You will notice several companies, predominantly in the hemp industry, claiming their products are extracted by CO2 only and solvent-less. This is scientifically impossible/illiterate since by definition, CO2 is a solvent. The only true solvent less extraction method is traditional hash making, which has been around since at least the 13th century. This is still a prized process used today, although almost exclusively in the recreational and medical marijuana market. Although there have been a lot of advances in the technique/process to make solvent-less hash (most use water) the yield/return compared to the main solvent based extractions is very poor and it is a time consuming process causing hash products to be extremely expensive.
So what are the main solvents used and which do we use/prefer?
There are the “big three” which consist of:
- Hydrocarbons (butane is the most popular, although blends are common as well, mostly propane/butane)
We use and prefer alcohol for a variety of reasons. Since CO2 extracts have to be refined with alcohol anyways it seemed like a perfect start. As far as toxicity to humans it is extremely safe and is approved for the use in consumer goods. It also does not extract as many plant waxes like CO2 extracts inherently do and it easily evaporates, leaving no residual traces of alcohol left behind. No matter what, ethanol is involved in the exaction process, even if the initial solvent used was CO2. We believe it is misleading to label CO2 extracts as a solvent-less process, as most companies hide the fact alcohol and other solvents are involved as well. There is nothing wrong with solvent based extractions either, as long as they are performed in an ISO & GMP certified facility, which ours are.