All plants, such as, produce an essential oil. In order to access this oil, usually a solvent is utilized to separate the oil from the plant matter. Ethanol alcohol allows extractors to concentrate the plant oil into a more refined end-product, which can then be used by itself or infused into foods or topicals.
Ethanol AKA alcohol (a colorless volatile flammable liquid) is an ideal solvent for the extraction processes because it’s a polar solvent that easily mixes with water and dissolves water soluble molecules such as chlorophyll, but also has the ability to dissolve many other, non-polar compounds, such as cannabinoids. Ethanol is also readily available and cost effective. Using the proper ethanol extraction equipment, thousands of pounds of and other plant products per day can be efficiently extracted.
Ethanol extraction is a process that can be done under either warm, cold, or room temperature conditions depending on your desired end-product.
For warm or room temperature ethanol extraction, the ethanol is used to quickly wash the plant material which gives a full spectrum concentrate.
For cold ethanol extraction, an industrial extraction chiller can be used to provide chilled ethanol to perform the extraction. Cold ethanol extraction is best suited for producing concentrated cannabinoid distillates and isolates because it does not extract water soluble compounds like chlorophyll as easily.