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Duquenois-Levine reagent

The Duquenois reagent is used in the Rapid Modified Duquenois-Levine test, a proven screening test for the presence of marijuana. The reagent can be prepared by adding 10 grams of vanillin and 5 milliliters of acetaldehyde to 500 milliliters of ethanol.

The test is performed by placing approximately 10 to 20 milligrams of a target substance in a glass test tube, then 10 drops of the Duquenois reagent. After shaking, 10 drops of concentrated hydrochloric acid are added, and the tube is again shaken. Any color that results after the hydrochloric acid step is recorded. Twenty drops of chloroform (or similar solvent) are then added, and the tube is vortexed, then allowed to settle and separate into two layers. Any color that transfers into the organic layer is recorded.

Marijuana becomes purple with the addition of the Duquenois reagent and hydrochloric acid. Upon addition of the organic solvent, the purple color transfers to the organic layer, indicating a positive test for cannabinoids.


  • Amanda J. Hanson "Specificity of the Duquenois-Levine and Cobalt Thiocyanate Tests Substituting Methylene Chloride or Butyl Chloride for Chloroform."
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Duquenois-Levine_reagent". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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