What is Ethanol Hash Oil (EHO)?
EHO or Ethanol hash oil is a cannabis extract created with ethanol as the main solvent used during the extraction process. Although butane and propane are more popular, ethanol is also a popular solvent used for the extraction of cannabinoids.
Ethanol is solvent that offers excellent extraction results, and it is safer that butane or propane. Furthermore, the FDA approves ethanol as a generally safe solvent for humans.
Some sources claim ethanol is the most effective extraction method of all, leaving only 5% of cannabinoids unextracted.
EHO: What is it?
This hash oil uses ethanol as a solvent for the extraction of cannabinoids and terpenes. Ethanol hash oil could be done in hot and cold conditions, nonetheless, cold conditions are more effective as it keeps cannabinoids and terpenes more intact. The process is very simple and ethanol hash oil is probably the easiest way to obtain hash oil for cannabis growers that have limited resources.
During the extraction process, cannabis is soaked in ethanol (mixed in an extraction vessel). The second process consist of a filtration process to remove plant material residues and chlorophyll. After this process is done, the next stage consists of the evaporation of the ethanol and then condensation of the remnant solution. In addition, ethanol has a low boiling point, which means it is easy to remove from the hash oil.
Another important step to get EHO rich in CBD and THC (non-acidic forms) is decarboxylation. Decarboxylation happens when we smoke or vape cannabis. However, if the cannabis oil has been previously decarboxylated then you will get a stronger high. 1-2 hours at 106 to 110 ºC (222.8ºF to 230ºF) is enough to decarboxylate it. Or heating up the remnant solution for 24 hours on a hot plate (you can use a coffee machine to heat up the solution).
Most of cannabis oil extraction companies use food grade ethanol to extract terpenes and cannabinoids.
Ethanol hash oil and butane or propane hash oil are very similar. Both methods use a solvent that passes over the cannabis plant material and it dissolves (separates) the trichomes (the active compounds). Nonetheless, ethanol needs more treatment as it is a hydrotropic solvent, which means it binds with the water-soluble components.
Ethanol needs more purification process in order to reach same level of purity as butane or propane.
Ethanol Hash Oil: Conclusion
EHO or ethanol hash oil is an effective solvent that if used properly you won’t need to dewax the oil. In addition, it is safer to use than butane. Moreover, you can easily do the extraction at home with just a few home utensils.
On the other hand, EHO as a hydrotropic solvent that will pull more water-soluble components such as chlorophyll.
Furthermore, ethanol has a higher boiling point than propane or butane. A lower boiling point means a more effective extraction of terpenes that would not be properly extracted if done at higher temperatures.