By Troy Ivan

For a little while now, I’ve been working on constructing an ethanol extraction process to craft something similar to the High-Terpene-Full-Spectrum-Extracts (HTFSE), High-Cannabinoid-Full-Spectrum-Extracts (HCFSE), Sauce, Sugar and such that would rival the appeal of other high-terpene collection efficient extraction methods.  The good news is that it’s easily the best Ethanol Hash Oil (EHO) product I’ve ever made when it works.  The bad news is it’s frustratingly unreliable.  

Working with ethanol extraction at cold temps to make EHO has some powerful advantages, like being very clean, extraordinarily smooth, and high potency.  The often-heard complaint is that ethanol extraction appears to have a lesser aromatic terpene profile.  While the actual terpene content isn’t vastly different compared to other extraction forms, the lighter aroma gives that impression.  I’ve always thought that ethanol extraction’s advantages far outweigh that minor disadvantage, but now that disadvantage is gone, and these extractions are the next level for EHO.

The process has been successful with THCA, CBDA, and CBD extractions.  The crystalline formation tendencies of the decarbed cannabinoids THC and CBD are opposite in nature.  Where THC will not form into crystalline structures, CBD is very prone to do so.  All this means is this process should be workable with anything except decarbed THC extractions.

I began by working with “jar tech” protocols, which are well-established post-process extraction methods used in hydrocarbon extraction and rosin.  “Jar tech” refers to using a jar as a vessel to achieve an end goal.  In this post, I concentrate on crashing cannabinoids into a crystalline lower layer formation with a terpene-rich fractioned layer above.  Each of the two layers has both cannabinoids and terpenes, but the weighting of each differs significantly. The upper terpene layer is heavy in terps with 40%-60% cannabinoids, and the lower crystalline layer is around 90%+ cannabinoids.  

Jar tech with hydrocarbon extraction provides an excellent environment for easy supersaturation due to the solvents used, and the cool kids can easily make sizeable crystalline rock-candy-shaped “diamonds.”  Unfortunately, ethanol makes this much more complex and without resorting to hexane or pentane washes, so I’ve somewhat resigned myself to accepting not being able to compete with the vanity level of glorious big and chunky diamonds but being happy with the same cannabinoid content (or more) and amazing terpene component I would argue is very competitive in the banger.

Writing a reliable SOP for this process using only at-home safe tools has been problematic because the outcomes have been unpredictable and frustrating.  I’m sharing the approaches I used, what I learned, and the results I achieved.  Some attempts were more successful than others, but all provided some insight into the process.  I expect that people will find things I missed that will improve the process; I welcome that information and would very much appreciate any input being shared in the comments section.  


The Golden Rule of extraction, “fire-in, fire-out,” is critical because using very good material is the only way to achieve the high terpene extraction that makes separation possible.  I used a very nicely grown and cured flower (Snowcap, Glueberry, Bubba Kush) with the RH of a good cure that was still squishy.  People often say, “The dryer, the better,” but that’s not always true.  Excessive drying helps eliminate moisture pickup during the extraction, leading to more considerable terpene loss in the flower.  Some material moisture risks can be mitigated by using very low processing temps for the extraction. However, there’s a limit to how far this will work; using fresh material isn’t possible because too much wet plant material is involved.  Alternatively, fresh freeze-dried material can be amazing and take things to a new level.

For processing with ethanol, the flower can be left whole and intact for the least risk of picking up chlorophyll, but the consequence of doing so when working with low temps is a meager yield.  To achieve a more attractive yield, prepare the cannabis by breaking up the flower by hand, causing the least amount of damage possible that will allow ethanol to access and flow freely over all material surfaces.


To make the cleanest extraction, dry ice was used to cool the cannabis and 190-proof food-grade ethanol separately to at least -50°F overnight.  Once at temp, the cannabis and ethanol were combined to soak for 1 hour with agitation every 15 minutes.  The soak could have been extended quite a bit at these low temps, with great material in good shape, but I wanted to play it safe.  After soaking, the contents were strained with a 40-micron nylon mesh sheet, filtered twice with a Buchner funnel using a 25-micron first, and finished with a 3-micron filter paper.


I use the EtOH PRO by ExtractCraft for the ethanol recovery phase of larger batches and the Source Turbo for smaller ones.  I stopped the ethanol recovery when the concentrate was still quite liquid, just before the viscosity would change to oil.  The concentrated liquid was poured onto a silicone mat (ideally with no logo or writing on the working area) with the corners clipped up to make a boat and readied to air-dry.


The liquid should be in a larger thin layer instead of a smaller deep layer so the residual ethanol can evaporate more efficiently.  The layer needs to be flat with an even depth for even progress.  If a skin-like film forms over the surface, mix it gently so the ethanol evaporation isn’t inhibited.  Lastly, the environment is important and needs to have controlled humidity and ambient temp.  High humidity or low temps work against the evaporation process.  After a day or two, the oil should be a heavy and thick consistency, ready for the next steps.  There will be a residual ethanol component at this point, but that can be worked on with purging later in post-processing if necessary.  

For a jump start on the crashing process, the extraction can be “seeded.”  This means that already crystalized forms (“seeds”) are added into the extraction to foster crystalline growth around them.  You will often get lucky, and there will be some crispy layers on the periphery of your extraction as it air-dries.  If you’d like to be more proactive to ensure you have plenty to seed with, take a second mat and smear an ultra-thin layer of the extraction.  After letting it air-dry into a very thin shatter, it can be scraped up and combined with the primary load for seeding in the next step.


This is where things begin to take on a life of their own and may bring either beautiful treasure or frustration.  Regardless of what happens, some form of terpy goodness will be waiting for you, even if it doesn’t crash the way you want it to.  Something special happens with the terpenes as they set and fraction away from the forming crystalline structures.  I don’t know exactly what happens, but I believe it’s similar to when good flower cures, hashish ripens, and wine ages.  Whatever it is, the terpenes become deeper, more intense, and downright succulent.  


The term “Jar Tech” comes from using a canning jar to hold a concentrate and post-process in the jar for a desired outcome.  The ordinary canning jar is probably the most used tool I have in my bag of tricks; I use them for storage, washes, flower decarb, jar tech partial and full decarb, CWD, infusion, catching lightening bugs, and in this case to make sauce.  For volumes too small for the surface area of the smallest canning jar, I’ve also had success with small 6 ml size glass containers.

Inconsistencies in outcomes are influenced by differences in strain characteristics, material harvest, material handling, material storage, extraction execution, environment, and other factors.  Some extractions will sauce right before your eyes on a mat during post-processing whether you want it to or not, and other samples won’t crash no matter what you do.  Here are the different considerations I’ve been working with in various combinations. You can experiment to see what works best for you.

Loading the Container:  I work with canning jars of the appropriate size to fill approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the container.  I believe having more surface area is more important than having depth, which is why commercial operations use flat Pyrex dishes with larger batches.  After the extraction has been loaded, introduce any crystals intended to be used for seeding.

Freeze or Don’t Freeze:  Starting with a freeze phase instigates initial crystallization development.  I’ve had success with both freezing and without.  If you go the freezing route, give it at least one day and see how it goes.  I’ve heard of people using dry ice temps for this, but I haven’t had the chance to test that out yet, so I’m not sure if there is a benefit to it or not.

Sit and Crash:  This sit-and-wait period may take a handful of days or a couple months to get the amount of crashing you desire, or it may not work at all.  I have more work to do in this section, but up to this point, I’ve found that allowing the extraction to crash in an ambient temp between 50°F – 70°F has worked best for me.  Most jar tech with other extraction methods add low heat, but every time I’ve added even very low heat to ethanol extraction jar tech, it’s had adverse effects and melted any crystalline formation present.  (There may be a secret I’m missing to successfully add heat here; if anyone knows, please point me in the right direction.)

Crystallization Crash Beginning

Crashing is a prolonged crystal-growing process, so moving the jar will disrupt the in-progress development, and it is best to avoid disturbing the jar while it sits in a dark area away from any UV exposure.  Back pressure will grow as it sits, and keeping the crystalline formations pushed to the bottom is necessary. However, it can also be counterproductive at a certain point, so if you see the formation progress stop, gently unscrew the lid to release the pressure, secure it again, let it sit, and see how it goes.

Harvesting Contents:  If things went right, you should be looking at a nicely formed crystallized layer on the bottom and a nicely separated liquid terpene layer setting on top.  A great option is to use it as-is with the glorious fractions and deliciousness, but if you want to post-process or manipulate the concentrate form, the contents will have to be harvested from the jar.

Side View : Top View

In addition to the uncertainty of an extraction crashing well or not, harvesting the jar contents can also lead to frustration because if the terp layer is remixed into the cannabinoid layer, it will become a soupy slush.  It’s not the end of the world, and I do this intentionally to purge into a fantastic sugar wax with all the benefits of the lifted terpene profile. 

Instead of leaving the jar as-is or harvesting the contents together, the terpene layer can be gently poured off to purge separately, then the cannabinoid layer sealed again to set and possibly foster further development.  If separated, there are a couple options for end use.  The terpene layer has a lower cannabinoid potency but can be used for fantastic vape pen cartridges, and the cannabinoid layer is used for dabs.  The other option is to reintroduce the two fractions back into a jar after purging separately and have something similar to the sugar wax mentioned above but layered in the jar with the cannabinoid layer on the bottom and a more terpy layer on top. It will resemble the original jar organization but much tighter.  

There are a few options, and all of them are winning. 

Adding Terpenes:  The end product will be incredibly and deeply terpy, so adding additional terps may seem unnecessary, but I often do.  When I end up with 20+ grams of the same concentrate, I get bored pretty quickly, no matter how good it is.  I usually partial off the concentrate into 1-2 g containers, so when I get bored, I can add 1-2 drops per gram of flavored terp profiles (I only use the brand True Terpenes) to make it a whole new and exciting thing again.  With the smaller 1-2 g sample sizes, I can customize each container with something different or have a great variety when entertaining friends.  


This is something new I’ve developed and been toying with on small batches of 5­–10 g. It’s provided nothing short of excellent results in some cases and absolutely nothing in others.  The idea is to provide more surface area for the cannabinoids to crash/sugar onto by putting a thinnish layer of a clean, high terpene extraction on a silicone mat (no logo or printing on the working area), then folding it into quarters and clipping to hold flat.  I place the quarter-folded and clipped mat into an airtight case and leave it undisturbed at room temp.  Good results have fully developed in as little as 1-week, as long as 1-month or not at all.  I’m not convinced this is a great idea yet, but it’s provided results surprising enough to pique my interest and share with you to experiment.  

Flat Pack Terpy Slurpy Deliciousness

* Some people don’t like silicone, so this won’t be for them. I’ve tried with parchment paper (which still has a silicone component) a couple times and have not been able to recreate it.


Following jar tech or flat pack, the need for further residual ethanol purging will depend on how much purging was accomplished before loading for crashing and personal preference.  If you thoroughly purge before loading the extract to crash, there won’t be much to purge.  In fact, as the extract sits and crashes, ethanol will evaporate out the whole time, so there will be less residual ethanol remaining in the end.  Personally, the residual food-grade ethanol, within reason, doesn’t bother me so much.  If you want to purge, allow the extract to air purge once again or use a vacuum chamber/oven, but be careful with the heat.

Vacuum Purged Sugar Wax

This is all I know, and I hope it leads you to some fun, success, and deliciousness.  Stay lifted, my friends!!!




  1. Love all the info and that sugar looked amazing, i’ve had success layering as you suggest and going from the dry and scoop into vac chamber with low heatI just finished doing a carbon scrub and DE filtering and the harsh taste is gone from 18 month old trim turned into shatter. I was i admit it scared at 1st of throwing activated charcoal into the solution and the whole science project making the cake to filter etc had me on edge lmao! TY so much for the instruction you turned some stuff that would have just been edibles into an elevating experience! I’, confident now of doing it with my freshly dried bud next round!!!

  2. Was wondering if you could post some pictures of exactly how you do the Flat Pack? Trying to picture how to quarter the mat?

    1. The video in the Flat Pack section shows it folded in quarters in the beginning when the clips are still on it

  3. I really enjoy your blog and am going to read all of the posts. I have a question with regards to ethanol extraction and the end goal was to make a concentrated alcohol based tincture.

    I used Everclear 151 and did a freezer extraction of decarbed flowers. The everclear solution came out to be golden/amber color. Now, since I would like to make a more concentrated alcohol tincture, I reduced/evaporated off the Everclear. Now, when it got down to about 1/3 the original volume, I started to see the dark oily sludge forming and the solution also became milky. Can you please tell me what is going on here? Are the waxy, sludgy, and oily stuff comprised of cannabinoids and terpenes? Everclear mostly contains water and ethanol, and since I have evaporated off the ethanol, the oily stuff has come out of the ethanol solution and just floating around in water now which is the milky solution? So the milky solution should contain only water and no cannabinoids and terpenese?

    Now, since I wanted to make a concentrated tincture, I boiled off the milky solution and got amber color crude oil left; so I added back some everclear thinking that it would dissolve the crude oil, but it’s not happening. I can still see a lot of the oily sludge sitting around and not dissolving back into the everclear. Maybe I have not added enough everclear? I thought everclear would dissolve all things cannabinoids and terpenes.


    1. 1) Pay attention to details 2) NEVER use 151 for extraction 3) if you have oil, then you achieved your goal 4) If you have “sludge” you cut corners on quality processing and probably filtering as well

  4. Oopsy. I should have posted the above comment under the “Cannabis Tincture and Tincture Concentrate: A Great Way to Medicate!” Post. Anyway, if you could quickly tell me what’s going on with the above comment it would be much appreciated. Now, I’m going to read that post about making concentrated tincture.

    1. I apologize for speaking forthright, but I’m not really here as a personal coach. If you want assistance join the FB group I directed you to in one of your many other comments

  5. 1st off, thank you so much for bringing the site back, Ichibancrafter!

    I’ve read and re-read this article a few times, and I’ve even got a small canning jar of oil in the closet as we speak. Is it really just a matter of waiting a few days to start seeing the change you shared in the article?

    Thanks again!

  6. Do you send these batches out for testing afterward? Residual solvent is why I ask. What is the PPM of ethanol left?

  7. Hi, in this very interesting post on this highly informative website you are writing about problems that sometimes your oil will not crash at all and that there are difficulties when you add temperature to your solution. If it will crash or not is depending on the saturation of the solution. If you try to crash there has to be the right amount of solvent within the solution (supersaturated). If you have too much or too little solvent in the solution the thca will not crash. The way your process works let me assume that you have purged your solution “too good” and probably it will help to add just a small amount of ethanol into the jar that do not want to crash out. The sweet spot for the saturation of ethanol and thca is pretty thin though…

    1. yeah, most of that process theory is applicable to hydrocarbon extraction. Supersaturation with ethanol doesn’t really work so well like that, unfortunately.

      Having said that. If your point is more like, if you take it to the point of hard shatter then crystals won’t separate and nucleate then I totally agree, and that would be purging too far because the crystalline is formed and set. However, if you hit that with a little heat, whip it, and fold it in silicone like I did, you can get it to crash if there is enough terpene content.

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