The process of extracting terpenes and trichomes from a cannabis plant using alcohol is called alcohol extraction. This interaction is achieved using ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. The cannabis plant is soaked in alcohol and then filtered out using a straining process. The remaining alcohol is left to evaporate and leaves behind a sticky, resinous layer of hash oil. Further purification using heat, agitation, or vacuum pressure can produce oil, shatter, and a variety of textures. Alcohol extraction has been around for a long time, and it’s simple and fast.
Throughout the years, the process has always been the same. Alcohol functions as a solvent, removing THC, CBD, terpenes, chlorophyll, fats, lipids, and wax compounds from plant material and then storing these compounds in the form of an alcohol solution. The first phase in the extraction process is the “washing”, where the plant material is saturated in alcohol to obtain the appropriate components. Second, the wash is removed from the plant material by means of a strainer, and the alcohol solution is further filtered until it is clear of particulates.
Then, in the last step, the alcohol is dissipated out of the solution until what remains is a highly concentrated form of the botanical components obtained from the plant. Three simple phases, wash, filter, and evaporate. Alcohol is a fantastic tool and a very reliable solvent that can be used in a number of ways to produce various outcomes. When planning for extraction, it is necessary first to decide what shape the end product should take and what it will be used for.
With medicinal extracts such as FECO, a long soak from an hour to a few days is used, resulting in dark-green or black oil for oral ingestion. At the other end of the spectrum, making a nice, smokable concentrate that’s clean in colour and taste utilizes a process called QWET (Quick Wash Ethanol) that allows the material to freeze and wash in just a few minutes.
Use of Term
We used Alcohol Extraction to get our hash oil.