Citric Acid Degumming Tek

Could you clarify for me “Water clear Δ8 is made most often by adding acidic decolorants (such as activated charcoal) to the boiling flask”. So you add activated charcoal straight into distillation?

Yes, but that is a method that yields a mixture of Δ8 and Δ9.

What is a known. Consuquence of having small amount of citric acid in the boiling flask ?

Afaik, a “small” amount of citrate doesn’t do much, but although it is a weak acid, it still has 3 relatively labile protons, so it can still affect some amount of isomerization. Because citric acid’s 1st proton is just a barely stronger acid (1st pKa 3.13, then 4.76 and 6.40) than THCa (pKa 3.41), and because citric acid does not readily decarboxylate, there is probably a slight possibility for some isomerization. I’m pretty sure that THCa has 4 proton accepting sites and 1 donor site, and I am not certain of the relative strengths of these acceptor sites, but they are strong enough to allow isomerization. I would be more concerned with isomerization of CBD to Δ8-THC in a weak Brönstead acid like citric, as its isomerization rxn happens more readily with less activation energy than that of Δ9-THC to Δ8-THC.


So if I have performed a citric acid degum and am going into scrubs, should I neutralize pH before the charcoal scrub? I was thinking of doing the charcoal scrub at a low pH and then correcting it in the filter cake that removes the charcoal, and then doing a second scrub at neutralized pH with bentonite.

The short answer is I don’t know. I don’t recommend neutralizing the acid with a base, since that creates water and a salt, which stay in the crude. A partition of a non-polar solvent and the alcohol (if it’s in ethanol:water azeotrope, which I assume it is, since you talk about adjusting pH) after adding excess water is the best way to wash out the acid. I also don’t think degumming is entirely necessary if you are scrubbing or adsorbant filtering in the first place.

1 Like

What happens if i do form a tough emulsion?

Should i simply add brine to break the emulsion?

Could i intentionally make an emulsion for any beneficial purpose? For example salting out cannabinoids

What happens is the polar and non-polar become hard to separate… that’s kind of a defining feature of an emulsion.
Sometimes using brine helps keep it from forming in the first place, but adding salt to an existing emulsion can backfire sometimes.
Yeah, people make useful emulsions all the time.


Anyone try this with tartaric acid? I recently read someone mention they much prefer it over citric acid, but I was a bit inhebriated at the time reading it and can’t find reference of it for the life of me in the search bar to ask them why that was? Though I may have seen it on Instagram…

Magnesium hydroxide will react with citric acid to form magnesium citrate and water, and a little heat.

You could react numerous hydroxides with the citric acid to neutralize it- calcium, potassium, etc

I’ll be trying this as soon as I am up n running.


I’ve got a boatload of fumaric acid, lactic acid, phosphoric as well- would be interesting to see if these change things at all.


We also supply analytical standards. Always down to talk Kratom.

1 Like

Would adding magnesium hydroxide to the solution work to correct the PH?

1 Like

yes it should. depending on the strength of acid applied in wash, you can used a variety of solutions to neutralize (sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydroxide etc.)

1 Like

As mentioned, the strength of the acid is critical here! You can dilute your concentrated acid to the correct pKa (slightly more acidic than THCa - pKa = 3.4)

And then neutralize with a base of your choice, @Photon_noir seems to prefer MgO…I think? But this will then require a liquid liquid partying to solubilize the Magnesium Citrate into the aqueous phase.

If you read above he talks about how magnesium citrate doesnt start to degrade till over 200c, I don’t think you’d have any problems leaving it in there.


@FranzVon speaking of neutralizing citric acid

1 Like