Many people have wrote in inquiring about how to purify their heroin. In a previous Ask a Junky I provide a simple recipe on how to do this, Ask a Junky: Black Tar Adulterants. In this post I will include all the recipes that I have found online. There are quite a few that vary in terms of difficulty. If you decide to purify your heroin, choice the one that best fits your skill set and comfort level. If you do try one of these, please leave a comment below and let us know how it turns out!
Purifying Heroin in 6 Steps
1. Dissolve the street heroin in water.
2. Use the easily available Hydrion pH papers to monitor the pH during this procedure.
3. Add Sodium Hydroxide in solution dropwise while checking the pH. Use a narrow glass or plastic rod to touch a minimum of the drug solution to the paper to avoid loss. Stop when the pH reaches about 9.
4. Extract with chloroform. Chloroform is far superior to diethyl ether in that it is non-flammable and does not present storage problems, where explosive peroxides can be formed. Note: Chloroform is an ideal solvent for heroin, codeine, and most other opiates, with the major exception of morphine which requires a mixed solvent.
5. Separate the chloroform layer and wash with a minimum quantity of cold water: 1-2 ml works well. Evaporate the chloroform taking care not to burn the residue on the bottom of the beaker. Note: Chloroform is a known carcinogen, so plenty of ventilation (and a respirator) would be advisable. The chloroform is so volatile that this step is actually quite easy to perform.
6. Add a dilute solution of HCl dropwise while stirring with a glass rod. Monitor the pH closely. As the acid is being added, the diacetyl morphine base is being neutralized and converted into the water-soluble hydrochloride salt form.
7. When all the solid material has just dissolved, stop adding the HCl. I found that this takes place around pH 5-6. Note: If one tries to bring the pH all of the way up to 7, the free base alkaloid precipitates back out requiring addition of more HCl.
The resulting solution will be in an injectable form; it will now be completely clear with no colored impurities or particulate matter.
This purification method is found on Erowid and has received quite a bit of positive feedback and mentions on other forums.
This is as complete and as accurate as I can remember, it has been something like 9 years since I have used heroin. The process I used for purification was straight forward. Diacetylmorphine can exist in two forms, an insoluble base, or a soluble salt. Often it contained a plethera of other agents like pieces of broken glass, pieces of foil, dirt, wood, metal, mannitol, lactose, maltose, sand, you get the idea. The first stage of the process I used was to make sure the diacetylmorphine I received was totally converted to a soluble hydrochloride salt. The heroin I usually received was a brown powdered heroin, sometimes off white, very little vinegar smell. Today all you can find is a black crud that reeks with a vinegar (acetic) odor. The way I made sure it was a soluble salt was to drop enough 28% hydrochloric acid to make it wet. This insured that I would not waste any of the available drug, but would remove most if not all of the cut. I think that it would be better for me to detail it in a procedural manner. FYI, hydrochloric acid can be purchased in gallon jugs at hardware stores under the name Muriatic acid, 28%.
First weigh out one gram of heroin from the stock you received from your supplier. Place this gram into a 13 x 100mm test tube. Add a few drops of 28% hydrochloric acid until it is evenly damp. Allow to react for a minute or two. Next add 5 ml distilled water, place your thumb over the end and carefully shake to dissolve all that will dissolve into the water. Allow the insolubles to settle. Using a pipette, remove and transfer as much of the liquid to a fresh test tube leaving the solids behind. Dispose of the undissolved remains in the first test tube. Slowly add via pipette, one drop at at time, ammonium hydroxide (water clear household ammonia) until the white precipitate ceases production. Add several more drops at this point just to be sure. Shake gently to be sure that all the solution is evenly ammoniated. The solution should look milky. Now add 100 ml ethyl ether (some kinds of diesel starting fluids, read the label) to a 150 ml beaker. Dump the milky liquid into the ether and stir briskly and allow the water to settle and collect on the bottom. The water will turn clear. Using a glass pipette, remove this water from the bottom of the beaker and dispose of.
Now mix up a solution of 5ml 28% hydrochloric acid and 5ml distilled water and add this to the ether in the beaker. Stir briskly keeping as much acid/water suspended as possible for several minutes. Allow the water/acid to collect on the bottom of the beaker. Using a glass pipette, remove this water layer from the bottom of the ether and transfer to a glass petri dish. Transfer the ether back to its storage bottle for reuse. It will still contain small amounts of heroin base, so don’t throw it out. Recycle! Slowly add small portions of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the water/acid solution in the petri until you don’t notice any more bubbles being formed. Place the glass on a warm surface, and allow to evaporate. The residue will be diacetylmorphine hydrochloride and salt. Table salt is a by-product of the reaction and will not hurt you at all when injected. Scrape up the residue and weigh it. Yield from one gram of smack (yea, we called it that) would be anything from 100 to 300 mg, rarely more. Place 100 mg of this powder in a test tube, add 10 cc sterile isotonic water for injection (available OTC at drug stores) and heat to boiling. Transfer this liquid while still hot using a syringe (available OTC at some drug stores) to a 10 ml rubber stoppered empty sterile ampoule (available OTC at drug stores).
To use this drug which is 10mg/ml, extract with a sterile syringe as much drug as you wish to use. 10 mg would send me flying believe it or not. 2.5mg (1/4 cc) was usually enough to keep me “happy” and was my normal dose. 20mg was the most I could take safely in my opinion, and was a waste of drug and money. Normally, for most 150-170 lb males, 2.5 mg is more than enough in my opinion. Using heroin in this manner avoids the problems associated with “street use” and will keep your body healthy and safe, reducing the risk of disease and overdosage.
My memory is pretty good, and I think I covered all the bases here, but I may have made a mistake somewhere. Overall I think this is an accurate method, to the best of my ability to remember.
The next to methods were taken from heroinhelper.com. I don’t know anyone who has personally tried them. So again, please post any experiences you have if you give them a try.
[Editor’s Note: The following text is taken from Heroin User’s Handbook, but the procedure has been floating around for years and I have no idea who “invented” it. I do not recommend using the part of this process that involves ether–unless you really know what you are doing.]
The impurities found in street heroin range from coffee to quinine to glass particles. Most impurities, like coffee, are harmless. You might even like some of them. Coffee, for example, is tasted after injecting heroin that has been cut with it. Some impurities, like glass and maybe even quinine, can be deadly. I strongly encourage you to remove the impurities from the heroin you buy. What follows is a recipe that works despite the fact that it has been widely distributed on the Internet.
Removing Particulate Matter
The use of cotton for filtration when heroin is cooked before being used is a small attempt at purifying the heroin ingested. But a much better job can be done with a little hydrochloric acid (HCl). Place about a gram of heroin in a small glass container (a test tube is best, but any glassware that will allow mixing will work). Add a couple of drops of 28% hydrochloric acid and allow it to react for a couple of minutes. Next, add 5 ml of distilled water and mix vigorously so that everything dissolves that can.
At this point in the process, the heroin is in solution. The non-soluble material in the container is garbage that you do not wish to ingest. Let the solution sit so that the particulate matter settles to the bottom and then pipette out the solution, leaving the particulate matter behind. The simplest kind of pipette is an eye-dropper. If a pipette is not available, it is possible to pour the solution out of one container into another, being careful not to allow any of the particulate matter to be transferred.
Removing Soluble Impurities
Add ammonium hydroxide to the solution, one drop at a time. This will cause a white precipitate to form. Continue adding the ammonium until you are certain that there is no more precipitate being formed. The solution is then gently mixed to assure that the ammonium is evenly distributed. At this point, the solution will have a milky look.
The solution is then added to about 100 ml of ethyl ether-a chemical with which great care must be taken, since it is quite combustible. This new solution is then vigorously mixed and left to sit. This will cause the water to settle at the bottom of the container; it is removed with a pipette and then discarded.
A mixture of 5 mL of HCl and 5 mL distilled water is created and added to the ethyl ether mixture. This is stirred vigorously for several minutes. Afterwards, a water layer will form at the bottom of the container. You then pipette this out and into a small container such as a petri dish.
Slowly add baking soda to the solution in the petri dish. This will cause the solution to bubble. When the bubbling stops, this process is finished. The resulting solution is then air-dried, which yields pure heroin and table salt (NaCl). The salt is harmless and may be ingested along with the heroin.
[Editor’s Note: The following method for purifying street heroin comes to us from a once infamous clandestine heroin chemist who has “gone straight”. He has asked to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. He also asked that we be very clear that this recipe explains a serious chemical process with the resulting risks: (1) accidents made during process could cause harm in the form of explosions, toxic vapors, and unknown other threats to the safety of the would-be chemist and those in close proximity; (2) even if performed exactly as written, this recipe will not increase the quantity, only the quality of what was already there; (3) the very act of using this recipe breaks drug manufacturing laws (along with many others besides) that can result in multi-year prison sentences and even death as punishment. The recipe is provided for educational purposes only–and as such, it will likely be quite useful to students of beginning organic chemistry.]
I was curious about the procedure for cleaning street heroin [that is on your site: Purifying Heroin]. Most of my practical laboratory experience was with various opiates, street, pharmaceutical or self made, so this is definitely something that I know about. In fact I purified some street heroin for a friend of mine one day. It requires only a little knowledge of basic organic extraction technique.
This is what I did:
- Dissolve the street heroin in water.
- Use the easily available Hydrion pH papers to monitor the pH during this procedure. Add Sodium Hydroxide in solution dropwise while checking the pH. Use a narrow glass or plastic rod to touch a minimum of the drug solution to the paper to avoid loss. Stop when the pH reaches about 9.
- Extract with chloroform. Chloroform is far superior to diethyl ether in that it is non-flammable and does not present storage problems, where explosive peroxides can be formed. Note: Chloroform is an ideal solvent for heroin, codeine, and most other opiates, with the major exception of morphine which requires a mixed solvent.
- Separate the chloroform layer and wash with a minimum quantity of cold water: 1-2 ml works well. Evaporate the chloroform taking care not to burn the residue on the bottom of the beaker. Note: Chloroform is a known carcinogen, so plenty of ventilation (and a respirator) would be advisable. The chloroform is so volatile that this step is actually quite easy to perform.
- Add a dilute solution of HCl dropwise while stirring with a glass rod. Monitor the pH closely. As the acid is being added, the diacetyl morphine base is being neutralized and converted into the water-soluble hydrochloride salt form.
- When all the solid material has just dissolved, stop adding the HCl. I found that this takes place around pH 5-6.Note: If one tries to bring the pH all of the way up to 7, the free base alkaloid precipitates back out requiring addition of more HCl.
- The resulting solution will be in an injectable form; it will now be completely clear with no colored impurities or particulate matter.
Having clarified this procedure, I would hope that nobody would actually attempt it. To an experienced chemist this is all so routine that you could do it blindfolded. But I noticed that even the college students in my Organic lab class, who had no prior organic chemistry experience, were remarkably clueless around a separatory funnel the first time. This is to say that what is trivial in the hands of an experienced chemist will likely be unusable (at best) and dangerous (at worst) in the hands of an amateur. This chemistry isn’t to be played with.
This method was posted on bluelight.org. It doesn’t purify heroin as thoroughly as the previous methods, but it doesn’t require a lot of hard to obtain chemicals either. It removes the fats and oils.
Put the heroin in water solution
Put in the wax… as much as you need really.
Heat till the wax is melted.
Let it cool.
Remove solidified wax.
Put water heroin solution on a warm plate to dry.
Dry this out and viola, you have purer BTH powder.
This procedure will take all the oils and fats out of the tar.
When you dry it it will be more potent and no more gunk.