Q: Can the same extraction equipment be used for cannabis ethanol and oil extraction?
RVL: Yes, this is all based around ethanol. It can be used for other solvents. We have gone to great lengths to make sure that all our equipment is compatible with a wide variety of solvents because cannabis is not our only target market.
Q: Is it better to use cold water for solvent extraction?
RVL: Cannabinoids are not readily soluble in water, so typically with cold water extraction the water is actually just a medium. You take ice and water, blend cannabis biomass with it, and agitate it to knock off the trichomes (glands that contain THC/CBD) from the cannabis leaves and buds. This is passed through a series of mesh bags that filter out the biomass and captures the trichomes. That leaves a product that’s typically 60% to 70% purity. It still has a lot of excess plant matter inside it. If you look at a trichome under a microscope, it’s kind of like a wax ball, and inside that ball is the active ingredient, so if you knock that off with water you still must extract the active ingredient if you’re trying to achieve a higher purity.