Ethanol extraction of CBD

Person holding an extracted CBD

Ethanol extraction is a widely used method for obtaining cannabidiol (CBD) from the cannabis plant, prized for its efficiency and ability to produce high-quality extracts. This technique involves soaking the plant material in ethanol to dissolve cannabinoids, terpenes, and other valuable compounds, resulting in a potent CBD-rich oil.

Having extensive experience in the CBD industry and having worked closely with various extraction processes and understand the nuances of ethanol extraction. This expertise provides valuable insights into the benefits of ethanol extraction, such as its scalability and cost-effectiveness, as well as its impact on the purity and potency of the final CBD product.

Key takeaways

  • Using cold ethanol can get you up to 19.7 grams of CBD from 100 grams of plant at -40°C, with a 1:15 mix and 10 minutes extraction.
  • For THCA, by extracting it at room temperature with ethanol, you can get up to 102.1%, keeping the content high.
  • Less terpene loss happens at -40°C rather than -20°C and room temperature, with reductions at 54.1% and 32.2%, respectively.
  • Ethanol extractions keep cannabinoid acids safe, ensuring the CBD’s health effects remain strong by stopping decarboxylation.
  • This process uses a ‘green’ method, which means it doesn’t need a lot of cleaning up afterwards.

Understanding ethanol extraction CBD

Ethanol solvent extraction is a popular way to get cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. It uses ethanol, a safe solvent, which is cold to lessen the mixing of unwanted parts like chlorophylls. This method doesn’t need extra steps to purify the extract, saving time.

This extraction method is key in making top-notch extracts thanks to the right balance of ingredients. By adjusting solvent amounts, temperatures, and the time of extraction, you get the best result. The final extract can be made even purer using equipment like rotary evaporators.

What is ethanol extraction?

Ethanol extraction means using ethanol to pull out cannabinoids and terpenes from cannabis. It’s popular for keeping the plant’s good properties intact but safe. This method doesn’t lose the cannabinoids’ health benefits. It also retains the original state of these important compounds.

Why choose ethanol extraction?

Using ethanol for extraction is good for the earth and safe for people. Ethanol is ‘green’ and safe to handle. It’s a better choice than other common solvents used. Cold ethanol extraction is especially effective. At very low or room temperatures, you get a lot more cannabinoids and terpenes. This method is powerful, even with more delicate parts of the plant.

The following table illustrates the yield and efficiency of ethanol extraction at various temperatures:

Temperature (°C)Yield (g 100 g dry matter−1)Extraction efficiency (%)
−2018.283.6
−4019.797.7
Room temperature18.5102.1

Cold ethanol extraction also saves terpenes better than other ways. It means not losing important plant oils. This makes the final product more flavourful and effective. Also, this method doesn’t change cannabinoids into something less beneficial. Keeping them in their original form matters for the product’s quality and health benefits.

Comparing pressing machines and others, cold ethanol does better and needs less cleaning afterwards. It’s an advanced way to get the exact parts of the plant you want, leaving the rest behind. Ethanol extraction is very good at getting useful parts from plants without bringing in more. It’s key in making high-quality products from cannabis and other plants.

The process of ethanol extraction

Getting cannabinoids out of hemp takes a series of careful steps. This ensures the best amount and quality of the final product. The process aims to get a top-notch tincture rich in cannabinoids. It also keeps the terpenes and uses extraction methods that get the most out of the hemp.

I’ll explain the key parts of how ethanol is used to get the good stuff out, including getting ready, planning how much solvent to use, and when to extract. We also talk about how to take the ethanol out at the end.

Preparation of cannabis biomass

First, we get the hemp ready. We pick special kinds of the Cannabis sativa L. plant for this. Then we freeze them and grind them. This keeps the best bits, like cannabinoids and terpenes, safe. A good start means a stronger tincture later. Making sure the grinding is the same helps the whole process work better.

Solvent-to-sample ratio and extraction time

After preparing the hemp, we move on to two important steps: how much solvent to use and how long to extract. Studies show the best mix is 1:15 (cannabis to ethanol) and extract for 10 minutes. This setup makes sure we get a lot out and keep it all good. The temperature during extraction can make a difference:

TemperatureYield (g/100g dry matter)THC-A (g/100g dry matter)Efficiency (%)
-20°C18.215.083.6
-40°C19.717.597.7
Room temperature18.518.3102.1

Choosing the right temperature is key. A cold -40°C keeps more terpenes. These are really important for the tincture’s quality.

Removal and recovery of ethanol

Lastly, we get the ethanol out. This is crucial after taking out the cannabinoids and terpenes. It stops impurities in the final product. Using tools like rotary evaporators helps. It’s good for the product and the planet. It cuts waste and helps the economic side of making tinctures.

A well-planned ethanol extraction process gives us a great tincture. By preparing well, using the right amounts, extracting carefully, and removing ethanol efficiently, we make top-quality tinctures.

Comparison of extraction methods

Phytochemical processing uses various methods to make top-notch cannabis extracts. Two key ways are cold ethanol and supercritical CO2 extraction. Each has its perks, perfect for different final product needs.

Extraction methods and their comparison

Cold ethanol vs. supercritical CO2 extraction

Cold ethanol is known for its straightforwardness in extracting many plant compounds. It doesn’t need high heat or pressure to pull out cannabinoids and terpenes. This keeps cannabinoid acids intact, which is important for the compounds’ health benefits.

On the other hand, with supercritical CO2, the trick is in fine-tuning to target certain compounds. By adjusting the temperature and pressure just right, it can make extracts with specific terpene mixes. The supercritical CO2 state works like a bridge between a gas and a liquid, aiding in the extraction process.

Efficiency and selectivity

The efficiency of how we extract affects the amount and quality of the extract. Cold ethanol is praised for its efficiency and cost-effectiveness. It works well for both medical and recreational cannabis, thanks to ethanol being safe for consumption.

Supercritical CO2 is a champion at picking out specific compounds. It lets you finely adjust settings to isolate certain phytochemicals. This precision is crucial for pharmaceutical and food applications, where specific compounds are key.

Now, let’s look at how these methods differ in what they offer:

FactorCold ethanol extractionSupercritical CO2 extraction
Operating conditionsLow temperature and pressureHigh temperature and pressure control
YieldHighModerate to high
SelectivityLowHigh
CostModerateHigh
Phytochemical profileFull spectrumCustomisable

Cold ethanol wins in making economical batches with a wide range of extracts. Meanwhile, supercritical CO2 gives detailed control for a unique composition. Choosing the extraction method depends on what the end product needs and the facility’s capabilities.

Optimising extraction conditions for maximum yield

Getting the best out of ethanol extraction is key to getting more from the process. It helps keep the good stuff in cannabis safe. I looked at different models to make the process better. Key areas were how much of the solvent you use, the heat, and how long the process lasts.

Person optimising extraction conditions

The right mix was using 1 part cannabis to 15 parts ethanol and letting it sit for 10 minutes. We tested this at different temperatures. The amount of cannabinoids we got changed from 18.2 to 19.7 grams. This showed that careful control gives the most CBD.

We also looked at extracting tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). The process did best at low temperatures: 83.6% at -20°C, 97.7% at -40°C, and even more at room temperature. But, using colder temps meant losing some smell and taste. That’s why finding the right temperature is so important for getting the most out of the process.

We discovered that how we set up the process really affects what we get out. A big part was how much of the cannabinoids and terpenes we got. This shows why customising the process is so important for each plant. It helps us get the most out of what we want.

Using cold ethanol was better than other ways of extracting. It did not pull out as much of the unwanted stuff like chlorophylls and waxes. This means less work after the extraction, saving time and making the process faster.

Choosing the right type of cannabis is really crucial. The plant we picked had a lot of THCA and just the right balance of other chemicals. This made it perfect for ethanol extraction.

Extraction conditionsYield (g/100g dry matter)Terpene decreaseTHCA efficiency
-20°C18.254.1%83.6%
-40°C19.30%97.7%
Room temperature19.732.2%102.1%

Advantages of ethanol extraction for CBD oil

Ethanol extraction is a top choice for making premium CBD products. It uses ethanol, which is seen as a ‘green solvent’. This method gives high volumes and a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes. It’s praised for keeping natural cannabinoid acids intact, vital for CBD’s health benefits.

CBD oil and ethanol extraction

High-quality extracts

Through ethanol extraction, top-notch CBD extracts are created. The method keeps the natural cannabinoid acids preserved. These are key for the desired therapeutic effects. Also, it keeps a rich terpene profile. By working at lower temperatures, it protects the plant’s sensitive parts. This keeps the quality and strength of the extracts high.

Environmental and safety considerations

Ethanol is much safer for our planet than some other solvents. It’s less harmful and not as likely to cause accidents during use. Being a ‘green solvent’, ethanol is good for the environment. It meets both legal requirements and the public’s desire for eco-friendly production methods.

A major review looked at 93 studies and found that using solvents is the top way to get extracts from cannabis plants. It pointed out that organic solvents like ethanol are safe and effective. The study looked at many methods, including some that don’t use solvents or water, noting their benefits.

For example, Valizadehderakhshan et al.’s 2021 study checked various ways to extract compounds from the Cannabis sativa L. plant. Ethanol was highlighted for its effectiveness and purity. This makes it a good choice for both industrial and medical applications.

The review highlighted ethanol as the best choice for making medicinal cannabis. It compared methods and found newer techniques, like ultrasonic and supercritical fluid extraction, to be better for the environment and quality. It shows ethanol extraction is not just a good choice now, it fits well with caring for the environment in the future.

Applications of ethanol-extracted CBD

Ethanol-extracted CBD plays a key role in today’s cannabis industry standards. It offers high purity and a full range of cannabinoids. This makes it perfect for many cannabidiol applications. In medical settings, where strength and purity matter most, ethanol extraction shines. It keeps important cannabinoid acids, boosting the product’s health benefits.

When the extraction process uses a 1:15 cannabis-to-ethanol ratio and lasts 10 minutes, it leads to various cannabinoid amounts based on temperature. For example, at -20 °C, 18.2 grams of cannabinoids per 100 grams were obtained. At -40 °C, this increased to 19.7 grams. Even at room temperature, a still good 18.5 grams were extracted.

This shows the extraction’s consistent performance under different temperatures. It helps product developers ensure the quality of their CBD remains high.

For tetrahydrocannabinolic acid, extraction was most efficient at colder temperatures. At -20 °C, it hit 83.6%, rising to 97.7% at -40 °C. Impressively, 102.1% was achieved at room temperature. While extracting at lower temperatures harmed terpene content, in each case, over 88% of the final result was down to the extraction process itself.

This means ethanol extraction excels in keeping the full cannabinoid and terpene profile intact, vital for many health uses.

Personal insight

Learning about the ethanol extraction process for CBD, I am impressed by its efficiency and the high-quality extracts it produces. This method, known for using cold ethanol, effectively retains cannabinoids and terpenes while minimising impurities like chlorophyll. Its environmental benefits, combined with its cost-effectiveness, make it a preferable choice for both large-scale and small-scale CBD production.

The meticulous process, involving precise solvent-to-sample ratios and temperature control, ensures the purity and potency of the final product, showcasing the sophistication and promise of this extraction technique.

Frequently asked questions

What is ethanol extraction?

Ethanol extraction uses ethanol as a solvent. It separates important elements from the cannabis plant. This method is safe and efficient due to ethanol’s safe use in food.

Why choose ethanol extraction for CBD?

Ethanol extraction gets all beneficial plant parts with no need for extreme heat or pressure. It avoids the mix-in of unwanted elements, making it a top choice for making pure CBD oil.

How is cannabis biomass prepared for ethanol extraction?

To prepare cannabis, the right plants are chosen. Then, they are ground and kept cold to keep their best parts. Finally, the cannabis is well prepared for the extraction process.

What is the significance of solvent-to-sample ratio and extraction time?

The amount of solvent used and the time of extraction are very important. Using a 1:15 ratio and extracting for about 10 minutes works well for getting the most from the plants.

How is ethanol removed and recovered after extraction?

After extracting, ethanol is taken out using advanced methods like rotary evaporators. This process keeps the CBD pure by removing the solvent.

What are the advantages of cold ethanol extraction over supercritical CO2 extraction?

Cold ethanol extraction is both simpler and more effective. It results in a full range of plant benefits. In comparison, CO2 extraction is more complex but gives more control over the final product’s compounds.

How does efficiency and selectivity influence extraction methods?

How well and what extract is made depends on efficiency and selectivity. Ethanol gets everything from the plant, while CO2 can choose specific ones. This affects the unique qualities of the final product.

What conditions are optimal for maximising CBD yield in ethanol extraction?

The best setup is a 1:15 ratio, extracted for 10 minutes at cold temperatures. These settings are tuned to the specific plant’s needs to get the most CBD.

What are the environmental and safety considerations of ethanol extraction?

Using ethanol is safer for people and the environment than other solvents. It’s safe, ‘green’, and supports sustainable manufacturing.

What are the applications of ethanol-extracted CBD?

CBD from ethanol can be used in many products. It’s great for medicine, creams, and food. This method helps make top-quality, helpful CBD items for everyone.

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