High Purity Extractions is your one-stop-shop for hemp processing!
We are excited to offer some great new services to the hemp community and industry! Our supercritical CO2 service offers state of the art remediation and conversions. We are also offering a low-temperature decarboxylation service that preserves CBD molecules and retains terpenes as required.
Please contact us today to inquire about lead times and volume discounts!
Note, all services offered take place in a cGMP & Kosher Certified facility (cGMP certified by AIB International), all end products are Pharmaceutical Grade, CO2 extraction method utilizes supercritical carbon dioxide. All services are overseen by a Ph.D. Chemist on site.
High efficiency – Low-Temperature Decarboxylation – Traditional Decarboxylation involves heating the crude oil for multiple hours at high temperature. This leads to the risk of destroying CBD molecules. Our process is low temperature and high efficiency at 95%! Our process also has the ability to prevent isomerization and retains terpenes
CO2 THC remediation – Our CO2 THC remediation technology has the ability to separate THC from CBD in a complete system, devoid of harsh solvents and media. We can accept any input material and bring it to 85-95% CBD that is below .1% THC concentration
CO2 CBN remediation – Similar to our CO2 THC remediation technology, we also have the ability to remove CBN from any CBD matrix.
CO2 THC+CBN remediation – We also have the ability to remove both THC and CBN in the same process
CO2 Pesticide Remediation – We have the ability to remove pesticides from any botanical extract, including non-hemp!
CO2 THC to CBN Conversion – We have the ability to convert any cannabinoid matrix that contains THC into CBN. In a CO2 system without any co-solvents.
CO2 Tolling – We have the ability to toll a variety of compounds in CO2 to create various extracts.
CO2 R&D – We have the ability to take on any research project that involves extraction and separation!
CO2 Plant fabrication – We can also build CO2 plants for any extraction/separation needs.
CO2 CBDA Isolation – We can also separate CBDA from any incoming Hemp biomass! This could be a great addition to your vape cartridge formula to limit crystallization
Why Choose Ethanol For Botanical Solvent Extractions?
Industrial hemp production is growing rapidly across the globe due to the explosive growth in CBD products on the market. A variety of methods are used for extracting THC, CBD, Cannabinoids, and Terpenes from hemp and cannabis plants. The most common extraction methods used in extraction facilities today are:
Other Solvent Extraction – other solvents (heptane, pentane, etc.)
Bubble Hash Extract – using ice water and agitation (solventless)
Rosin Press – squeezing the plant material with heat and pressure (solventless)
As the CBD market expands, farmers are growing more and more acres and increasingly larger volumes of hemp. Large scale CO2 and Ethanol extraction are emerging as the leading methods for processing these very high volumes of plant material.
Why Ethanol Extraction is the Logical Choice
Ethanol is a logical favorite for hemp extraction into CBD oil.
Naturally, there are pros and cons to every method, and ethanol extraction does come with its downfalls—but the industry is working fast to address those drawbacks. Ethanol readily breaks down and dissolves chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants that absorbs light to provide energy for photosynthesis. Unfortunately, chlorophyll is ‘undesirable’ in a finished extraction, and ethanol can make it difficult to pull the grassy-tasting chlorophyll from the end product.
Post-process equipment, including filtration and distillation, can be used to remove the chlorophyll to ‘clean up’ the oil into a more desirable distillate. Additionally, after extraction, all the ethanol is reclaimed and saved for reuse in the next extraction. By using rotovap (rotary evaporator) technology or high-volume solvent recovery systems, reclaiming ethanol is simple, efficient and safe because the systems will always run well below ethanol’s flash point.
With ethanol extraction systems, we can customize to the exact weight or volume you want to process, allowing you to run anything from small 1 pound batches to very large extractions of 500 lb or more. These sanitary ethanol reactors come built with a 316 liter stainless steel recirculation system, plant material holders, and can have chilling jackets for dry ice or nitrogen super cold chilling. Scaling up and down is consistent and repeatable other than variations in the incoming plant material.
Pure ethanol is food grade, GRAS, and readily available. Extractions using ethanol can be done in simple stainless steel tanks or more complex tank systems. This equipment is fairly inexpensive and simple compared to C02 and Butane extraction equipment. CO2 and Butane systems are also limited to the amount they can process at one time by the size of the extractor column, and they both have a lengthy process time in comparison to ethanol. Using ethanol as a solvent allows for much larger extraction batches in a shorter amount of time, and if done properly, it will avoid extracting undesirable material from the biomass making downstream processing easier. Ethanol is flammable and should be handled with care, and any rooms should be properly vented and all tankage/piping should be grounded per code. Ethanol extraction is the method of choice for so many of today’s high-quality botanical extractions, and it is gaining traction as one of the most effective solvents on the market today.
Some Common Ethanol Extractor Setups:
Setup #1 Superchilled Extraction
Chilling the ethanol and plant at -40C to -80C range will provide a much cleaner extraction, by preventing the extraction of chlorophyll, wax and lipids from the plant, and targeting the cannabinoids. Tanks can be chilled by dry ice, jacketed double-wall tanks with chilled ethylene glycol, or with super-chilled nitrogen or CO2 high pressure coils. Jacketed tanks with a chiller are very common, using superchilled media such as glycol for cooling.
Setup #2 Agitated Extraction with Spinning Basket on Top Entry Mixer
Using a top entry mixer in your tank will provide turbulence and mass transfer, which can improve extraction yields by exposing more ethanol to more surface area of plant material and providing a mixing action. Adding a spinning basket allows you to remove most of the moisture out of the plant material without having to squeeze it. After draining the tank, the spinning basket acts just like a washing machine during the final spin cycle to remove the remaining ethanol (& the extract dissolved in that ethanol) from the plant matter.
Setup #3: Recirculation Extraction with Pump
Recirculating the ethanol and extract with a pump can provide turbulence and mass transfer to improve extraction rates and yields. Pump can then be used to drain the tank at the end of the cycle and push it through inline filtration modules.
What about CO2 or Butane?
Supercritical CO2 extraction is perhaps more appealing than butane extraction simply because of its relative safety and the lack of harmful residual solvent in the oil
after processing. With a minimal environmental footprint, many favor supercritical CO2 extraction. CO2 extracts can be preferred for some applications because they are relatively flavorless, but that means they also lack the range of terpenes and minor compounds present in ethanol and butane extracts. Although CO2 is often the most desired method for making vape oil and distillates, the equipment is quite expensive and does run under high pressures in the 1500-5000 psi range.
What is NOT recommended is using butane and other potential dangerous solvents. For so long, extractions were created with butane, which boils at a lower point than other common solvents, including alcohol. Because of butane’s non-polarity, extractions containing specific cannabinoids and terpenes are easier to produce, since specific compounds may be drawn from the plant matter without co-extracting chlorophyll and other “undesirables.” However, butane is also famously flammable – think lighter fluid – and many explosions have occurred as a result of DIY butane extractions gone wrong. These safety concerns must be weighed when choosing the proper process for your business. Working with Butane requires more building modifications to meet the Class 1, division 1 spark proof lab for processing. Even when working in a well built lab, the risk of an explosion due to minor human error is still a real possibility.
Choosing the Extraction System and Oil Refining
Before taking the steps of buying equipment and setting up laboratory, there are very
important questions that need to be answered; i.e. What extracts need to be produced?
Shatter is a concentrate that is brittle and has a glass-like appearance. It is called “shatter” because it should do just that if broken. Hydrocarbon extraction remains the most popular way to produce shatter, but it is important to keep in mind, this is unlikely to produce a “solvent-free” concentrate and great care must be taken to purge the excess hydrocarbons from the final product.
Wax, Butter, and Terp Sauce
Wax, butter, and terp sauce are made through post-processing methods and can be made with CO2 or hydrocarbon extractions. They get these names because of the consistency of the extract which happens for a variety of reasons, but will not be covered in this article.
Distillate is a concentrate that is very potent and contains very high percentages of cannabinoids. It is very thick and can be best compared to the consistency of cold molasses. Either Butane, CO2, or Ethanol extracts can be used to make distillate. Even if you start with Butane or CO2 extract, ethanol will still be used for a process called winterization/filtration (removing undesirable material from the crude oil), followed by ethanol recovery, then introduced to a still to create the end product: distillate. With that being said, starting with an ethanol wash is the most logical choice if the desired end concentrate is distillate or even Full Spectrum oil.
Today’s ethanol extraction systems for botanical plants are robust, easy to clean, and highly efficient. Constructed of high-quality materials like stainless steel, the best ethanol extraction systems are simple to operate and troubleshoot. Modern ethanol extraction system producers focus on improving the user experience with ergonomic designs to facilitate safe and efficient operation. Gone are the days of laborious botanical plant extraction; today’s optimized systems are designed to save you money and time – today and down the line.
For millennia, botanical plants have been utilized for their curative qualities – and alcohol extraction systems often enabled such developments. Today, botanical plant therapy is sometimes brushed aside as “alternative medicine,” but the truth is, botanical plants and their valuable compounds comprise many of the prescription medications on today’s market. Botanical plant extractions, then, are representative of thousands of years of use, and continue to benefit millions around the world.
The first medicinal plants were probably harnessed by humans around 60,000 years ago, and written documentation of herbal medicine dates back five thousand years. Through China and Egypt, Greece and Indonesia, botanical plant extraction was taking place all over the ancient world. Today, the practice endures – namely in the form of ethanol extraction systems for botanical plants. Ethanol’s distinctive qualities make it an ideal candidate for plant extraction. Clean, safe, and efficient, ethanol stands at the forefront of botanical plant extraction technology.
Today, there are numerous methods of extraction for botanical plants and oils. As of late, methods have become increasingly scientific, largely because of the medical marijuana industry. The two most common extraction methods for concentrates are BHO (Butane Extraction) and CO2.
BHO is a method of extraction that uses the chemical solvent, butane, to pass over the bud and plant materials. The butane is then separated from the mixture using heat and sometimes a vacuum pump or vacuum oven. The finished product, at room temperature, is typically a golden, soft wax. When heated, it is melted into a clear to yellowish amber oil. At its very purest, the substance is like a thin, hard glass. The substance, usually golden amber, hardens into a thin layer that can be broken down by heat, resulting in butane hash oil.
The end products have been branded as BHO, Butane Hash Oil, Earwax, Honey Oil and Shatter. These products are all comparable, and mainly differ in appearance due to the various melting and extraction points.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a supercritical fluid, meaning it converts into a liquid form when pressurized. This supercritical fluid extraction uses carbon dioxide, in liquid form, as the extraction solvent. Like BHO, CO2 is used to strip out different elements in the plant to create pure hash oil. When at or above the critical point for CO2, the gas becomes a liquid. With the case of botanical plant extraction, the solvent is pushed through the plant material at such a high pressure separating the plant from the purest essence of the plant. The end product is transparent amber oil.
CO2 is GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) by the FDA
Extraction with CO2 is solvent free and does not use propane or butane solvents
The spent plant material is solvent free
BHO is highly flammable, while CO2 is not flammable and does not require explosion proof equipment or buildings
Extraction using CO2 minimizes thermal degradation of plant material and the oils extracted from the botanicals
BHO and CO2 will continue to be some of the top extraction methods of concentrates and botanical oils. We are ever changing our technology to keep up with the highest medical marijuana laws and regulations, as well as innovating the extraction process with top grade expertise and equipment. If you are looking for more information on CO2 extraction, CO2 extraction systems, or the comparison of extraction methods, please contact us here.