Have you ever been curious as to how high-grade cannabis concentrates are made? The solution is that there are a number of different techniques. Manufacturers utilize sophisticated equipment or solvents to remove CBD and other cannabinoids from the unprocessed plant material, in basic terms.
The most well-known extraction procedures are hydrocarbon, carbon dioxide, and ethanol. Here’s a summary of what each one entails.
The method of extracting cannabis plants using butane or propane as a solvent is known as hydrocarbon extraction. The solvent is circulated through the raw plant material, which removes the terpenes and cannabinoids. After that, the solution is heated to evaporate the solvent and leave behind a residue that is edible.
CO2 extraction is a method of extracting cannabis compounds from plants by forcing carbon dioxide at high pressure inside a metal tank. The solution is then used to extract the plant’s chemicals before they are divided, leaving behind a cannabis concentrate such as wax and shatter.
To make high-quality CBD, you’ll need the right equipment. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to extract cannabinoids from hemp oil, look no further than our article, The Complete Guide to CBD Extractions.
The technique of ethanol extraction entails soaking raw marijuana in the solvent to extract the cannabinoids. The plant material is scraped away, and the liquid is filtered. Finally, the ethanol is removed from the substance.
The benefits and drawbacks of each type of extraction apply to every situation. This post will focus on ethanol extraction, discussing whether it is safe.
Why Use Ethanol in the First Place?
When it comes to pricing, ethanol is in the middle of the three extraction processes. It might cost up to $100,000 for a high-quality set of equipment. For many businesses, however, the large storage capacity it provides is well worth the expense.
The Capna Ethos-6, for example, can store up to 136 liters of ethanol. It is capable of extracting 3600 grams of substance in just 40 minutes.
The extraction container can contain up to 60 liters, while the collection vessel has a capacity of 40 litres. Even more importantly, it recovers 85% of the solvent used. Because you can extract a lot of material in a limited amount of time, you will save a lot on power usage as a result.
Overall, one ethanol extraction machine may process thousands of pounds of cannabis each day.
A 5-liter CO2 system costs around $100,000, whereas a 25-liter system costs about $400,000. For $20,000, you can purchase hydrocarbon equipment. However, it isn’t capable of extracting as much material as ethanol extraction equipment.
Overall, one ethanol extraction machine may process up to several thousands of pounds of cannabis each day. However, you’ll also need a few add-ons to maintain the environment stable.
The procedure is similar to that of a large tea bag and teacup, according to an employee of Lucid Labs, who works with ethanol extraction. You may put huge flows of ethanol in big vats containing enormous quantities of cannabis.
Ethanol Extraction – Is It Safe?
According to some estimates, ethanol extraction is less hazardous for workers than the other two extraction methods. Hydrocarbons are highly combustible, and while all extraction must be conducted in carefully controlled laboratories, there are hazards involved.
CO2 can also asphyxiate people if there is a leak in the room. Businesses may reduce this danger by installing alarms that go off if the air quality in the room deteriorates. The most significant point to consider is whether ethanol results in the finest end product. Terpenes are well extracted by hydrocarbon extraction, whereas carotenoids and flavonoids are effectively captured by CO2 extraction. Overall, ethanol is considered a safe extraction technique; but is this really the case?
Is Ethanol Extraction Potentially Harmful?
Ethanol is a combustible liquid that is colorless and volatile. It’s one of the most popular reasons for its usage: it mixes well with water and other solvents.
It has been used for thousands of years since its discovery as a by-product of fermentation for alcoholic beverages. Perfumes, biofuel, beauty products, and a variety of solvents are just a few examples of the many things it may be utilized for.
Although ethanol is commonly utilized by manufacturers, it is not completely safe. This is not the case, however. Ethanol is a hazardous substance.
The main reason it is hazardous is that it is highly combustible, with many flashpoints. A flashpoint is the temperature at which a substance’s vapors can combine to form an ignitable mixture in the air. In layman’s terms, a low flash point indicates that a substance may be easily ignited.
For the record, 100% ethanol’s flashpoint is 61.88 degrees Fahrenheit at room temperature, which is a lot lower than gasoline.
The temperature at which the ethanol solution catches fire rises when it is diluted. The flashpoint of 90% ethanol, for example, is 63 degrees. At 72 degrees, 60% ethanol can ignite, while 10% ethanol can ignite at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Before using ethanol in marijuana extraction, it’s crucial to understand all of its flash points.
Are Ethanol-Extracted Cannabis Concentrates Safe to Consume?
Ethanol is the intoxicating component in alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, and cocktails. We know that excessive drinking increases the danger of medical issues including heart disease and liver damage.
The real question, therefore, is whether you should avoid marijuana produced using ethanol. The answer is a firm no if high-quality extraction equipment is utilized. The substance releases cannabinoids and terpenes while also generating unwanted compounds, resulting in a harsh flavor
The most crucial thing to note about utilizing ethanol extraction equipment is that it removes almost all of the ethanol. In other words, the finished product contains little or no traces of the substance. There are also new solvent recovery systems that recover up to 98% of the ethanol.
Another safety concern with ethanol extraction occurs when individuals try it themselves.
One potential hazard with ethanol extraction is doing it at home. The oldest evaporation technique, which involves placing the alcohol solution in a flat-bottomed Pyrex dish and letting it evaporate for up to two days, is one of the oldest. You can imagine that this isn’t a very effective way to go!
Various kinds of ethanol extraction equipment are designed to be both safe and solvent-free.
The Capna’s Ethos 4 machine extracts up to 98.5 percent of THC from the plant while leaving the chlorophyll chemical components behind. It does away with the need for time-consuming winterization procedures and dewaxing by using a freezing, low-pressure system. It also uses a closed-loop system to ensure that no ethanol leaves the system.
There is no doubt that ethanol is a hazardous chemical. However, in the process of extracting cannabinoids from marijuana, sophisticated technology ensures that the solvent is fully evaporated.
Please be aware that we do not recommend the use of home ethanol extraction equipment. Ethanol is highly combustible, and trying to extract cannabis components from marijuana using readily accessible equipment is both difficult and hazardous. Please leave the job to the experts.