Unwinterized Crude Oil - Test Results

Hi All,
Looking for some help here.
Primarily use CO2 extraction here, and in an effort for quicker turn around time, we have begun using crude oil (after doing an ethanol strip) to infuse our products. Things had been going smoothly, consistently testing in the high 800’s for potency, all final products coming back spot on.
However, in this most recent batch of crude oil (different strain now), we have been receiving some abnormally low test results for final products.
I’ve had the concern about fats/lipids diluting potency, but that hadn’t occurred in our previous batches. Fats/lipids don’t even look very visible in these crude jars.
Any thoughts or suggestions to look into?


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are you saying your crude is around 800 mg of TAC per gram?

what strain and what parameters are you using on your c02? How does the crude move around. is it a solid black brick thats glossy or can you see some amber? i’m trying to think if you should be concerned about the sugars and a bunch of chlorophyll.

I assume you’re decarbing after the ethanol strip.

Wondering how much of a potency decrease are you seeing? Is the potency pretty much the same before and after decarb or do you only test after decarb?

Any funny smells during decarb?

If you are winterizing with ethanol you really shouldn’t have much of a potency difference due to fats. A lot of the non polar fats that CO2 extraction grabs will crash out in ethanol

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Yes, past couple have tested at 870 mg/g for THC.
The strain we are having issues with now, is Sticky Buns.
CO2 parameters achieve a solvent density of 640 kg/m3. Solvent pressure is approx. 1350 PSI.

As far as color, when it’s in bulk in 2,000+ grams in a beaker, it does look a lot darker on the black side, but when you pull it out and as the amount in the jar decreases, it’s a real light amber color.

Decarbing prior to the CO2 extraction actually.
This particular crude oil, we did not winterize with ethanol. Just the ethanol strip (the first time I sent crude out straight from the machine, it popped for ethanol, so we’ve resorted to doing an ethanol strip to ensure it is all out).

If im understanding you correct, I would recommend winterizing. CO2 extraction is non polar and should result in extraction of a decent amount of fats. If the input trim you use has less THC in a certain batch the output will have relatively more fats which will cause a lot of variability in potency when your input trim isn’t all the same


if winterizing doesnt help you much. maybe work some up with some heptane and distilled water. do a quick LLE and see what you pull out.


How often are you cleaning? Between strain differences?

Photos help.

If its lack of winterization its just a simple step placed in the correct order of operations.

Pretty sure @AlexSiegel hit it on the head…

What are you infusing?

Is the lower potency actually an issue? Or simply confusing?

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Very well could be!

Infusing a wide array of edibles.
The situation is, I have been using unwinterized crude previously, with no issues at all when it comes to testing potency in the final products. A gummy needs to be 2 mg/g, it tested at 2 mg/g using the crude oil infusion.
Now with this this new batch of crude oil, unwinterized as well, but a different strain, the final product edibles are not testing accurately. Instead of 2 mg/g, it’s 1.6 mg/g.
Both batches of crude oils across different strains tested in potency within 10 mg/g, so I am just surprised to have such different results.
But you’re right about what @AlexSiegel said, could have pulled a much higher amount of lipids with this batch, but I’m fairly certain the input material for this batch tested higher in THC than the previous.

We clean between each strain.

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How confident are you in the accuracy of your testing? Dont most testing methods have a variance of 5-15% depending on system and method? I know I can send the samples of the same product to 10 different labs and get 10 different results…

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I’m still a bit confused. Are you making an oil product for infusion and testing the final product but not testing the intermediate oil product?

Sometimes higher quality materials can have lower THCa due to having more terpenes but that’s usually only after some kind of secondary manufacturing

We are testing both.
Testing the oil for potency
And then infusing final product based on that potency, to be then be tested again in final product form

Have you been testing potency of your biomass pre decarb?
Consistency of your grind different? More coarse or fine?
Final weight of ground biomass going into vessel similar?

I wouldn’t rule out a change in testing calibration as the cause. 80% TAC for unwinterized CO2 crude seems high to me. They may have been inflated and now are just returning to mean.

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If you tested your oil prior to formulation, and the result was as expected, and the formulated oil is not what you expected, it probably was not formulated correctly. Even if the starting oil was a bit lower than usual, you should still be able to formulate the right potency for the product.

Could be error in formulation, using too little oil/not properly homogenizing the mixture

Could be the lab, giving you an error in either the starting oil or finished product, either could affect the potency of your finished product.

On a side note you can get a somewhat large variation in the fat content with CO2 extraction. Strain dependent, as well as growing condition dependent.


Agreed, 80% seems might high for crude. If all tests are done by the same lab then it is possible they recalibrated recently which corrected the high numbers to something lower. Now you are testing product and getting those lower numbers which may actually be the more realistic numbers.

This is so true! You can always ask them for a lab investigation related to your test results coming in Out Of Trend - they may have already done this (good ones will have already noticed a difference in a returning customer…especially if its the same product over and over) and probably know what’s up.

There’s plenty of formulation and raw materials issues that could be at play as people mentioned - its still always good to check that there wasn’t something simple like a calculation error that set all of this off.

Let us know what you find out!

2 mg/g vs 1.6 mg/g seems like a large discrepancy when you scale out. But that’s not too much of a difference, IMO. A multitude of reasons could be it, but 2 mg/g vs 1.6 mg/g in a complex edible matrix seems acceptable to me…