There has always been debate over which type of processing is best for max efficacy in the processing of biomass to product. Ethanol and cO2 both hold the highest use of extraction within the market. I have heard both praised as “greater than” the other. My questions are:
Which method of processing do you prefer?
Do you feel this method is pure and eco friendly?
Are efficiency rates a concern?
Looking forward to your thoughts!
I have a proprietary ethanol extraction system that has zero PPM of residual ethanol and 100% of the cannabinoid profile in the extract. Lab-tested.
My system aside- a standard ethanol system will produce a true full-spectrum do the pulling of both polar and non-polar bond or both oil and water-based cannabinoids.
CO2 does not do this it is non-polar only. So all the claims of “Full Spectrum” in the past six months is such a misused buzzword. This time last year you barely heard of ” full-spectrum” I know I used it in many pitches- only to confuse people. Now it’s everywhere.
Ethanol is created from whole-grain cereal grains. I’m a fan the extract is amazing, bioavailability is increased
That’s super interesting and the idea of the polarity is a key factor in extractions. I have heard many people use the term “full spectrum” as well and wondered what they meant. Did they mean a full cannabinoid profile or just a bit of CBA in the mix? Jury is still out on the term but I do appreciate a full cannabinoid profile and also understand the need for isolated CBD for those in non legal states and those who choose singular CBD as their modus.
Can you touch on how you feel about the bioavailability being increased?
We utilize a large scale water extraction that produces a raw cannabinoid concentrate. We truly feel that being able to provide the entourage effect in its purest form is that best route. As far as price its close to if not more cost efficient to ethanol. Great topic.
Pioneer Botanicals, can you explain the water extraction as I’m not as familiar? Not into proprietary means but a general overview. That seems like a major advantage and would be very clean and would produce an intense concentrate. Samples? 🙂
CO2 or Ethanol really depends on the final product. Both methods will make a first stage winterized “crude” oil but that word means different things depending on the extraction method.
CO2 Full spectrum “crude” is ready to be used after extraction as it will be much more pure than ethanol extract. Ethanol is a great option for bulk extraction when the goal is further refinement to distillate or isolate, but not recommended to be used in products in the “crude” stage.
The downside to CO2 is your throughout is LOW. For example (don’t quote the numbers, just an average) a $250k investment into CO2 will allow you process around 70-100 lbs/day (10 hour shift) and that oil is worth anywhere from $2500-4500/kg. The same investment into ethanol will allow you to process 1,000 lbs/day with an oil worth $1,400-1,800/kg. If you’re looking for the highest ROI and will be selling in bulk to other labs to refine, it’s hard to beat ethanol. If you want the most medicinal value into finished products, it’ll be hard to beat CO2.
For anyone who’s wondering, water extraction allows you to go from biomass to a full spectrum “isolate” (not one isolated molecule, but multiple cannabinoids in a powder/crystaline form) through advanced filtration methods and other critical steps. That’s right, you can skip all of the different oils and post refinement processes that are the norm of existing hydrocarbon and solvent extraction methods.
It seems like there are still some minor refinements required to the technology, but it’ll be a game changer for the industry over the next few years.