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. Other processes that use further purification such as heat, agitation, or vacuum pressure can produce oil, shatter, rudder and a variety of textures. Alcohol extracting has been around for a long time and this method of extracting is simple and fast to perform.
Throughout the years, the process has always been the same thing. 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 marijuana plant material is saturated in alcohol to obtain the appropriate components. Secondly, the wash is removed from the plant material by means of a strainer and the alcohol solution will be further filtered until it is clear of particulates.
Then for 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 marijuana plant. Three simple phases, wash, philtre, and evaporate. Alcohol is a fantastic tool and a very reliable solvent which can be used in a number of ways to produce different outcomes. While planning for extraction, it is necessary to first decide what shape the end product will take and what it will be used for.
With medicinal extracts such as FECO, a long soak of 1 hour to a few days is used, resulting in dark green or black oil for oral ingestion. At the other end of the spectrum, in order to make a nice, smokable concentrate that’s clean in color 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.