ethanol extracted cbd oil for sale

How to Extract CBD Oil: Different Methods That Works Best

Wondering how your CBD oils are made? You’ve come to the right place.

CBD extraction is an advanced process that requires many skills and high-tech equipment to yield clean and potent products. Without extraction, the CBD space would revolve around hemp flowers, limiting diversity in the cannabis industry to a great extent.

Can you imagine the cannabis market without oils, gummies, vapes, capsules, and topicals?

Today, we’ll elaborate on how to extract CBD from hemp plants, compare different extraction methods, touch down on their pros and cons — and pick the best technology for making safe CBD oils on a broad scale.

How Is CBD Extracted?

CBD can be extracted from cannabis plants, meaning you can use both hemp and marijuana for extraction.

The source of CBD determines the chemical profile of the end product and has a profound impact on its legality.

Hemp-derived CBD oils have less than 0.3% of THC and thus can’t get the user high. The lack of intoxicating effects makes hemp plants and their derivatives legal on a federal level. You can buy them in all 50 states without a prescription.

Marijuana, on the other hand, comes with significant concentrations of THC — usually upwards of 10% — which is enough to induce intoxication. The federal law still holds THC on the list of controlled substances, making marijuana illegal on a federal level. Individual states can interpret these laws independently; so far, 16 states have fully legalized marijuana, while 48 states have some sort of a medical marijuana program.

As mentioned, there are several ways to extract CBD from hemp.

Let’s start with the golden standard — CO2 extraction.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 behaves like a gas; however, this can be easily changed when you use different pressure levels and temperatures.

CO2 extraction yields optimal results in terms of the product’s potency and preserved phytochemical profile. When the temperature of CO2 gets below -69 F, with pressure levels above 75 PSI, it turns into a supercritical state.

Supercritical CO2 can fill an extraction chamber where the plant material is contained, being just the perfect solvent. It results in a clean product with consistent concentrations of CBD and terpenes throughout the batches.

The carbon dioxide efficiently pulls the desired compounds by breaking up the trichomes in the extraction vessel, leaving away insoluble molecules.

Then the manufacturer uses a separator and splits the extract into individual compounds. Once there, CBD and other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are sent back to the collection container. Meanwhile, CO2 leaves the extraction chamber condensed into a liquid form and transferred to a special storage tank for future operations.

CO2 Extraction Equipment

The CO2 extraction equipment includes multi-chamber machines that use special pumps forcing supercritical CO2 into the extraction vessel where it interacts with the plant and breaks the trichomes, dissolving part of the plant material. These machines are costly; they usually cost around $150,000, which is the main reason why CO2-extracted CBD oils are more expensive than products obtained with other solvents, such as alcohol.

Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol extraction is one of the least expensive methods to extract CBD from hemp. Alcohol is generally considered safe, although purging it from the final product requires caution and precision on the manufacturer’s part; otherwise, it can trigger explosions.

Alcohol extraction requires soaking the hemp plant in ethanol. The liquid will run through the plant matter, stripping it from the valuable compounds along with chlorophyll. Once the solvent has gathered enough cannabinoids and terpenes, the liquid is strained and then heated in a special dish. After evaporation, the extract is suspended in a carrier oil to thin it down and improve its bioavailability.

Just keep in mind that ethanol is highly flammable, and you should never extract CBD this way at home unless you can ensure the necessary safety measures.

Ethanol Extraction Equipment

Ethanol extraction is usually employed by small-scale manufacturers because it doesn’t involve such heavy financial investments as CO2 extraction. Ethanol extraction equipment involves a professional decarboxylator, large storage tanks where the plant matter can soak in alcohol, industrial strainers, a gentle heating machine, and storage containers that will contain the extracts before they are infused into the carrier oil and bottled up.

Let’s compare the efficacy and safety of both extraction methods.

CO2 vs. Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol is called a “polar” solvent, and as such, it will be more hydrotropic, meaning it will attach to more water-soluble compounds like chlorophyll. Consequently, the final product is generally less potent and pure — requiring more post-labor than CO2 extraction.

People advocating for ethanol extraction usually argue that these downsides can be avoided using very cold temperatures below -5F. While this is true, the process becomes more time-consuming and less efficient if the manufacturer wants to scale up its operations.

Properly performed CO2 extraction can still maintain many of the plant’s phytonutrients, not to mention that it can continuously yield potent products.

Other Ways to Extract CBD

The idea behind CBD extraction is to pull the desired phytochemicals from the plant matter and transform it into a viscous liquid full of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.

Although CO2 and ethanol are the most popular solvents, they aren’t the only ones. As mentioned, there are several ways to capture these valuable compounds, including:

  • Dry Ice Extraction
  • Hydrocarbon Extraction
  • Vegetable Oil Extraction

Dry Ice Extraction

The dry ice method is one of the best ways to extract CBD at home. However, it requires more time than CO2 extraction or organic solvent extraction.

The dry ice strips CBD and other phytonutrients from the plant material. It’s a relatively inexpensive method of making high-quality CBD hash without using aggressive solvents.

Solventless extraction always produces cleaner extracts than solvent-based methods — not to mention that using dry ice brings a lot of fun to home extraction

How to Extract CBD Using Dry Ice
  • 3 lbs of dry ice
  • A large mirror or plexiglass sheet
  • Heat-resistant gloves
  • I goggles
  • A putty knife
  • A clean 5-gallon bucket
  • 3 bags of bubble hash mesh (73, 160, and 220 microns)
  • 3 large jars with lids
Dry Ice Extraction (Step-by-Step)

Put on the gloves and goggles. Next, grind your CBD buds into smaller pieces and place them in the bucket.

Cover the CBD buds with dry ice, leaving them there for 3 minutes. Make sure you only fill the bucket halfway. Doing so will freeze the resin so the trichomes can be separated from the plant material and transferred to the special mesh bags.

Fold each bag over the bucket with your CBD and dry ice, and shake it several times to cause the trichomes to fall off from the plant.

Turn the container upside down on the mirror and continue shaking to collect as much of the resin as possible. Once you’ve gathered the hash of the mirror, you can place it in one of the jars.

Do the same with the remaining bags and be proud of your homemade dry-ice CBD hash.

Hydrocarbon Extraction

Hydrocarbon compounds include substances like propane, butane, and hexane. These solvents are relatively inexpensive, but they’re difficult to purge from the end product and thus can leave toxic residue at the bottom of the extract.

Hydrocarbon extraction requires soaking the hemp plant in the solvent. The liquid runs through the biomass, pulling the cannabinoids and terpenes from the flower along with water-soluble compounds such as chlorophyll.

Once the solvent has extracted enough phytochemicals, it is heated in a special dish to evaporate it and create a thick liquid.

Vegetable Oil Extraction

CBD can be easily extracted at home using vegetable cooking oils. These oils act as solvents, but the whole process follows similar rules as all other extraction methods.

Any common cooking oil can be used for this kind of extraction, including:

  • Butter/ghee
  • Coconut oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Argan oil
  • MCT oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Olive oil

If you want to extract CBD for homemade edibles, it’s best to go with a product with the highest amount of saturated fats, as they significantly improve the bioavailability of cannabinoids. People typically choose butter and coconut oil for cooking with CBD, while for salves and creams, argan oil and sweet almond oil are the most common choices.

How to Extract CBD with Cooking Oils

Cooking oil extraction is pretty straightforward. First, you need to decarboxylate your dried CBD in the oven. Set up the heat at 250 F and bake the flowers for 30-60 minutes, depending on how dry they are.

Then you combine the decarbed herb with the oil in a saucepan or slow cooker and slowly heat the mixture to gently simmers. Maintain the low heat and keep the CBD infusion for up to 2 hours.

Once done, strain the liquid from the plant matter and place it in a glass jar. You can keep it in a fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Why Is Decarboxylation Important for CBD Extraction?

Most CBD products are decarboxylated, which involves heating the CBD buds to transform the acidic precursor of CBD into its active version.

If you’ve ever cooked something with cannabis, you should know the process very well.

Decarboxylation, also known as decarbing, removes an extra carboxyl group from CBDA (the acid form of CBD), allowing it to interact with the endocannabinoid system immediately.

If you see a CBD product labeled as “raw,” it means it hasn’t been decarboxylated.

Final Thoughts: What’s the Best Way to Extract CBD?

Knowing how CBD is extracted allows you to evaluate the efficacy of different products based on the solvents used in the process.

People have been extracting cannabinoids from cannabis plants for hundreds, if not thousands of years, to use them for therapeutic purposes. Thanks to the current scientific breakthroughs, we can enjoy a wide range of cannabinoid-based extracts with a lot to offer in terms of their therapeutic properties.

Some extraction methods are superior to others when it comes to broad-scale manufacturing. CO2 extraction is currently the golden standard because it yields the purest products without bringing water-soluble compounds such as chlorophyll.

It does, however, require higher costs when it comes to equipment and lab workers, which is why some manufacturers turn to ethanol as their go-to solvent.

If you want to perform CBD extraction at home, you can either go with a solvent-based method — using cooking oils — or take a solventless approach and use dry ice to capture the desired compounds into DIY CBD hash.

Nina Julia

Nina created following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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Our Process

Our products are manufactured utilizing a state-of-the-art food-grade alcohol extraction process to extract cannabinoid-rich full spectrum CBD oil. We are devoted to providing the cleanest, most sustainable, and cost-effective CBD products on the market.

Ethanol Extraction is effective, efficient and safe. The FDA classifies ethanol as “Generally Regarded as Safe,” meaning that it is safe for human consumption.

Our products are manufactured utilizing a state-of-the-art food-grade alcohol extraction process to extract cannabinoid-rich full spectrum CBD oil. We are devoted to providing the cleanest, most sustainable, and cost-effective CBD products on the market.

Ethanol Extraction is effective, efficient and safe. The FDA classifies ethanol as “Generally Regarded as Safe,” meaning that it is safe for human consumption.Our thanol extraction process also does not pull out plant lipids and chlorophyll. This process enables ComfyHemp to provide a higher quality oil and maintain a natural terpene profile with CBD percentages ranging from 50% – 70%

ComfyHemp products are made with 2 different extraction methods. Cold Extraction and Ambient Extraction.

We believe in full plant extracts

Our process does not require the plant to be obliterated and turned into a powder like substance before extraction. When this happens, you lose many of the beneficial volatile terpenes. The material we process looks like it would in the field. This allows us to maintain the maximum amount of terpenes for maximum benefit and the entourage effect.

Filtration Process

Our process uses 10,5, and 1-micron filtration system to remove particles from the tincture and keeps the oil clean and pure.

No Pressure Process

ComfyHemp products are manufactured using a vacuum system and a falling film process to produce our full-spectrum CBD oil. This is important because it does not tear the terpenes from the finished product. Our vacuum process is easy on extracted oil which allows the oil to maintain the entourage effect. Our extraction processes apply such great amount of pressure that it actually tears the terpenes from the oil.

One Solvent

The only solvent that touches our material is food-grade ethanol. Other manufacturing procedures use harsher solvent like butane for extraction purposes.

High Quality, High CBD

Our full spectrum cold extracted oils test out between 60-70% CBD. This is important because you can use less oil to produce the final product with the same amount of CBD. The less oil you have to use, the better the finished product tastes.


Our full spectrum CBD hemp extract comes from Colorado and Kentucky growers who use organic growing practices. Through cutting-edge genetics our farmers specialize in the cultivation of high-grade CBD-rich hemp that is low in THC (below legal limit of .3%), which creates the ideal plant for ComfyHemp products.

We also pride ourselves on sourcing hemp from Kentucky and Colorado because of the conditions. It is extremely important to ensure that the hemp used in products is free of mold, and toxins. The Colorado climate is the ideal climate for both growing and drying hemp material. Kentucky grown hemp is raised in limestone soil that’s rich in magnesium and calcium. Limestone soil also filters out many impurities which provides a unique taste.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always check with your physician before adding anything new to your daily diet.

How to Purchase Ethanol for Cannabis or Hemp Oil Extraction

There are multiple processes used to extract cannabis oil, one of the most common types is solvent extraction . The main types of solvent used in this process are butane, CO2, or ethanol. Most commonly, companies choose to use ethanol in their processes.

If your company is utilizing ethanol as its solvent of choice, it is important to understand the options available and which solution will be best suited for your specific requirements. This post will also help to inform your organization about the licensing and regulations that must be followed when purchasing and storing ethanol.

What are the different types of ethanol available?

Ethanol is a colorless, volatile and flammable liquid (C2H5OH), it can be made from fermenting corn, wheat, potatoes and other starches. There are different types of ethanol available for purchase that can be used during the extraction process.

200 proof USP grade ethanol, 190 proof USP grade ethanol

The water content in the solution determines the strength or purity of the ethanol. Ethanol that is 200 proof is composed of 100% ethanol, while 190 proof ethanol is composed of 5% water and 95% ethanol. Companies can choose to reproof their ethanol using distillation equipment to lengthen the usage period.

This can be a cost effective method, as buying pure ethanol can be expensive. Ethanol used in the extraction processes is usually USP grade. This stands for United States Pharmacopeia and means the product is acceptable for food, drug, or medicinal use.

Denatured ethanol

Companies can also choose to use denatured ethanol. This type of ethanol has a component that is poisonous and is not suitable for consumption. Denatured ethanol can be bought without a license where other types of ethanol require specific licensing to purchase and store ( more information on denatured ethanol ). Anyone can purchase it and use it without registering with the Government.

To summarize, there are three main options: 200 proof USP grade ethanol, 190 proof USP grade ethanol and denatured ethanol.

What are the regulations around ethanol?

In Canada

Although denatured ethanol does not require a license it still has regulations laid out by the Canadian Government. Those regulations can be found as a part of the Canadian Excise Act .

The Act also outlines the process of obtaining a license for purchasing and storing bulk alcohol. In order to possess and use bulk alcohol (ethanol) to produce other products, like cannabis oil, a company must obtain a User’s License.

The corporation interested in possessing ethanol must submit application form L63, Licence and Registration Application Excise Act, 2001 if they are operating within Canada. This license is valid for a maximum of two years and must be renewed at least 30 days before it expires.

If a company does not hold a license, they must pay excise tax for the ethanol they possess. The rates change each year for inflation and are currently $12.61 per liter for solutions containing more than 7% of absolute ethyl alcohol by volume. These rates change annually in April and for any changes you can check the current Excise Duty Rates here .

This can be very costly depending on the scale of your company’s production, and it may be worthwhile to apply for the license.

In the US

For US companies, you must submit an application to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau regardless of the type of ethanol being used. Dependent on the specific products you produce, your company could be eligible for tax free alcohol.

If you use ethanol for scientific, medicinal, and mechanical purposes you can apply for the Tax Free Alcohol permit online . The ethanol must be stored in the properly marked containers as it is flammable, and storage should abide by all local fire codes as well.

If you are interested in learning more, Maratek can assist you with sourcing ethanol for your cannabis oil production. Get in touch with us today . We would love to help you find the right ethanol solution for your company’s unique needs.