, even when chilled to zero°F. cold Acetone is still far more effective for dissolving salvinorin from the leaf than high proof room temperature Ethanol Alcohol, so don't worry about chilling the Acetone that far down, your extraction efficiency will still remain very high when using zero degree F. Acetone. If you are considering the idea of using chilled Isopropanol to extract leaf it won't work, I tried 99% IPA and found that it required four times the amount of time in solvent for one quarter the extraction efficiency of Acetone! However, salvinorin has been reported to remain solvent in pure Ethanol Alcohol (grain Alcohol) when chilled to low temperatures and might be worth trying, but I have not done so to confirm this myself. Regardless, chilled Ethanol will not be as effective as chilled Acetone which has a much higher solubility to salvinorin than room temperature Ethanol.

Extremely brief extractions of Salvia divinorum leaf of one minute or less with Acetone chilled to between zero and +20°F., with exception of an amount of tannin extracted, will yield an almost wax free extract of high purity salvinorin. When extracting Salvia leaf for just one minute you won't get all of the salvinorin out but you should get close to a third or more of it. The amount of reduced solubility of salvinorin to chilled Acetone is completely made up for when doing multiple extractions to the same leaf, even when the Acetone is chilled to as far down as zero°F. At one time I had reported that chilled Acetone extractions were far less efficient than room temperature Acetone because when using 99% IPA to remove Chlorophyll from the extract I did not wait long enough for the salvinorin particles to all settle out of the fluid and wasn't due to the Acetone being chilled, so if you see any of my old reports that chilled Acetone extractions are less efficient than room temperature you can disregard that report. If your worried that you are leaving salvinorin A behind when using chilled Acetone extract the leaf a fourth time over, but keep that portion of the solvent separate from the rest as it will have more Chlorophyll in it than the previous three extractions. I have done forth extractions to leaf previously extracted three times over for three minutes using both chilled and room temperature Acetone to be sure I didn't leave any salvinorin behind, and after removing tannin and Chlorophyll contaminates found so little salvinorin that I couldn't isolate it through washes with Naphtha and IPA because when finished there was nothing left to be seen in the bottom of the vial. I have also taken the leaf from room temperature and chilled Acetone extractions (after it dried) and powdered the leaf in a small high RPM coffee grinder to a flour-like consistency and when re-extracting it with Acetone was unable to get any amount of salvinorin that I could see out of it.

The photograph below shows a chilled Acetone extraction that started at +5°F. which warmed up to +15°F. by the time it was completed which is fairly typical when working in a warm room, even if you have pre-chilled both your leaf and extraction containers together with the Acetone at the same time. Shown in the photograph is the first wash of the extract with Naphtha, two washes with water and then four washes with 99% IPA to further remove impurities yielding white salvinorin. The weight of salvinorin shown in the photograph of the scale is NOT representative of the extraction efficiency because when I did this extraction I did not wait long enough for the super fine salvinorin particles to fall to the bottom of the glass and unknowingly removed lots of salvinorin when using the IPA to remove Chlorophyll waxes. I later recovered the salvinorin from the last two washes by completely evaporating the IPA and cleaning it once more using Naphtha and more IPA which netted another 200 mg of salvinorin making a total of 525 mg of cleaned salvinorin from the 250 gram extraction, which is very good for average potency leaf. This doesn't include the salvinorin lost from the first two 99% IPA washes. When removing Chlorophyll waxes with 99% IPA the cleaner the salvinorin gets the longer it takes to settle to the bottom, taking an hour or longer to all settle to the bottom of the glass. If you have removed most of the dark green from your salvinorin and are left with a cloudy yellow fluid this means that you still have lots of super fine salvinorin particles floating in the IPA (as seen in the photograph below, the IPA was still cloudy) and must wait until the fluid is completely clear before pouring off the IPA. The fluid can be colored, but not so cloudy that you can't see through it as solvents which are fully saturated with salvinorin are never that cloudy and should be clear unless salvinorin particles are still floating in it (unless fine tannin particles are still present). Even if you have waited long enough for all cloudiness to settle out of IPA used to remove Chlorophyll impurities from your extract be sure to save this solvent because something in the dark Chlorophyll compounds from the leaf appears to increase the solubility of salvinorin to Isopropanol to be able to hold well over 1 mg per ml of salvinorin per ml of fluid, reported to some times be as high as 5 mg per ml by a chemist who had the use of an HPLC to test the solubility of salvinorin in a few different solvents. Whether the ability of IPA to hold that much salvinorin per milliliter was due to an actual increase of a solubility to IPA or whether it was caused by fine particles of salvinorin that were still floating in the solvent is something to consider.

The following image shows a chilled Acetone extraction which yielded a total of 525 milligrams of cleaned salvinorin from 250 grams of finely crushed leaf. The photograph showing 324 mg of cleaned salvinorin did not include the salvinorin recovered from the IPA used to remove chlorophyll. The extraction efficiency was close to 100% but the yield of cleaned salvinorin was close to 85% after recovering the salvinorin lost to only the last two of the four washes of the extract with 99% Isopropanol. The losses of salvinorin to IPA washes was far greater with the cleaning of the extract from this extraction than it should have been because I did not wait long enough for all of the ultra-fine salvinorin particles to settle out of the fluid prior to pouring the IPA off of the amount of salvinorin which had settled to the bottom in the first hour. I should have waited up to three hours for the fluid to completely clear so that all of the ultra-fine particles had time to settle to the bottom of the glass before removing the IPA. I have left the pictures in showing what Isopropanol clouded with salvinorin particles looks like to show you what not to do. In each of the photographs of IPA with salvinorin in the bottom of the glass you can see these particles making the fluid very cloudy, but once they settle you can see through the colored fluid (except the first wash with IPA which is too dark due to chlorophyll). I did not try to recover the salvinorin from the first two 25 ml washes of IPA due to the amount of chlorophyll, but could have done so making the total amount of cleaned salvinorin approach 600 mg. Not bad, considering 250 grams of average potency leaf contains about 2.5 mg per gram of leaf for a total of 625 mg of salvinorin.

Note: The manufacturer's web site for the small balance in the photos is
They no longer appear to make that model and have replaced it with a model named the Diagem II CT 50 with a list price of US$ 229. It's accuracy is ±2 mg which is accurate enough for weighing salvinorin to make several grams of enhanced leaf at a time, especially if over measured by 2-4 mg.

How can I grow Salvinorin crystals or isolate them from extract?

Growing crystals isn't always easy or guaranteed to be produced each time, but here are two ways that I have done it. The first two methods were taught to me, the third method I developed myself:

Methods for Salvinorin Crystallization:

  1. Crystalline precipitation in cooling solvents: Dissolve as much near pure salvinorin powder as you can into 151 proof Everclear Ethanol Alcohol (25% water) warmed to 130-140°F. and then wait for it to cool to see if crystals appear (191 proof Ethanol containing only 5% water might work better). Sometimes I have to re-heat a vial of Salvinorin and Ethanol several times to at or just below boiling before they might grow when cooling. If they are going to appear they should be there within an hour or two. Each time I re-heat a vial containing salvinorin dissolved into 151 proof Everclear Alcohol I loose some of the Salvinorin and crystals don't always grow, but they usually show up on the fourth try.

  2. Crystalline deposits from solvent evaporation: Dissolving high purity salvinorin into Acetone and allowing the solvent to slowly evaporate at room temperature so that it evaporates very slowly will sometimes produce large crystal formations over a period of a few days to a week, but not always. I have grown crystals by evaporating Acetone fairly quickly in either an oven at 120 degrees f (just an ounce of solvent) or by having a fan blow air across an ounce of salvinorin saturated Acetone, but the crystals usually do not form as large as they do when the evaporation occurs slowly. Also, if you have not removed enough of the chlorophyll waxes the crystals will be hard to see, so try to remove as much of it as you reasonably can if your going to try to grow crystals. The extract should be better than 90-95% free of Chlorophyll impurity if trying to grow crystals otherwise the waxy impurities will hide them from view or stick to the surfaces of the crystalline structures, although if the evaporation container is both small and deep enough like some spice bowls are the Chlorophyll in the solvent usually deposits high up on the sides of the glass as the fluid level evaporates down, by the time the solvent level gets near the bottom of the glass where crystals start to precipitate out of the fluid, most of the Chlorophyll is already out of the solvent.

  3. Isolation of crystals from dried extract using Naphtha: Through trial and error extraction research I was surprised to find that the dark waxy extract from a 99% Isopropanol extraction of Salvia divinorum is loaded with small crystals which are formed within the dark waxy Chlorophyll compounds as the solvent evaporates. The following explains how to isolate them out of dried extract but will only work if you have removed as much of the tannin contaminate as you can from the extraction solvent first. The way I do this is by letting the extraction solvent sit undisturbed for 12-24 hours to allow enough time for the tannin to settle out of the fluid as a fine sediment. Once the tannin has settled pour the extraction fluid into another container for evaporation, leaving the tannin behind. Next, the extraction solvent is completely evaporated leaving a dry waxy extract behind. Once free of any hint of extraction solvent and completely dry, pour in a few ounces of pure Naphtha and scrape every bit of the extract into the Naphtha, including all flims which may have formed on the sides of the evaporation container. Completely dissolve every bit of the extract into the fluid until all of the clumps are worked out of it. Once your finished working all of the clumps out of the extract it is very important to leave the container of Naphtha alone to sit still for at least a half hour or more to allow enough time for the fine salvinorin particulates stirred up into the Naphtha to settle to the bottom of the container. After the extraction solids have settled you can then pour the Naphtha off of the extract in the bottom and then add more clean Naphtha back to the container to wash the extract through again, waiting a half hour or more each time. Keep washing the extract with Naphtha until it will no longer take on much more color and has become a light tinted translucent green.

After it's obvious that Naphtha has become ineffective removing additional Chlorophyll and unable to take on more color with each additional wash of the extract, pour off all of the Naphtha and completely dry the extract of any hint of Naphtha. Next, pour in an ounce or more of water into your container of extract and stir for a couple of minutes, allow time for the particles to settle to the bottom of the glass and pour the water off, adding more water to the extract and stirring again. If tannin is present in the extract the water will become a yellow to brown tint, but if using a cup or more of water at a time small amounts of tannin being dissolved out of the extract might be so diluted by that large of an amount of water to be unable to see any change of color to know if its being removed, because of this I like to work with only an ounce of water at a time to be able to know when all of the tannin has been completely removed and I can stop washing with water. Once your done removing tannin with water completely dry the extract of all moisture and place all of the dried extract into a small two inch diameter spice bowl, or even a small shot glass or something of similar size. Next, pour in enough fresh Naphtha into the glass of extract so that there is about a half inch of Naphtha on top of the extract and briskly stir for about a minute with a spoon, then place the glass or bowl into an electric oven set to about 120°F. with its door cracked open a couple of inches and evaporate all of the Naphtha out of the glass. Keep the small container of Naphtha as far away from the heating elements as possible because there is potential for fire. When using this technique by leaving the glass or bowl completely undisturbed in a warm oven while the Naphtha is evaporating off the extract, the heavier salvinorin crystals will all fall to the bottom of the glass while the lighter Chlorophyll impurity forms an upper crust on top. Once all of the Naphtha has been completely evaporated out of your extract you can freeze the glass to cause the top layer of wax to stiffen up enough to be able to easily peel the crust off of the top to expose nothing but golden colored to light green high purity sand-like salvinorin crystals in the bottom of your glass. They might not seem like crystals unless seen under magnification, but they are.

Note: I stumbled upon method three as a complete surprise when I was experimenting with water extractions of leaf for an hour in boiling hot water, then removing the leaf and evaporating the water off all the way down to dry tannin which was then extracted using 99% IPA to recover the salvinorin lost to the water, about 50%. I then removed the tannin from the IPA through settling and after evaporation cleaned the extract with Naphtha as well as I could. After drying the Naphtha cleaned extract I then did a water of the powder just to be sure I had removed all of the tannin contaminates and then after pouring the water off dried the extract. As an added measure, just to make sure the extract was clean enough I added about an ounce of Naphtha to it and stirred the powder into the solvent to see if it would take on any more color, which it didn't, so instead of pouring the Naphtha off I just put it into an oven set to 120°F. to evaporate and was later surprised to find nothing but crystals under a thin crust of Chlrophyll. These crystals could not have formed within the Naphtha itself because salvinorin is insoluble to Naphtha, so the crystals had to have come strait out of the extract itself, having formed when the 99% Isopropanol was being evaporated down to a dry extract. Prior seeing this, I didn't know that the dark Chorophyll wax deposited upon evaporation of the extraction solvent had crystals in it and as far as I know neither did anyone else. No one seems to be very interested in using this new method yet, but in my opinion it is the easiest and most efficient way of obtaining high purity salvinorin that there is.

The above method of evaporating any amount of Naphtha in an electric oven could cause a fire or worse. I only post this for informational purposes. It worked for me without problems but it might not work for you without causing a fire!

Pictures from method one:

I grew the crystals in the pictures below by dissolving 900 milligrams of refined salvinorin powder (light green color) into 100 ml of hot 140°F. 151 proof Everclear drinking Alcohol (Ethanol) and then set aside for two hours at room temperature each time to see if crystals formed. I had to go through three cycles of heating and cooling before these beautiful crystals appeared. The first three times only a cloud appeared which was extremely small crystals, not visible to the eye except as a cloud. On the fourth heating I came back two hours later and found these beautiful large crystals had formed. When heating your Alcohol thoroughly shake or mix the salvinorin powder into the Alcohol to dissolve as much as possible. Keep adding salvinorin to the hot fluid until I will no longer dissolve any more and has a few specks of solid salvinorin in the bottom which won't completely dissolve to indicate that you have fully saturated the hot Alcohol. When the Ethanol cools back down to 20°C. sometimes salvinorin crystals will precipitate out of the fuild because the Alcohol cannot hold nearly as much salvinorin when cooled down to room temperature. Just leave it alone and let it cool down to room temperature setting on a shelf, nothing special needed. I have used 99% Isopropanol to grow crystals this way too, but they are always much smaller than when using Ethanol. Acetone won't form crystals at all, Methanol will sometimes form larger crystals than Ethanol, but hasn't been as reliable for me compared to 151 proof Everclear Alcohol which usually takes three or four cycles of re-heating the 100 ml jar before nice crystals form. I have been able to grow crystals in 151 proof Ethanol the same way using a much smaller 30 ml vial of hot Alcohol with as little as 100 mg of Salvinorin producing the same size of crystals.

Pictures from method two

The following two pictures are of some very nice white salvinorin crystals which formed through slow evaporation of Acetone at room temperature. These crystals were produce by adding white salvinorin powder into a small bowl full of Acetone warmed to a temperature of about 130°F. then stirring in as much salvinorin-A powder that could be dissolved into it and setting it aside for a week. When I came back I found these crystals. Sometimes crystals will grow, other times none will form at all. The second picture was taken close up using a zoom stereoscope set to 45X magnification. The light brown colored material at the base of the crystals is tannin sediment that was not removed from the salvinorin powder like I should have done by mixing water into the extract to dissolve any remaining tannin contaminate into it and then pouring the water off to remove it. Of course dried before adding to the hot Acetone.

Pictures from method three:

The following pictures are salvinorin crystals obtained strait out of dried Chlorophyll waxes from a 99% IPA extraction. The photograph on the left was taken on macro within about three inches of the bottom of a regular drinking glass used to evaporate Naphtha cleaned extract that had about a half inch of clean Naphtha stirred in just before placing the glass into an oven for evaporation. The smooth layer you see is a waxy crust of Chlorophyll waxes which formed on top of the salvinorin crystals below it. I tore a portion of the wax off the top to show the crystals underneath. The photograph on the right was taken with a zoom stereoscope set to 30X magnification.

If you're interested in more images, download this zipped file containing over 100 images of Salvinorin crystals.

Can handling pure salvinorin be absorbed through your skin when either dry or when dissolved into extraction solvents?

In my experience Salvinorin in the pure crystalline or powdered form is very safe to handle. I have worked with pure salvinorin both dry and dissolved into various solvents and have never had the slightest effect when handling this compound or solvents containing large amounts of it. salvinorin isn't easily absorbed through the skin, even when dissolved into Alcohol and held in the mouth salvinorin is poorly absorbed. I have tried using powdered crystalline salvinorin under my tongue from 5 milligrams working in small increments all the way up to 25 milligrams (which is 25 times the amount some individuals smoke) sublingually without Alcohol with absolutely no effect and when swallowed had no effect either. I have also tried up to 25 mg of the powder sublingually together with a few ml of 151 Proof Ethanol drinking Alcohol under my tongue with no effect. It appears that for salvinorin to be absorbed sublingually that it must be thoroughly dissolved into Alcohol, just having pure crystalline salvinorin powder in your mouth with an amount of 151 Proof Ethanol didn't work for me at all. The only caution I have when handling salvinorin is that if you are a smoker and have transferred salvinorin residues on your hands from an extraction onto a cigarette this could cause an unexpected journey, other than that pure salvinorin appears to be almost inert for effect unless absorbed through the use of a properly prepared tincture or smoked.

What are the relative solubilities of Salvinorin in the different solvents used to extract it?
(How much of these solvents does it take to dissolve 1000mg (one gram) of salvinorin?)

Salvinorin Solubilities (@ 27°C)
23 mg/mL (43.5 mL/g)
Methyl Alcohol (Methanol)
3.15 mg/mL (317 mL/g)
Ethyl Alcohol (Ethanol)
1.28 mg/mL (780 mL/g)
Isopropyl Alcohol (Isopropanol)
0.74 mg/mL (1350 mL/g)

Which solvents can I use to extract leaf and how much is required?

Many solvents can be used to extract Salvinorin from leaf but in my experience there is nothing better than Acetone due to the extremely high solubility of salvinorin to this solvent which is far above all of the Alcohol solvents. However, the Alcohols will do the job if you take the extra time and effort to needed to efficiently extract leaf when using them. I have stayed away from using Ethyl Alcohol (Methanol) for extractions because it is so toxic you don't want to be breathing the vapors from it or have it absorbed into your skin. Although my clear preference for Salvia divinorum extractions is reagent or technical grade Acetone, if you cannot find or afford clean technical grade Acetone you can use high proof 98% Ethanol which as a great second choice to Acetone, or medical grade 99% Isopropanol as a great third choice which will also do the job as long as you extract the leaf when using 99% Isopropanol longer and several times over what is required when using Acetone. Although some individuals use hardware store Acetone I don't recommend it, especially any kind of Acetone labeled "extra strength" as these usually contain large amounts of Benzene, a known cancer causing agent. However, it can be done with some of the store bought Acetone products if you know what to do. I'll explain how, when I first started experimenting with salvinorin extractions I couldn't afford to continue purchasing the amount of technical grade Acetone that I needed for my extraction experiments, so started using cheap hardware store Acetone for extractions to extract leaf from which the salvinorin obtained was never going to be used by myself or anyone else. I testing several brands of Acetone, of the ones I tested the one which evaporated most cleanly is made by Klean-Strip, but even this brand had a small amount of very light colored contaminate left in the bottom of a glass bowl when evaporating a 1000 ml of it in a test. I sought the advice of a chemist regarding this contaminate and his advice was that although hardware store solvents can have an amount of contaminate, none of them are produced by a manufacturing process which would contaminate the solvent with heavy metals and his advice regarding the slight amount of contaminate that I found was that it wasn't any more dangerous than the large amounts of waxy compounds extracted from Salvia divinorum leaf itself, making the very slight amount of light film deposited in a small light spot of film in the bottom of my bowl insignificant. When I say a light film I mean it was almost not even there, so there wasn't much to it at all. Regardless, the idea of using hardware store Acetone for Salvia extractions which someone might use for tincture or to smoke enhanced leaf made from it is a very unappealing thought to me and I hope for you too. However, that being said, there is one technique worth considering if using Acetone such as Klean-strip which evaporates very cleanly when I tested my batch of it; if your extracting Salvia leaf with store bought Acetone and after evaporation use Naphtha to remove Chlorophyll wax from the dried extract and then follow up with more washes with small amounts of 99% medical grade IPA, the slight amount of contaminate which might have come over from the Acetone or Naphtha will be washed out of the extract with the dark green Chlorophyll when using Isopropanol to clean the extract to a very light green tint or all the way to white colored, but only if you have cleaned your extract to that extent which is a lossy process because portions of the salvinorin will be dissolved into the IPA and washed out with each wash of the extract. Crystallization of the extract in hot Ethanol will further purify the salvinorin to a very high purity. I have been able to purify salvinorin extracted with hardware store Acetone and the crystals tested using an HPLC to be higher than 99.5% purity without showing evidence of anything else being present. While I have mentioned the above as a possible work around when using relatively clean hardware store Acetone, I would never use it for extractions intended for the commercial manufacture of salvinorin products and don't recommend anyone else do so.

Alcohols can be fairly effective extracting salvinorin out of leaf in a short amount of time but to be able to do so cannot have much water in them, this includes drinking Alcohols such as 151 proof Everclear Alcohol which is close to 25% water and thus a poor choice, but will work if you extract the leaf long enough for many hours and several times over, but how much salvinorin might be left behind is a question when using solvents with that much water in them, even if extracting for days on end. A gallon of Acetone, high proof Ethanol, or 99% Isopropanol should be enough to extract a full kilo of finely crushed to powdered leaf several times over as outlined above, but if your extracting from a full kilo of whole to coarsely crushed leaf then it requires about twice as much solvent due to the larger volume of the leaf and the amount of solvent needed to completely cover it compared to the much smaller volume when finely crushed or powdered, because of this I always finely crush my leaf to reduce the amount of fluid needed. When using Acetone to extract a kilo of leaf three times over far less solvent is really needed on a solubility basis compared to 99% Isopropanol/IPA, but use generous amounts of Acetone when working with either powdered or crushed leaf to be sure to get everything you can get out of the leaf. My recommendations when extracting finely crushed to powdered leaf is to use a ratio of 1/2 leaf to 1/2 Acetone, if using 99% Isopropanol I use a ratio of 1/3 leaf to 2/3 IPA, extracting the leaf several times over with fresh solvent each time whether using Acetone or 99% IPA to progressively remove more and more salvinorin from the leaf and also to dilute the salvinorn contained in the solvent that might be left behind in the wetted leaf. This is especially important when using Acetone because it can hold large amounts of salvinorin in just a few milliliters of fluid. When using either chilled or room temperature Acetone I extract my leaf from 3 to 5 minutes each time three times over and then pour more Acetone through the leaf two more times to remove salvinorin residuals. Extracting the leaf just two times with either chilled or room temperature Acetone for a couple of minutes each time with a single quick single pour through of more solvent should be enough to remove most of the salvinorin if you have stirred or shaken the leaf in the solvent well enough, but I recommend extracting the leaf three times over when using Acetone for longer periods of time and pouring solvent through the leaf two times when your done as added measure just to be thorough. If using 99% Isopropanol or high proof 98% Ethanol I recommend extracting the leaf for at least five minutes each time done at least five times over because the solubility of Salvinorin is so much lower to Alcohol solvents making longer term extraction of the leaf more important than when using Acetone. I don't recommend the use of 70 to 91 percent IPA or 151 proof Ethanol Alcohol to extract leaf because these solvents are far less efficient extracting salvinorin and also because of the extra amount tannin that solvents containing that much water can pull out of the leaf. However, if you cannot find solvents with very little water in them it has been reported on the net that you can extract leaf with 70% IPA if the leaf is soaked for a period of days and extracted several times over to be sure that you get as much salvinorin out that you can with water diluted solvents. I've never tried long term extractions with 70% IPA to know how well it works, but some swear by it as a good method if you soak the leaf for as much as five days in 70% IPA.

If you are able to find 191 proof Everclear in your area which contains less than 5% water this solvent might work well enough for short extractions but I haven't tried to extract leaf using 191 proof drinking Alcohol because the sale of high proof Ethanol is prohibited where I live and expensive to ship to me if I order it online. If you can find it in your area or don't mind the expense of having it shipped to you via air carrier, I believe 191 proof Ethanol would be a good second choice to 98% Ethanol which is even more expensive and harder to find, or as a third choice 99% IPA which is cheap, but for some hard to find too. On a solubility basis 98% Ethanol would be better than using 99% IPA because the solubility of salvinorin in near pure Ethanol approaches twice the solubility of 99% IPA which in my opinion makes 98% Ethanol a better extraction solvent even if it has 1% more water in it than 99% IPA which is a weaker solvent for salvinorin. Also, one thing to be said about extracting with high proof Ethanol or drinking Alcohol is that you would be working with food grade solvents which is a must if you are producing products to be sold for human consumption such as tincture. When doing room temperature extractions of powdered or crushed leaf with high proof Ethanol or 99% Isopropanol extractions will require more work to extract salvinorin out of your leaf than if using Acetone, but you can make up for the lower solubility of salvinorin to Alcohol by stirring and shaking your bowl or jar of leaf as vigorously as you can extracting for longer periods of time and a couple of more times over beyond what is needed when using Acetone. When using 99% Isopropanol I extract my powdered leaf for a minimum of 5 minutes each time up to five times, one right after the other with another couple of additional pours of fresh IPA through the leaf when I am done. I have found that when using IPA I am able to get close to 80-90 percent or more of the Salvinorin out of leaf when using this method so it will work, just more work. One of the things I like about 99% Isopropanol is that it is medical grade which means its a very clean solvent and can be easily found on many store shelves sitting right next to the 70% IPA. After I am done extracting leaf with any of the Alcohol solvents which include Ethanol and Isopropanol I always do a long term extraction of the leaf to be able to get the last of the salvinorin out. Of course, I could just as well do a long term extraction of the leaf to start with and then be assured at getting every bit of salvinorin which can be extracted out of the leaf, but I like getting on with things and do my extractions the quick way first and then follow up with a long term extraction to make sure to get the rest of it.

The reason I started working with 99% Isopropanol for extractions was because finding clean or reagent grade Acetone can be expensive and difficult to find locallyand expensive to ship as a flammable requiring next day air by most of the carriers. Although 99% IPA will do a fairly good job extracting Salvia divinorum leaf, I have found that even with my best efforts when using 99% Isopropanol I can't get the last 10-20 percent of the salvinorin out without an additional long term soaking of the leaf, but there is a way to increase the effectiveness of 99% Isopropanol, if you heat it to a higher temperature all the way up close to the boiling point it will become far more effective at extracting salvinorin than when at room temperature and should then be able to get the last of the salvinorin out of the leaf fairly easily if warmed that much. Warming any Alcohol will increase the solubility of salvinorin to them making hot Alcohol nearly as effective as room temperature Acetone. However, I don't warm my solvents because of the increased amount of vapors given off and the danger of ignition from static spark or other sources being increased when these vapors are present in large amounts caused by heating. While extracting leaf for long periods of time in any solvent be sure to store your jar away from light because you could loose some of your salvinorin due to the interaction of light with Salvinorin when in solvent. This isn't a problem for short periods of time unless your working in direct sunlight, however when extracting leaf in solvents for more than a few hours you should store your container of salvinorin containing solvent in the dark.

After extracting leaf and removing the tannin impurities first, how can I remove the Chlorophyll impurity to isolate salvinorin crystals?

The easiest and most efficient way I have found to get down to high purity crystalline salvinorin is very simple. I don't know if this works the same way when using Acetone to extract leaf, but this has worked every time for me when extracting leaf with 99% Isopropanol.

The following method can be used to obtain salvinorin crystals by extracting Salvia Divinorum leaf using 99% Isopropanol, removing all of the bits of leaf and then either filtering the extraction fluid or waiting for tannin sediments to fall out of the liquid to remove as much as you can that way first. Next, dissolve all of the extract into the Naphtha by hand working all of the clumps of extract into the Naphtha with a spoon until only fine granules remain in the fluid, then continuing to wash the extract several times over with more fresh Naphtha until it is obvious that the fluid has become ineffective for removing additional Chlorophyll because the extract won't get much lighter with each additional wash, and the Naphtha has become a very light green translucent color. Each time you wash your extract with Naphtha the fine salvinorin crystals will be churned up into the fluid and take a half hour or more to settle to the bottom of the container, so be sure to set the glass your using for the Naphtha washes aside for at least 30 minutes between washings of the extract before pouring the fluid off the solvents. When you first start washing the extract with Naptha the fluid will take on such a dark color that you will likely be unable to see where the fluid ends and the dark colored extract in the bottom begins. If after a half hour or more you are unable to see that the particles in the fluid have completely settled you can remove half of the fluid (as long as the glass wasn't filled more than 1/3 full of extract when it was dry) from the top using an eye dropper and then add more clean Naphtha to the glass stirring the extract for five minutes and waiting another 30 or more minutes for the fine salvinorin particles to settle again. After the second 30 ml wash of extract with Naphtha I have always been able to see a separation between the darker fluid and the lighter colored solid in the bottom of the glass. The amount of Naphtha used for each wash to remove Chlorophyll from the extract isn't critical, what ever amount is needed, you can use larger amounts without fear of loosing any of you salvinorin as long as you wait long enough for the salvinorin to settle to the bottom of the container each time. You can add four or more ounces of Naphtha at a time using a pint sized jar when cleaning your extract instead of a small shot glass and that will work out just fine, just keep adding and pouring off Naphtha until the extract is as clean as you can get it and then pour every last drop of Naphtha off of the extract and dry the extract until no hint of Naphtha remains. Collect all of the Naphtha used to remove Chlorophyll together in one container and set it aside for several hours and check it to see if more salvinorin particles have settle out of the fluid. I have been able to find as much as 10% of the salvinorin in the bottom of the Naphtha that didn't settle all of the way out with each 30 minute settling, so never throw it away until you have checked hours later to make sure your not wasting any of your yield that way.

After your completely finished with the Naphtha washes and the extract is completely dry without any hint of Naphtha smell remaining, crush and mix all of the extract together in a bowl with a spoon as finely as you can so that it is completely powdered and then start washing the powder with room temperature water until it will no longer take on a yellow or brown color. This step is to remove additional tannin that might still be in the extract, I can usually remove the remaining tannin with just a few one ounce washes with water but you can use a full cup or more at a time of you wish as salvinorin is insoluble to water, but when using that much water at a time to clean the extract from a 100g or less extraction of leaf you might not see any color to the water because the small amount of tannin would be so dilute that it might not turn the water a darker color when using that much at one time, that is why I like water washing the extract in a small vial or shot glass so I can see for myself if much tannin came over. Once you can see that the water will no longer take on any color completely dry the extract of all moisture and then put all of the extract into a small shot glass or spice bowl at or under two inch diameter and pour in enough fresh Naphtha so that the extract has about a half inch of Naphtha on top, about an ounce is all you need. Thoroughly stir the extract into the solvent with a spoon and then place the bowl in an electric oven set to about 120°F. with its door cracked open. Keep the glass of Naphtha as far away from the heating elements as possible because there is potential for fire. When using this technique by leaving the glass or bowl undisturbed while the Naphtha evaporates off the heavier salvinorin crystals will all settle to the bottom of the glass while the Chlorophyll wax forms an upper crust. Once completely dry place the glass container in a freezer for long enough to cause the top layer of wax to stiffen up enough to be able to peel off the upper crust by hand leaving almost pure golden colored to light green high purity micro-size crystals in the bottom of the glass. They might not seem like crystals unless seen under enough magnification, but they are.

Where can I get clean Naphtha?

I would never recommend using Naphtha for to remove Chlorophyll from Salvia extract to make commercial products to be sold to the public, but if you are just making it for yourself and follow up the Naphtha washes one last wash with 99% IPA or high proof drinking Alcohol you will wash out the majority of not all of the impurities which might have been introduced by the Naphtha.

It can be 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. A good check of hardware or store bought solvents is to evaporate out as much as you intend on using, 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 98% Ethanol or 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 to 40-50°F. because it is unable to hold as much salvinorin when cold but will still wash the waxes out. This might sound contradictory considering chilled solvents are used to help leave wax behind when extracting from leaf, but once it is extracted into a high concentration small amounts of cold 99 percent Isopropanol will remove some of the waxes with each wash, even when cold although marginal compared to room temperature Isopropanol it is one alternative to using Naphtha or room temperature Isopropanol which will work too but carries away more Salvinorin with each wash so use it sparingly. 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 30 parts per million benzene. Considering that it is only used to clean the extract of Chlorophyll compounds and is not evaporated down into the extract itself, and that benzene evaporates out very easily, I don't see it as a big issue but you should be aware of it. 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.

Can I use any kind of 151 Proof Alcohol to make tincture?

151 Proof drinking Alcohol will work for home made tincture, it won't be as strong as a tincture made out of 191 proof Alcohol because it contains close to 25% water but it will work well enough. I have made tincture using 151 proof Everclear so that there is no other taste added but others have reported using 151 proof rum which turned out to be very good. Tinctures made with 151 proof won't hold as much salvinorin because of the water but seem to work fine anyway, you just have to use more tincture for the same effect as commercially made tinctures that use 95-98% Ethanol.

Is there a way to make tincture that only requires a drop or two to have an effect?

As far as I know, no one is making a 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. I have heard of using small amounts of Acetone which can hold more than 20 mg of salvinorin per ml of fluid and sublingually dosing with it as a tincture requiring less than 10% the amount of fluid required when using high proof Ethanol alcohol, but Acetone isn't something people normally want to put in their mouth and how toxic small amounts of Acetone might be if used sublingually as a tincture is something I have never looked into. 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 98% Ethanol. I am not sure what the upward room temperature limit is, but I believe it to be somewhere around 1.5 mg per ml for 98% Ethanol, perhaps higher if some of the dark Chlorophyll compounds from the leaf are in it. It has been reported to me that when Chlorophyll compounds from the leaf present in Isopropanol or high proof 98% Enthanol that it can hold larger amounts of Salvinorin per ml, but I have not been able to confirm this report yet. Also, I am not sure how much Salvinorin 151 proof Alcohol will hold on a ml basis with close to 25% water in it, probably around one mg per ml of fluid.

If extracting leaf with an average potency of 2.5 mg of salvinorin per gram of dried weight 100 gram of dried leaf ought to have at least 250 mg of salvinorin but due to extraction losses I wouldn't bet on being able to extract out more than 200 mg, especially if using 99% IPA which isn't as efficient as Actone. If you extracted the leaf using 70% Isopropanol, even if for several days, it could be closer to 175 mg because the water in 70% isn't as effective making a solvent which is already weakly soluble to salvinorin even worse. An ounce of Alcohol contains 28 ml of fluid so if you extracted from 100g of average leaf using either 99% IPA or Acetone you ought to be able to make at least 4 to 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 you could make at 6 ounces of tincture out of 100 gram of average potency leaf.

I tried to make Salvia divinorum tincture out of pure white crystalline salvinorin trying to dissolve 40 mg of white powder into 28 ml of 151 proof Everclear Alcohol by warming the Alcohol to near boiling and stirring it all it. Initially all of the salvinorin completely dissolved into the fluid, but as it cooled at least a quarter of the salvinorin crystallized back out of the fluid making it very clear that 151 proof won't hold what Daniel's 98% proof Ethanol can hold. Later I tried using the tincture and found it to be very weak without much if any effect. Then I made another batch of tincture with enough of the Chlorophyll compounds from the leaf to color the Alcohol a very dark green color and found that the tincture was then effective again. From this I gather that there must be something in the leaf which either helps sublingual absorption of salvinorin or somehow increases the amount of salvinorin that can dissolve into the 151 proof Ethanol. Perhaps both are true, these compounds allow Alcohol to hold more salvinorin and at the same time help with sublingual absorption? Maybe the green compounds from the leaf are not needed as much for a tincture made from super high proof Ethanol such as 98% Alcohol, I wish I knew the answer to this but I am unable to locally obtain that high of a proof of Ethanol to know. What ever the reason, if your making a simple Salvia divinorum tincture with 151 proof Ethanol you want some of those Chlorophyll impurities in it and they might make higher proof tinctures more effective too.

If want to make a 151 proof tincture that isn't as strong or harsh tasting as one made with all of the Chlorophyll compounds extracted from the leaf you can improve the taste by removing a portion of these dark waxy compounds by washing the dried extract with Naphtha until it will no longer take on much more green becoming a light green translucent fluid, at that point stop washing the extract with Naphtha and pour off every last drop and completely dry the extract until no hint of Naphtha remains and reconstitute with Ethanol drinking Alcohol of your choice. If after removing as much of the dark Chlorophyll as you can with Naphtha and you continue to wash the extract with small amounts of 99% IPA as is done to clean the extract to a white purity at some point will take too much of the green compounds out and result in a weakly effective tincture.

Be sure to remove most of the tannin from the extract to be used for making tincture otherwise it will end up as a brown sediment in the bottom of your bottle. Tannin is an acidic astringent, because of this I am wondering if small amounts of it dissolved into the water component of an Alcohol tincture might somehow help the absorption of salvinorin tincture because I have heard that small amounts of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and Menthol mixed into a high proof Alcohol also help absorption. If an acidic component helps bring blood to the surface of your sublingual membranes perhaps that's the reason why and the natural tannin in the leaf might also produce this same effect from its acidity.

Tincture burns my mouth very badly and causes alot of pain every time I try to use it, is there a way of making a tincture that burns less?

If you dilute salvinorin tincture with small amounts of water it will burn less but also be proportionally less effective. One kind of salvinorin tincture I have heard about uses a mixture of 50% 151 proof Ethanol and 50% DMSO (70% pure) that has been reported by others to burn far less than tinctures made with 98% Ethanol. DMSO has been used for a long time in various tinctures, so this isn't completely new, although I have only heard of this being done for home made salvinorin tincture and not currently being sold as a commercial product. I have not worked with tincture using DMSO very much but I can offer the following: I purchased some 70% DMSO (30% water) at a local health food store and made a mixture of half DMSO to half Ethanol and found that it burned far less than tincture made out of 151 proof Ethanol alone, although I only tried one dropper load of it because I didn't like the idea of using DMSO sublingually so being unwilling to use enough of it I can't confirm whether it is an effective method or not. Perhaps an Ethanol/DMSO tincture burns less is due to the DMSO I used was close to one third water further diluting the Ethanol, or perhaps it was because small amounts of DMSO when used sublingually burn less than Alcohol does.

If making a tincture of out a mixture of Ethanol and DMSO the best way I can think to do it is to dissolve as much salvinorin as you can into hot DMSO until it will hold no more first, and then dissolve the remainder of the salvinorin into the Ethanol before mixing them together. I found that salvinorin will dissolve into heated DMSO but it doesn't appear to hold salvinorin as well as Ethanol, whether this is due to the solubility of salvinorin to DMSO itself, or the fact that the only DMSO I could find contained 30% water I don't know. As a side note I have tried dissolving large amounts of salvinorin into 70% DMSO and then tried to dose with it by rubbing it into the side of my arm but it had no effect at all except for making my arm red and stinging like hell. Apparently salvinorin is too large a molecule to be absorbed through the skin through the use of DMSO, or perhaps DMSO won't dissolve salvinorin finely enough to allow it to pass through the skin. One thing to consider about DMSO is that if you don't completely clean your skin first or have any contaminates in the fluid this solvent can induce contaminates right through your skin into your body which isn't a very good thing to do. Skin is meant as a protective barrier so using DMSO this way whether on your arm or sublingually might not be the best idea unless completely free of contaminates or materials which shouldn't be absorbed that way.


Go to to see my collection of extraction photographs.

Click this link to read how to make your own Salvia Divinorum Standardized Leaf and Tincture and this link to go to a Salvia Divinorum Extraction FAQ.