Botanical Extraction

What is Botanical Extraction?

Written by Antonio DeRose

There is a very good chance you’ve already consumed a botanical extract today, and you might not even know it. In fact, you may be doing your own botanical extraction every day. Coffee and tea are two of the most commonly known botanical extracts.


How is Making Coffee Botanical Extraction?

Botanical extraction is the process of extracting compounds from plants. Plant material is placed in a solvent that extracts compounds that are soluble in the chosen solvent. In the case of coffee, caffeine is extracted from roasted and ground coffee beans. Hot water is the solvent used to extract the caffeine.

There are different botanical extraction techniques and solvents used to extract compounds from plants. These methods can be used to create extracts of a single isolated compound or an extract with multiple compounds.


Common Botanical Extraction Methods


Ethanol (EtOH) Extraction

Many producers use EtOH extraction because of its ease of use and time efficiency. The material to be extracted is soaked in ethanol for 24 hours and then filtered before another EtOH extraction or solvent evaporation. [1]


Liquid Butane (BHO) Extraction

BHO extraction has been used by the food industry to create products like canola and other oils. It is used in the cannabis industry to create shatter. Some extractors choose BHO because it is more cost effective and efficient compared to carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction. Plant material gets mixed with butane, filtered and then the solvent gets purged off, leaving behind the extracted compounds. [2]


Supercritical Fluid CO2 Extraction

Supercritical CO2 extracts are one of the purest forms of botanical extraction. In addition to increased purity, CO2 extraction results in a lower compound degradation than other methods, like EtOH and BHO, because the process doesn’t involve high temperatures thus preventing the damaging of thermolabile compounds. [3]


All of these extraction methods can be used to extract botanical compounds from any kind of plant. This is how many food products, dietary supplements, and medicines are created.



[1] Solvent Extraction Method of Plants Using Ethanol. Cole-Palmer an antylia scientific company. 2020.

[2] Butane (BHO) Extraction and the Importance of Purging Cole-Palmer an antylia scientific company. 2019.

[3] Supercritical Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction Method. Cole-Palmer an antylia scientific company. 2019.



Image: Botanical Extracts by Green House Healthy

About the author

Antonio DeRose