No change in potency after winterization?

Have you ever tested crude for potency both pre- and post-winterization? We did this once a while back on some CO2 crude. Surprisingly the potency did not increase after winterization. It let me to believe that the fats/waxes have a considerable amount of cannabinoids that they retain. It’s not a far fetched idea. Maybe I should be making cookies with the stuff that get’s thrown out.

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Do a second solvent wash with the fats, and re-winterize. Only at around 1:2 is sufficient for the second time around. We then vac purge the fats on a tray until dry. This can be used for topical creams and ointments. Often still around 10-15% cannabinoids in there.


SoStupendous how much fat/wax are you removing when you winterize compared to the weight of oil? If you winterize properly the fat/wax should be white. Most likely your fat/wax mass is only 1-2% of the weight of the oil so it wont afffect potency a ton. Let me know how the cookies go. I have jars of washed fat that I don’t know what to do with.

Distillat3r I find that other fats like shea work better for topicals. When washed and dried out the fat/wax is clumpy and brittle. Not fun to work with and lotion is cheap to make. Do you stop at the first solvent wash when it has 10-15% cannabinoids in it? Seems like a waste of time washing/removing it if your going to eventually add it back in.

This is CO2 crude from mid-level trim. It seems to average out to 15% (by weight) loss. From raw crude to finished winterized oil, there is a 85% yield. Does this seem like too much? It’s supercritical extraction and I think the parameters are over-extracting non-cannabinoid components.

Ive worked with CO2 before and when I ran at high temp and pressure to extract everything the fat/wax content was around 15%. From my experience a lot of CO2 extractions are run with parameters that over extract non cannabinoid components. The only thing that I don’t understand is how your not seeing a increase in potency if your removing 15% of washed fat/waxes. Do you wash your fat/waxes with cold ethanol after filtering? If not that could be the issue. A good indicator of doing a winterization properly is dry white/off-white colored fats. There should be little to no pigment left in the fat/wax.

Well, I only tested pre- and post= winterization within a batch once. It’s very possible the lab over estimated the potency in one of the samples. I think both were around 70% THC. No, it doesn’t make sense unless the fats/waxes mass is also 70% THC (no way!).

Unrelated question for you sir: Did you make distillate from “over extracted” CO2 and “optimally extracted” CO2 crude? Ever notice a potency in distillate between the two even if they had comparable % potency on the winterized oil?

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Unfortunately there are a lot of labs that do shabby analytical work in this industry. Its very important to have multiple tests and blind tests so you can make sure your getting accurate results.

70% THC is common for CO2 extracts that are run at high temp/pressure. What color are your fats/waxes when your done winterizing? Are the fax/waxes completely dry?

I have made distillate from over extracted CO2 but not from optimally extracted CO2. I have made distillate from really low quality BHO and refined it to 90%. If your doing distillation properly the starting material should not make a difference. I personally run any extractor at high temps/pressures when preparing for distillate to get all of the cannabinoids out of the material. It makes winterization a pain at 15% fat/waxes but gets yields of 90-95% Cannabinoids with 90% distillate. What distillation setup are you using?

How did you test it? HPLC or GC?