Winterization

Cleaning Up Those Concentrates

 When it comes to petroleum products, we are all familiar with crude oil versus the refined gasoline we fill up with at the pump. We wouldn’t want anything less for our car. But what about us; because, a similar thing happens with the oil extraction process for cannabis- The initial crude oil remains less than ideal for concentrates.

Have you ever encountered a concentrate like shatter that turned cloudy or started to break down and self-budder? Or maybe you’ve vaped an oil that even when warmed up looked cloudy and had an odd burnt taste? If so, you’ve been sold concentrates made from crude extraction oil.

The extraction process is great for getting the cannabinoids we want out of cannabis, but more than THC or CBD gets past the filters in the form of fats and waxes. While the cannabis plant needs fats and waxes we don’t.

Another step is required to strip out the waxes and fats for a refined oil that can then go on to make concentrates like shatter. One of the two possible stripping processes is called winterization.

Winterization is a straightforward process. For every Liter of crude oil, 10 Liters of ethanol, ideally 190 proof, is added. The solution is put into a freezer that can get down close to -80° C. At such a low temperature the THC or CBD oil freezes, but the waxes and lipids are not soluble in the solution and separate out to be removed. Once removed, purity and enjoyment are enhanced. Get on your jacket and prepare for winter. 

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