Ethyl Acetate vs Ethanol and ISO for extraction

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I'm new to growing Cannabis and with my first harvest (outdoor grow) 4-6 weeks away, I'm preparing for some sort of extraction and infusion of the final material.

I would like to extract some oil using the quick wash ethanol method.
Ethyl Acetate is used in the Food industry for extraction. I would use EtOH (Everclear), but not so easy to get hold of in South Africa.
Does anyone have any experience with Ethyl Acetate, or any comments?

Polarity and solubility wise it should be preferred to Ethanol (less polar and not readily soluble in water (8.3%)).
It seems that it is more difficult to obtain and more expensive than “EverClear” in some countries.
It will extract some chlorophyll from the plant material.

Another question on Extraction
If you extract dry cannabis material, the solvent penetrates the plant material and get into contact with the plant waxes and chlorophyll more easily.
If “wet” cannabis material (not dried) is used, and the solvent is less polar than ethanol and does not dissolve easily in water, surely the water inside the plant cells would prevent it from entering and getting to the wax and chlorophyll.
If we then accept that almost all of the cannabinoids and Terpenes are located in the trichomes on the epidermis of the plant, then an solvent would be able to extract these without having to enter the rest of the plant material, limiting the extraction of waxes and other undesirable compounds inside the cells (including chlorophyll).

What am I missing?
Any comments?
 
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Ethyl acetate affects your central nervous system, respiratory system, eyes, and skin. It is a denaturant of ethanol used in industrial processes and I wouldn't even consider that option. Denaturants purposely make alcohol unsafe to consume. If you can't properly remove it to below 400 ppm you could hurt yourself. The food facilities using it have the proper equipment to remove all of it.

Isopropyl alcohol works well enough but pulls more waxes and pigments. It tends to leave a film on your crude extract and it is also not safe to consume its residue.

Ethanol is your safest bet. It is actually considered miscible in water, or basically very soluble. You can consume it safely at the residual level, and it doesn't target waxes and pigments as strongly as isopropyl alcohol.

I've spent the last 7 months heavily researching cryo-ethanol extraction for the hemp facility where I'm the production manager. I'll lay out a few pointers for you:

- Harvest, dry, and cure the buds just as you would if you were going to smoke them. Cool room, ~55% humidity, etc.
- Use the highest proof ethanol you can find, 190 is best.
- When you are ready to extract, pre-freeze your ethanol, buds, pyrex dishes, spatulas, etc. If it is part of the extraction process, it needs to be frozen. The colder you can do all of this then the less pigments and waxes you'll have reducing the final potency. You'll also retain more terpenes this way.
- Grind the frozen buds in a coffee grinder or nutribullet kind of blender. Do it just long enough to get them ground up, NOT powderized. More surface area = more efficient extraction. Do this as quickly as possible as the buds will pick up heat from being ground/chopped. Put them back in the freezer for a few hours.
- When doing the extraction have good ventilation. No open flames, sparks, etc. Have a fan blowing the air away from you. Do it outside if possible.
- Use about 3:1 ethanol:buds by volume. Any less ethanol and you might not extract all the oils, any more and you'll be wasting ethanol.
- Put the buds and alcohol in a container such as a half-gallon mason jar.
- Shake the hell out of it for about 5 minutes.
- Put it back in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to soak.
- Pour this through your filter of choice, collecting it into some sort of pyrex dish (also pre-frozen).
- Evaporate the ethanol cold and slow so as not to lose those terpenes.

I know the extraction setup can vary wildly from what I've described. Feel free to give me more details on what your end product is going to be (edibles or smokeable oil) and I'll be glad to help more. If you're making edibles you'll need to heat/decarboxylate the oil before using it in food, if you're smoking it then your heat source will decarboxylate at the same time you're smoking it.
 
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Ethyl acetate affects your central nervous system, respiratory system, eyes, and skin. It is a denaturant of ethanol used in industrial processes and I wouldn't even consider that option. Denaturants purposely make alcohol unsafe to consume. If you can't properly remove it to below 400 ppm you could hurt yourself. The food facilities using it have the proper equipment to remove all of it.

Isopropyl alcohol works well enough but pulls more waxes and pigments. It tends to leave a film on your crude extract and it is also not safe to consume its residue.

Ethanol is your safest bet. It is actually considered miscible in water, or basically very soluble. You can consume it safely at the residual level, and it doesn't target waxes and pigments as strongly as isopropyl alcohol.

I've spent the last 7 months heavily researching cryo-ethanol extraction for the hemp facility where I'm the production manager. I'll lay out a few pointers for you:

- Harvest, dry, and cure the buds just as you would if you were going to smoke them. Cool room, ~55% humidity, etc.
- Use the highest proof ethanol you can find, 190 is best.
- When you are ready to extract, pre-freeze your ethanol, buds, pyrex dishes, spatulas, etc. If it is part of the extraction process, it needs to be frozen. The colder you can do all of this then the less pigments and waxes you'll have reducing the final potency. You'll also retain more terpenes this way.
- Grind the frozen buds in a coffee grinder or nutribullet kind of blender. Do it just long enough to get them ground up, NOT powderized. More surface area = more efficient extraction. Do this as quickly as possible as the buds will pick up heat from being ground/chopped. Put them back in the freezer for a few hours.
- When doing the extraction have good ventilation. No open flames, sparks, etc. Have a fan blowing the air away from you. Do it outside if possible.
- Use about 3:1 ethanol:buds by volume. Any less ethanol and you might not extract all the oils, any more and you'll be wasting ethanol.
- Put the buds and alcohol in a container such as a half-gallon mason jar.
- Shake the hell out of it for about 5 minutes.
- Put it back in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to soak.
- Pour this through your filter of choice, collecting it into some sort of pyrex dish (also pre-frozen).
- Evaporate the ethanol cold and slow so as not to lose those terpenes.

I know the extraction setup can vary wildly from what I've described. Feel free to give me more details on what your end product is going to be (edibles or smokeable oil) and I'll be glad to help more. If you're making edibles you'll need to heat/decarboxylate the oil before using it in food, if you're smoking it then your heat source will decarboxylate at the same time you're smoking it.
Thanks V
"Ethyl acetate affects your central nervous system, respiratory system, eyes, and skin."
Bud, so does Ethanol!!!
 
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Correct, but leaving enough ethanol in the final product to cause CNS damage is virtually impossible to do. You'd have to try to mess up that badly. Ethyl acetate could hurt you much more easily.
You do realise that ethyl acetate is rapidly metabolised (in the body) into Ethanol and acetic acid witch is then further metabolised and expelled. Woman using Nail polish remover (70-80% ethyl acetate) ingest notable amount daily. Unless you plan suicide and drink 100ml of nail polish, don't think you'll be in danger.
You will get more ethyl acetate from your glass of wine at dinner tonight than you'll get from 10 grams of cannabis oil extracted with ethyl acetate.
Let's just say we disagree and work on the rest of my post, please!
 
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Just because it is rapidly metabolised doesn't mean it is good for you.

"Ethyl acetate is absorbed well by inhalation and rapidly hydrolyzed to ethanol and acetic acid, which are metabolized further and excreted. The acute toxicity is very low. The critical effect in man is irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes after exposure to concentrations of more than 1500 ml/m3."

Yay google.

The acute toxicity being low means that it will more easily harm you. It's not that we disagree. Ethyl acetate is more dangerous than ethanol. There's nothing to disagree about. I gave you some good pointers on how to make the cleanest and safest product with your safety in mind. Take it or leave it, it's your health not mine.
 
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Correct, but leaving enough ethanol in the final product to cause CNS damage is virtually impossible to do. You'd have to try to mess up that badly. Ethyl acetate could hurt you much more easily.
Would you mind going into detail on why you don't use iso?
 
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do a first wash with buds you don't grind up, do it more like making BHO, pour it through the material, do not let the material sit in the solvent, slow evap this, it's so good.

Immediately pour that material out and dry as quickly as possible. Then grind and process as usual.

The other way will end up with a single thing much better than the second extraction but nothing that can touch what this makes the first run.

Even if you do the other method, that's way too much contact time with the solvent, and when you pour it through filters(I like chemex coffee carafes and filters for personal batchs) the moment it slows to a drip pour that into a new filter, repeat until you have filtered the whole thing.
 
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Would you mind going into detail on why you don't use iso?
Isopropyl dissolves more fats and pigments than ethanol does. Fats and pigments reduce potency and make the smoke harsher. Not a huge deal with edibles as the target product but for smokeable oil it'll be noticeable. Isopropyl also tends to leave a film behind after it is evaporated. Ethanol is overall the safer and more efficient choice.
 
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Would you mind going into detail on why you don't use iso?
Looking at the polarity of the solvents and their miscibility in water, Ethyl Acetate looks way better than both EtOH and Iso.
As a Scientist I have to ask myself, why is it not used?!!
 
12
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do a first wash with buds you don't grind up, do it more like making BHO, pour it through the material, do not let the material sit in the solvent, slow evap this, it's so good.

Immediately pour that material out and dry as quickly as possible. Then grind and process as usual.

The other way will end up with a single thing much better than the second extraction but nothing that can touch what this makes the first run.

Even if you do the other method, that's way too much contact time with the solvent, and when you pour it through filters(I like chemex coffee carafes and filters for personal batchs) the moment it slows to a drip pour that into a new filter, repeat until you have filtered the whole thing.
Thanks.
Do the first wash with what? (EtOH, ISO or Ethyl Acetate).
 
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Thanks.
Do the first wash with what? (EtOH, ISO or Ethyl Acetate).
I made QWISO for a decade with 99 percent iso so that's where my comfort lies, EtOH would be second choice, it comes out fine, I just feel like qwiso is a more I don't know, well rounded product.

I don't generally mess with solvents like Ethyl Acetate, that smell is awful.
 
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If you're doing your job right and controlling the contact time it doesn't make much difference with the frozen vs not frozen

I never tried wet bud, that gooey product is not what I want, I want actual rock hard glass that shatters if you don't warm it before breaking off what you're about to vape.
 
553
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Isopropyl dissolves more fats and pigments than ethanol does. Fats and pigments reduce potency and make the smoke harsher. Not a huge deal with edibles as the target product but for smokeable oil it'll be noticeable. Isopropyl also tends to leave a film behind after it is evaporated. Ethanol is overall the safer and more efficient choice.
Got you. Though with cold, whole bud extractions and a shorter wash time, that wouldn't be as much of an issue, correct?

Essentially you're saying you'd rather have the margin for error that QWET provides over QWISO?

In terms of inhalation toxicity, iso and ethanol are essentially equal.

"The documented toxicity of isopropyl alcohol in man is confined for the most part to accidental ingestion (not inhalation), with a few cases reported in association with rectal and topical application."

 
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The only thing really sketchy about ISO is if you buy the shit from the grocery story they might have lanolin in it and that leaves a residue and the oil always has weird look to it, never gets glass hard either.
 
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With quick washes it is better IMO/experience and what I've found on other forums to have more surface area on your extraction material. More surface area means better penetration and less solvent contact time required with the material, which means less chance to dissolve undesirable such as fats and pigments. We use centrifuge extractors that hold ~80 pounds of finely milled biomass per run (all inside filter bags so that no flower material comes out into the alcohol), flood the chamber with -40F ethanol and agitate for 20 minutes, and then spin the material up to 1,000 gs removing all but about 2% of the solvent. In a home extraction setup without a centrifuge there could be solvent/oil trapped inside the larger nugs that doesn't drain out as easily. Our centrifuges could spin the oil out of nugs but it reduces the overall efficiency. Obviously there's a difference between equipment that processes almost 5,000 pounds a day and a home extraction setup but the principles are the same.

More surface area allows for a quicker extraction, colder temperatures exclude the undesirables, centrifuging through filter bags gathers the most product from the extraction material, and solvent selection --> 190-proof ethanol targets cannabinoids better than IPA just the same as IPA targets unwanted waxes better than ethanol.

Extraction is pretty wild sometimes, there are a million ways to skin that cat and it all really depends on your desired final product.
 
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Thanks to all so far.
Lot to go and think about.
Up to a week ago I was all ready for EtOH (QWET) extraction.
Unfortunately here 96% EtOH cost 5 times the price that they sell Food Grade 99.9% EtOAc (for extraction in the food industry) for.
Have to consider a lot of things.
I don't smoke cannabis (or use it any other way) at this point.
Want to make concentrated Cannabis oil for medical use.
I have bad joint and muscle pain and suffer from bad arthritis.
Can't sleep and use anti-inflammatories daily just to be able to walk.
I'm hoping to be able to use the concentrate in different ways.
I can only grow out doors (once a year) and want to produce for the rest of the year.
 
21
3
I'm new to growing Cannabis and with my first harvest (outdoor grow) 4-6 weeks away, I'm preparing for some sort of extraction and infusion of the final material.

I would like to extract some oil using the quick wash ethanol method.
Ethyl Acetate is used in the Food industry for extraction. I would use EtOH (Everclear), but not so easy to get hold of in South Africa.
Does anyone have any experience with Ethyl Acetate, or any comments?

Polarity and solubility wise it should be preferred to Ethanol (less polar and not readily soluble in water (8.3%)).
It seems that it is more difficult to obtain and more expensive than “EverClear” in some countries.
It will extract some chlorophyll from the plant material.

Another question on Extraction
If you extract dry cannabis material, the solvent penetrates the plant material and get into contact with the plant waxes and chlorophyll more easily.
If “wet” cannabis material (not dried) is used, and the solvent is less polar than ethanol and does not dissolve easily in water, surely the water inside the plant cells would prevent it from entering and getting to the wax and chlorophyll.
If we then accept that almost all of the cannabinoids and Terpenes are located in the trichomes on the epidermis of the plant, then an solvent would be able to extract these without having to enter the rest of the plant material, limiting the extraction of waxes and other undesirable compounds inside the cells (including chlorophyll).

What am I missing?
Any comments?
Regarding the use of a solvent on wet material-
It depends on the miscibility of your chosen solvent with water, but in any case, water will end up in the extraction if it is not frozen, and the ice crystals subsequently filtered out. And the waxes and lipids are also located on the epidermis of the plant, not within the cells.
 
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