Medical Cannabis Extraction

There are worldwide rules controlling residual solvents in medicines. The alcohol solvent used in medicinal cannabis extraction, often ethanol, “dissolves” the plant material. The liquid is then frequently filtered before the alcohol is eventually eliminated by evaporation [1]. The intrinsic polarity of these solvents, which means they have a propensity to combine with water and destroy water-soluble compounds like chlorophyll, is one of the largest hurdles. Please be aware that only methanol is one of the restricted solvents that can be used in pharmaceutical applications.

This procedure may be carried out in a vacuum or at atmospheric pressure, however it may take some time. Because ethanol is extremely flammable, the facility needs to be appropriately engineered. Years of expertise in the proper design of flammable and hazardous materials in clean rooms have been accumulated by our pharmaceutical engineers.

Carbon Dioxide Cannabis Extraction

This procedure uses carbon dioxide to extract cannabis constituents from the plant’s matrix rather than alcohol. However, in this instance, high pressure and heat are utilised to make CO2 supercritical, which means it behaves both like a liquid and a gas. There are several strategies to consider, including CO2 extraction, because using a reagent of any type can increase costs and clean-up time.

The supercritical CO2 is then condensed once the cannabis constituents have been removed, creating a liquid that may be filtered and utilised again. As a result, extremely little reagent is utilised. This technology is cost-effective to use and requires less waste to be disposed of.

Hydrocarbon extraction

Butane is used as the extraction solvent to produce butane hash oil. Cannabis and liquid butane are first combined in a pressurised and heated apparatus to begin the process. The butane solvent can then be eliminated via vacuum-assisted evaporation. Butane becomes a vapour in the vacuum, which makes it simpler to remove.

Solvent-free extractions

It is important to note that simpler methods exist for processing cannabis and removing useful substances from the plant’s matrix. For instance, kief may be easily removed from cannabis buds using simple grinding and sifting techniques. Trichomes, which may be found on many plants, including cannabis, are made up in part of these crystalline forms. Cannabis female plants develop trichomes, which are largely defensive structures, during blooming. Herbivores find the plant unappealing due to its extreme bitter flavour and strong scents, which are also thought to prevent some fungal development. Upon being removed from the cannabis flower, kief resembles little more than a powder or pollen. Additionally, this powder may be used in cannabis preparations to increase potency or used alone as a standalone product because trichrome synthesis of terpenes and cannabinoids is extremely concentrated.

Another illustration of a simpler, solvent-free cannabis extract is traditional hash, often known as hashish. Once more, the goal is to isolate the trichomes from the plant matter since they have the largest concentration of advantageous chemicals. There are two major ways to make hash; one involves breaking up frozen cannabis buds into ever-tinier pieces over a screen. Trichomes are removed from the plant throughout the process, falling through the sieve before being crushed into blocks. The other main method of solvent-free hash extraction includes separating the trichomes from the bud using freezing water. They can then be crushed into a hash block after drying.

Over the past few of years, rosin has also gained a lot of popularity. Rosin, a transparent material often with a sap-like consistency, is made from flowers, hash, or kief. It produces a product that is quite comparable to the more time-consuming, costly, and solvent-based butane extraction and is created by applying heat and pressure to the substance you desire to extract from. Analytical testing has shown that this straightforward method efficiently recovers cannabinoids and terpenes without even the slightest chance of releasing harmful solvent residues like butane. This method’s main appeal is without a doubt its simplicity.

The material is squeezed using a flat heat press machine, but only at a certain temperature and pressure, and the extract is then scraped off. Ultrasonic technology is also becoming a more popular choice.


[1] Quality Guidelines

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