A common secondary processing technique, known as winterization (due to low operating temps of the alcohol/extract), efficiently removes plant waxes from extractions. The result is thinner, higher-potency oils, ideal for vape pens, dabbing and infused products.
Listed here are the basic steps to winterization, along with what equipment you’ll need. You can see the winterization process in action on our winterization video or get hands-on training at our next class on March 31 in Denver!
- Mix thoroughly the raw extract with 200-proof ethanol. Then place the mixture into a lab-grade freezer until it reaches -35 to -85 degrees Fahrenheit. The waxes and lipids will separate and harden; the oil and ethanol will remain in liquid form.
- Pour the cold ethanol extract through filter paper inside a Buchner funnel into a vacuum flask. The solid waxes will stick to the filter paper so that only the oil-ethanol mix will filter into the flask.
3. Once the waxes are removed, distill the ethanol off of the solution using a rotary evaporator. A rotary evaporator works best to separate the ethanol because it uses a large surface area and low-temperature heating under a vacuum which preserves the flavors in the extracts.