With the progress of science and technology, various extraction methods of cannabis emerge one after another, among which ethanol extraction method is widely used in the cannabis industry.
What is ethanol?
Ethanol is an organic compound commonly known as alcohol.
Ethanol is a volatile colorless and transparent liquid at normal temperature and pressure.
Ethanol is a common fuel, solvent, and disinfectant; it can also be used to make other compounds. Ethanol has a wide range of uses in the chemical industry, medical and health care, food industry, agricultural production and other fields.
What is ethanol extraction?
Ethanol is considered a universal solvent because it has both polar and non-polar properties.
Ethanol extraction method refers to the use of the solubility of ethanol, ethanol as a solvent for the separation and purification of substances.
Ethanol Extraction in Cannabis
The widespread application of ethanol extraction in the cannabis industry is related to its high efficiency, simple and safe operation.
The main reason why cold ethanol solvent is involved in cannabis extraction is its chemical structure – it can extract or dissolve most polar and non-polar molecules.
Due to its chemical properties, ethanol can dissolve a large number of substances such as cannabinoids, waxes, terpenes and lipids.
In ethanol extraction of cannabis, temperature is an important factor. Different temperatures have different effects on the final product.
Too warm will produce unwanted excess components in the finished product; if too cold, efficiency and profit will be reduced. Therefore, when extracting cannabis with ethanol, it is more reasonable to control the temperature at -30℃-40℃.
Ethanol Extraction Principle
It is a long process from the cultivation of cannabis to the harvest. After the hemp has been matured and harvested, the hemp oil can be extracted by ethanol extraction. The process consists of three main steps: extraction, evaporation, and distillation.
Extraction: Cool the ethanol to about -40°C before extraction. Submerge the material to be processed with ethanol; set parameters for rotation to extract useful components through centrifugal force; remove unwanted components such as lipids and chlorophyll.
Evaporation: The extracted solution is heated to boiling through equipment to extract crude oil. The concentration of cannabis obtained at this time is about 40-60%.
Distillation: The process of distillation is very similar to evaporation. The evaporated crude oil is heated again to refine and separate out cannabis oil with a concentration of 85-95%.
Advantage of Cold Ethanol Extraction
More efficient, reducing labor and cost.
The complexity of the filtering step operation is reduced.
The final product has a high concentration.
What kind of equipment is needed for ethanol extraction？
Chilling : Cool the required ethanol to -40°C
Extraction: The cannabis to be processed is soaked in ethanol and the desired chemicals are extracted by centrifugal force.
Evaporation: The use of evaporation equipment to remove ethanol from plant crude oil.
Decarboxylation: The carboxyl group of the molecule is removed to produce CBD and THC.
Distillation: Cannabinoids are isolated from crude oil by distillation equipment.
Liquid Preparative Chromatography: The concentration of the finished product can be tested.
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