Weird substance in Ethanol extract

Hi everyone, hoping I can get some help from the community. Recently we switched material source and im now having a weird sediment making it into my extract that I cant seem to filter. Material is extracted at sub-zero temperatures, so it is fairly clean to begin with. Then it goes into two 24 hour winterizations, and a room temp activated carbon scrub. I roto-vap and then decarb. After roto, when most of the ethanol is removed, im having almost lipid like little granules fall out of solution and rest at the bottom. Even when the extract is heated they will not redissolve, any ideas on what this mystery substance may be? And how to remove it?

…and by the point that you see them, your extract is too viscous to filter them out or even make a decent attempt at isolating them? woof.

I got nothing. except that you changed growers. and growers put all sorts of weird stuff on their plants.

if it doesn’t redissolve upon heating, you might be able to decant most of the upper layer off when warm, then pour the lower layer enriched in WTF into a test tube (or like shaped) to get a decent “pure” sample of the mystery chunks.

if the first decant isn’t good enough, you might be able to repeat it a couple of times and improve “purity”.

then ask:
is it water soluble?
Is it ethanol soluble?
How about @Beaker’s multi-solvent array?

post the results. page a resident chemist or three.

that might not tell you what it is, but it will probably help inform removal.

having captured some, you can also try submitting it to a 3rd party lab, but you’ll want to discuss the problem with them up front…if it is something your new grower sprayed on there, it might be something they’re used to seeing, but more likely it’s outside the scope of their day to day analyses (so a non-cannabis lab might not be a bad idea).

Edit: or maybe you got lucky and @Soxhlet nailed it with “filter aid”.


How are you filtering? Celite bed? This could be your filter aid. Like @cyclopath suggested. Collect some of the substance and test for what it could be by either solubility or whatnot. All else fails gc or better methods can be used.


Just filter paper in a Buchner funnel, the only sort of media I use is the activated carbon. oil production is for food, and everything needs to be “Food Grade” per the colorado health department, so i’m unable to use most filtration aids.

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I have a GC in house, I will try to isolate and test like you suggested, thanks for the input!

Diatomaceous Earth can be purchased in food grade quality and neutral bleaching clay is used on edible products all the time in the edible oil industry. Your particulate doesn’t look like carbon but using some sort of filter aid would probably remove the problem.

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This might seem off hand but perhaps it might do the trick;
Prior to the final winterization bring the ethanol and compound to a rolling boil for ten minutes or so. During the boil add several pinches of aluminum oxide or other inert dust. Then cool and winterize. You may discover that some of that stuff will swell and precipitate out much better prior to winterization when boiled in an alcohol and dust of any kind will give perch for the sediment to grab onto when the temperature swings into cryogenic. Then it cannot slip past the filters.