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How does ethanol extraction for CBD Work?

ethanol extractionIn previous articles, we have referred to alternative methods of extracting cannabis oil apart from using a Rosin Press. These methods involve the use of chemicals, ethanol,  and specialized equipment.  As a result, they are mainly for use by large or commercial growers who have quantities of weed to deal with.

We have not really explored this in any depth but if you have an interest in methods other than using a Rosin Press this article may be of interest.

This article has been provided to us by:

Quinton Van Gundy of

Colorado Extraction Systems, LLC, and we are very grateful for the details he has provided.

How Does Ethanol Extraction for CBD Work?

When it comes to using cannabis for health reasons, CBD is good for medicinal purposes. However, people want to find the best way to extract ethanol from it for better use. Here are some methods to help the process go smoothly if you use CBD.

Keeping You Safe

One of the key reasons why people use ethanol extraction equipment is to provide a safer experience. While ethanol is a highly flammable substance, it’s great for extracting any cannabis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies this as a solvent with a low level of toxicity used for pharmaceutical practices.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 extraction is one of the most widely used forms of pulling from the plant through a carbon dioxide method in two ways. It pulls out lighter oils in a method called subcritical, which is a cold and effective form of getting out volatile oils and terpenes. The other way is called supercritical, which is more common and uses heat to give you an end-product with more health benefits at a faster rate.

The Need for Decarboxylation

There are a few main reasons why decarboxylation makes things better:

  • Uses a chemical process to help activate CBD oil
  • Important release because CBD isn’t naturally present in cannabis
  • Able to help make CBD active for a more quality cannabis product

Solvent Handling

Here’s a crucial element to consider when you’re trying to extract your CBD. When extracting ethanol, around 0.6 to 1 gallon must be used in the process because cannabis is a very absorbent plant. Machines come in handy because they’ll not only get a better rate of pulling out, but the accuracy will be more than 90% for a cleaner pulling job.


Here’s a necessary process to help do the following:

  • Get rid of terpenoids, cannabinoids, and other fatty acids found in the CBD oil
  • It forms a polar substance from non-popular elements like hash oil dissolve
  • Able to draw out the lipids and waxes to make them easier to remove by filtering it


By using ethanol extraction equipment, it helps manufacturers reduce their cost. Additionally, there’s less equipment and labor needed to get the job done. The closed-loop system prevents leaks, which makes it less prone to fire hazards.

These are a few methods to extract ethanol to make it safer to use CBD oil for health purposes.

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