Extraction techniques are used 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 are often 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 a lot of desirable cannabis compounds; sometimes called whole plant extracts. Such as the better-known cannabinoids, scientists have identified a lot more than 550 chemicals in cannabis in general including components like terpenes. Extraction techniques are also used to concentrate chemicals of interest.
This post goes over the most common ways of cannabis extraction. Before discussing these methods, 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 methods correctly and safely. In many cases, the reagents and how they are utilized can create dangerous situations. Consequently, many of the techniques require safety equipment, like a fume hood. Just as important, the extraction process has to 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 is then removed, the liquid filtered, as well as the alcohol is removed with some type of evaporation. One of the biggest challenges is definitely the inherent polarity of solvents like ethanol-meaning it has a propensity to mix with water and dissolve water-soluble molecules like chlorophyll. Removing the chlorophyll from your extract is important since it produces an undesirable, bitter flavor.
This technique can be practiced at atmospheric pressure, however the temperature is carefully controlled, especially during evaporation. This method can also take time and should be completed carefully to prevent danger as ethanol is extremely inflammable. One of the biggest advantages of this type of extraction is that there is absolutely no probability 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 – Employing a reagent of the kind can add cost and clean-up time, so various techniques should be considered, and one is CO2 extraction. As opposed to using alcohol, this technique removes cannabis components vrpmen the plant matrix with co2. Here, though, high pressure and also heat are employed to turn the CO2 supercritical-meaning it really is simultaneously like a liquid along with a gas.
The equipment cost with this method is orders of magnitude more than alcohol extraction, nevertheless it produces higher yields and fewer valuable material is lost. Plus, this method can be adjusted to extract specific compounds by changing the temperature, pressure or runtime-very likely a mixture of these. Moreover, one study found that different compounds get concentrated at different rates within the same process. So, the extract ought to be analyzed, especially where concentrations of specific compounds are desired.