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Is acetone a reasonable solvent for herbal products?
Q: I often see the suggestion of using acetone when making herbal blends/extractions or creating hash. It sounds like the logic is that it evaporates, leaving a clean product. Is this really the case? Does acetone evaporate fully, and is it presumably safe to use final products that were made with the assistance of acetone?

A: There are different "grades" of solvents, which have varying degrees of purity and are appropriate for different uses. Some lower grades of acetone can contain contaminants that one would not want left as residues in an herbal product that was going to be consumed.

However, it is easy to test acetone for basic purity. One can place a small amount of acetone into a clear glass dish or a watch glass (a round piece of glass used for this purpose in chemistry), allow it to evaporate in a well-ventilated area that is free of any type of flame or spark (acetone is flammable), and then hold the glass dish over both a black surface and a white surface, to check if any light- or dark-colored residue is present on the glass.

If there is residue present, then the acetone that was tested is not pure enough. If the acetone evaporated off cleanly, leaving no visible residue, it should be pure enough for working with herbs.

Asked By : Seabiscuit
Answered By : Jon
Edited By : Fire
Published Date : 1 / 31 / 2011
Last Edited Date : 1 / 31 / 2011
Question ID : 3157

Categories: [ Chemistry ] [ Extraction ]

Ask Erowid v1.7 - Jul, 2005

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