#2 No Holds Barred: Ethanol vs CO2 | Podcast
In this episode of No Holds Barred, Dr. Jon and Randall Thompson discuss the topic of supercritical CO2 vs. ethanol as a hemp and cannabis extraction solvent. There are various solvents in the hemp and cannabis extraction industry, but If you ask Dr. Jon, there is a clear winner when it comes to hemp processing. Listen now to find out which you should be using in your extraction process!
Welcome to extract talks with Dr. Jon podcast. Dr. Jon is CEO and president of extract lab and united science and industry leader in hemp, cannabis and the extraction industry. Listen closely as Dr. Jon talks about his experiences, CBD extraction methodology and the ins and outs of owning your own business. Dr. Jon teaches you healthy business practices, how to increase your profits and steps to take your CBD company to a whole new level. Let’s dive in.
Randall Thompson 00:37
Hey, guys, welcome to the no holds barred ethanol versus co2. We’re going round two here. Love it. And Dr. Jon, you did a great job last time. Oh, thanks. Yeah, I was fun. I think I did a great job.
Dr. Jon 00:55
nobody’s saying it. But Randall
Randall Thompson 00:58
I know but you know, yeah.
Randall Thompson 01:04
All right, we’re actually all I do is facilitate questions. So you guys are the ones who are doing a great job. And the questions have been coming in all week.
Dr. Jon 01:12
Randall Thompson 01:13
Dr. Jon 01:14
Randall Thompson 01:15
Holy cow. This is gonna be a kind of ready to rumble moment, I think.
Dr. Jon 01:18
I think so yeah.
Randall Thompson 01:19
I see the questions already coming in and floating.
Dr. Jon 01:23
We got a whole bunch of pre questions. And then I think we’ve had like, record. Some we had over like, 200 people register for this. So it’s pretty amazing. We got our little conference here.
Randall Thompson 01:33
Dr. Jon 01:34
It’s pretty cool.
Randall Thompson 01:35
I love it. And you know, we’re going to go so we want to make this educational. We want to keep it you know, succinct, we don’t want to really belabor everything. So we’re going to try to keep this, you know, under an hour for sure. You know, 30 to 45 minutes is where we want to hit and we’ll carry over questions to the next week or, you know, if we still have this demand, we’re going to do it again next week. So yeah, very cool. Yeah. I know this week is ethanol versus co2. Right. So what I’d like to do is Dr. Jon, if you can just kind of give us a little overview of and set the stage. Sure. And then we’ll all start working on the questions that are common. All right.
Dr. Jon 02:13
All right, that sounds good go. So, um, a lot of different ways to extract botanicals, okay. Inevitably you’re going to need some sort of solvent that will dissolve the resins that are in the botanical and in order to in order to do that, you have to choose your solvent and when you do that, you have a lot of different choices. You know, historically people have used you know, organic, some people have used inorganic, some people use gases. Some sometimes people will use like, hydrocarbons for example, in in throughout history of chemical processing. It has been basically it there’s been very nice Different solvents, a huge number of different solvents. Okay, so one thing that we started in 2013, starting to look at the different kinds of solvents, just wanted to make sure that we had a very pure solvent, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t have residuals in there. We didn’t want to have to deal with contamination risk. And so that’s one of the reasons why we have why we chose co2 as our as our solvent to really be our Muse basically be the object of our affection, and so on and so forth. It doesn’t mean that other solvents won’t work. Like for example, in 2013, I was doing ethanol extractions at really low, you know, low, low temperatures. And just there are a lot of different trade offs that you need to think of when you just choose which solvent system you’re going to use. So really, the trade offs are the following kind of, in a basically a couple different categories. The first category would be cost in You know, how much does it take? How much variable cost is the ethanol extraction or the co2 extraction really adding to your overall cost per kilogram to produce. So that’s a that’s a key issue. The second thing would be just residuals and the risk of residuals. And you know that that is something that you need to think about for sure, for sure, because it’s going to add to your revalidation costs, it’s going to add to your, you know, your testing costs and all of those things. So there’s a, there’s a bunch of different things that you need to think about with that. And then the third thing is, you know, availability like nowadays, you know, there’s been a real issue with availability of ethanol itself. So we’re trying to get ethanol for basically hand sanitizer and hand cleaning and that that’s, that’s a really big issue because we can’t even get a 55 gallon drum of ethanol in here or IPA in here to really, truly get us so To really get us going on hand sanitizer, so how do people who need to command you know, hundreds and even thousands of gallons actually operate? The answers that they’re having a hard time doing that. So, anyway, so there we are. That’s how I set it up, Randall and, you know, so you got costs, you got residual health and safety. And then you have availability, and those are the main categories. There are some subcategories. We’ll get into those. I’m sure.
Randall Thompson 05:29
Absolutely. And the questions are pouring in. So we’re going to get to those. I there are a lot of questions that are carryovers from last week and some through the week, but I want to focus right now on ethanol versus co2. If you guys are okay with that. If there’s something pressing let me know if you got to jump bail, let me know so that we can squeeze that in but right. Okay, so question. We’re talking about the safety issue. Yeah. All right. And the cost issue and the availability issue But But safety first What? Talk a little bit about the differences of ethanol. Again, we talked to touch on it last time, but touch again on what you what you can use what you can’t use, why you should use it, why most people are using what they probably shouldn’t be using.
Dr. Jon 06:20
Right. Okay. So yeah, I can talk a little bit about that. Basically, not all ethanol is equal, uh, you know, there’s pure food grade ethanol, and that has a very specific, you know, recipe. Basically, it can have residual solvents in it. You can, you can’t drink it in large quantities, obviously, otherwise, you know, you’ll get hurt, but, you know, certainly food grade ethanol is fit for human consumption. And then what happened was people wanted to basically come up with recipes, so they could use ethanol for other different reasons. without incurring excise tax, and so there’s this TTP board is what it’s called. And they have different recipes. And there’s a whole bunch of different recipes, you can go in there. It’s administered by the VATF. And, you know, some of them are approved for food use and whatnot. And so what happens is the chemical companies take pure ethanol or take a grade of pure ethanol, and then they pour in basically denaturants or chemical contaminants. And it’s meant so that, you know, the, the idea there is that it’s meant so that people can’t consume that ethanol. Okay, so that’s where the residuals really come from. And so it’s actually an additive. It’s a non-natural additive, that’s added to the ethanol and so you have basically two different categories of ethanol. When you have a food grade and the other you have denatured ethanol and the denatured ethanol. Of course, it is the issue because it the Denaturants themselves, there’s really hard to completely remove those. In fact, you can see them in a lot of the extracts that are coming out of ethanol. So,
Randall Thompson 08:13
okay, so the key is, I mean taking that down to my level, yes. Don’t drink your vanilla extract.
Dr. Jon 08:24
Well, don’t drink your vanilla extract. Yeah. But you know, also don’t use ethanol that is, you could you could run you in your car, for example, right to extract a food that you now are going to consume.
Randall Thompson 08:39
That would be kind of on the denatured side. Yeah, what you’re pumping in your car, you’re not gonna go take a drink of the hose at the gas station. Right. Okay. Right. So, so don’t do that. Right. All right. So that’s, that’s the key. And, you know, that’s my level. Right. Okay. So, other areas of question, Are you also seeing an issue with availability from methanol, as well as ethanol out there.
Dr. Jon 09:03
Oh, good question. I don’t know. We didn’t really look at that. We don’t buy methanol. If someone’s going to use methanol as an extracted or someone as an extraction solvent, it would work. Okay. But I don’t think so it probably doesn’t have the same issues because it’s not used. methanol is not used as approved hand sanitizer. Got it. That should tell you something, by the way. Oh, yeah.
Randall Thompson 09:27
Yeah, exactly. Okay. Another question about costs. So we, we use co2 predominantly in our processes. That’s what we do we right we, we, we like that. And from a cost perspective, can you give us a benchmark of cost for co2 versus a denatured? in today’s market? Yeah. versus if you could get it. Right versus food grade.
Dr. Jon 09:53
Okay. So, the cost for denatured versus food grade? Yeah, it’s, uh, well, I don’t know actually, I think I’d have to I’d have to look at the prices. I don’t have those numbers, but I think it’s at least 10 x less costly. Okay, and it has a lot to do with an X denatured versus it nature, it would be 10 x less costly than Yeah, at least that and I don’t have the exact numbers. But yeah, but, um, you know, if you’re going to use ethanol as an extract it you should you should use food grade ethanol. Absolutely. Yeah. Which is going to be, you know, 10 x higher, right? And denatured ethanol, right. And is there a cost variable? What’s the cost variable from co2? Yeah, solvents. Versus right. Well, that’s really where co2 starts to shine, essentially, because, you know, first of all, you have a lot of different factors that are contributing to your variable costs. Okay. So, if you think about what is it that that costs, you know, what is it that’s contributing to the cost, you have the loss of the ethanol, you have the actual ethanol itself you have to change over the ethanol because You can’t use it indefinitely as it’s going to continuously get, you know, contaminated, okay? And you can’t continuously do that even if you try to reprove it, you have cost to revalidate it if you’re in a GMP environment, right? Yeah. Then you have the costs associated with, you know, the actual say the actual raffinate is what they call it, the spent material that has a bunch of ethanol in it, okay? And so if that when that has a bunch of ethanol in it, in some jurisdictions, it’s considered hazardous waste. So that’s added to your variable cost, and then you have to cool all that down. So that’s also adding to the variable cost. Somebody had asked some questions about electricity, yes, and variable costs, typically, you know, for like one ton a day for, like, if you’re just looking at the extraction component, you’re looking at about maybe 77 bucks per day to run like a, you know, co2 extractors as opposed to like 480 to $500 a day to run at Ethanol extractors. And that’s mostly due to the, what they call the heat of vaporization. issues. Wow, with ethanol, it just puts a lot of energy to get it into the vapor phase. And on top of that, we haven’t even covered the fact of insurance and explosion proof rooms and facilities issue, right, all of those hidden costs that are part of that process. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, that’s more like infrastructure issues. So you have you have two different things. You have your variable costs, and then you have your obviously your infrastructure costs. And those things are really, you know, both of those together really make ethanol as a solution. very costly compared to co2. I mean, I just one other thing on that we got, you know, four cents, five cents a pound for co2. Yeah. I mean, it’s ridiculously inexpensive. That’s so that’s a good deal. Yeah, that’s a good deal and a good memory on the kilowatt per hour consumption. I think. Bowden, you asked that question.
Randall Thompson 13:00
And that is a, you know, $77 a day run and co2 versus $500 a day roughly just under for an ethanol who, that’s crazy. Are there any white papers on co2 to maintain the integrity of the terpene profile? Okay, so
Dr. Jon 13:20
you know that that’s one of the things so when you when you use ethanol to extract all the terpenes are coming out into that extract, okay? And then then you’re basically you’re decarboxylated again, and then you are and then you’re probably going into some sort of distillation process after that. So during that post processing, after you get the extract out, you usually lose all those terpenes. Okay, so one of the things that is very cool about co2 is that you’re able to do a couple different things. First of all, you’re able to run in subcritical mode, which is a very common technique and done for you Get out some of the more volatile compounds into a pre fraction, that’s a very soupy, pre fraction of terpenes. Essentially, the other thing that you can do with we do, we do pre-processing, and we gather all of our terpenes out ahead of time. So like, for example, this is this is a jar of basically pure terpenes. So, they’re, they’re coming out so they’re done before extraction. What’s great about that is they’re not degrading. So it’s got a lot of the, you know, a lot of that small terpenes that are, you know, have contribute a lot to the flavor and aroma. So you want to try to maintain that. So that that’s really what you know, processing techniques really allow you to do. Great and, and, you know, with ethanol, they’re kind of all stuck in there. There’s really no way to get them out once they’re in there unless you do a whole nother distillation process, and things like that. So that’s the issue with that. So in the process, part of your
Randall Thompson 15:00
Methods where you remove the terpenes where you can do that, that’s when you can capture the most. Yeah. of the terpenes. Yeah, that’s, that’s excellent. Yeah. Okay. That way, they’re not degrading, you know, which is really great. So,
Dr. Jon 15:13
can can co2 be used for processing other bio botanicals? Absolutely. I mean, co2 is used right now industrially. You know, I think that at the end of the day, you’re talking even, for example, decaffeinated coffee is a really well known means of, of, you know, extraction. Why do people use that instead of, say, ethanol? Well, the ethanol would over extract, it doesn’t have the selectivity. And then Could you imagine what it would cost them and energy and all that to really get that ethanol out? It’d be really, really difficult to do. So. You know, that that’s, that’s the that’s the main thing. There’s also other things Applications we’ve done you know, lavender, we’ve done wheat grass, Sapa meadow, there’s a bunch of different you know, options there for, you know, different gene saying genetic and ghost peppers, just in case and hops. Those peppers and hops. I can only imagine ghost pepper extract. Yeah, sounds like an outtake. Yeah, I think so. We’re gonna get some of that. So,
Randall Thompson 16:28
no, not yet. Yeah. So, so. Excellent. So what were excellent questions. excellent questions. Excellent answers. Love the overview of the of some of these things. One of them that came it’s a carryover from last week. Somebody had really good memory. What’s your favorite scotch? Oh,
Dr. Jon 16:54
my favorite scotch? Yeah. Oh, I like the balvenie in, that’s my favorites. It’s a highland.
Randall Thompson 17:00
And, and so yeah that I really like that. Oh, that’s good. I love it favorites and and I’ve tasted it and it very good. Yeah. Jon’s a scotch guy. I’m a bourbon guy. So and I get along I’m a rye bourbon guy and we we do have competitions. Yeah, we do. He wins. So we’re good. Okay, back to ethanol versus co2. One of the questions that came up is, are we just using co2 because that’s our business and then building all of these questions and models to justify that, right, or is this real, actual validated? stuff? Yeah, I can see that. Yeah. It’s like a guy with a hammer. Every problem is a nail type of question. Okay. Yeah, I get that. No, I mean, look, I’m an I’m a trained, analytical chemist. I’m an expert in separations of basically I’ve been trained as a seven
Dr. Jon 18:00
Operation scientists, chemical engineer, so for the last 20 years I’ve been practicing in that field. And, you know, I had practiced about 11-12 years, from both an engineering standpoint, and from a material standpoint, and from a, you know, scientific standpoint, when I went in, I didn’t have a piece of equipment that I was going to build. I didn’t so I chose my medium, sir. And, you know, so I chose it for purposes of basically cleanliness, quality, the ability to reach clinical grade, you know, materials, not having to worry about residuals, mostly health aspects because I didn’t want to deal with the risk of residuals and I also didn’t want to you know, I and I know as a chemist, I can always measure those residuals. I get there if you use them, I can see him in there is that very, very low levels and I can see him in there. In fact, you know, we we do we have a laboratory that runs, okay. A lot of you know, like samples for people. So the ethanol, the ethanol people that turn in samples, they have residuals in their acetone, propanol. They have hexane heptane. in there, they’re at the low low levels, but you can see them in there. So essentially, you know, you could get a pass test on the you can get a pass test with the analytical results, but you could still have a lot of that stuff in there. And to me, that is a big problem. Because, you know, you can you can really kind of, really not good I mean, I’ll give you an example here. I made up, I made up a tincture here. This is a tincture, it. This would pass the test of the USP467 which is the testing so it would pass it on But it has in there It has acetic acid, it has butanol as all these different chemical pentane all our pentene it has in there It has ethanol is ethyl ether in there. formic acid hep teen eyes. So if I sent this sample in at you know, and I sent it to a laboratory they they would send it back to me and they say it passes all the tests because it’s underneath the level you want you take a smell of that. And you open it up there.
Dr. Jon 20:36
Right. Oh my gosh, that’s my point. Right there. That’s a that’s a completely legal tincture, and it’s it’s basically made up almost 100% of solvents that are legally okay to have in your product. It smells kind of like your plain glue. It’s you could probably use it as they’re pretty cool. It’s kind of like the you know, taking my fingers off. Yeah, exactly. It’s it’s something so anyway. that’s those are the main reasons. So as an analytical chemist, I’m not just we’re not just making up data it’s to, to really set a foundation for our, the way we do things. You know, butane was used in was used a lot when I first started this and we know we looked at butane. We actually ran butane. We ran all the residuals, they’re all in there. No way. Okay. I, we were doing, like ethanol extractions that was at minus 40 degrees with, you know, back in 2014 2015. Okay. I mean, we Yeah, we did it. Yeah. And it was it was all there. And sure enough, I mean, you know, the only way we could make it really work from a financial standpoint is if we use denatured ethanol. Well, as soon as the denatured ethanol came in, then it was like, Okay, well, we’re never going to get off those residuals. And of course, you can get them below the level that the FDA says is safe, but then they’re in there. right and then you got that in and it literally if you if you had a safe level of hep pain, for example and your tincture, okay, which the FDA says is 5000 ppm and you took three dropper foals per day, you would be consuming about 470 milliliters worth of hep teen per year. The issue with that is that the FDA has said okay, 5000 ppm is okay to have in your tincture, because we do not have the data to show that it’s unsafe. Okay, just opposite of what they said about CBD, for example, Wow, well, we don’t have the data to show that it’s safe so that you can have it at all or whatever. You know, I mean, so it’s kind of an interesting thing. And it’s an interesting history, but they cited one paper written in 1981. To just to say that, hey, look, it doesn’t look like it’s gonna act in your neuro system. But you know, we know a lot
Randall Thompson 23:00
Things about biochemistry since 1981. Like for example, you know, all the effects of solids and cognitive effects and 40 years ago. Yeah, that’s a long time ago. It’s time for another paper. I think it’s time. Yeah. And yeah, so anyway, or they need to update their dossier. But they didn’t do it yet. So there’s still you could still have a lot. Okay, so yeah, I’m gonna shift gears just a little bit more, because there’s a lot of questions coming in, then, you know, well, are there benefits of using ethanol in your process? And, you know, can you do that? And, and I think what you said is that, yeah, if you’re using food grade or medical grade ethanol, go for it. That’s good. But your costs are really high right now, especially now. And even later. There’s another question that came in about costs and to to operate, and it’s a lot less costly because of using co2 versus ethanol, and it’s a lot less costly because of power. So power consumption, Dr. Jon said a moment ago is like so $77 US per day to run a co2 processing, and it is $500 they up to $500 a day using running ethanol power. So, I mean, that’s a giant, that’s a seven times more expensive process. Right? Okay, so that’s number one. Number two, we use ethanol in our plant, right? We use ethanol in various places. So I think it’s important to say we we don’t think ethanol as a whole is evil. It’s just not probably the best business practice because of costs, because of testing because of availability because of a lot of different things that you talked about because of the residuals. Yeah. Especially denatured ethanol. Yeah. And if you move into food grade or medical grade or organic grade, yeah, ethanol, that’s not a problem. But there are other places that we use ethanol in this, especially as we are
Dr. Jon 25:00
Write go. Well, you know, Yeah, we do. Yeah, we use it in different places. And we use food grade ethanol. We use it for winterization process, for example, not a problem. I mean, we don’t have to worry about the residuals because we pay, we pay the extra amount for the, you know, for the food grade ethanol. But that food grade ethanol, we also don’t have to worry about the residuals either then yeah, as we got that. So, you know, I did, I did a quick, just kind of a bullet point list and it’s up on the board here, if you want to focus up on that. So this is the variable costs, you have the cost of solvent changeover, you have the cost of solvent loss, you have the cost of revalidation of solvent, you have labor, you have the cost of solvent removal, you have the cost of startup consumables, in other words, you know, reusing or how much it’s going to take for you to actually start up your operation, your cost of utilities, that’s the power and all that loss of product to carbon. A lot of people use carbon A lot to do basically to clean up their, their extracts, loss of product to raffinate. In other words, not getting all the product out, and the availability of the solvent, the biomass being hazardous waste. And also, when you get rid of all of the ethanol from that biomass, you’re creating a lot of voc and hap, which is, uh, you know, those things are, you have to have permits for that. So, it’s different than co2. So, you know, basically, if you if you add up all of those costs those ads from a variable perspective, and you compare it with co2, it’s not even in the same ballpark. You know, in terms of the amount of money it would cost you to create, you know, a kilogram of, of, you know, CBD oil. The co2 is way less. It’s half. Wow. So it’s, it’s a, it’s a big deal. So, you know, a lot of people also talk well, the ethanol equipment is a lot less costly in that that’s true, the ethanol equipment is a lot less costly. In fact, You will pay almost maybe anywhere from two thirds to you know, like double basically the cost, you know more co2 or for co2 process, right exact versus ethanol. So it’ll take about when you add up, you know, basically their operating costs, you basically are at the same point in about two months worth of operation for two months, two months payback on that much equipment, right. Okay, right. So that’s where the crossover takes place. And then the co2 from an operating standpoint, just starts to kill ethanol completely. Well, because then you’ve taken that cost differential out, right. Okay. So now it’s pure operating costs, right. Okay. One of the questions that comes in a couple of times here is, what about throughput? Okay. Give us an example of a co2 process throughput versus an ethanol process throughput. Okay. Well, I mean, we’re sitting in a 510 per day facility. And we did a tour on that you can go see our tour. Oh, yeah. And that that extract lab comm forward slash live dash tour. Yeah. So yeah, you can go see that. And essentially, so you know, typically there’s ethanol and you have one ton solution, then they have, you know, even larger solutions are. So there’s they’re both scalable. I don’t I don’t say that they’re not both scalable, they definitely are both scalable. So what, what is an issue of scalability really has to do with occupancy in your building? Okay, so if I’m going to scale ethanol at some point in time, in very, very soon, I’m going to my, my, the same occupancy like there’s f occupancy and H occupancy Okay. Okay. Ah, occupancy is where you have like a lots of solvent in the building, okay. And so your occupancy is going to change, yeah, versus in so and then your insurance is going to change on top of that, okay. And so you have a whole bunch of other barriers that That you really need to be thinking about, like, you know, how much infrastructure do I need? What are my C, one D, two rooms or C, one D one rooms? I’m going to need What? You know, you know how much it’s going to cost me now for insurance now that when my insurance company comes through Sure, even if it’s outside there, you know, it’s still on site. Gotcha. So and then, what about the building occupancy itself? You have to change though, change that over. So there’s a lot of different things you need to scale up. You’ve got to accommodate all of that ethanol. Yeah, you do that you need to you. Okay, so, from a co2 process, footprint, and maybe I know we can answer the question, if we’re doing a ton a day. Mm hmm. How big of a space do you need to do that? Yeah. So with co2, basically 400 square feet. 400 square feet. Yeah. So that would be three of our 180 units, essentially. And you know, in 800 square feet, you’d have enough to put an elephant in the room 200 day Yeah, yeah, yeah. To like 800 square feet would be two times a day. Oh my gosh, yeah. So it’s really, really small. It’s really not. You don’t need to have a lot of space for that. Now there’s, there’s a, that’s just for the equipment itself. And then you have, you know, you do have like, you have to have a co2 place to put all your co2. Usually that’s a tank that sits outside. Or you can even have like a cylinder tanks that sit inside with our co2 cage, for example would be a good example of that. Yeah. Okay, so, so on a competitive level. Do you have an idea on how much floor space it might take for an ethanol? facility? I think there are a ton today. Yeah, they’re pretty comparable. Okay. I mean, it. They’re pretty comparable. I think you can fit it all in to a very small space. So you know. So I don’t think that there’s really that much of a difference between say how much space it takes you to do ethanol versus how much space it takes you for a ton of day to day, same thing. And the same thing for five tons a day. I mean, they’re pretty compact. Okay, I would say that, you know, the full facility, you know, you can you can do five tons a day, you know, probably less than less than 15,000 square feet. Well, that’s not including all the storage and sure, you know, all your inventory and everything that you own. That’s both bulky biomass that you have to store and share it like that. So the actual extraction process, right, that’s what you need, right? Yeah. I mean, yeah, that’s everything. That’s like packaging it. That’s everything. Okay. So that’s, that’s, you don’t need a lot of space. No. And I mean, you want to if you want to pull it out, if you want to add like corridors in there and things like that, you know, for GMP purposes, they’ll get you some more space. Okay. Yeah, a lot of people want to have everything together really close when they’re doing GMP, though, so that it so that everything’s, you know, they have different corridors and things like that. Okay, good. That’s excellent. Can you talk Okay, so we talked
Randall Thompson 32:00
Little bit about ethanol being used elsewhere in our process sticking with ethanol versus co2. And you said we use ethanol food grade or organic grade, depending on what we’re running right at the time. Right. So that’s for winterization. Right, right. And then we also use ethanol for some of our cleaning place. Yeah, we do. Yeah. So tip systems are called clean in place systems are really important for maintaining,
Dr. Jon 32:30
maintaining the cleanliness of your system. So if you are using ethanol to clean out your extractor, you’re using ethanol to clean out your, your distillation systems and things like that. Those are typically low volume. And we use ethanol specifically for that purpose and it works great. ethanol is a good solvent along those lines. You know, a lot of that kind of just as a sidebar, Randy. You know, a lot of people say that co2 is not a good thing. solvent, well, that kind of is true, it’s not a very good solvent. And that that’s actually that’s actually the benefit. That’s actually what we’d see as a benefit because you use it and then you just increase or decrease the pressure, you know, and it goes away. So that’s, that’s wonderful. That said last week, it’s just bubbles, right? As opposed to you have to cook you basically have to evaporate ethanol, that takes a lot of energy to do that. So that the fact that it’s not a good solvent is actually a huge benefit. Okay, so excellent. Okay, thank you. The co2 as a way to remediate THC, or how do you what is that? Okay, so that’s for that? Well, I don’t think Yeah, the co2 is not really selective in that way. So there really is no option for someone who says okay, I want to use co2 to, to remove THC. Now, if you have a chromatography process, which is pier 99, which is one of our products, you can use co2 in
Randall Thompson 34:00
conjunction with another solvent to do that separation of THC and CBD. So that that’s, that’s what that is all about. Yeah. Okay. So is that a place where we will selectively use ethanol on a case? To remove THC? Yes, yes. Yes. Great organic. Okay. So, so again, our primary process from a cost perspective is co2. Right? And that’s, that is the benefit and the beauty. But, you know, we’re making decisions based on on business, okay. And it’s our job to help you make money to grow revenue, especially in this market. Right? So how do we help you grow revenue, reduce costs, do that. And so we want to have these very open conversations and we’re not afraid of the tough questions. These are crucial conversations for all of us. And it’s, you know, we’re not in the divisive, you know, red versus blue conversations, although sometimes it seems like It gets there. It’s crazy. It goes really quickly. I don’t know why I really am. Yeah, yes, it’s important to say, all right, we know that there’s a huge embedded base of ethanol out there. The question is, how do you how do you take the step to stay in business to stay relevant to stay active when you can’t get ethanol anymore? Right. What do you do? That’s an issue? So we’ve got, you know, a small footprint that, you know, we can put in for you, there’s, but you know, you should consider a small footprint of co2 anyway. I mean, that’s just another thing. I’m throwing that out there. I’m not. I’m not trying to pitch I’m just saying it’s just a good business model for these kind of occurrences. Right. When product when supply chain is, it sucks. Yeah. And the you know, I think that anybody who needs help understanding what the what the comparison looks like from a business perspective. Happy to go through that. Yeah. You know, the other thing is, I’d say also, I have personally put in million manufacturing.
Dr. Jon 36:00
facilities. And so I do that knowing what the end result is going to be. And so when you think about it from that standpoint, I’m talking to you not only as a someone who is a scientist, who is an extraction scientist, I don’t have a lab coat on, I guess that doesn’t make me a scientist. But you know, I also I put a lot of money of my own money into, you know, basically into extraction facilities. And, yeah, I mean, millions. And that’s, that was my choice because I knew after doing all the calculations and everything that I would spend X amount of dollars in infrastructure, I could actually get insurance and I would be able to produce that, you know, half the cost. Well, that makes a huge, huge difference. It’s just it’s just could it was your choice, your business practice and you had the worst
Randall Thompson 37:00
With all and you had the intelligence to really research all of it and look at it from a very pure scientific perspective and boy when he makes decisions and I need a decision from him. We we explore all hypotheses. Yes. Yes.
Dr. Jon 37:18
Randall Thompson 37:21
Yes. I’m sorry.
Dr. Jon 37:25
It’s true. It’s true. It can be painful. But that’s just good business. Yeah. And, you know, we need to make sure that we’re doing that. I’d say it’s good business to make sure that there’s no that that your analytical chemist can’t measure residuals in your stuff. Yeah, that’s good business. Yeah. And the reason it’s good business because it backs up your brand promise. Yeah, which is purity and consistency and potency and all that stuff. If we get in. We get in some stuff. I tell you. As an analytical chemist, we can see everything. Everything not to, you know, parts per trillion if we want to. We can see it. And the deal there is you just don’t want to in a yes accepts from your analytical laboratory that says okay, yeah, this stuff is great is not good enough in my opinion. I’m giving the I’m giving the stuff that we make to our friends and family and to our customers. And so we have a brand promise, I care deeply about not eating solvents. Yes, that’s a that’s an analytical chemist. I mean, yeah, I mean, it’s just something I don’t like. I mean, I’ve had Yeah, I’ve been exposed to solvents, you know, my entire career. And you know, we have what’s called PPE. And you know, everybody knows about that now masks and everything and we do things and hoods, and we don’t even want to breathe this stuff. And yet it’s okay to have 5000 ppm in your in your tank shirt. Give me a break. Not for ridiculous. No. Would you get that with your kids? No way. No, I wouldn’t do it. But the laboratory will tell you it’s Okay, we have searched for it and said it’s all okay. And for most of us, oh, we need more pets. Hmm. Would we give it to our pet? No, we would give it to our pet. Like, that’s more important as Yeah, sorry. It’s more. Okay, question? Yeah. This is a follow up question. And so I want to revisit it. Yeah. The question from Ron is, can your system be used 100% ethanol free? Or do you always need it for winterization? Oh, yeah, you can, yeah, you can run it winter. You can, you can skip winterization with using subcritical and supercritical methods. So you can do that you just, you’re limited on the products that you can get out of it. You know, you can, you know, you can also use, like in distillation methods you can distill like, you know, like crude and stuff like that. Sure. Yeah. So it there’s methods to do that. The reason when you get up into tonnage, that’s really when it makes sense to have
Randall Thompson 40:00
Ethanol and, you know, so, you know, because it’s a lot faster when you’re using super subcritical methods. It’s just a lot slower. Yeah. And then and if you’re using food grade at those levels, you’re using far less ethanol in those processes. And it’s food grade, right? So you’re less worried about all of this. Yes, icky stuff. Exactly. Okay. Good. icky, technical, very technical. From me over here. Okay. These questions are awesome. keep bringing them in. This is great. I appreciate all of your input through the day. We’re going to stick here with a couple more questions, but I wanted to before for those of you who have to bounce, I want to make sure that you know what we’re doing. We’re doing this again next week. We’ve got too many questions to even cover today. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, you know, talking and sharing our information, love all of the I love all of the information that you are putting in the chat. I love that. And would love to continue to ask these questions. I’m not sure what is our next topic next week, but based on these questions, I think it’s pretty gonna be pretty good. So look for your emails, and bring in the questions. Let us know what you really want to hear about. JON, before we get to these final few questions, is there anything else that you want to say that I wasn’t able to ask? We didn’t bring up that you really want to cover on this ethanol versus co2 debate.
Dr. Jon 41:35
I just think that from standpoint of purity and purity, it’s a big deal. And then from the standpoint of residuals, it’s a it’s a big deal. So, you know, I would I would invite you to when you do your own purchases, that that’s something I’m really serious about when you do your own purchases, kind of look for the co2 label makes a difference, because there’s no risk of residuals in that in that So I would I would just recommend that as a
Randall Thompson 42:04
something for you and your children and for your family. All right, thank you very much. Um, also as as we go through, we do have a you know, our team is, you know, ready to answer questions and you know, after this there’s a link somewhere right guys to that you can click on that. We call them CBD jam sessions. They’re 20 minutes max. And it’s we’re there to answer questions, to walk through where you’re stuck, where you have problems where you’re dissatisfied, where you’re having difficulties, you know, bring those to us. Sign up for a CBD jam session. It’s nothing, it’ll take you right to a place where you can schedule a 20 minute calendar link with one of our guys and they’re just there to answer your questions. So you know, go ahead and do that. The other one Safra just sent another question here. Safa is making tinctures. Oh, you
Dr. Jon 43:00
So with tinctures The question is which method of extraction is best for that? And you know, we’ve talked a lot at a beer deep level, right? So this is just bring it right to reality, right? I mean, if you’re going to make a product you should be using either Well, I would use full spectrum distillate or I’d use full spectrum like winterized oils for your tinctures. And then I would take that nice terpene mix and you know, add flavor, so you have the essence of the plant in there. That’s what I would do, and it works great. I mean, tastes good. And yeah, a lot of people make their teachers up with either MCT oil which is sure MCT oil, or they’ll use olive oil or something like that, and it should be pretty easy to make up. Excellent. So you So what you’re saying is you can dial in your own formulation, absolutely. And own concentration and yeah, dial it in.
Randall Thompson 44:00
Yeah, some of these, you know, with the high terpene levels and the pulling those out early. We, the smell is very lots of chlorophyll it’s Yeah, it’s a really nice smell. Yeah. And you’ll like that. So there’s gonna be no question from your customers as you’re building your brand. If those terpenes are in there, the big thing that people want to know is is there really CBD inside? Yeah, that’s right. And when you can smell it, yeah, like, Oh, yeah, must have. This is good. It has a Yeah, it adds to the brand authenticity, obviously. And yet, you want to, you know, you don’t want to also I would also recommend that you stay away from like, synthetic
Dr. Jon 44:45
you know, synthetic, you know, terpenes Okay, you know, you can buy like, you know, pure grade synthetics. I wouldn’t do that because there’s obviously contaminants in there. I would say, you know, go ahead, use the plant this. There’s literally thousands of compounds in something like this, you know, and it’s all natural, it comes from the plant, you don’t use a lot.
Randall Thompson 45:07
You don’t use a lot. So you just put a little bit in for flavor and aroma. Right? Yeah. Okay, good. Okay, a couple deep dive questions now. And in this q&a session amaru asks, Is there any difference between the extraction of THC and CBD
Dr. Jon 45:27
move down the page sorry co2 and what are the boiling points is the question Oh at that boiling point, okay. So, let me let me talk first about the extraction of CBD versus THC. And you know, there are some differences it has to do with solubility of the cannabinoid. You know, we typically tend to get a better extraction efficiency with THC as compared to CBD. So, you know, we’re basically averaging right around 9090 to say 85 to 95%. extraction efficiency with CBD with average right around 90% that’s with co2 when you are looking at you know extraction of THC it’s more like 90 to 100% with an average of 95 to 96% you know recovery so those are some of the things you need to think about the THC just comes out easier it’s more soluble I think that there negligible differences in solubility between THC and CBD for ethanol will dissolve everything including your tongue if you take some of that every clear on there Yeah. Or ever if you have lots of scotch Of course. Oh, you can you can drink scotch Of course will will dissolve your tongue it’s well known. Yes. So strike this. Yes. Can’t strike this topic. Your eyes water. It’s so good. It’s so good. Yeah. Okay, a couple quick couple more questions.
Randall Thompson 47:00
circling back to terpenes. Is Are there additional benefits? I guess we can’t really say benefits, what are their advantages? potential advantages of terpenes? Over flavor and aroma? Or their therapeutic? The question comes in, are there pure therapeutic effect effects, etc? Yeah, yeah, there are. And I think that a lot of people have now
Dr. Jon 47:26
tried to correlate the, the entourage effect, okay. And they’ve tried to show that hey, look, if you have this particular terpene in combination with this particular can cannabinoid ratio, that it’s going to be metabolized better in your body because you have these particular markers, or these particular proteins or these particular enzymes. So it actually the science everyday is getting better and better. And there’s just published all kinds of public papers on this. And it’s a very exciting time because people are starting to use that information now to make therapeutic claims. Now, part of the issue with therapeutic claims is that their therapeutic claims, you know, so I think that I think in general that look, you have a plant, you want to, you want to try to maintain the natural pneus of the plant. Sure. So you get a full spectrum. You know, full spectrum terpene like what we’re what we’re painting and you put that in, so you get full spectrum and it just matches the plant. And so that I think that’s the best situation for most people. And I think also there’s a lot of brain science.
Randall Thompson 48:45
friends in the neurology areas and stuff and they talk about aroma as being a significant advantage in all essential oils. That’s one of the key benefits. If you’re smelling lavender. That’s why they when you go and buy it At the health food store, it says calm, right, right. Or if you want some energy, you’re doing Eucalyptus or whatever, and they have those euphemistic names attached to those essential oils, right? And it’s the similar thing with the terpene. Because it’s got that rich chlorophyll, right? aroma, right? Something happens in your brain. And when you when, okay, so guys do this all the time, right? This is horrible. Smell this. Okay, right, right. Same thing. You’re like, okay, you’re already predisposed to know you’re going to hate it. Right? Right. Pretty much. Yeah, it’s what you do. And that’s what unfortunately, what we do to each other. Yeah. But that that’s on the inverse side. It’s so there is there are those advantages and benefits? Right, sorry. So but those are a lot of studies. You can Google that kind of brain science. So those advantages are there. Holy cow. Lots more questions coming in. One question that has come up is the current market and where it’s going because there have been some issues and I don’t like to make the whole issue about, you know, current I’d like we like to have an evergreen effect on these. But this is this is a timely question for all of us on how to maintain cause how to grow how to how do we lock arms together and protect the market out there because there’s some processors that are doing splits or premise extraction and different things kind of killing the market a little bit. Right. Can you speak to that and where this market is headed? And is this just kind of a short blip? Right, what are your thoughts?
Dr. Jon 50:34
Well, I, you know, look, there’s the studies that are out there the market studies, you really should use those as your guiding light to the market. So people use those for investment. And, you know, what they did was they, if you talk to the analysts who wrote these reports, they and I used to do this, basically building up a market model from the base and then And then adding on the revenue year over a year and you think it’s going to grow, and you come up with a model and then and then you continuously improve that model. So there are many different analysts that are out there that are basically saying, okay, we’re at a one to $5 billion market now and some people are saying $5.8 billion market that’s supposed to grow up to, you know, 20 plus billion in the next several years, like five or six years. So I think all of the people who are involved in this market from the standpoint of operation or brand or our extraction or even growing You know, there’s going to be these ups and downs that we’re experiencing but or they can experience a temporary lapses in the market but we’re still on this overall trajectory, okay. You know, all boats will rise with the tide and with the basically the tide is coming in. So, you know, make sure that your boat doesn’t have any holes in it. Not all Boats will rise with the tide. But, you know, if you have a hole in your boat, don’t, you know, you’re gonna have a hard time floating, just get in the market, you know, ride the market up. And you know, there’s going to be lots of opportunities, there’s going to be roll ups that are occurring, there’s going to be, you know, businesses that are purchased, maybe yours is the great brand that consumers really connect with, you know, you have the opportunity to do that. It’s kind of a white space. So I would encourage you to take heart and, you know, go for it. Absolutely. And that’s what we need to do is really go for it. So, what I’d like to do is make sure that you know, we answer your business questions as well. You know, Jon talked about his background. My background is 30 plus years in roll ups, acquisitions, businesses, I’ve written a book called the intelligent small business. I didn’t
Randall Thompson 53:00
Got a Congressional Medal of Honor for help, man, that’s pretty sweet. All right. And $7 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I, who knows? Who knows? Anyway, we’re here and those are the kinds of questions we’re looking for to help you with even when you do the CBD jam sessions. We don’t need to just talk about your processes and things we’re happy to talk about your cash flow, how do you do revenue? How are you defining your brand? How are you defining your, your market avatar? What are you doing? How are you generating revenue? How can we come alongside you and help generate more profitable revenue for yourself? I had a business long ago, one of my first businesses that I started in the late 70s, early 80s that’s how old I am. And I was getting all this revenue in revenue, revenue, it’s great. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was like losing 10 cents for every dollar I brought in So the more revenue that was coming in, the faster I was losing money, and we don’t, you know, those are the kind of stupid ass things that we do. And you know, that we have tripped over that we can bring to you and answer questions for so that’s part of this q&a session each week that we want to bring to you is, is the manufacturing the processing for this industry, the business side, what we can do from a revenue generation perspective, what can we do to help you that’s why we’re here. Yeah, basically, yeah. So, so, test us, let’s go and I don’t we’re not trying to, you know, anchor ourselves on one side of the desk. We went to lock arms with all of you and say, how do we get better? You know, we all need to be in that mindset where we can actually with more information, we change our mind. And you know, we’re of that same ilk. Let’s, let’s talk let’s have good productive dialogue, so that we all can ride this wave up to, you know, the 2026 billion is number I heard But who knows where that is. But you know, that’s just in the next three years. So that’s giant. Let’s lock arms and let’s go there together. I appreciate you being here, Jon. Amazing. I go today who this is good. We’re going to be back next week, watch for your emails, grab, we do have a really good extraction, advance extraction guide, you can download, schedule your CBD jam session. There’s a link at the backside of this or you’ll get that. And we’re happy to have those conversations with you, Tim and Barbara Lucas will be happy to you know, talk to you. And if we need to get involved, happy to do that as well. Watch the live tour that Jon mentioned earlier, he did a great job going through that it’s really cool seeing this 510 a day facility in action. It’s insane. So that’s good. Like us on YouTube if you would like us to watch Instagram, Facebook. Whatever you can, that would be really cool and it helps us know you can throw your questions anywhere. In any of those mediums. They’ll kind of funnel to us. Yeah. Good. any parting words, Jon? No, I just thanks for attending. And yes, subscribe on YouTube and we’ll be catching next week. Alright guys, thank you for being here. You guys are awesome. Questions are amazing. Sorry. We couldn’t get to all of your questions. But we are here and I look forward to seeing you next week. I know.
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