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.
- 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.
- 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.