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Ideas to remove color from oil?

Our current process is to extract via CO2, winterize twice with ethanol to remove wax, then pull out ethanol via rotovape. Although our oil is a nice viscosity, we still get a relatively dark (brown-orange) color. I'm looking for ideas to help remove some more color. I've been told distillation, but any other thoughts?



  • Activated carbon is a good way to remove color from extract, although you do lose cannabinoids in the process. You'll do this after you've filtered your waxes, but before you distill ethanol. Add AC, stir it for a while and then filter that. You can repeat until the desired color is present.

  • Thank you, I will give that a try.

  • Repeating the carbon process until the desired color is reached can be counter productive. Lighter color could just mean you’re taking out product. I don’t have a clear answer for this either but too many carbon filtrations can damage yield and potency for little benefit.
  • well, I tried with cold extract/ethanol mix and no change. I did again with warm (100 F) and it got darker from the charcoal.

  • Most likely you are doing one of the following things wrong: you are using the wrong type of carbon, you are using the wrong size of carbon, you are not using enough carbon, your residence time is too short, you are not agitating enough or you are running your carbon through a column instead of agitating, your tincture is not dilute enough, your preprocessing is deficient ie you still have lots of wax in your tincture.

    You should not have significant loss due to carbon adsorption, if you do you are doing one or several things wrong.

    Here is a link to tried and true carbon:

  • I came across this same kind of question with some other peers while in Vegas. One option is to use a lower proof of ethanol in order to avoid absorbing non cannabinoid compounds that may give you the darker colors. i.e. Chlorophyll and other water solubles. This can be done at the same time as winterization, or can be done after the waxes have been filtered. This came to my attention because in Alaska we do not have 190 Proof Everclear to use in a crunch we only have 151 proof. I noticed a difference in my extracts in AK vs. in Washington while keeping everything else pretty constant. This method, unlike carbon washing, will not decrease your cannabinoid count.

  • looking for a filter to remove chlorophyll from crude extract. is there something that will do the trick?

  • Not sure on how or if it will work but before Evaporation if you cycle it through a water distiller (cheapest ive seen is $50-150 USD) it might do the trick. I haven't tried this my self but it seems to separate excess ethanol from oil.
    The green hue is chlorophyll, from my experience water absorbs the green color but obviously not THC, which you might be able to freeze to separate the alcohol from the Concentrate.
    (Ive done the water method when making butter made it much nicer and tasted much better, only not sure if it will work the same for your use)
    I have been experiencing the same problem of bitter very green extractions which it really only affects looks and taste but too much chlorophyll can upset your stomach and stuff like that. Hope this helps good luck!

  • Set it out in the sun for several hours or expose it to a UV light for several hours. It will basically kill off the chlorophyll Make sure you use a clear non glass container. (Glass blocks some of the UV and will take longer.) A plastic soda bottle with the label removed works well

  • I think "several" hours is a bit much for UV light. Usually it should only take 2 hours for a light green solution, and for darker greens up to 4 hours. Any longer and the UV light will start degrading the cannabinoids.

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