What is the Difference Between Solvent and Solventless Extraction?

Cannabis extraction has become a hot topic around the world in recent years due to cannabis become legal in more and more countries and areas. There are many methods of cannabis extraction, including solvent-based and solventless extraction. But what is the difference between them?

What is Solvent Extraction?

Solvent-based extraction is a process in which compounds are separated according to their relative solubilities. The solvent involved in the process is a kind of fluid that has the ability to dissolve another substance.

It is capable of separating a component from a solution by extraction into another solvent, or receiving a valuable component from the solution, or purifying the original solvent by removing an unwanted component.

There are a great variety of commonly used solvents, such as ethanol, CO2 and hydrocarbons. They have different pros and cons because of their various properties. The commonly used solvent extraction equipment includes industrial centrifuges, closed loop extractors and falling film evaporators. For example, an industrial centrifuge uses ethanol as a kind of solvent to extract cbd or other substances from hemp or other plants.

What is Solventless Extraction?

Solvent-less extraction refers to the process that extracts products mechanically without the use of solvents. It can be safely carried out at home without the risk of burning or explosion from using flammable solvents. It can mechanically produce extracts or concentrates without the use of a solvent, such as hash, dry sift, bubble hash and rosin.

The commonly used solventless extraction equipment includes rosin heat press machine and vortex trichome separators. For example, a rosin heat press machine is a press device to extract rosin by utilizing heat as well as pressure. It is generally considered as the easiest and the most economical extraction technology, which is quite widely used both at people’s home and in commercial field. A vortex trichome separator utilizes the mechanical separation technology to separate cannabinoids and terpene-rich trichome from biomass in order to produce high quality ice water hash.

Solventless VS. Solvent-Free

It should be noticed that solvent-free extraction differs from solventless extraction. The solventless refers to the process without the use of solvents, while the solvent-free extraction is allowed to use solvents in the process as long as all of solvents can be properly removed before being sold.

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