Consumers are increasingly searching for products that capture the essence and complete chemical lineup of a strain. As they become more educated about cannabis and hemp, their product search goes beyond CBD into minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoid territory. For example, products such as vape cartridges or sublingual tinctures often preserve the strain’s original terpenes to provide users with a synergistic and flavorful experience. This allows consumers to feel the full effects of a specific strain.
CO2 extraction is a generally safe and effective solvent, but so is hydrocarbon-based extraction (despite industry fear-mongering). As the cannabis extraction sector has become more regulated, building and equipment guidelines ensure the new technology keeps employees and consumers safe. State-of-the-art extraction systems like Luna Technologies’ IO Extractor is capable of meeting the demands of a high-volume and high-throughput brand. More importantly, the equipment offers manufacturers the automation needed to scale on a consistent basis. In terms of cost, closed-loop BHO extraction equipment delivers more value in the long run with a clean and strong cannabis concentrate.
Hydrocarbon extraction uses hydrocarbons such as butane or propane to dissolve hemp’s trichomes. This method is one of the most frequently used and effective extraction methods, and not just for hemp or cannabis. BHO extractions use engineering peer-reviewed equipment in a Class 1, Division 1 environment that meets the most rigorous standards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and The American Petroleum Institute.
BHO Creates Full-Spectrum Products
CO2 is a worthy alternative to other popular solvents, but BHO ends up winning in the end as one of the most versatile, efficient, and safe solvent options available. Closed-loop BHO extraction equipment has improved exponentially over the years in terms of safety and throughput capacity. Modern BHO equipment is outfitted with automated ventilation, cooling, and higher yields.
This supercritical CO2 solvent acts as a gas by filling in every nook and cranny of an extraction tube. CO2 also retains a liquid-like density that is powerful enough to wash away cannabinoids and terpene compounds. The supercritical CO2 fluid can be passed over the raw material to strip away the valuable resinous trichomes. The compound is “tunable” so that the waxes and lipids aren’t separated with cannabis oil. Unfortunately, the high temperatures and pressures used with this method can degrade many terpenes, thereby, significantly altering a cultivar’s unique chemical profile.
Manufacturers looking for a scalable hemp extraction solution must consider their input material, estimated throughput, equipment capacity, state regulations, and product type in order to compete in the highly-competitive “green rush.” Solvent-based extraction is the most viable and efficient method for commercial purposes. The question is: what is the best solvent for hemp/CBD extraction? The two most popular solvents are light hydrocarbons (butane and propane) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Let’s take a look at how they both compare in terms of hemp extraction for CBD.
A Versatile Hemp Extraction Process
CO2 extraction, also known as supercritical CO2 extraction, is an increasingly popular method used to extract cannabis compounds from raw cannabis material or trim. The extraction process is also used in pharmacology, cosmetology, and other relevant industries. Closed-loop CO2 equipment uses the naturally-occurring, odorless, and colorless CO2 compound that is capable of dissolving cannabis resin from the plant. Using critical temperatures and pressures, the CO2 compound converts into a supercritical state and adopts gas and liquid-like characteristics.
Cannabis concentrates are a must-have product offering for brands looking to reach a growing cannabis consumer base. Concentrated cannabis compounds can be used to make a wide range of medical and recreational products such as topical ointments, edibles, capsules, transdermal patches, suppositories, and small-batch extracts. While THC concentrate products currently dominate the adult-use market, hemp-derived CBD concentrates are tapping into the trending and lucrative health and wellness segment.
A cannabis extraction setup will generally need the following of cannabis extraction equipment:
Distillation , Vacuum Ovens, and Pumps : CBD distillation uses heat and vacuum ovens and pumps to separate the CBD from less desirable compounds, such as fats and waxes. Vacuum pumps are a necessary piece of equipment required for proper hemp distillation. After extracting the CBD, it must undergo an evaporation process so that only the desired material remains.
Hash: concentrated kief
● Ethanol Extraction: For this method, the cannabis plant is soaked in ethanol, extracting the THC, with the ethanol, and then is refined for a purer extracted product. This process is recommended for extracting bulk THC and/or CBD to produce crude oil, mostly for edibles.
Benefits of Hydrocarbon Extraction
There are a variety of ways to tackle cannabis extraction. Each method has its pros and cons, and knowing those specifics is vital if you have a specific end product in mind. The most common methods are:
Vaporizer cartridges of oil
Tinctures: cannabis-infused liquid
The Hydrocarbon Extraction Process
2) Primary Extraction
There are more than 550 compounds present in cannabis. Extracting the compounds (THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, and terpenes) and discarding the unnecessary plant matter is becoming extremely popular. The goal of the cannabis processing is to extract the plants THC or CBD into a concentrate. Cannabis extraction is important because it allows for creation of a safer, stronger, and more versatile range of cannabis products. Extracting the important compounds and removing any chemicals or compounds that could negatively affect the user’s experience results in a higher-quality cannabis product.