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May 27, 2022

Ethanol Extraction Systems Benefits For Cannabis Extractions

Ethanol is quite versatile as a solvent as it is often used in several applications. For instance, the compound can be found in alcoholic beverages manufactured for several years now. This compound in its modified forms is also a major addition for several applications. For instance, hand sanitizers have ethyl alcohol in them.

Due to this versatility, this compound is an ideal solvent (one of the most effective organic solvents) that is used for extraction processes. Ethanol is among the safest extraction methods for essential oils gotten from biomass and plants. The FDA labels this compound a Generally Recognized as Safe substance. Read this article to learn more about Generally Recognized as Safe substances. This label means that this compound can be safely used for food products.

In this article, we will look at some main reasons why ethanol extraction is ideal when extracting from cannabis.

Benefits of Ethanol Extraction

The following are some of the major benefits of this extraction method:

1. It is Safe as a Solvent

Precautions have to be followed when using this compound in any extraction process because it’s flammable. However, when placed in comparison with CO2, hydrocarbon, and other options, ethanol is way safer. It isn’t as explosive or toxic as hydrocarbon systems.

With CO2, high pressure is often used and this is another safety concern. But high pressure isn’t required when it comes to using ethanol as a solvent. Furthermore, both CO2 and hydrocarbon processes often use ethanol during their final purifying process. Since the compound is eventually used for these other processes, starting with it will give you better control throughout the process.

When considered from the operational standpoint, this compound unlike others is recoverable after the process is over. This makes it a sustainable and cost-effective option as it could be recovered and then reused for other extractions.

2. It is Versatile

As we said earlier, this compound is quite versatile. Because of this flexibility, it is a perfect solvent for hemp oil and cannabis extractions. The reason for this is that the compound is known to extract essential oils, which can otherwise be called target compounds (mostly cannabinoids such as THC and CBD). Visit https://www.healthline.com/ to learn the difference between THC and CBD. Ethanol also extracts both nonpolar and polar compounds from cannabis plants.

A major reason why this compound is quite effective as an organic solvent when extracting essential oils is its capacity to adjust when subjected to certain temperatures. For instance, if the process is done at room temperature, both targeted compounds and undesired compounds like lipids, waxes, and fats will get extracted.

But if the process is done at a cold temperature, the ethanol will get isolated. This will make it carry targeted compounds and leave the lipids, waxes, and fats behind.

The flexibility this method offers is unrivaled. Due to its versatility and its well-known capacity for controlling temperature, ethanol is an ideal option for several extraction applications.

3. Ethanol’s Physical Properties

This compound’s physical properties make it a highly effective solvent for extracting essential oils. This is because its properties make for a fertile and soluble environment during the process. Hence, this makes for a relatively high solubility.

When solubility is considered at the molecular level, nonpolar and polar solvents will be considered.

  • Nonpolar: these solvents are either balanced or have zero charge
  • Polar: these solvents typically have negatively (-) and positively (+) charged ions

Nonpolar compounds dissolve or mix well with nonpolar compounds while polar ones dissolve or mix with polar compounds. An example of a polar substance is water. While nonpolar compounds encountered during extraction processes include lipids, waxes, and fats.

Ethanol even though it is naturally a polar substance can behave like a nonpolar and polar molecule when subjected to some conditions. This explains why this compound is quite useful when it comes to extracting compounds from plants.

Ethanol Extraction System Features

Usually, ethanol extraction systems have the following features:

  • These systems can process a large amount of biomass and extract the targeted compounds per hour
  • They offer a cost-effective means of extracting essential oils from plants while retaining the extract’s original properties
  • These systems offer versatility as they can be used for several methods like cold and warm processes
  • They substantially increase business efficiency while ensuring quality products are delivered
  • They are easily operated and don’t harm our environment when used
  • These systems are available both in automatic and manual machinery and have various production capacities


Using ethanol as a solvent during extraction processes is a common method that several producers often opt for. There are so many benefits this method offers including the compound’s physical properties, its versatility, and how safe it is. These benefits make it an ideal choice for extracting cannabinoids and other essentials compounds from cannabis plants.


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