It is well recognized that CBD has become more and more popular for its numeral medical uses in the last few years as one of the important compounds coming from the hemp or cannabis plant. And the cannabis industries never stop looking for better and efficient methods of CBD extraction. There are mainly three methods for cannabis extraction, including ethanol extraction, CO2 extraction and butane extraction. The following will make a specific distinction between the ethanol extraction and the CO2 extraction.
The ethanol extraction refers to a kind of method taking ethanol as the solvent to extract and purify materials, which makes use of the solubility of ethanol. The ethanol belongs to a kind of hydrophilic organic solvent, which possesses a great solubility of all kinds of chemical components. It is widely used in chemical experiments, chemical purification, chemical pharmaceutical and the production of TCM medicament.
It has both pros and cons. On the one hand, the ethanol extraction turns to have a higher efficiency in extracting compounds. It is even “Generally Regarded As Safe” according to the FDA. But on the other hand, the ethanol is quite costly to extract with. And it is dangerous to work with because of its inflammable property.
The CO2 extraction generally refers to the supercritical CO2 extraction and subcritical CO2 extraction, which is a kind of method taking CO2 as the solvent to extract and purify materials. By utilizing pressure and heat, the CO2 can be turned from gaseous state into the gas-liquid hybrid state, which is capable of extracting CBD and other compounds from the hemp or cannabis plant. Then CO2 can leave the solution when the solution returns to the room condition.
It also has both pros and cons. On the one hand, the CO2 is generally considered “solventless” and non-toxic due to CO2 can be evaporated completely. And it is clean and non-flammable. But on the other hand, the fewer terpenes and weaker product will be obtained by using CO2 extraction. And it is more expensive. In conclusion, it’s the most expensive, effective, and safest extraction method.
Is Ethanol Extraction Better than CO2?
As we mentioned above, both ethanol and CO2 have their own pros and cons. Though ethanol extraction is more effective than CO2 extraction. But it can’t be said that ethanol extraction is better than CO2 extraction. The ethanol extraction is dangerous to work with because of its inflammable property. So the proper extraction method should be chosen based on actual situations. The most appropriate method is actually the best extraction method.