Frequently asked questions about Nicotine, Tobacco and CXTC Business Practices:
I. TECHNICAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING SUPERCRITICAL NICOTINE :
What is Supercritical Nicotine™ ?
Supercritical Nicotine™ is a very pure form of nicotine needing little post extraction purification. Utilizing Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) method , the process solvent is Non Toxic, Pure, All Natural, Cold (65F) and Non-Flammable. The unique properties of SFE are that no heat, no distillation/reverse distillation or complex chemical or man-made solvents are involved. The high pressure of the process cracks the cellular wall and the nicotine is simply soaked out of the plant material using naturally occuring carbon dioxide gas compressed into liquid-form. Once all of the viable nicotine is collected from the tobacco leaf, the CO2 is returned to the cylinder for re-use in the next batch, the pressure is dropped to a mild vacuum, the temperature is dropped to refrigeration temperature causing all risidual CO2 in the nicotine to separate itself fully.
Does CXTC nicotine have have a pepper flavor hint?
No. The hot pepper flavor chemistry is typically from remnants of purified liquid petroleum products used during extraction and the heat used during separation. CXTC extraction method using cold liquified CO2 cannot produce that "peppery" flavor because we do allow any petroleum products to come into contact with any of our extractions. The e-Juice manufacturer will have to add the pepper flavor, if they want it for their recipe.
Is Supercritical Fluid Extraction environmentally friendly?
Yes. Simply put, plant material is placed into a pressure chamber and naturally occuring CO2 gas captured from earth's atmosphere is pressurized until the gas become a liquid. As with many high value botanical extracts, liquid CO2 is a strong solvent to nicotine and the extreme pressure fractures the plant cellular material causing it to flow. But unlike other methods employed in China and India, using solvents such as kerosene, butane, and purified aviation fuels as the solvent, CO2 is not synthesized by humans and requires only simple pressure release to completely separate from the target soluable, whereas
the aforementioned petroleum based solvents are typically separated using heat, and never quite separate fully.
To separate the solvent from the target extraction, CXTC simply reverses the pump, pushing the liquid CO2 back into a cylinder for use in the next batch. All of the remaining CO2 separates itself from the nicotine at cold temperature just as it leaves an open container of soda. The captured nicotine that has been collected in a fractional collector, has never been exposed to oxygen or heat, making it un-cooked with no possibility of oxidation, the true "spoiler" of all botanical extracts. The spent tobacco is completely cold and dry, ready to be sold to a company that will make cigar paper from it. Virtually all CO2 is recptured and nothing goes to the landfill.
Is CXTC Nicotine USDA Certified Organic?
No. However, because our Vegetable Glycerin/Nicotine product utilizes both USDA Certified Organic tobacco and and USDA Certified Organic vegetable glycerin your e-Juice product can be USDA Certified Organic under most circumstances. There are certain specific constraints concerning MG/ML strength levels and the other ingredients in your product in order to qualify. If you are interested in USDA Certified Organic status, please call us at (US+1) 919-589-2982 for information regarding USDA Organic Certification.
Should I store Nicotine Products in the freezer?
IF you know that your freezer will maintain temperature below 30F or -1C, then yes. Otherwise, no. Damage can occur to100MG/ML nicotine products when oxides form during near-freeze/thaw cycles caused by temperature fluctuations of some freezer units (but not all). Such fluctuations are typically caused by opening the freezer door and outside weather affecting the efficiency of the unit. Typical refrigeration temperatures, or even room temperatures are a much safer storage range because they are well away from freeze/thaw potential.
So how does CXTC Supercritical Nicotine™ compare?
CXTC Nicotine extracted by SFE requires very little filtration and after that process the primary impurity is the trace amount of water that was in the cured tobacco. Typically less than .005%. That water is removeable, however heating would be required to complete the process and the product is better overall if left in place due to the "cooking" effect of heat.
Most of the nicotine being extracted in China and India using petroleum based liquids as a solvent followed by heat separation/reverse distillation are typically water-free, however the solvent takes the place of the water which is much less desireable.
The most serious problem with foreign-made nicotine is that they are made from tobacco grown there, where farming protocols, government herbide regulations don't exist and the farmers themselves have little understanding of ethical farming. In this case, we are talking about the use of pesticides and herbicdes that increase the weight of tobacco grown per acre. The pesticides usually evaporate completely after a few days and are rarely used just prior to harvest. While rare, pesticides can and do trace in e-Liquid.
Growth Control Agents (GCA) however, are a very serious matter because they stay with the tobacco leaf virually forever. GCA are used to kill the flower of tobacco but not the plant itself, so that the growth potential of the plant goes to the leaf, which is the part of the plant that makes the money.
In the United States, GCA are heavily regulated and cannot be sprayed onto tobacco for a minimum of 6 weeks prior to harvest because they are very harmful to humans and need time to dissapate to government acceptable levels. China and India have no such regulation, the farmers do not have this knowledge and worse, the GCA agri-chems they are spraying are typically Chinese copies of the higher quality Dow and DuPont chemicals used in USA. Cigar and Cigarette Manufactures here test dilligently for the presence of GCA over limits. They burn that tobacco if it doesn't pass and get their money back from that farmer. American Tobacco Farmers know not to do this.
Simply put, Chinese and India farmers do not know, the companies they sell to don't test and they are making liquid nicotine from that tobacco.
To avoid any possibility of GCA's in CXTC Nicotine products, we use tobacco that was grown organically. That means the tobacco flower is cut off by hand to increase our yield per acre and the plants themselves never sprayed with anything.
Who else sells Supercritical Nicotine™?
Supercritical CO2 Extraction of Nicotine first occured in 1962 by scientists working for both Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds tobacco companies somewhat simultaneously. There were many previous nicotine extraction methods invented by many different companies and individuals prior to this time. Patents for extraction of nicotine using aviation fuels and kerosene go back to at least 1938.
Experiments using CO2 proved three things: 1. Liquified through pressure, CO2 is a very clean solvent to nicotine and does not react with nicotine over a short term exposure., 2. Just as CO2 evaporates from an open can of soda, CO2 solvent requires that one simply release the pressure and it will completely separate from the solute (liquid nicotine in this case) requiring no heat to do so. In fact the separation occurs faster at 40F than it does at 100F. Heating nicotine, or any plant based product, above 90F does begin a "cooking" process an is in fact 3. CO2 Extraction, though slightly less efficient than other methods in terms of the percentage of nicotine extracted per pound of tobacco, does yield a higher percentage of nicotine purity vs. the other constituents of the tobacco leaf.
So while Phillip Morris and RJ Reynolds are likely still using SFE Nicotine because of it's superior quality, it is just as likely that they will not sell any SFE Nicotine to any competitor.
Our Company purchases 990,000MG/KG Nicotine and mixes it to a lower concentration level ourselves. Are we saving money?
In the short-run maybe, but in the long run definitely not. When you consider the additional costs and liabilities associated with properly and legally handling liquid nicotine at such high concentration levels the savings just are not there. Aside from the potentially deadly and expensive consequences of you or our employees mishandling un-diluted nicotine, many e-Liquid companies that do so are running afoul of local Fire Marshalls. Un-diluted nicotine has a very high flammability rating and many jurisdictions are requiring explosion proof rooms and other very expensive fire suppression equipment at facilities that handle it.
When you add up the real costs of "mixing your own" vs. CXTC pre-diluting it for you, it is clearly less expensive and better to let us do it for you.
Consider that you are purchasing the VG or PG at 90% by volume to bring it to safe concentration levels. Then the time and labor of measuring and blending it accurately. The additional ISO, fire equipment and insurance certificates necessary to legally engage in this practice. The additional hazardous shipping costs and lastly the potential catastrophic costs of handling a liquid that is both highly toxic and highly flammable.
Since the nicotine product, must be diluted before it can be consumed, to and below the100MG/ML concentration level where it is considered both, safe for adults to handle and non-flammable, it is so much safer to let us do that step for you.
CXTC utilizes a computer controlled, video camera observed, closed loop robotic system in an explosion prooof room with no humans in it. The nicotine is extracted in a closed vessel using CO2, then using nitrogen, is pushed through filtration and injected directly into the final shipping containers that were pre-filled with de-oxygenated VG or PG, topped with CO2 gas to shield from all oxygen contact.
Most e-Liquid manufacturers are simply suiting-up a human and pouring in the nicotine from a plastic bottle into an open vat of VG or PG then stirring it. Pouring nicotine through air immediately introduces air bubbles, oxygen and other environmental polutants which will definitely shorten the shelf life of the e-Liquid product. Of most concern is the potential for suit failure, glove failure and explosion due static electricity discharge caused by pouring a flammable liquid from an un-grounded container.
II. Nicotine and Tobacco:
Is Nicotine a carcinogen?
Nicotine has been the subject of literally tens thousands of studies. To date, not one has provided any definitive link to cancer. Nicotine itself is not considered a carcinogen by the general scientific community and is not listed as a carcinogen by any governing body, including The State of California.
What, then is the connection between tobacco and cancer?
Combustion, and the 2000+ chemicals produced by the oxidation reaction of the lit cigarette are the likely source of carcinogens. Quite frankly, if ancient humans had taken to the habit of curing, rolling, setting afire and purposely inhaling the smoke from oak tree leaves or tomato plants for instance, repeatedly day after day after day, the cancer result would likely be the same. CXTC believes that combustion is the culprit.
Since e-Cigs and vapor pens do not come close to combustion temperatures, we are certain that these many thousands of chemicals known and unknown are not being produced and are not being inhaled.
Additionally un-burnt, organically grown tobacco is the source of many powerful anti-cancer medicnes and vaccines. Solanesol, for instance, most prominent in tobacco than any other botanical on earth, is a high molecular weight alcohol that readily penetrates the porous wall of cancer cells, killing them rapidly, while leaving normal healthy cells unscathed. Tobacco origin Solanesol was recently approved as a new type of chemotherapy drug with very low, if any, patient side effects.
How can 100MG nicotine be advertised as "pure" when it is diluted with 90% inert ingredient such as VG or PG.
CXTC does not because it is not. Nicotine purity level refers to the ratio of nicotine molecules vs. "other and unknown" molecules suspended in the total liquid volume post extraction, but prior to dilution. For instance, a 95% purity level nicotine product, such as that used in nicotine gum and nicotine patches is comprised of 950,000MG/1KG nicotine molecules and 50,000MG "other substances" such as: 1. Other compounds in tobacco that were also extracted 2. Chemicals that had been sprayed onto the tobacco plant to control pests or enhance growth, or 3. Residual chemicals that were used in the extraction process that remained in the final product. In all cases though, whether the final product is gum, transdermal patches or vapor quality nicotine, "pure" 999.9MG/1KG nicotine must be diluted in order to be utilized
So IF nicotine and tobacco are not carcinogens, does that make e-cigs and electric vapor pens safe?
While studies are being conducted and CXTC cannot make any official proclamation on this subject we can give you this anecdotal evidence: Almost all of the CXTC employees and associates are former smokers and none of them are current smokers. We don't need a scientific study to tell us we feel better, run farther, swim under water much farther and some look younger. Our lung capacity is back to what we all remember it was before smoking.
Additionally, we have all noticed improvement in the health of our hair. While smoking cigarettes, hair would sometimes become brittle and dry. It may be the VG, or it may be the lack of the oxidized chemicals from smoking, but everyone notices their hair is much healthier. That tells us something important.
All of us here truly believe that the e-cig/vapor-pen is a pleasurable habit that does not have nearly the detrimental health effects as smoking combustion cigarettes.
Does CXTC offer multiple purity levels ?
Technically, CXTC makes only one nicotine product, and offers that product in two Concentration Levels, in various sized bottles and your choice of VG or PG. Our Supercritical Fluid Extraction and cold pufication system/methods are geared toward only producing 999.9K MG AVG/1KG nicotine. .
What is the difference between the purity level of nicotine and concentration level?
Nicotine Concentration level is denoted by weight using milligram (MG). A 100MG designated concentration level is actually 100G/1KG or a 10% concentration level. This means that CXTC has taken 99.9834% pure nicotine extract containing 999.9834K MG of nicotine per KG and diluted it at a basic 10:90 ratio with either VG or PG (actual ratio varies slightly based on the actual purity level of that particular batch). Even though this may sound like a weak dilution, 100MG Nicotine must still be diluted further at a 1:20 ratio to achieve a 5MG target level finished product. In short, one liter of 100MG nicotine produces 20 liters of finished product at this target level. Pre-dilution down to the 100MG Concentration is a simple and effective way to safely ship nicotine.
Purity Level refers to the ratio of nicotine molecules vs. all other molecules that are non- nicotine in the final extraction prior to dilution. CXTC does ship 999.9902K MG/1KG avg. batch purity nicotine to ISO 5 labs or better using haz/mat shipping, however the cost of such shipping is usually higher than simply shipping the safer-to-handle 100MG dilution, even after the extra weight is accounted for.
What happens to the tobacco after the nicotine has been extracted?
In the case of Nicotine/Tobacco Extractions (NTE) the nicotine-spent tobacco is vacuumed out of the extraction vessel completely dry and is sold to a paper company. In the case of coffee beans, Caffiene extractions are utilized in energy drinks while the coffee beans are sold as decaffienated coffee. CXTC produces practically zero waste.
III. Nicotine handling and Business Practices.
What causes the oxidation and browning of Nicotine.
Air contact immediately begins the oxidation of nicotine similar to the way an apple will darken before your eyes in just minutes.
The cellular wall of the tobacco plant protects nicotine from oxidation in an amazing way. CXTC's SFE process cracks open that cellular wall in an oxygen free environment using highly pressurized CO2 and prevents all oxygen contact throughout filtration and packaging.
Nicotine turns brown for three basic reasons: Oxidation from exposure to air is the main cause, however remnants of solvent left behind and "product cooking" from heat using other extraction methods.
What can our shop do to protect our nicotine from oxidation?
If you are using our LQ Tanks, there has been no oxygen contact. Any first contact would occur if dispensed it into a beaker containing air. By simply pre-gassing CO2 into that beaker or mix tank, you actually extend the shelf life of your e-liquid products because CO2 is heavier than air and will "blanket" both the nicotine and the other flavors which are also likely to be botanical extractions. All botanical extractions including nicotine and the other flavors you use in e-Liquid are sensitve to oxygen contact and will oxidize over at various rates over time.
If you are using CXTC Supercritical Nicotine from our glass bottles, we recommend that you purchase from any grocery store's wine section a product called Cork Pops™. It is a Argon 5.0 injection system that can be used to blow out air ingress caused by opening the bottle, purging the air with pure Argon.
CXTC mentions that different "push gases" have different affects on Nicotine. What "push gas" should we use?
A- 5.0 Argon- Argon has no known reactions with any botanical material, including nicotine. Argon is the preferred storage gas for all nicotine products, because it will not change any of the properties of Nicotine out to many years. Argon is quite expensive as a push gas because it does not compress to liquid and commercially available Argon cylinders do not "pump" much product. If you need to store liquid nicotine for extended periods, argon is best. If you need to move nicotine, other gasses work just as well and go much further at much less cost.
B-. Nitrogen-Nitrogen is interesting because it is a cost effective "push gas" with interesting side-reactions to nicotine. The primary long term reaction is that nitrogen will impart clarity to 100MG/ML nicotine, a positive, and with time will impart a pink hue, possibly a negative, but with no real changes in flavor. The color change seems to occur mainly in the VG component of the solution, however CXTC has noted certain positive changes to the nicotine properties under long term exposure to nitrogen. We recommend pushing and storage of nicotine up to one year with nitrogen becuase of it's acceptable costs and overall positive reactions. USE CAUTION WHEN PURCHASING NITROGEN! Typical gas suppliers sell 4 grades of Nitrogen:
1. Heli-Ox Nitrogen used for welding and should never be used. It detroys nicotine quickly. It comes in an ORANGE/BROWN cylinder.
2. Industrial Nitrogen ALL BLACK CYLINDER should not be used because it may contain impurities and almost always contains rust particles. Industrial Nitrogen can negatively impact product over one month.
3. Food Grade Nitrogen comes in a BLACK CYLINDER with a TAN TOP. Food grade Nitrogen is fine to to use as a "push" gas.
4. Medical Grade Nitrogen- Medical grade Nitrogen is the highest quality pure form of Nitrogen and is perfect as a push gas, however the gas suppliers do not sell this gas in small cylinders, rather it is sold in large stainless steel tanks and though the gas itself is not that expensive, the upfront cash outlay is rather high.
C- Food/Medical -Grade CO2- Long term exposure to CO2 will impart a "golden" tint to all brands of nicotine. CO2 is an excellent choice of push gas when the cylinder will be completely pushed out within twenty days after exposure as long as you keep that cylinder around 70F (room temperature) and release the tank pressure after each use. Beware! CO2 can carbonate the VG and PG in a 100MG nicotine solution, especially if store your tank at cold temperatures and under pressure. Optimum temperature for storing nicotine in our cylinders is between 55-70 degress.
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