EtOH Concentrates

Considering all the traction gained by alcohol extraction, I figured I’d fire up a discussion on the concentrates that are also starting to gain traction as a solid alternative/replacement of BHO/CO2.

Clearly some pros/cons of each with the main argument for BHO/CO2 being, in my opinion, flavor and terpene percentages. EtOH shatter typically seems “cleaner” or “less harsh”, but tends to be a little more difficult to work with on a dabber due to it’s often extreme stability. I guess there are solid syringe options for EtOH as well to solve that problem.

Also from the standpoint of production/processing there are certrainly some upsides and downsides to both. Wondering what everyone else thinks about EtOH concentrates compared to BHO/CO2??

Have any of you produced/ smoked EtOH shatter yet??


In Oregon as a registered OMMP patient it is not always easy to keep up on just precisely what this months regulations are. Post prohibition laws are evolving rapidly and in Oregon are settling down a bit but things are still weird.

For instance, if I possess about a pound and a half of bud I am legal as a patient. If I take any alcohol and “concentrate” the THC by removing it from the plant material during a soak then irregardless of how much further it is refined after that it is still called a concentrate. Pure THC derived by first soaking out the THC with alcohol is perfectly legal for me to do so long as I do not possess more than 16 ounces of it provided it was first taken out of the plant by alcohol.

However use of any hydrocarbon like Hexane to “extract” the THC, or use of supercritical fluids like butane or even CO2 under high pressure is no longer called a “concentrate”. If those things are done to get the THC it is then called an “extract” irregardless of potency. It is illegal in Oregon to extract without a license even one tenth of a gram. Even as a patient it is a felony crime to possess more than five grams of “extract” but it is perfectly legal to walk around with 16 ounces of pure THC so long as it started with alcohol or a non hydrocarbon to start things off. Furthermore, it is a felony crime to possess even one gram of “extract” if it was not obtained through a licensed dispensary. 16 ounces of concentrate is just fine no matter where I got it as a patient. Moral to the story? If asked you are carrying “concentrate”.

Is that screwball? Maybe. However Oregon is among just a scant handful of states that still allows law by referendum. There is a caveat to this freedom… once a law is passed by referendum it means our legislators cannot legally even change one comma, sentence, or letter in the text and it must be complied with. Laws by referendum are almost always written by non lawyers and such and so often contain unexpected outcomes just because of the way a literal interpretation of the law is made and not intent. With other laws when intent runs afoul of language a quick session and a vote can change the wording to correct it. not so with referendums which got rereactional pot passed in Oregon. So it is he system we are stuck with and it takes time to work out.

My point is this; If bypassing a felony crime is as easy as just ordering alcohol instead of hexane, or running reaction pots with alcohol instead of supercritical extraction or hydrocarbon extraction then who wouldn’t? I can very easily refine crude into THC irregardless of point of origin and frankly the steps to do so are nearly identical. Remember, in Oregon if anyone asked what you are vaping just tell them it’s damn fine concentrate. I believe this is why I am seeing so much interest in alcohol as “concentrate” medium.


Yes, I have consumed a few EtOH concentrates. I didn’t like it as much as 99%+ pure dry sift and ice wax, but quite more than any BHO/PHO/HHO/CO2/etc.


I’ve produced a number of ethanol based shatters that I believe would be accepted by the market. None that I’d call competition grade. “smooth” is one of the most common adjectives I’ve gotten back.

They have received good in-house reviews, but have gotten mixed responses from buyers at dispensaries. We have not pursued the process validation that would be required to make money selling them. (testing is expensive until you’ve had the process validated in OR).

Now that we have a CUP in house, I believe we will pursue marketing once our process stabilizes (I get the heat exchangers etc plumbed).


Yeah that “smooth” reference is always prevelant when it comes to ethanol based, which makes me wonder if it’s a matter of solvent ppm or terpene absence when compared to other methods??

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I think its the lower concentration of terpenes. flavor is definitely more subtle. :wink:

I’ve also had a couple of strains where the decarbed oil worked well without modification in cartridges. (I can say the same for hydrocarbons).

if the end point it distillate or edibles, less terpenes is presumably a selling point. if the object is to sell “crude” directly as a vapable product, making it a selling point might be advisable. How good is your marketing department?

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Already well established in a market; I’m just looking for input/ feedback on the subject from sources outside my usual circle. I see your points as valid in my book though man. All proven as well! :smile:

I prefer the flavor profile offered by CO2, but it’s often hard to beat numbers of high quality RSO.

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I currently process with only EtOH due to ventilation setbacks. Check out the shatter we make, @710eleven
also getting into running live resin EHO. just gotta keep things SUPER cold.


@CannaChemistry Are you also crystallizing THCA out of Ethanol?


Explain this live resin EtHO…:thinking:

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No, we’re using pentane at the moment.

harvest quickly, deep freeze immediately, run at super low temp.

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What’s your soak time? Define SUPER cold. -20C -40C?

Doesn’t the solvent recovery process defeat the purpose of doing the super cold extraction? Even at vacuum w no heat the tincture would still be colder than the chiller.

In the very least, keeping it that cold would minimize the amount of waxes picked up.

Sure, that’s true but you could just use cold EtOH if that’s your only goal. I’m really trying to understand the live resin end product from cold pentane.

I understand the flower would be treated the same way you would treat it for any live resin extraction.(Flash frozen from harvest).

The live resin is made with EtOH. Almost exactly the same way its done with hydrocarbons (you can even use the same rig). solvent temp -78C at a guess (dry ice).

@CannaChemistry instagram feed also shows crystals and diamonds/sauce.
I asked how the THC was being crystallized…“using Pentane…”.

As far as the diamonds/sauce, I’d just be guessing.
Acetone is my first guess. Pentane is the other obvious choice.


I am about to pour my second run of ETOH shatter R&d. So far, the first run turned out great. it was very stable and i got some pretty good feedback inhouse about the flavor profile. I tested the etoh PPM everyday and noticed on day 3 i had 172 ppm etoh and it went down to 67 ppm by the 4th day. The only thing i had a problem with was some crystalizing right where i started my pour. ill let you know how the second batch turns out. Also, any advice on setpoints would be great.

4 day duration
1 flip per day
max vac
Tested @ 72% thc


I was trying to make live material, problem is the flowers dont crush well when live, even in a deep freezer. The only solutions I’ve tried were packing the material in dry ice, waiting several hours, then crushing, which is labor intensive, or liquid N. Liquid N was pretty easy… froze through my cold gloves so I still couldn’t smash as well as I wanted. It also froze the ethanol for a while. I think the fine fracturing of the cells with the N caused a little green to carry through. So while enjoyable to use, super flavor, the look isn’t there.

End story, both methods did not work great, dry material worked better. Anyone have some tips?

Sorry for the wrong thread for that maybe. For the past more than a month, I have been retailing my ethanol concentrates directly to medical cardholders. People like them and good ones are qualitatively equal overall. No reason to dry hard. Roto at less than 35c, vac oven less than 100f. Ethanol has high sensory threshold and is definitely safe to inhale in these quantities as inhalation during consumption of alcohol will be many orders of magnitude higher.


Ok well here’s your answer, put fresh flowers in grocery bag, now vac seal in vacbag but don’t suck air out so you don’t squeeze the flowers…

Now place in dry ice cooler for 2hrs… Place some under and on top the vacbag…

After 2hrs, take out poke hole to release air,
Here the secret part

Throw it in the floor and step on it like your making wine!
A good m in using your heels will work lmao!
Done, perfect ground while staying frozen!

It will render your fresh material ground, go fast don’t let thawl!


That’s a perfect description of the problematic version of the process. Youd need a very large dry ice cooler to hold a few dozen plants!

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