Cold Ethanol Cannabis Extraction: The Optimal Temperature Window
What is the best temperature to extract cannabis using cold ethanol?
When extracting cannabinoids using ethanol, one of the critical factors at play is temperature. Too warm and you run the risk of undesirable compounds being released. Too cold and your efficiency and profitability may suffer. For these reasons cold ethanol extraction is often the preferable method when producing cannabinoid distillates and isolates.
The optimal temperature range to perform cold ethanol-based cannabinoid extraction is ideally between -30˚C (-22˚F) and -40˚C (-40˚F).
Extracting at temperatures any warmer than -30˚C would result in the ethanol dissolving or extracting some undesirable compounds including lipids (fat compounds) and chlorophyll. These compounds would then need to be removed via further processing down the line to ensure consistent and high-quality end-products such as vape cartridges or dabbable concentrates.
But what about extracting cannabis at colder temperatures?
Extracting cannabinoids at temperatures colder than -40˚C is not recommended.
This is because a lower temperature would result in massive electrical costs and reduced overall efficiency. It would lengthen extraction times and reduce overall yield due to the ethanol’s reduction in solvency (the time it would take to dissolve, and how much that specific volume of ethanol can hold before saturation). And the additional electricity required would lower profitability and shrink margins making if financially unviable.