To make such products, you generally need an initial extract purity greater than 80%, particularly in the case of CBD crystalline but this is also the case in scenarios of THC-A crystalline. Because of its polar nature of ethanol as a solvent for primary extraction almost never reaches such concentrations of purity and therefore has its limitation in making a less pure, full spectrum type hemp extract (which has a bustling market of its own).
Ethanol Cannabis Extract
Ethanol proponents would say that their primary extract could be crystalized by further purification or downstream processing, and they would be right. What they won’t tell you is that the purification process in order to make crystalline is labor intensive, costly, and very hard to scale. The process normally involves multiple stages of filtration, separation, chromatography, as well as solvents such as dimethalether, chloroform, and dichloromethane in some instances. However, on a large scale, such downstream processing makes perfect sense as massive amounts of hydrocarbon are hard to store, permit, or use in a continuous feed plant style operations. In addition, massive efficiencies are gained in ethanol post processing when brought to a large scale.
There is an ongoing joke in the industry about the “Loch Ness Monster”… the ethanol extractor that has both amazing throughput and unparalleled purity. The problem: no one has ever seen it. Ethanol is a viable method of extraction and, like all other methods, it has its pros and cons.