Author Topic: Increasing the shelf life of your extracts  (Read 2278 times)

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Offline mycotheologist

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Increasing the shelf life of your extracts
« on: November 28, 2012, 06:16:22 PM »
I read that ibogaine HCl has a shelf life of about 3 years. The freebase alkaloid will be lower than that. I did a whole class on pharmaceutical formulation in college so I know a thing or do about this so I'll write a basic guide on increasing shelf life. Degradation doesn't just magically happen for no reason, its things in the environment that causes it to happen. Firstly, acidity accelerates degradation and one major way acidity is introduced by the environment is carbon dioxide. When CO2 dissolves in water, it forms carbonic acid. The obvious way to protect against this is to keep the sample dry. Its very easy to keep things dry, just make a little tissue pouch of calcium chloride and keep it in the bag with extract. Otherwise just get one of those silica bags that they put in shoes and stuff.

Another major cause of degradation is free radical attack. An obvious way to prevent this is to add an antioxidant. In some pharmaceutcal preparations in which the active compound is susceptible to free radical attack, they add vitamin C. Being a vitamin thats required by the body in large quantities, its an excellent choice for an antioxidant.

Oxidation is another major cause. My knowledge is a little rusty, I can't remember how to prevent this. I think it might actually occur via a free radical mechanism, so if thats the case then vitamin c would work. Vitamin C is ascorbic acid. If dilute vinegar is strong enough to react with the iboga alkaloids, I bet ascorbic acid is too so you could convert your iboga alkaloids into ascorbate salts. Never heard of ibogaine ascorbate before. I'll do some research later and update the thread.

Although this may sound like jibberish to someone with no chemistry background, I'll try explain a bit of the theory behind why compounds degrade, using ibogaine as an example.

Heres ibogaine:

In organic chemistry, to get an idea of how a compound will react, you look for any reactive functional groups on it. Aromatic rings are relatively stable (so the hexagon won't react easily) and alkyl chains are pretty stable (so that darker, square looking thing sticking out of the right of the molecule won't react easy). Heteroatoms (atoms that aren't carbon) are usually more reactive. On the left hand side of the molecule, theres a methoxy group, and they are susceptible to various types of reactions. For example, acid catalysed demethylations can occur. If that happened, the methoxy group (-O-) would turn into a hydroxy group (-OH), if it the acid was HCl, then a chlorine atom migth even be attached to it. In this case, we're safe because vinegar is nowhere near strong enough acid to do that.  They can also undergo oxidations but I can't really remember how that works.

Alkyl groups are usually stable but that depends on what they are attached to. Look at the 7 membered ring on the right, theres one carbon attached to the pyrrole ring and the carbon next to it is attached to a nitrogen atom. The pyrrole ring is electron withdrawing so the carbon next to it is not that stable. Similarly, the carbon attached to the nitrogen atom is not that stable. I can't remember the specifics on how these carbons can be attacked, I need to do a bit of revision.

Finally, the amino groups themselves are targets for degradation. I don't know anything about how they contribute to degradation though so I'll leave it at that. I'll update the thread when I know more.