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Talbotron22 shows you how to make SUPER CATNIP… isolation of nepetalactone from catnip -

At least two thirds of domestic cats “enjoy” the effects of Nepeta, a.k.a. “catnip.” But do they it enjoy it enough? If humans were able to isolate the active ingredient in catnip, could we not use it to become omnipowerful CATGODS? Imagine the possibilities! What fool wouldn’t want their own personal cat army? A massive fuzzy force with which to execute your every bidding? A united, unquestioning militia that requires nothing other than unfettered access to the super-powerful catnip products that give their adorable cuddly lives meaning?

Nepetalactone is the active ingredient in catnip.* Today we are going to isolate nepetalactone in its pure form through a steam distillation. The distilled liquid will be extracted with an organic solvent (toluene), refined, then evaporated to give the final product.

Now I know what you’re thinking: is it safe for cats to be around such a concentrated extract of catnip? Hell yes! Within reason. And we’re all reasonable people. Pure nepetalactone has been studied on cats extensively. In fact, “catnip oil” that is available from botanical stores is essentially just nepetalactone, and it is widely used in homeopathic medicine. More details later.

* Note: pure nepetalactone will not enable you to create a cat army.

instructables : isolation of nepetalactone from catnip : intro – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. collingridge says:

    Before you make a decision based on this stuff being ‘used extensively in homeopathic medicine’, just remember that poisons such as arsenic are also used in homeopathy. Bizarrely, in homeopathy, substances are usually diluted in water or alcohol to the point where the original substance is no longer present. They actually believe that the less of a substance you use, the more effective it is. Sounds bizarre, and it is!

  2. hammerthumb says:

    Uses:
    http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical.pl?NEPETALACTONE

    No LD50 information listed for mammals:
    http://sun.ars-grin.gov:8080/npgspub/xsql/duke/dosage2.xsql?chem=nepetalactone&p_request=Go

    C10 H14 O2 – No arsenic. Cats and their human servants are safe in that regard:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nepetalactone

  3. Village_Idiot says:

    If you buy all that stuff at once at a store, you may well get a visit at home later by your local Drug Task Force, since the store staff will have been instructed to report interesting product purchase combinations like in the picture above, including taking down your license plate number.

    Then you get to explain to the authorities that you were extracting catnip, which would be a fascinating conversation to overhear.

    I worked at a store where the staff was instructed to look out for such “suspicious” purchases (and to take down plate #’s), and thought I’d mention it since it might not occur to someone that they could be suspected of operating a drug lab, which this is except it’s not involving a controlled substance…

  4. mskala says:

    collingridge: the author said “homeopathic” but I’m pretty sure “naturopathic” was actually meant. Catnip is seldom if ever used in homeopathy. It’s reasonably common in naturopathy, though, and in nontrivial doses, not the high dilutions typical of homeopathy.