Solvent Industry Insights Blog

The Different Methods of Cannabis Extraction Explained

When handling cannabis extraction, the main objective is to ensure that the product is supplied to consumers using high-quality products. There are various forms of cannabis extraction methods that producers can use to ensure that the quality of the product is at its most potent. 

These cannabis extraction methods can be done by an individual, or by using machinery to help handle larger batches of cannabis or hemp. 

The purpose of cannabis extraction is to isolate the various compounds featured within the plant and use them to enhance the quality of cannabis for consumers. With over 500 different chemicals in the plant that can be found, these extraction techniques are most commonly used to concentrate chemicals of interest.

So, with that in mind, Maratek has listed the most common methods of cannabis extraction:

Solvent-Free Extraction 

One of the most popular products that use solvent-free extractions would be hash, it can simply be separated from the cannabis buds by agitating them. Hash typically looks like a powdery substance once it is separated from the cannabis buds. Once removed, it can then be kept as hash or turned into products such as rosin.

Another solvent-free extraction option is making cannabis oil. Biomass is introduced to a heated air stream where it is vaporized. The vapor is then shock-cooled and becomes a non-coalescing fog. Finally, the biomass fog arrives at an electrostatic precipitator and is pulled back to liquid form, resulting in a full-spectrum concentrate. This is an energy-efficient option, using 1/14th of the energy used in CO2 extraction.

Cannabis alcohol extraction

Some forms of cannabis extraction methods rely on alcohol as a solvent, since it can allow for the cannabis to be soaked inside the liquid, and later filtered out. Alcohol extraction, also known as ethanol extraction, works through evaporation. Through evaporation, the solvent can be used to remove chlorophyll for example, since it contributes negatively to the taste of the product. 

When handling cannabis extraction through means of alcohol as the solvent. You must ensure that the temperature is controlled effectively. Without seeking proper control of that aspect, you would be risking losing the potency of the extraction procedures. 

Another thing to take note of is to ensure that this method is done carefully, given the dangers it could pose to the people working on it. Alcohol and ethanol are both highly flammable and can harm countless people if any negligence of the procedures takes place. 

Although it does have its risks associated with it, it is important to note that the method has no risk of leaving any type of toxic chemical residuals inside the final cannabis extract.

CO2 cannabis extraction 

When using this method of cannabis extraction, cannabis components are removed using carbon dioxide (CO2). Using different types of machinery with high pressure heat, turns CO2 into both a liquid and a gas. 

The effectiveness of this method allows for producers to adjust towards specific compound extractions through changes in temperature, pressure, or how long it would ordinarily take to finish the process. The duration of how long the process runs for is a crucial detail, especially considering different compounds concentrate at different rates than others. 

Using a condenser machine, the CO2 can be converted into a gas, and can be filtered and reused. The benefits of using this feature being able to reduce the need to dispose of waste, along with providing higher yields on production while reducing how many resources are typically used.

Cannabis butane and propane extraction

One of the most potent forms of cannabis products is butane hash oil. Using butane, a vacuum machine is typically involved in the process to convert the liquid into a vapour making it ultimately easier to remove from the cannabis. This method of extraction can also be used to form shatter, which includes CBD and other chemicals that are found in the plant such as terpenes. 

While performing this method it is crucial to note that butane burns easily, so emphasizing the management of temperatures is important. Butane is also extremely dangerous towards people, so there should be proper precautions taken into effect before performing any procedures. 

The machines being used would also typically include circulators that remove and recycle butane as well, allowing companies to procure flavourful extracts with high terpene content. 

Interested in learning more about cannabis extraction? 

Cannabis extraction provides some of the highest quality products for consumers. Through various techniques and the help of machines, producers can focus on what type of cannabis they want to create and can use various methods and techniques to increase its potency. 

The inclusion of various solvents can also contribute to this as well, given that each one can provide a differing effect on the cannabis and the quality of it. 

There are also methods that can be done by the average person as opposed to the ones done by big organizations mass-producing highly-potent cannabis with various machines and solvents. 

To learn more about these methods, visit our website and discover what cannabis extract method would be best for you.

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