Extraction techniques are used to separate the components of cannabis and remove them from the plant matrix. Various methods can divide cannabis plant material into parts, or extracts, that contain different chemicals. With cannabis, extraction techniques are often used to isolate specific desirable compounds, and cannabis contains at least 113 cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). On the contrary, a producer may seek to create a single extract with lots of desirable cannabis compounds; sometimes called whole plant extracts. Including the better-known cannabinoids, scientists have identified more than 550 chemicals in cannabis in general including components like terpenes. Extraction techniques will also be used to concentrate chemicals of interest.
This post goes over the most common methods of cannabis extraction. Before discussing these techniques, readers should keep in mind that cannabis extraction is chemistry, not cooking. So, some skills in analytical methods plus real lab equipment is required to perform these techniques correctly and safely. Oftentimes, the reagents and exactly how they are used can make dangerous situations. Consequently, lots of the techniques require safety equipment, like a fume hood. Equally as important, the extraction process should be performed correctly to generate a safe product for human use, and the results should be confirmed independently with proper analytical testing.
Cannabis alcohol extraction – Several common types of cannabis extraction count on a solvent, like alcohol. Briefly, the cannabis soaks in alcohol, usually ethanol, the plant material will be removed, the liquid filtered, as well as the alcohol is taken away with some form of evaporation. One of the greatest challenges will be the inherent polarity of solvents like ethanol-meaning it features a propensity to combine with water and dissolve water-soluble molecules like chlorophyll. Eliminating the chlorophyll from the extract is essential as it produces an undesirable, bitter flavor.
This method can be executed at atmospheric pressure, however the temperature is carefully controlled, especially during evaporation. This procedure can also take time and should be completed carefully to avoid danger as ethanol is very inflammable. One of the primary advantages of this type of extraction is the fact that there is not any risk of leaving toxic residual chemicals in the cannabis processing and, it enables the co-extraction of compounds appealing, chiefly cannabinoids and terpenoids.
CO2 cannabis extraction – Employing a reagent of any kind may add cost and clean-up time, so various techniques should be considered, then one is CO2 extraction. Instead of using alcohol, this process removes cannabis components from your plant matrix with carbon dioxide. Here, though, high-pressure and also heat are utilized to turn the CO2 supercritical-meaning it really is simultaneously just like a liquid as well as a gas.
The equipment cost for this particular method is orders of magnitude higher than alcohol extraction, however it produces higher yields and less valuable material is lost. Plus, this method may be adjusted to extract specific compounds by changing the temperature, pressure or runtime-very likely a mix of these. Moreover, one study discovered that different compounds get concentrated at different rates inside the same process. So, the extract ought to be analyzed, especially where concentrations of specific compounds are desired.
Using the cannabis components extracted, the supercritical CO2 goes into a condenser and becomes a liquid which can be filtered and used again. Consequently, hardly any reagent can be used. Which makes this method economical to run and reduces the requirement to get rid of waste.
In addition, if any CO2 remains within an extract following the process, it simply evaporates. That is especially important for any preparations for medical uses being a producer using this method can guarantee that virtually no residual solvent will likely be found in the final product.
Despite the need for some financial investment in a CO2 extraction system, a manufacturer can consider various degrees of equipment. For instance, Apeks Supercritical makes introductory through high-production extraction systems and also offers refurbished systems. This offers customers a variety of prices to take into consideration.
Cannabis butane or propane extraction – Using butane because the extraction solvent creates what is known as butane hash oil. To achieve this, this process begins with cannabis and liquid butane in a pressurized and heated system. By using evaporation within vacuum, this will make it easy to eliminate the butane solvent. The vacuum turns the butane from liquid to your vapor, making it hlsfts to eliminate.
This type of extract is also referred to as shatter, which is actually a clear material that typically includes THC, CBD as well as other chemical components, including terpenes. To completely make shatter, which is a hard version of butane hash oil, terpene content has to be kept low or it works such as a solvent that makes the extract soft. The best starting sample will help you to decrease the terpenes contained in the ultimate product, like by starting with cured flowers. On the contrary, the butane hash oil may be heated to get rid of terpenes after extraction because they are more volatile than cannabinoids like THC and CBD.