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, which contain different chemicals. With cannabis, extraction techniques can be used to isolate specific desirable compounds, and cannabis contains at least 113 cannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). On the other hand, a producer may seek to create a single extract with many desirable cannabis compounds; sometimes called whole plant extracts. Like the better-known cannabinoids, scientists have identified greater than 550 chemicals in cannabis in general including components like terpenes. Extraction techniques are also utilized to concentrate chemicals of interest.
This short article goes over the most common methods of cannabis extraction. Before discussing these techniques, readers ought to keep in mind that cannabis extraction is chemistry, not cooking. So, some skills in analytical methods plus real lab equipment is needed to perform these techniques correctly and safely. Oftentimes, the reagents and just how they are utilized can create dangerous situations. Consequently, most of the techniques require safety equipment, like a fume hood. Just as vital, the extraction process must be performed correctly to produce a safe product for human use, and the results should be confirmed independently with proper analytical testing.
Cannabis alcohol extraction – Several common kinds of cannabis extraction depend on a solvent, such as alcohol. In brief, the cannabis soaks in alcohol, usually ethanol, the plant material will then be removed, the liquid filtered, as well as the alcohol is removed with some kind of evaporation. One of the greatest challenges is definitely the inherent polarity of solvents like ethanol-meaning it features a propensity to blend with water and dissolve water-soluble molecules like chlorophyll. Removing the chlorophyll from your extract is essential since it produces an undesirable, bitter flavor.
This technique can be done at atmospheric pressure, however the temperature is carefully controlled, especially during evaporation. This process can also require time and must be completed carefully to prevent danger as ethanol is very inflammable. One of the primary benefits of this form of extraction is the fact that there is absolutely no risk of leaving toxic residual chemicals within the final cannabis extract and, it enables the co-extraction of all compounds of interest, chiefly cannabinoids and terpenoids.
CO2 cannabis extraction – Using a reagent for any kind can add cost and clean-up time, so various techniques should be thought about, then one is CO2 extraction. As opposed to using alcohol, this process removes cannabis components vrpmen the plant matrix with co2. Here, though, high pressure and also heat are used to turn the CO2 supercritical-meaning it really is simultaneously like a liquid along with a gas.
The machine cost with this method is orders of magnitude greater than alcohol extraction, nevertheless it produces higher yields and much less valuable material is lost. Plus, this process can be adjusted to extract specific compounds by changing the temperature, pressure or runtime-more likely a mix of these. Moreover, one study found that different compounds get concentrated at different rates inside the same process. So, the extract should be analyzed, especially where concentrations of specific compounds are desired.