Extraction techniques are employed to separate the components of cannabis and take off 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 lots of desirable cannabis compounds; sometimes called whole plant extracts. Including the better-known cannabinoids, scientists have identified greater than 550 chemicals in cannabis in general including components like terpenes. Extraction techniques are also used to concentrate chemicals of interest.
This article goes over the most typical strategies for 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. Most of the time, the reagents and exactly how they are used can create dangerous situations. Consequently, most of the techniques require safety equipment, like a fume hood. Just as essential, the extraction process must be performed correctly to produce a safe product for human use, and the results needs to be confirmed independently with proper analytical testing.
Cannabis alcohol extraction – Several common kinds of cannabis extraction rely on a solvent, such as alcohol. Briefly, the cannabis soaks in alcohol, usually ethanol, the plant material is then removed, the liquid filtered, as well as the alcohol is taken away with some form of evaporation. One of the biggest challenges will be the inherent polarity of solvents like ethanol-meaning it features a propensity to blend with water and dissolve water-soluble molecules like chlorophyll. Eliminating the chlorophyll from your extract is very important as it produces an undesirable, bitter flavor.
This technique can be practiced at atmospheric pressure, nevertheless the temperature is carefully controlled, especially during evaporation. This process can also take time and should be completed carefully in order to avoid danger as ethanol is very inflammable. One of the biggest advantages of this form of extraction is that there is not any risk of leaving toxic residual chemicals in the final cannabis extract and, it enables the co-extraction of all the 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 is highly recommended, and something is CO2 extraction. Instead of using alcohol, this method removes cannabis components vrpmen the plant matrix with fractional co2. Here, though, high-pressure as well as heat are utilized to turn the CO2 supercritical-meaning it is actually simultaneously like a liquid and a gas.
The gear cost for this strategy is orders of magnitude greater than alcohol extraction, but it produces higher yields and fewer valuable material is lost. Plus, this technique can be adjusted to extract specific compounds by changing the temperature, pressure or runtime-very likely a mix of these. Moreover, one study found that different compounds get concentrated at different rates within the same process. So, the extract needs to be analyzed, especially where concentrations of specific compounds are desired.