Cannabis Extraction: How to Correctly Extract THC without Spoiling the Plant
Cannabis extraction processes have been a focal point as the cannabis business shifts from an illicit market to a legal market. Too far, the cannabis plant has yielded over tens of thousands of chemical compounds, each of which has its chemical characteristics and necessitates distinct preservation conditions during drying and extraction.
Let’s take a look at the most common marijuana extraction methods and figure out how to extract cannabinoids
Marijuana extraction is commonly done using alcohol, butane, CO2, water, and ethanol. Cannabinoids may be extracted from the cannabis plant using any of these solvents. Each extraction process has its own set of advantages, but the final aim is always to produce a very powerful product.
Marijuana extraction is advantageous because:
- Cannabinoid purity is higher.
- Dosing precision
- Concentrates that are more powerful and stay longer
The following are the most prevalent cannabis extraction methods:
Extraction of Butane Honey Oil
The extraction of butane honey oil (BHO) has been widely explored and is utilized in the culinary and perfume industries. The extraction method necessitates the placement of cannabis in a container before butane is sprayed on it to begin the extraction process.
In a separate container, the cannabinoids and butane are collected.
The mixture must then be allowed to evaporate, or a vacuum oven can be used to extract all the butane. BHO extraction is hazardous due to the substance’s strong flammability, although closed-loop techniques have made it safer.
When using the BHO extraction process, THC levels stay around 80%.
Extraction of Supercritical CO2 Oil
CO2 extraction is a non-toxic, eco-friendly method of extracting cannabinoids from cannabis plants. The extraction procedure is employed in the following industries and leaves no evidence of contaminants behind:
- Extracts of fruits
The cannabis buds are roasted and put through supercritical CO2. To assist remove CO2 gas from the trichomes and terpenes, the liquid will pass through a separator.
The gas is pumped through a condenser in an ecologically beneficial way, allowing it to liquefy and be recycled so that it may be utilized in the extraction process again in the future.
CO2 extraction necessitates the use of precise equipment, yet it is an excellent process for producing waxes and oils.
Extract of Ethanol
Ethanol extraction is becoming more popular among cannabis growers. The extraction is risk-free, quick, and efficient. Ethanol is commonly used as a food preservative, and the FDA considers it “generally safe.”
To extract the THC, the cannabis plant is steeped in ethanol.
After being extracted, the product goes through a refining procedure to improve its purity. Ethanol will eliminate any undesirable chemicals from the material, leaving you with one of the best-tasting and cleanest concentrates on the market.
The key to successful ethanol hemp extraction is to ensure that the product is refined appropriately.
Extraction of Water
Another way to extract THC is water extraction. Water extraction is a solvent-free method of extracting THC in which the cannabis plant is submerged in cold water. The trichomes detach off the plant when the plant is agitated in cold water.
The plant will pass through a succession of screens once the trichomes have fallen off.
The ultimate result is a product with THC levels ranging from 50% to 70%.
Extraction of Isopropyl Oil
This extracting THC from weed procedure necessitates the use of isopropyl alcohol. Dry cannabis blossoms are soaked in alcohol before being gently shaken. Isopropyl removes the plant’s trichomes.
After straining the mixture into a plate, the solvent is removed using a vacuum oven that maintains temperatures below 181 degrees. The residual component is a THC-rich oil after the solvent has evaporated.
An Israeli company is also developing a novel extraction technology that uses algorithmic extraction to regulate temperatures to extract cannabinoids and terpenes while preserving some of the plant’s characteristics.
To ensure shelf life and quality, all extracts must be carefully kept and chilled.
After the cannabis extraction process, cannabis extraction chillers enable precise temperature control. THC-A and CBD-A are inactive when appropriately cooled. Chillers keep these important molecules dormant and unaffected by heat.
JCY understands the need for precise cooling throughout the extraction process. To maintain the quality and shelf-life of your cannabis extract, rent our chiller equipment.
Traditionally, the dried cannabis flower was the preferred product. But, as the market grows, so does the need for a variety of products with different qualities. As a result, while choosing a drying procedure or weed extraction method for a certain product, a variety of criteria should be addressed. When comparing alternative drying processes for post-harvest processing, freeze-drying is thought to be more suited. However, there is presently no academic study or data to back this up. Hang-drying is still the most practical method for reducing the incidence of mold and bacteria during storage before extraction. Due to their high yield, simple, and quick method, solventless extraction and hydrodynamic extraction are of interest, but they lack the scientific publication to encourage their use in large-scale manufacturing. Slightly polar solvents are preferred for extraction due to the lipophilic or hydrophobic characteristics of cannabis. Non-polar solvents are recommended for terpenes with more than 15 carbons. Traditional procedures such as soxhlet and dynamic maceration are utilized, which are time and solvent intensive yet precise enough to be compared to newer approaches. SFE, MAE, and UAE are well-known among current methodologies as viable and practical procedures.
The benefits and drawbacks of different drying and extraction processes are reviewed in this narrative review work. The best THC extraction methods for industries have been analyzed and offered based on the final goods. We hope this article was helpful to you.
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