Dewaxing, winterization of oil and other concentrates

Published Jan 29, 2019 01:57 p.m. ET

 Both dewaxing and winterizing are methods used to extract impurities such as plant wax and fats. Dewaxing can be a bit more difficult for the average person while winterizing can be a bit more detrimental to the end product.

What Is Dewaxing?

Dewaxing is a process used to purify cannabis concentrates of any butane solvents. This method uses dry ice which forces any lipids or waxes separate from the solvent filled mixture and produces a more condensed and pure concentrate that is cleaner and much more potent.

How to Dewax HBO?

Dewaxing can be performed during the initial making of an HBO by adding an additional cylinder that the solution must go through that is super cooled with dry ice.

Tools/Ingredients

  • Dry ice pellets
  • 2 coffee cans
  • 1 Dremel (or another tool to cut a hole through the can)
  • 1 plastic or metal cylinder that is taller than the coffee can
  • Cheesecloth
  • 1 bowl
  • 1 elastic
  • Thick Gloves

Instructions

  1. Trace a circle around the base of your cylinder onto the bottom of a coffee can.
  2. Carefully cut out the circle using a Dremel or cutting tool. You need the cylinder to fit snug so don't cut too much.
  3. Once the hole has been cut, ensure the cylinder fits into the hole snugly. Press it approximately two inches through the bottom and set aside.
  4. Cut the entire bottom out of the second coffee can. This will act as the stand for the filter.
  5. Use cheesecloth and an elastic to create a filter on the bottom of the cylinder. Now put the entire can including cylinder onto the stand and position your collection bowl under it.
  6. For this step, you will need gloves to handle the dry ice. Fill the outer chamber surrounding the cylinder and pack it as much as you can with the pellets.
  7. Now the additional device is ready to use. The unevaporated HBO mixture is poured into the top of your cylinder and will run down being cooled to below -20 C before being filtered and collected.

What Is Winterized HBO?

The winterization of oil is a method performed by doing an alcohol wash at sub-zero temperatures on a cannabis concentrate. Winterization of HBO is usually done on cannabis concentrates that are made using solvents such as nitrogen, CO2, or butane. Winterizing HBO’s will lower the burning point as well as filtering out many impurities left behind by toxic solvents. All the extraction options mentioned will separate the cannabinoids from a marijuana plant but will also extract components that aren’t beneficial like wax, chlorophyll, and fats that can ruin the taste of the product when smoked. These are all removed in the process of making winterized HBO.

How to Winterize HBO?  

To begin, you will need a few necessary tools and ingredients. It is important to freeze your jar of non evaporated solvent for at least 24 hours before starting this process. Freezing will help solidify some of the waxes that winterization will remove. Without the 24-hour freeze period winterizing will not be nearly as effective.

Tools/Ingredients

  • 3 coffee filters
  • 3 medium-sized funnels
  • 3 glass jars
  • 1 jar of freezer cooled unevaporated HBO
  • 3 tablespoons of alcohol.

Instructions

  1. Add 3 tablespoons of alcohol to your unevaporated HBO mixture.
  2. Line all 3 glass jars in a row and place one medium-sized funnel onto the top of each jar.
  3. Use 1 coffee filter to line each funnel.
  4. Slowly pour the unevaporated HBO into each jar dividing the liquid by 3 even parts.
  5. Wait for each filter to stop dripping. This will take approximately 5 minutes.
  6. Gently remove each coffee filter full of sediment and gently squeeze the material to collect the last few drops.
  7. Coffee filters can now be disposed of. Each one will be full of waxes and impurities that would have remained in your HBO without this extra step.
  8. Now you can allow the solutions solvents to evaporate entirely, or bottle it as is for homemade tinctures.

Which Is the Better Option?

While both dewaxing and winterizing have pros and cons, both methods are equally effective at removing most of the useless material that can remain when making HBO. With the most significant differences being dewaxing will negatively affect your overall yield, but winterizing can adversely affect the taste and smell of the end product because it breaks down more terpenes than dewaxing.

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