Why Ethanol Is So Effective In Cannabis Extraction

Why Ethanol Is So Effective In Cannabis Extraction

Why Ethanol Is So Effective In Cannabis Extraction

The Cannabis industry has recorded a tremendous growth over the past few years. Furthermore, the market share of cannabis extracts has grown even faster. For the time being, two forms of cannabis extracts, butane ones and supercritical CO2 ones, are the main active ingredients in most of the concentrates available today.

Three’s also a third solvent, ethanol, that has been gaining terrain, as it has become the solution of choice for many manufacturers of high-quality cannabis extracts. Here are a few considerations that make us believe that ethanol is the best solvent for cannabis extraction.

Ethanol, Butane And Supercritical CO2 – Which One Works Best For Cannabis Extraction?

There isn’t such thing as the perfect solvent for cannabis extraction. Butane, which is currently the most widespread solvent, used by most of the major manufacturers, is a good choice, due to its non-polarity, which enables the extraction of the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plants without extracting various undesirable compounds such as chlorophyll and plant metabolites. As butane has a low boiling point, it eases the process of purging it from the concentrate once the extraction process is over, the obtained byproduct being relatively pure.

Unfortunately, butane is highly combustible, and less skilled home butane extractors have generated several explosions that resulted in severe injuries and gave cannabis extraction a bad reputation. Moreover, some extractors, willing to score bigger profits, have utilized low-quality butane, there fore obtaining an end product full of potentially harmful toxins.

Supercritical CO2, on the other hand, has been chosen by many for its relative safety regarding the toxicity levels and the environmental impact. The drawback of this substance is that the purification process is extremely lengthy, due to the need to remove by-products of the extraction process such as fatty substances and waxes.

Hempgenix took into consideration all benefits and drawbacks of various solvents, including butane and supercritical CO2, before deciding that ethanol was the best solvent for the job. They knew they needed a solvent as safe as CO@, but more effective. Ethanol has been effective in various applications where CO2 failed to work.

Ethanol turned out to be not only efficient and effective but also safe to handle. The FDA classification for ethanol is GRASS, namely “Generally Regarded as Safe,” this meaning that it is safe for human consumption. This makes it widely used as food additive and preservative in a wide array of foods from donut cream filings to wine and various other drinks.

Ethanol Extraction: Trying New Methods

Although ethanol has a better effectiveness than CO2 and is safer than butane, the standard ethanol extraction process isn’t without challenges. The biggest one was ethanol’s polarity. Like any other polar solvent, ethanol will naturally mix with water and dissolve all water soluble molecules. Chlorophyll is one of these by-products that co-extract with ease when using ethanol in the extraction process. The chlorophyll content will lead to a dark coloration and a grassy flavor of the end product, so there’s no wonder many patients refuse the treatment.

Hempgenix and CosPro Labs conducted experiments and additional research over a 16 months period, and they managed to come up with a method that bypassed the chlorophyll and the lipids in the extraction process. This method enabled the creation of pure ethanolic extracts. This patent-pending method can also remove almost all residual ethanol from the byproduct once the extraction ends, without altering the cannabinoid and terpene profile obtained initially.

The average residual ethanol value of Hempgenix Isolate is lower than 600 ppm. To understand this value, we have to mention that the ethanol limit set by the FDA is of 5,000 ppm. The ethanol removed from the end product can be reused in further extraction processes. This is an excellent method to eliminate the generation of chemical waste. As all governments of developed countries are worried about environmental problems, it’s easy to understand ethanol-based cannabis extraction has so many adepts.

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