Extraction FAQs

 Ethanol is a heavy polar solvent that has the ability to pull non-polar compounds as well.  This allows EtOH to be a universal solvent dissolving a wide range of compounds. 

  Removes Cannabinoids, Terpenes and in the case of warm EtOH extraction undesirable waxes, lipids, chlorophyll, etc from plant material. 

  • Ethanol – Most efficient method for capturing cannabinoid compounds but fewer terpenes. Solvent is less flammable and no asphyxiation risk.
  • Great for processing large quantities of biomass, efficiently with fewer intermediary steps.
  • Safest extraction method at scale

CO2 – Supercritical ie liquid CO2 is used as solvent.
Cons: Slower extraction time than ethanol or hydrocarbon, fewer runs per day requires, larger equipment. 
Requires a high-pressure system which could leak, CO2 is an asphyxiation risk.   Still needs to be winterized prior to distillation 
Pros: are no solvent to remove and no risk of solvent in final product. Equipment and start up is expensive but ongoing costs are low.

Hydrocarbon – Propane, n-butane or Iso butane can be used but most often extracts will use a blend of the 3. 
Cons: Solvent requires special storage and facility due to flammability, explosion, and asphyxiation hazards. Exceedingly difficult to scale because of the strict compliance needed from state and local fire codes, C1D1 control area is a must.
 Risk of toxic solvent in final product.
 Solvent must be stored outside in a controlled area.
Pros: Equipment is less expensive upfront then Co2 or Ethanol. 
Extracts more terpenes, flavonoids, etc for more full-spectrum final product.

  • Winterization – adding ETOH to extract, freezing, and cold filtering solution in order to remove polar molecules, fats, and waxes. 
  • Winterizing removes lipids, waxes, chlorophyll and plant material from crude oil by freezing. When you lower the temp, they will precipitate out of solution. Which can then be filtered out, in small scale often with a large Buchner funnel.
  • Winterization is needed on any Co2, warm ethanol or hydrocarbon extraction that is being refined to distillate. 
If you start with cold ethanol in the first place you never extract the un-desirable waxes and lipids. 

Biomass is placed in 100 micron material bags during extraction. Bags are then removed from extraction vessel and placed into centrifuge to remove additional saturated solvent. Secondary filtration down to 1 micron occurs in HFS

  • Biomass material bags used in the first stage of extraction and centrifugal drying for bulk plant matter retention (50- to 200-micron) (150-200 for pinnacle)
  • Fine filtration (0.45- to 10-micron) (1 micron for Pinnace in HFS)
  • Removes plant particulate and debris from the solution that will foul the distillation column during solvent recovery.
  • Distillation – Removes solvent from crude oil. Done under vacuum to reduce BP of solvent and make distillation easier/reduce degradation of Cannabinoids.
  • Solvent Recovery 1st stage -  Solvent must be removed from wash solution. Recovered solvent can be reused in another round of extraction. Pinnacle uses rising film evaporator to remove solvent. Has shorter dwell time thank falling film evaporator. 
  • Solvent Recovery 2nd stage (Dual Stage) – Second stage of recovery is the dual stage degas devol and decarb of the crude oil after initial solvent recovery. 
The removal of undesirable, smelly, terpenes and light volatile organic compounds from crude oil. 
The removal of final amounts of solvent from crude oil
Drying - Cannabis plant needs be dried to 10% moisture or less after harvest and then milled to a ½ particle size prior to extraction
  • Crude oil can be used in product formulation typically for topicals
  • Can be refined further by distillation into high purity distillate which is used in tinctures, capsules, edibles and dietary supplements.
  • Or refined further from distillate into an Isolated CBD compound.