What is Winterization?

Winterization is a crucial step in the production of botanical oils. It involves extracting unwanted impurities such as waxes, lipids, and chlorophyll from the oil to increase potency and purity – one highly effective solvent being 200-proof food-grade ethanol.

Steps of Winterization

The first step of the winterization process involves dissolving botanical oil into ethanol. Next, this solution is placed in the freezer for several hours to allow waxes and lipids to solidify at lower temperatures, causing separation from oil. The filtered solution was then passed through fine mesh filters or Buchner funnels to separate solidified waxes/lipids from the oil solution.

What temperature is best for Winterization?

Temperature plays a critical role in winterization. To optimize results, the idea temperature range should lie between -20 degrees C and -80 degrees C. Anything lower could cause the ethanol to freeze up. This makes filtration difficult. However, temperatures above -20 degrees C may not provide low enough temperatures to effectively separate waxes, lipids, and oils.

What quality ethanol should I use for Winterization?

An essential element of winterizing is selecting quality ethanol. Specifically, 200-proof USP and food grade ethanol prevents oil contamination by impurities and solvent residue. Additionally, USP grade offers further testing on the ethanol, proving an even higher quality than FCC ethanol. Lower-quality options could leave behind residue solvents which would subsequently compromise oil quality.

After Winterization, your oil may contain some residual ethanol that must be removed entirely to ensure optimal results in the final product. One method to do this is through rotary evaporation.

200 proof ethanol extraction oil
Botanical Extraction, All, Ethanol, Ethanol Education, Solvents, Undenatured Ethanol, Winterization
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ethanol for winterization botanical oil essential oil
Winterization, All, Botanical Extraction, Ethanol, Ethanol Education, Solvents, Undenatured Ethanol
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Ethanol for Winterization: All You Need to Know Do you need high-quality botanical oils? You’re going to need an excellent dissolving solvent such as ethyl alcohol and an easy, affordable, and safe technique such as ethanol for winterization.  The advantage of using ethanol is that you’ll increase your product’s potency by extracting most of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and alkaloids in a high percentage. Moreover, you’ll also effectively sieve out impurities such as chlorophyll, fats, waxes, and lipids. ​But how do you use alcohol for the winterization process? Below you’ll find out all you need...
illustration of a gray and red molecule to explain ethanol for winterization vs. ethanol for extraction
All, Botanical Extraction, Denatured Ethanol, Ethanol, Ethanol Education, Solvents, Winterization
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Ethanol for Winterization vs. Extraction for Extraction

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