Difference Between Ethanol and Co2 CBD Extractions
The main types of CBD oil extracts on the market today are Co2 extracts, Ethanol, hexane and butane. Recently, ethanol has become a rising star in the cannabis industry. The question needs to be asked, which one is better? Few know the difference between all of them. Most CBD consumers don’t even think about the base of what their CBD’s instilled in. They’re thinking about the CBD itself. While CBD oil is standard in its benefits regardless of the source, it’s still important to understand that the carrier does have an effect on the final product and its quality. There are quite a few differences between these different methods of extraction. The difference between ethanol and Co2 are numerous.
Regardless of what solvent is used, there is no such thing as perfection. Each has its ups and downs that need to be taken into consideration. One reason for the firm hold Co2 has on the market is its reported safety. Butane has been known to cause explosions. Thus, it is quickly falling out of favor with manufacturers. No one wants the attention an explosion can bring. It is responsible for some of the negative energy out there about CBD. When cannabis explodes, it makes the news. To keep CBD legal and popular, the choice has to be between Ethanol and Co2.
While Co2 is considered one of the safest ways to distill cannabis, it takes an extremely long time to do it. The process is extremely long because it takes awhile to remove impurities with this method. There are other chemicals in cannabis. Cannabis also contains plant-based fats and wax. The purification process removes the components to make the only chemical present CBD. While this has its downside because it takes longer to produce, that isn’t the only issue with the method. Because of the long processing time, less of the CBD is left in the final product. This makes it the much less potent option.
Ethanol may take over. Making CBD oil in ethanol is more efficient with companies as it takes much less time to process. While Co2 was used over butane for its safety, ethanol has been getting an extremely good rating for safety too. The use of ethanol has not resulted in any explosions so far. While all of them are, ethanol is not considered harmful to the human body.
Ethanol is a water solvent. This means it is much better at taking water based materials out of the plant than it is with fat components. The chlorophyll in cannabis, what gives the majority of plants on earth their green color, is easily removed from cannabis. Co2 does not extract the chlorophyll like ethanol does. The consumer could be stuck with a grassy, earthy taste that isn’t pleasurable when vaping. While ethanol does do almost all the extraction, Co2 is more effective at removing everything out.
Chemical waste can be an issue with both Co2 and Ethanol. This chemical waste harms the environment. Some are claiming that creating CBD oil from cannabis is turning something natural and healthy into something artificial. This isn’t true. CBD is still a pure compound that’s found in nature. People use peppermint oil without the leaves. With that said, chemical waste is present after these purification processes. Ethanol does not create as much chemical waste as Co2 because it can be used over and over again. This compound can be recycled to purify the next batch until it is used up. The method of recycling ethanol in CBD making is fairly new. It will soon be a mainstay as the cannabis industry likes to keep their business as environmentally friendly as possible.
Some companies still prefer to use CBD as it is easier to get select compounds out of the cannabis. Different compounds can be selected by adjusting the heat of the Co2. Tampering with the pressure also aids in the separation of unwanted compounds. Ethanol is not as easy to control. While Co2 may create a less potent form of CBD, the purity level is higher. More of what is in the cannabis plant will be left when ethanol is used.
Co2 does have an excellent reputation when it comes to health; however, there are more carcinogens left in the final product. For that reason, ethanol is considered to be a safer alternative relatively speaking. Typically, these carcinogens are only left if the cannabis isn’t properly dried before distillation. The carcinogen presence can be avoided when the procedure is done properly.
Butane is certainly seeing the end of its days. Ethanol and Co2 are going to compete on the market for a while. Neither method is perfect and they both have their advantages. It may be that no single method will ever be singled out; however, this does not mean one will not grow in popularity over the other. It all depends on what’s more profitable for the company and what people want.