Learn how ethanol is becoming a solvent of choice when manufacturing high- quality cannabis extracts and why some believe it's best for. In short, ethanol is a very good solvent as it applies to the extraction of the extraction phase to work into a predetermined product pipeline. 4 days ago Why Does the Ethanol Extraction Process Work so Well for CBD Oil? the benefits of terpenes and other components of the cannabis plant in.
Well So Extraction Cannabis Ethanol Why Works for
As you might expect, these compounds are highly flammable: While all hydrocarbons could potentially be used for cannabis extraction, in practice only the lower hydrocarbons such as propane and butane are used. Why are these highly volatile, extremely flammable solvents employed? Well, they work, and they evaporate very easily, making recovery of the dissolved cannabinoids easy. The lower hydrocarbons are also fairly selective for the non-polar cannabinoids, leaving the colored pigments and chlorophyll behind.
Unfortunately, the properties of lower hydrocarbons that are ideal for cannabis extraction high volatility, low viscosity make them extremely dangerous.
There is no way to make these hazardous compounds safe, thus extensive engineering controls MUST be employed to avoid disaster. Even then, operator error, or inadequate SOPs can lead to hazardous conditions. Hydrocarbons are the province of Big Oil. They have the capital and experience to handle the hazards. Others should stay away. All CO2 systems are thus infringing on existing technology patents: Aside from the harmful effects CO2 has on the environment, the high pressures and large volumes of the highly poisonous carbon dioxide leads to major safely concerns.
Engineering controls must be in place in the event of CO2 release, or else rapid suffocation is possible in the event of failure.
Because of the extreme pressures involved, scCO2 systems must be made of pressure rated steel, increasing the capital outlay for startup and dramatically increasing the need for diligent preventative maintenance. Everything gets stripped from the plant material, including waxes, pigments and cell-wall fragments.
Winterization is done by dissolving the sludge from the scCO2 apparatus into ethanol, chilling and filtering off the mass of unusable waxes, etc.
This begs the question: Alcohol extraction of cannabis has been done for centuries. Cannabinoids have excellent solubility in lower alcohols such as ethanol and isopropanol, provided that the water content of the alcohol is low.
Ethanol tinctures of cannabis are a part of the Pharmacopeia, and before prohibition, were readily available for various ailments.
While many lower alcohols can be used for efficient extraction of cannabinoids from cannabis, ethanol is the preferred solvent, since it is relatively non-toxic. Decarboxylation is the conversion of THCA, for example, to THC through heating and agitation that yields carbon dioxide during the process. Therefore, heated ethanol extractions might require additional dewaxing and clarification steps.
This type of technique is also limited in the number of products it can produce because all the acid-form cannabinoids are decarboxylated during the extraction. Therefore, it can be used as an extraction solvent at room temperature or under supercooled conditions.
Using ethanol at room temperature or under cooled conditions are the most common practices because these conditions allow for the retention of cannabinoid acid forms that can be leveraged to manufacture shatters, THCA crystals or THCA-rich oral formulations.
A few differences exist between the outcomes of room temperature and supercooled ethanol extractions. First, room-temperature extractions generally extract more waxes and pigments than supercooled techniques, which results in additional dewaxing and clarification steps. However, room-temperature extraction techniques are more efficient. In short, ethanol is a very good solvent as it applies to the extraction of cannabinoids and terpenes.
In the literature that describes the solubility of cannabinoids in ethanol, there is no definitive carry capacity, but many sources suggest that cannabinoids are soluble in ethanol at a 1: Finally, ethanol extraction can be conducted as expensively or inexpensively as the manufacturer desires.
Ultimately, there is always one major problem to address with ethanol extraction beyond the safety requirements: All types of ethanol extraction require that between 0. The reason for this requirement is not due to the solubility of the cannabinoids or terpenes; it is due to the absorbent nature of the plant material.
To extract the solutes from the feed material, ethanol must fully saturate the flower or trim. For that reason, a significant volume of ethanol is needed to execute the process with an efficiency rate of more than 90 percent. While some automated machines have built-in processes to minimize the required ethanol volume, the best-case scenario is that the amount of ethanol required ranges from 0.
Machines with automation features have also compensated for the problem of squeezing the ethanol from the plant material by adding spin-of-compression cycles to their processes. This is helpful because recovering all the ethanol from saturated plant material—which holds cannabinoids and terpenes—can be a difficult and messy affair with basic approaches.
So, how does one deal with the large amount of ethanol required to extract the cannabinoids from a highly productive cannabis grow? To meet that requirement, the ethanol extraction system will need to process 4.
There are solutions that claim to meet this specification; they often carry a heftier price tag. That type of machine uses the least amount of ethanol 0. So, the total volume of alcohol to be recovered and processed per day would be To recover that volume of alcohol, the laboratory would require a large rotary or falling film evaporator equipment made to gently remove solvents from samples by evaporation.
For this example, a rotary evaporator is probably the most cost-effective choice. Ethanol is a solvent capable of extracting cannabinoids and terpenes efficiently. It also has a relatively low boiling point, which makes it easy to remove from final product, and a favorable toxicological profile including FDA limits in the range of 0. However, there is a high solvent-to-feed requirement, which can create ethanol storage compliance issues and a need for an expensive, high-throughput rotary evaporator.
Finally, ethanol cannot be tailored to separate cannabinoids or terpenes during the extraction phase to work into a predetermined product pipeline. Overall, ethanol extraction is an effective process most suited to high-throughput, bulk-processing laboratories that focus on a few products. Read Part II, on hydrocarbon extraction, here.
Read Part I, on supercritical extraction, here. Organic growing practices are becoming increasingly popular in the cannabis industry, and one key component of that movement could be converting to a no-till farming method.
A no-till farming method supports the idea of minimally disturbing the soil by growing your crops without tillage the mechanical agitation of soil that comes from stirring and turning.
It also helps the plants become more resilient, some farmers say, because the plants are forced to use nature to grow rather than rely on supplemental practices and chemical ingredients. But before cultivating cannabis, Green Source Gardens served as a vegetable farm.
It continues to grow food crops—including potatoes, greens, flowers, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, beans and winter squash—in its fields, located on steep terrain in the upper watershed of the Rogue River. By understanding and exploring concepts, including the water cycle, the carbon cycle and the mineral cycle, we can begin to formulate ideas and interact with the world with the goal to biologically remediate our badly mismanaged landscapes.
Part of that, Mahmood says, is a commitment to no-till farming. Tilling the soil can lead to a loss of carbon and minerals to atmosphere, wind and rain, he adds. Minerals and nutrients become mobile when the soil is worked on and are leached away with watering from either rain or irrigation. In turn, this can increase watershed pollution. Mahmood says tillage also kills micro- and macro-biology, which are the architects of the soil, rendering the soil bare and vulnerable to the erosive forces of natural weather patterns.
Think of worms getting crushed by your rototiller. But even with all the good it does—for the soil, and for agriculture as a whole—the no-till farming method does present challenges for Green Source Gardens. One season you may have an overabundance of rodents, but then later you will see an increase of its natural predators.
Lazy Bee Gardens operates 30, square feet of outdoor canopy space. Twelve employees work the land without tilling the soil, says owner Matthew Frigone. The business launched in , when it won its license, and Frigone spent a year building its facilities on family-owned farm land.
At any given time, Lazy Bee Gardens might have 20 to 30 strains in production, with another 20 to 30 strains in testing.
Instead, we tend more to hunt for genetics that are unique in their terpene profile. The idea is to feed your soil, not your plant. With the right structure in place, Lazy Bee Gardens growers began planting in the no-till soil for the first time in Even though no-till farming is still relatively new at Lazy Bee Gardens, Frigone says he can already see the plants benefiting from this method.
The close bond between Glen and Dan James, the father-son duo behind Bosmere Farms, is obvious when you catch them discussing their business. The pauses before his answers ooze with playful eye-rolling toward his father. Glen is right to be proud of his son. The key, according to the James family, is cutting costs including their costs of living to the bare minimum and focusing their production on the extract market—exclusively.
In true bootstrapping fashion, the family sold their homes and life insurance policies, cashed in k s and banded together to create their business. Everything else went toward purchasing and developing the farm.
When not working on the farm, family members spend free time working full- or part-time jobs to help make ends meet. He lives with his wife in a fifth-wheel trailer, while Dan, his wife Emily, and their son live in the house—all on the new farm. Part of how the team keep its costs low is by working exclusively with Cura Cannabis Solutions, the extraction company that produces the top-selling extract brand Select Oil.
Open communication is essential to Bosmere Farms, both internally and with Cura, Glen says. Alerting Cura of any issues or delays builds trust between the companies, he explains, and allows Cura to be more flexible with the cultivation company when problems arise. Early in the business planning stages, Dan and his father disagreed on how Bosmere Farms should operate: Branding and marketing are expensive, and thanks to Section E of the Internal Revenue Code which forbids cannabis businesses from deducting anything from their taxes except the cost of goods sold COGS , marketing expenses are non-deductible from tax filings for cannabis companies.
Instead of fighting the whole Oregon market for shelf space, Dan decided to treat his cannabis as a commodity crop. With no money for legal advice or consulting services, and little guidance from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission OLCC , Dan spent October through December completing the application as best he could.
Ethanol: Next Great Chemical for Cannabis
Learn how ethanol is becoming a solvent of choice when manufacturing high- quality cannabis extracts and why some believe it's best for extraction. Let's start with the science of cannabis extraction. stages of filtration, separation , chromatography, as well as solvents such as dimethalether. Well, they work, and they evaporate very easily, making recovery of the After extraction, the ethanol is evaporated leaving the cannabis oil as.