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Ethanol Extraction in Hemp...A Short History

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

Ever wonder how Ethanol became such a popular way to extract hemp and cannabis? Turns out this method has been used for over 100 years.

Ethanol extraction of Cannabis and Hemp has existed for many years. While an exact date is impossible to determine, there is evidence of ethanol-based cannabis tinctures being sold in apothecaries throughout the United States up until 1937 when cannabis was outlawed.

Ethanol extracted cannabis enjoyed a brief resurgence in the mid 1970’s when D.J. Gold, author of “Cannabis Alchemy”, launched the Iso 2 extractor in High Times magazine. The DEA quickly forced this product off the market.

Then many years later in the early 90’s Eden advertised small tabletop systems in High Times. Launching the first commercial sized “Coldfingerethanol extractors for the new medical marijuana markets. This was the beginning of the large scale extractors we still use today in hemp and cannabis. Ethanol extraction has advanced in leaps and bounds since 1995 with large scale commercial and industrial systems extracting thousands of pounds of Hemp and Cannabis per day.

At Big Sky Scientific we use cold ethanol extraction to extract our hemp, we have found that it produces both the most efficient and high quality CBD isolates on a large scale.

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