Alcohol Extraction

Alcohol extraction is a method used to produce some medical cannabis extracts. By using alcohol, typically ethanol, as a solvent, this technique separates beneficial compounds like cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. The result is a concentrated extract used in various medical formulations, offering precise dosing and targeted therapeutic effects.

How common is alcohol extraction in UK medical cannabis products? 


Alcohol-based extraction methods are not commonly employed for medical cannabis products in the UK. This is mainly due to concerns over the residual alcohol left in the final product, and that other extraction methods, such as CO2 supercritical extraction, are more efficient and produce higher quality extracts.


Are there any risks associated with alcohol extraction in medical cannabis?


The primary risks associated with alcohol extraction stem from the need to fully evaporate the solvent, as residual alcohol in the final product can pose health risks. It's essential that the extraction process is performed professionally and that the final extracts are rigorously tested for residual solvents and contaminants to ensure patient safety.


How does alcohol extraction compare to other extraction methods used in medical cannabis?


Alcohol extraction is quicker and more cost-effective than CO2 extraction. However, it might not provide the same level of specificity in compound isolation. The choice between alcohol and other methods, like CO2 or BHO extraction, depends on the desired purity, potency, and product type required for medical use.


Should I discuss the extraction method used in my medical cannabis with my prescribing specialist?


You can, but you can also rest assured knowing that all extraction methods used in medical cannabis products are performed professionally and rigorously tested for residual solvents and contaminants. This is to ensure patient safety and compliance with UK regulations.

However, if you have specific concerns or preferences regarding extraction methods used for your prescribed CBPM, it is always recommended to discuss this with your prescribing specialist. They can provide more information on the specific extraction processes used and how it may affect the overall quality of the product.


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