Hemp Extraction: Choosing the Right Solvent for Your Needs

Hemp Extraction: Choosing the Right Solvent for Your Needs

CBD and hemp products are more popular than ever, and with that popularity comes the need for more extractions of these desired products to match the high demand.   

Hemp extraction can be performed through several different methods and solvents. From organic solvents like hydrocarbons and alcohols to unexpected substances like carbon dioxide or olive oil, there is no shortage of possible extraction solvents. 

Hemp Extraction Overview 

Most solvent-based extraction processes involve similar steps: 

  • Hemp is harvested and prepared for the extraction process. 
  • The hemp and solvent are mixed to the desired ratio. 
  • The mixture is then agitated and heated, to allow the desired materials to be chemically extracted from the plant material. 
  • The solvent is then removed, usually through evaporation, leaving behind a highly concentrated hemp extract, which will then be processed according to the type of final product.  

The final extract is tested to determine various characteristics, such as concentration, amount of solvent remaining in the product, and THC levels, to name a few.  

Choosing the Right Solvent 

Over the years, the range of solvents used in hemp extraction has narrowed, due to more companies seeking options that are either known to be highly effective or environmentally friendly. Commonly used solvents include alcohols, hydrocarbons, supercritical carbon dioxide, and oils. 

Alcohol extraction’s benefits include the following: 

  • High accessibility and low upfront costs 
  • Fast extraction rate 
  • Easy to extract out due to high volatility  

Hydrocarbon solvents, on the other hand, provide other benefits: 

  • Produce extremely highly concentrated products 
  • The cheapest option to get started 
  • Large range of end products 

Lastly, CO2 extraction also has unique advantages: 

  • Safe for both consumers and the environment 
  • Can be fine-tuned to specific needs 
  • Easiest separation from the final product 

Unlike the other industrial solvents listed above, oil extraction is mostly utilized in home extraction. Each solvent type certainly has its disadvantages as well: 

  • Alcohol solvents do not always provide the highest purity levels, especially when compared to hydrocarbons. 
  • Though hydrocarbon solvents have the lowest upfront cost, they do not scale as well as the others for large-scale operations.  
  • While CO2 extraction is the safest option, it can be very costly to obtain all the highly specialized equipment required for it.  

It is important to explore the pros and cons of every option and to choose the one that is the best fit based on the desired product.  

Where to Buy Solvents 

If you’re looking for solvents for commercial extraction processes, check out Extraction Grade Solvents! We provide high-quality, environmentally conscious solvents without compromising on effectiveness. Contact us here today for help finding the best product for you!