Chinese Water Torture

Here we have some hemp crude dissolved in ethanol which has been added dropwise to water.
Notice the cloud of crap in the water and the remaining crude adhered to the side. This got me thinking…

What is that crap in the water? Mmm… waxes? Chlorophyll???

Bear in mind that this was an extract made with warm alcohol from last years hemp crop and not exactly dank hemp at that.

In for a penny, in for a pound, lets do it with all of it…

Fairly concentrated hemp extract was added dropwise to glass dish of water. When it hits it disperses in an interesting fashion. Poof… then it reassembles on the surface. The water becomes cloudy as the process continues. A small amount of crude drops to the bottom. Most floats on top of the surface.

The jar on the right is wastewater. Over the course of the night whatever is in the wastewater mostly stayed in suspension. There was a whitish waxy film on the bottom of the jar.

There are a number of variables here… Concentration of the hemp oil, temperature of the water, surface area, etc. Many things to be played with. Reclaiming the crude seems to be easy, sticks to the glass quite well and water can be poured off carefully.

The process is repeatable. Dry out what you can of the water after pouring off, dissolve in alcohol and do it again. I have not yet repeated so I don’t know how productive it is. The color of the extract seems slightly better and it seems a bit harder than before. Don’t laugh at my color, let he who as pulled clean shit from year old boof hemp with warm alcohol cast the first stone. I have little doubt that starting with an alcohol cold wash of fresh plant material will yield a much nicer result.

My theory is that this is removing wax and chloropyll. It’s not an end-all but it might be a quick way of cleaning up QWISO/QWET without cold or solvents. I think there is much room for improvement in the process. Next test is to do a second run and see if more stuff drops out. Then perhaps try with a cleaner extract from fresh material.

What is going on? I think when the extract hits the water it disperses into small particles, some go into suspension and stay, some float to the top and a few drop to the bottom. Active ingredients are mostly oily and rise to the top and rejoin. Chlorophyll and waxes stay in suspension, wax over time deposits on the bottom.

There are a lot of variables that can be played with here.


I’ve done this before, I thought it was kind of akin to louching but just using much less solvent since you’re not collecting the insoluble shit with a solvent.

The stuff I tried it with turned red and glassy.


It’s hydrating the hydratables. That’s why bleaching clays have different levels of moisture in it and improve clarity when you crc


I read your post in the voice of those NileRed videos. It’s be cool to have an on-site “reagent like” test for verifying approximately the value of bulk biomass.

Been using my nose and a usb webcam, maybe a flame test and wait. Be great to have some cheap pre-buy intel.

Edit: this was intended for hemp biomass but it sounds like a buy in an illegal state lol


I’m pretty sure there’s gotta be acid present to effectively hydrolyze a phospholipid. Or an enzyme.

Only for the non hydratables. Usually hydratables become non hydratable as the biomass ages. Most bleaching clays available are acidic as well

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I would assume the red color is a result of selective chlorophyll type removal.

I have been playing around with the copper acetate method also and I noticed the precipitate in the water being more green dropping to the bottom not forming a dispersion. Unfortunately it seems that the only easy route to get copper acetate residue out is a non-polar solvent.

Yeah I know, but my original comment was in regard to the water being able to “hydrolyze” without a catalyst. Clay wasn’t mentioned by the OP.

I think the term you meant might have been hydrate?

Edit: I read your post wrong

Is this what u think might be the powdery way shit that’s at the bottom of op’s jar?

I’ve saw u post about unknown white powder in jar before.

I’m confused I never said hydrolyze I did say hydrate…

I mentioned bleaching clay as a reference to explain how the water + acidity improves the oil. Using too high of a moisture could also oxidize the oil which is where the red comes from

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The white powdery shit is the hydrated gums. In the crc process, those would be adsorbed by the media.

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The turbidity of the aqueous phase is most likely caused by terpenoids. It’s like adding water to a glass of ouzo or Pernod.


That is essentially the definition of a colloid.


There are terps in the milky phase. Could smell them in other extractions also. Interestingly the copper acetate formed a green cloud which sat on the bottom and didn’t stay dispersed.

I have only used copper acetate with fresh material and whatever is in this crap hemp bears little resemblance to chlorophyll as normally encountered. I expect tests with fresh material to act somewhat different.

This shouldn’t be an issue unless you extract and refine with triglycerides being the objective.


Could you elaborate a bit more? Do you mind if I pick your brain?

Although OP used warm ethanol to obtain the hemp extract, which of course will bring out all sorts of undesirable components, phosphatides being among them, in general (I think) extraction of biomass for cannabinoids as opposed to extraction of biomass for triglycerides is a gentler process and ought not become such a big problem.

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Biomass quality would also determine the type of undesirable components being extracted right?

Yes, the lower the cannabinoid content, the higher the relative content of everything else will be.

Would you happen to know if cannabis extracts are composed of mostly triglycerides or phospholipids?

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