Introduction: Caffeine Patches (Transdermal Caffeine)
Of many mind altering substances, I have found that caffeine is a good stimulant when used in small doses. However, one thing I don't like about caffeine is the way it is usually taken: coffee. While I do savour the smell of coffee, the taste is unenjoyably bitter and the processing of ingested chemicals is dependent on how much food you have eaten beforehand. This means that one cup of coffee can make one very jittery if he/she hasn't eaten 4 hours beforehand or hardly affect one at all if he/she has eaten a lot recently, making coffee drinking a variable experience. Also, I just don't have an inclination towards coffee, I prefer tea.
I like exploring different ways of using chemicals. One method I have found that works for me and that I enjoy is transdermal administration of caffeine (through the skin). These caffeine patches give a more controlled release throughout the day and make the experience smoother, plus all I do is slap on a patch and forget about it.
This instructable will show you an alternative to the traditional method of ingesting caffeine from coffee: caffeine patches!
Step 1: Materials (Inexpensive)
Items you will need:
-Large Bandages (small ones work too but are less effective, found at your local pharmacy for ~4 dollars)
-Pure Caffeine/Caffeine Pills (found online or at local pharmacy. I bought 1/2 pound pure caffeine online for ~4 dollars)
-A caffeine addiction
Step 2: -Measure Out Your Caffeine-
One large patch can hold about 200-300mg of caffeine which is about the average cup of coffee. If you are using pills, one pills is usually equal to 200mg. Use a little more caffeine than you want in your patch. Calculate the number of patches you want based on your addiction.
(I used 800mg for visual purposes.)
Step 3: -Dissolve Your Caffeine in Water/Alcohol-
Now take your cup/glass and put your caffeine inside of it. Slowly add water until some of your caffeine is dissolved, NOT ALL OF IT! This is important for the next step. You should have about 1/2 of your caffeine dissolved in the water. You can drink this, it tastes really good.
You can also use alcohol (ethanol). The higher the purity the better.
Step 4: -Microwave Your Caffeine Water-
If you are using alcohol, DO NOT MICROWAVE and skip this step.
Now microwave your caffeine until the water is hot. One minute is a good universal setting since you are only microwaving a small amount. After microwaving, swish around your solution to ensure that all the caffeine has dissolved in the water.
The reason you are microwaving the solution is because caffeine's solubility in water increases with temperature. This concentrates more caffeine in less water and will make your patches more potent when you put the solution on the bandage. If you are using pills, this also helps to get more of the caffeine in the water and less of the binders/fillers in the pill.
Step 5: -Place Your Solution Onto the Bandage-
Now while your caffeine water is still hot, open your bandage fully and lay the cotton/gauze side facing up. Using a dropper or your creative mind, soak the bandage until it cannot hold any more water. Once water starts to puddle/form drops on top, your bandage can't hold anymore.
Once it is dry, your addiction-feeding patch is ready.
Note: If you wait too long and your caffeine solution starts to cool, the extra caffeine which dissolved will start to recrystallize aka turn back into solid caffeine. If this happens, simply re-microwave.
Step 6: Apply Liberally
You are now done. You can take your patch and save it for later or use it now. I like to use them every now and then because the caffeine is administered much more slowly than coffee and sustains a subtle energy for a longer period of time that can be really handy sometimes (I have no tolerance for caffeine so one patch works great). Also, if you sweat, the caffeine is more likely to be absorbed than with dry skin so do not worry about it getting moist/wet while working out (unless you have non-waterproof bandages).
You can apply this anywhere, I place it on my arm because I can. It is important to note that the thicker the area of skin, the less likely it is to absorb so don't place it at the bottom of your foot.
Using the patch immediately after preparing (while still wet) will significantly increase the effective absorption of the caffeine through the skin. Alcohol has better skin permeability (ability to move through the skin) than water and will maximize efficiency of your patches.
Enjoy your jitters!
Future Instructable: Rectal Caffeine, complete with pictures! (I'm messing around, you can do that one on your own.)