The costs of running this huge site are paid for by ads. Please consider registering and becoming a Supporting Member for an ad-free experience. Thanks, ECF team.

Homemade Snus with Rustica Tobacco Leaf

Discussion in 'Smokeless tobacco' started by Vaporer, Apr 5, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Image has been removed.
URL has been removed.
Email address has been removed.
Media has been removed.
  1. Vaporer

    Vaporer Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2009
    Time to make some snus with Rustica tobacco! Or, Give it a try!

    Since this was a 1st attempt after a plethora of reading and Rustica tobacco being so high in nicotine all precautions were taken for a safe experiment. Rustica can contain as high as 9% nicotine! Ok, this is an amount to be respected. The good thing is if you do start out with to much volume per portion it can be removed from the mouth immediately if feeling ill and nicotine levels will increase for a short time, then decrease. Start small and respect what you are doing. Everyones tolerence is different. A cigarette can deliver .6 - 1.2mg of nicotine. Snus adsorbs slower, but I still stress caution and starting small.

    Swedish snus is normally steam pasteurized to kill microbacterial action which will increase TSNA's that we don't want. Pressure cooking in a bag would achieve the same result, but so will 8hrs in an oven at 180*F. Bone dry and crumbly, but not enough heat to drive off the nicotine or the wonderful flavor.

    I decided on peppermint as the desired flavor. Hoping for something near Thunder Frosted. Cool,minty. Sodium carbonate is commonly added at a rate of 5% by weight. This shifts the pH to basic and "freebases" the nicotine in the acidic tobacco. I only had Baking Soda handy (Soduim Bicarbonate), which is consumably safe and even in toothpaste. Its basic, just not as much so as Sodium Carbonate.
    Note: Exogenesis was kind enough to inform me Baking Soda can be converted to Sodium Carbonate by heating it to 200*C(392*F) for an hour. This will be handy for the next test. Using it will deliver more nicotine than this test also! More caution and note keeping.

    Portion material used was Lipton tea bags. I hate to waste and own a "tea ball" so the tea won't go to waste and the bag material worked fine with no leaking or breakthrough. Felt just like snus portion material, maybe softer.

    Snus regular portions normally contain abt .50gm of tobacco and will vary a little. Snus nicotine ratings in mg's should not be confused with the numbers I list here. I'm listing the tobacco weight used per portion, not mg of nicotine in the portion since I have no way of testing the nicotine content of the rustica leaves I purchased from

    Lets get to it!
    The rustica was baked for 8hrs @ 180*F. I do think 4 hrs would have been more than enough for such a small amount. Removed and ground to a fairly rough consistancy with a spice grinder(blade type).
    The tobacco dry weight was 1.3gm. 0.10gm of Baking Soda was added and 10 drops of Lorann Peppermint oil. The drops were from a small dropper used in the 3-5ml size bottles. This would equal about 3 drops from a standard eyedropper.
    Next it was mixed with a mortar & pestle to the consistancy I desired.
    The mix was placed in a clean snus tin and agitated as often as I though about it over the next 2 days. I kept it in my pocket, next to me.....
    I wasn't concerned with spoiling or the micros since it would be used soon!
    A larger batch would have been refridgerated and stirred.

    This is a picture of Rustica I ground to snuff consistancy. Finer than the snus grind but shows the light tan/brown color as dry. The leaf is more golden brown. This is almost totally dry after menthol was added. Its original look was that of almost talc powder.

    Ground, flavored, mixed after 2 days consistant in moisture and darker. It smells good too!

    As you can see I tared the scales and the reading is the snus tobacco only. An Ettan regular portion is at the top for reference. The .25gm is 1/2 the tobacco amount of the Ettan portion.

    Decided to make one 1/4 the content of the Ettan. Still being cautious!

    Last one 1/8th of the Ettan. Safe place to start. Especially if you've ever snuffed straight rustica. Done that....very little amount though.

    All folded now and ready to use. You can see how thin the portions are compared to the Ettan.

    The portions could have been made smaller physically as you can see.
    No "bunny lip" here.
    If you look there are 2 horizontal and 2 vertical prefolds in the tea bag material. I folded the bottom up, the top down ( as looking at the picture) then pinched one side made the fold across and finally the last "flap" back across. This worked well and they never leaked.

    Test time:
    Portions were used for 2 hrs each.
    The "smallest" .06gm had little detectable flavor and a hint of nicotine.
    The "medium" .12gm had more flavor and a noticeable nicotine presense.
    Actually pretty satisfying if the flavor lasted a bit longer and stronger.
    I have high hopes for the last one.

    Monday will be the "large" .25gm portion test.

    The next batch will use Sodium Carbonate so more nicotine will be released. Exo's calculation puts Baking Soda(Sodium Bicarbonate) at 50% the efficiency of Sodium Carbonate. The resulting freebase nicotine should be higher and the tobacco volume will need to be adjusted according to these test results.

    Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did making it and my thanks for all the prior discussion and input.
  2. Kismayaz

    Kismayaz Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 29, 2009
    Central FL
    VERY interesting read. I've been thinking about ordering some leaves as well and experimenting with them. Let us know how today's bigger portion works out.
  3. exogenesis

    exogenesis Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2009
    Great info & pictures Vaporer,

    what I'm not too sure of is if you'd really have to wet the baccy + carbonate powder,
    (say 50% moisture like wet snus) and leave for a while to get the nic. to convert.

    Otherwise I'm thinking the saliva will just wash away the carbonate before it's done it's job.

    Then again maybe all that happens in the pouch under the lip, reckon possibly not though.

    Do you think commercial 'dry' snus are re-dried wet snus (i.e. after 'reacting'),
    or just baccy/ingredient mixtures like your ones ?

    Surprised it doesn't seem to be knocking you sideways,
    given that rustica can be as much as 10x as strong as normal baccy,
    but maybe commercial snus contain a blend anyway, including some rustica.
  4. jongleur

    jongleur Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 20, 2009
    Southern CA
    Outstanding post, Vaporer. Thanks.

    Just one question: no salt??

  5. Vaporer

    Vaporer Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2009
    Thanks all.

    I didn't add anything else to it but what was listed. The only additional moisture is from the flavoring. As wet as it looks in the tin loose, its been 2 days and the last .25gm portion hasn't stained the tea bag material. I even gave them all a good squeeze to keep the folds down when I made them.
    The Bicarb dissolved immediately when the flavoring hit it. As far as reaction for freebase nicotine, the flavoring may have carried it or may not have. The next test might need the Carbonate in a drop of distilled water, mix in and let it mellow/react the 1st day and then add the flavoring to distribute for the next 2 days. Its possible that oral enzymes help the process too. Since the portion is so dry as is, the saliva sems to adsorb to the portion way before anything comes back out.
    All in all.....I can't say. Other tests may provide more info from diff results. One try as you well know isn't much to base a lot of facts on when nothing is actually measured with equipment.

    Not sure on commercial dry snus. I'd think drying may alter the flavoring since many flavors are volatile oils. Their drying could be long time low temp though. Menthol as crystals I beleive vaporize at around 90*. It could be added easily dissolved in PGA, sprayed on, letting the PGA evaporate off.

    I'm pretty nicotine tolerant. If vaping, I use no more 12mg liquid than I do 36mg. The MAOI's I do miss. They aren't in eliquid anyway. I do best with a 17mg Thunder Frosted even though I only smoked ultra light cigarettes. Nic wize, it should zap me, but it doesn't. The higher nic snus seems to read as tobacco juice added and they are much more moist and have the stained portion look. I think they add the juice to up the nic content. I have also read about blended tobaccos used in snus.
    I maight find I'd be better off with more Virginia in a portion with Rustica added to boost the nic. It all depends on which combination satisfies the MAOI part.

    For a 1st test I didn't include salt. Other than a flavor enhancer I'm not sure what part it plays. I can see 3-4 more test batches adding Sodium Carbonate, then salt, flavoring for the best taste and effect. I went pretty conservative for a 1st trial run. Easier to isolate whats changing for the better or worse with a simple baseline IMO.

    I would appreciate if you both would post the graph showing the Sodium Carbonate vs Sodium Bicarbonate and the table showing the nicotine comparison of rustica here.
    They are both good info and would be relevant for others testing without having to find them in another thread.
  6. exogenesis

    exogenesis Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2009
    Re-worked the graph, cos I realised it was wrong, factor of two out :-x,
    got it right eventually :

    Starting from what the objective is, i.e. freebase nicotine :

    and what we're trying to free-base it with, i.e. carbonate :

    and the effect in theory (no plant material present, just nicotine solution):

    So bicarbonate is not 'strong' enough,
    - will only give around 50% nicotine conversion (pH 8 ish),
    no matter how much is added, carbonate is definately required.

    In practice it took 5 times that amount of alkali to get pH 9,
    due to all the other plant material soaking it up as well :

    2.0 g rustica + 10 ml water took 1.9 ml of 1.0 M hydroxide to get to pH 9.0,
    equivalent to 0.20 g of carbonate.

    So to get pH 9, 90% freebase nicotine, it should need 0.10 g carbonate
    for each gram of rustica (with ~10% moisture as bought).

    Will verify this tommorow using carbonate....
  7. The Wiz

    The Wiz ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 14, 2009
    Whiskeyville USA
    Great Job Vaporer!!!:)

    Rustica Menthol Snuff recipe next ok?

    :DThe Wiz!
  8. Vaporer

    Vaporer Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2009
    You know it Wiz! Menthol IS a main stay for me too. Is there a flavor it doesn't go with? :confused:
    In the snuff pic above(soon to be replaced with a snus grind pic) that is menthol that was added. It was light. Cannot have that. I'm doing a sample right now with 6 drops of the supersaturated solution per gm. Much better :)
    Hey, am I doing the tutorial on Rustica snuff making too? Thought there was one by Dred.

    exo, Thanks for the graph and explaination. Lets people see they can get less nicotine by using Baking Soda(Sodium Bicarbonate), but also to expect a significant increase if they use Sodium Carbonate. This will work the same for other tobacco strains and blends too, not just Rustica.

    Edit: Almost forgot! The .25gm portion has a nice nic hit and the greater volume really helped the peppermint flavoring. Had it in over 2+ hrs. Flavor did fade, but the nic held in there......
  9. Dredbull

    Dredbull Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Lack of photos but willing to work some up in the next few days.
  10. jongleur

    jongleur Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 20, 2009
    Southern CA
    [B]Nicotine Distribution in Nicotiana*:[/B]
    Leaf            64%
    Stem            18%
    Root            13%
    [U]Flower           5%[/U]
    Whole Plant    100%
    [B][U]   Leaf of Species               Nicotine Percent**          Nicotine Per Gram    [/U][/B]
        Nicotiana tabacum             1.00% to 3.00%          ~ 10.00 mg to 30.00 mg
        Nicotiana rustica             up to  ~ 9.00%               up to  ~ 90.00 mg
    [B][U]   Stem of Species               Nicotine Percent            Nicotine Per Gram    [/U][/B]
        Nicotiana tabacum             0.28% to 0.84%          ~  2.81 mg to  8.44 mg
        Nicotiana rustica             up to  ~ 2.53%               up to  ~ 25.31 mg
    [B][U]   Root of Species               Nicotine Percent            Nicotine Per Gram    [/U][/B]
        Nicotiana tabacum             0.20% to 0.61%          ~  2.03 mg to  6.09 mg
        Nicotiana rustica             up to  ~ 1.83%               up to  ~ 18.28 mg
    [B][U]   Flower of Species             Nicotine Percent            Nicotine Per Gram    [/U][/B]
        Nicotiana tabacum             0.08% to 0.23%          ~  0.78 mg to  2.34 mg
        Nicotiana rustica             up to  ~ 0.70%               up to  ~  7.03 mg
    [B][U]Whole Plant of Species***    Average Nicotine Percent    Average Nicotine Per Gram[/U][/B]
        Nicotiana tabacum             0.39% to 1.17%          ~  3.91 mg to 11.72 mg
        Nicotiana rustica             up to  ~ 3.51%               up to  ~ 35.15 mg
      * from
     ** from
    *** Assuming leaf, stem, root, and flower are (by weight) equally mixed
  11. jongleur

    jongleur Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 20, 2009
    Southern CA
    Exo, I'm wondering if it might be a little overkill to shoot for pH 9, especially considering we're using a high-nic species here anyway:

    Snuson - Swedish Match on pH

  12. jongleur

    jongleur Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 20, 2009
    Southern CA
  13. burnsb

    burnsb Full Member

    Mar 3, 2010
    Huntsville AL
    I haven't done the research, but I thought that MAOI's were an additive and not an intrinsic property of tobacco. Passion flower is a weak MAOI and I've used it in the past to in herbal teas. That might be an additive that would help. But, again, IDK and have not done the research on this.

    TWISTED VICTOR Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Sep 14, 2009
    The edge of Mayhem
    Nope, the alkaloids in tobacco are what cause the maoi effects. All natural and vitamin N fortified ;).

    John, seems the best way to go is to get as much freebase as possible from the Rustica and cut with Virginia or other fillers to get the nic levels we desire. Makes a 100 gram brick go pretty far.
  15. sunset

    sunset Super Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 17, 2009
    Great job everyone!

    From Jongleur's website, here's recipe:

    500g Tobacco Mixture
    28g salt
    22g Sodium carbonate
    80g glycerol
    50g Propylene
    Good to have
    Oven (80-85 degrees)
    Glass Shape (1.5 liters)
    Household Assistant
    Plastic lm
    Oven thermometer

    Day 1
    1. Boil 5dl water and dissolve the salt
    2. Mix thoroughly with tobacco salt water *
    3. Cover with plastic lm
    4. Bake in oven 24 hours, 80-85 degrees
    40 hours makes snu something rounder in taste
    * Mixture should be done with household assistant,
    recommended to get a smoother and consistent
    embrace sustainability.
    Day 2
    1. Remove snu mass, cool of in an hour
    2. Boil 2.5 dl water
    3. Dissolve the sodium carbonate in water (hand blender)
    4. Mix the water thoroughly in sodium snu mass *
    5. Add the glycerol / propylene glycol, mix well *
    You can now also spice up your snu
    6. Let snu mass rest in refrigerator 1 days
    7. Package and store your snu in the freezer or refrigerator
    Provides approx. 1.3 kg nished snus

    Good to know
    The strength of snu is
    determined by amount of
    sodium carbonate, 22 grams
    gives a typically strong snu
    Do you want a more or less hug
    apparent snu, is increasing or
    decrease with glycerol.
    Snu is enhanced by some
    days' storage
    I have no idea if the above is helpful with Rustica, but I just got my bag over the weekend and I want to try Vaporer's recipe.
  16. Vaporer

    Vaporer Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2009
    My thanks to everyone posting.
    Great links and info on them.

    The one link hits exo's explaination of the amount of freebase nicotine dead on by the amount of Sodium Carbonate used. Knowing Baking Soda works at abt 50% less free amount just adds gravy to the outcome.
    This is really important IMHO. Many are light users and dont want major nic. Knowing you can adjust the free amount of nicotine in any tobacco and the approximate amount....priceless.

    Feel free to post your rustica tests and trials here. Try to be accutate as possible in the amounts, proportions, ingredients and methods used.
    Remember too that a "not great" outcome is just as important as a great one. The info contained can be used to solve other issues or help suggested to fix it. Just as much can be learned from a not so great result as a great one.

    Questions? The old saying is very true. "The only bad/silly question is the one that isn't asked", if you don't know. Trust me, you aren't the only one that doesn't know.
  17. exogenesis

    exogenesis Super Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 1, 2009
    Thinking might as well get as much in freebase form as possible,
    personally I'd be looking to use as small an amount of rustica as possible
    to reduce the lip bulge / increase the intensity.

    Vaporer, sorry to keep harping on, but I don't think the bicarb is cutting it at all.
    I estimate you're getting somewhere nearer pH 7 than 8 with that small amount of bicarb.
    So maybe only around 10% of nic. as freebase.

    To get 50% freebase, pH 8, with bicarb you'd have to add an awful lot,
    probably more bicarb. than baccy.
    It's worth converting it to carbonate.

    Didn't get time to actually measure this today (i.e. bicarb pH with amount added,
    versus using carbonate), but I'll get there tomorrow hopefully.

    Nice recipes there sunset & jongleur, interesting about the PG and glycerol being added,
    wonder if there's some specific reason for that.
  18. jongleur

    jongleur Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Oct 20, 2009
    Southern CA
    Ok, actually it's not "my" website -- just a video I found. ;)

    I was actually going to post a link to that PDF last night, but the Swedish to English translation left something to be desired, and I thought it might be more confusing than helpful.

    After poking around a bit on the web today, though, I found out mostly what they mean.


    "Glass Shape" = glass pie plate; glass baking dish
    "Household Assistant" = kitchen mixer
    "Plastic film" = plastic wrap

    And my best guess is that "hug apparent" = moist/cohesive


    TWISTED VICTOR Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Sep 14, 2009
    The edge of Mayhem
    Thanks again John. You have no idea how much I appreciate the translations :).
  20. Vaporer

    Vaporer Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2009
    exo, no problem at all.
    I'm converting to carbonate tonight so I can get the next test going.
    I agree that its best to use the most efficient means for value and recovery.
    My comment was mainly due to seeing some posts that people like the smallest portions best for nic content. So, they could actually use bicarb and keep the nic level low and have a manageable size portion. I can just see this working for some people.
    I'd rather have it all available if possible and adjust the tobacco volume.
    Best bang for the buck.

    It took the .25gm portion with bicarb to start getting something deff.

    On a similar note, I have the rustica menthol snuff right where I want it with menthol, velvety smooth but I did notice I was using my test batch a lot. I had added nothing but menthol and was basically getting little to no nic at all from it.

    John, you ruined my thoughts of that wonderful recipie. lol
    "Household Assistant" = kitchen mixer , ok I was hoping for a pretty female here.
    "Glass Shape" = glass pie plate; glass baking dish. I had thoughts of her figure....hour glass
    "Plastic film" = plastic wrap. Some form of sexy appearal while thoughs of a "hug apparent" !

    I'm really a lonely and sensitive person ok? :lol:
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice