Ethanol is what is called a “polar” solvent, it will be more hydrotropic, meaning it will want to bind to the water-soluble components of the plant, making it a more full-spectrum extract. With hydrocarbon, the solvent is non-polar, meaning it binds to the more fat-soluble components of the plant (cannabinoids and terpenes only).
Winterizing: This process creates a product that is further purified by removing the fats and waxes from the plant. Winterizing entails dissolving the extract (non-polar) in a polar liquid (usually ethanol), freezing the mixture at sub-zero temps, then removing the waxes through a low-micron filter. Winterizing makes the concentrate more stable because the lipids (fats) are removed. Removing the fats prevents the extracts from softening and reduces the tendency to butter. If the fats are not removed, the product is referred to as wax.
Pros of Ethanol:
- Storage limits are much more lenient with ethanol allowing the facility to keep more in storage allowing the user to extract large volumes of cannabis at once.
- If done properly, ethanol extraction can eliminate the need for a dewax or winterization.
- Great for creating for full-spectrum extracts and tinctures.
- Relatively non-toxic and used for centuries, generally regarded as safe.
Cons of Ethanol
- Ethanol is a polar solvent and will pull more water-soluble components from the plant such as chlorophyll, making the extract darker in color.
- Ethanol has a much higher boiling point than Butane or Propane making the recovery process generally slower and more difficult.
- Post-processing for ethanol extraction is much more labor intense than hydrocarbon and involves the use of several different methods of refinement and filtration.
Here are some producers we carry at Cinder that extract their concentrates using alcohol
Products listed are available at Cinder locations: Cinder North, 6010 N Division St, Spokane, Wa 99208; Cinder Downtown, 927 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA 99201; and Cinder Valley, 1421 N Mullen Rd B, Spokane Valley, Wa 99206
This product has intoxicating effects and may be habit-forming. Which is to say, cannabis can impair concentration, coordination, and judgment. Therefore, do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of this drug. Furthermore, there may be health risks associated with consumption of this product. For use only by adults twenty-one and older. To sum up, keep out of the reach of children.