Azulene production

I am seeing various videos online now demonstrating a blue compound identified as azulene showing up in the distillate path along with remedies trying to remove it.

Can anyone clue me in about precisely what is causing this stuff to appear. At first glance it sure appears this is coming out of flasks that follow certain protocols while others report dispensing with these protocols involving additions to the boiling flask has removed the production of azulene. I have studied the MSDS sheets for azulene.

Something is not adding up except it appears to me that names of certain consultants always seem to be attached to instances shown of azulene production and recently I see simple fractionating devices being employed to try to deal with the noxious stuff as something to be fractioned off and discarded.

Where is it coming from? If this a protocol followed by just a few? Why are some reporting that dispensing with additions made with commercial products have cleared up this problem? Does this happen generally when only certain individuals protocols are used or is this happening when only certain products are employed?


It’s generally more pronounced when adsorbents have been added to your flask. You can still get it during normal distillations but most people shoot right past it. Basically when you add things to your flask you make it harder for the solution to distill as the cannabinoids are now trapped in whatever adsorbent you added to the flask. This takes more heat to do the same process resulting in a large degradation to the terpenes (heads) causing them to all come out in a deep blue azulene fraction. People do this to get better color distillate but you run the risk of isomerizing cannabinoids if excess heat and unbalanced PH comes into play. It also is very strong azeotrope so it can be very tricky to remove all the smurf juice.

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I’ve managed to get it even in wiped film distillation. It doesn’t always come out, but, when it does, it’s when I’m distilling crude made from older material.

Edit: This is despite the fact that I don’t use any type of additives to the crude. (i.e. adsorbants, ac, magsil, etc.)


Can you estimate what temperatures are being run to produce this effect? Is there a way to confirm that this is a degredation byproduct of the terpenes?If so how is it theorized that the terpenes are actually breaking down? What is the actual mechanism?

I see one modification to cope with this is to place fractionating devices like a bump trap bulb inline with the uptake path of the distillate and more and more then so called short path distillation is no longer very short at all. I am wondering if this is more related to the ever increasing times being spent in ever increasing boiling flask sizes OR because of reclaim that substantially the same thing in terms of total increased time under high heat.

It is an interesting puzzle. I have found trace purple compounds from time to time in my labs but this is a way different color than the blue azulene. If time and heat are an issue then adding a fractionating device can only increase those two things and suddenly I am seeing more and more unusually designed high bypass mode distillation rigs that seem to be the chief culprit of this judging by the scant videos online. Now I see bump traps being installed on distillation rigs to increase the theoretical plates substantially in order to try to fraction the stuff away from end products.

It seems that one fix then involves subsequent fixes this way.


After doing a bit of research, it seems azulene is both an isomer of naphthalene, and is also found in some marine invertebrates.

So, the mothballs bit doesn’t make much sense, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if marine invertebrates are processed into certain types of fertilizers. This would explain the azulene as well as that God awful shrimp/lobster/fish smell that comes off of certain distillation byproducts.

If in fact the plant can uptake these compounds as well as assuming they are present in fertilizer.

Edit: Can’t give specific temps, but, I rarely get it, and only on outdoor plant biomass.

Also, BreakingDabs on Instagram has been posting lots of azulene remediation videos using a bump trap.


^^ crustacean meal is in all my soil mixes. Great N source and source of chitosan to utilize the plants Salicylic acid/chitosan pathways to express different genes.

There was a cool study done on citrus trees that showed over 100 small genetic changes to the trees utilizing that pathway. Off topic somewhat - but sea critters can def makengreat fertilizer.


I believe @Deleted mentioned him thinking this isomer happened especially when acidic compounds were used together with heat in pre processing or in the bf during the run. My personal experience has shown similar things, ie I’ve only gotten it when heat scrubbing with cbleach. The time I used carbon it was ph neutral and even with heating there was no azulene fraction. And when cold filtering I never see the fraction either.

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Thx for the reply. My gut tells me that there may be scant few who can for certain connect the dots, me chief among them. What I mean to say is as I read messages and am an avid seeker of videos and info on this medicine something seems to emerge. First it cannot seemingly be reliably duplicated to high precision and second it seems always to come back to some edition that was made to the boiling flask which has the ultimate practical effect of increasing what I will call enthalpy within the closed system and gets things pretty hot.

Another thing is that there seems to be no reference at all that I can find of anyone every connecting azulene with cannabis. Maybe we are now but it strikes me odd that it was never a concern before in many moons of man. Anyone have any references to azulene and cannabis prior to five years ago?


I feel like someone decided to call it azulene and it stuck as noone else knew what to describe it as. It’s really interesting though only having one huge cobalt blue fraction all the way to cannabinoids!


After doing more research, I’m even more inclined to believe that the plants can uptake these compounds.

Cacti and several other plants including roses are capable of up taking pigments from dyes that are added to the soil or water.

I have found multiple references dating back to 1916 journals that have been digitized regarding azulene. The references I saw tended to speak of azulene prior to the 1930’s as something of a mystery. After all as nearly all references point out a blue colored hydrocarbon stands apart. I did find what appears to be peer reviewed stuff at this link.

One item of interest as I tried to absorb all I could had not previously been obvious. It seems that pure azulene (presents as a white crystal according to references) is a very expensive product all by itself. Likely the difficulty in obtaining it contributes but I saw one price that put pure azulene at something like $350 per gram. Apparently a very little goes a long way. I still have not found any previous references to this being a by product of cannanis refinement except of course the general reference made that this appears in organic oils (ref 1916).

What I get from a reference like this one posted is that the process to reliably reproduce the stuff seems complex and fairly difficult. My gut is telling me that likely somebody who posts a lot of stuff about removing azulene may in fact be unwittingly creating it in the first place by creating the unique condtions needed. I believe that if azulene was a normal byproduct of cannabis production then there would be far more than just passing references in old literature. My hunch is that IF azulene is an unwanted byproduct that this unwanted byproduct is being created by some of these fairly unprecedented configurations of apparatus. For instance one person who posts many videos about this has discovered that adding additional fractioning devices like a bump trap into a vertically oriented distillation rig can serve to increase the rejection rate of the azulene fraction. So while the teperatures needed for vertical distillaton are already scorching hot the solution is to install additional “path” and fractionating devices which can only have the effect of increasing the total stored energy within the system and the need then to run even hotter.

Any fractionating device installed simply turns a short path device capable of true molecular distillation conditions into a fractionating device. Historically vacuum distillation is carried out as a short path and avoids at all cost fractinating elements. From available literature it is clear that vacuum distillation is best carried out as a simple distillation and not as a fractional distillation when trying to separate components of a thermally sensitive organic compound. Adding a bump trap into a high vacuum distillation scheme defeats the advantage of short path really and I would suggest it is the band aid on the bigger problem of adding in all these other components without really understanding what is happening by doing so. This is why I think I see mostly the same folks posting pictures because it would make sense that this is limited to the more complex SOPs which introduce who knows what into the scorching hot temperatures listed by some as their heating mantle temps.


I just ran into this same issue on a Pope 6" 1st cut parameters. It is getting frustrating, because I believe the azulene is playing with my vac depth. As I get the blue tint compound in the cold trap, my vacuum depth with increase gradually over time. I seen this article on synthesizing azulene as a byproduct of distillation. If i can locate it I will post it. This compound seems to be able to synthesize in several ways. I am reading the article that @Beaker posted (Azulene - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics). There is a tremendous amount of info in this paper.


Any ideas on how to balance the pH in the crude oil extract in order to avoid azulenes formation during distillation. Also could you please shed some light if it right to do pH balancing prior or after winterisation. Lastly, what is the optimal pH range for my oil to avoid azulene formation in downstream distillation process?

I don’t distill cannabinoids but interestinly enough, if you use color theory where Red is a contrast of Green and Blue is a contrast of Yellow…

Maybe it’s just a thing that happens when you’re aiming to clear out your disties color from a high in yellow starting material to a clear colorless terpless syrup; that you just end up with a larger Azulene fraction.

Laminar flow with a second heating mantle under the first fraction t’d off to another condenser for Azulene ?

But you wouldn’t need to run hotter if you can equalize the fractioning efforts to get the thc to distill on one path at the same time as the Azulene on the second one attached to the same molecular distillation rig? No?

I know @Beaker has passed (RIP) but if someone else would like to answer me I accept all criticism :octopus:

No. Unless you can explain having your boiler at two temp simultaneously.


No, you’re right now that I think about it the fractions perform what the essential other side would be which is adding more stills off a still and keeping it at the same vacuum but it wouldn’t make any sense to do that because you’d end up going at the same vacuum as trying to distill thc which is gonna end up potentially ruining other fractions being distilled and then you’d need more heating mantles.

Also the heating and cooling factors.

The closest thing to that really is a cow head and regulating everything as it happens.