I don’t like SFE for a few reasons. I will preface that by saying that my experience is only with Waters, and as others who have used their equipment often agree, and found theirs to not be optimally designed for cannabis (which it wasn’t)
- I find that the high pressures of SFE call for a lot of thick steel and high end pumps that are quite costly even for small units.
- I find that while “full spectrum”, the profiles from SFE either favor cannabinoids or terpenes but often not a great pull of both.
- Generally it’s a slow process compared to other tech.
- Again, $$$. Many SFE units are well into 6 figures in price if you want anything that’s up to large scale.
My experience with Waters was that they are incredibly well engineered machines that are high quality. I live within 30 miles of their headquarters and the customer service is great too. But their largest unit I could upgrade to at the time was a 2x5L, and they have a lot of tweaks to do before It’s well engineered for cannabis specifically. It’s purchase wasn’t my decision any way.
I prefer hydrocarbons for extracts that are final destination and are marked for direct sale.
I prefer a combo of LCO2 and EtOH for bulk extraction that is set up to head to further refinement and other products.
The only people I’ve met so far who grin from ear to ear over SFE are people selling them and people trying to impress their investors with buzzwords like “solventless” or “solvent free”.
That’s 100% my own experience based off only my 2 years on SFE and what my peers have told me. If others have found ways to improve throughput and quality I’m all ears for changing my mind.