Extraction techniques are used to separate the components of cannabis and take away them from the plant matrix. Various methods can divide cannabis plant material into parts, or extracts, that have different chemicals. With cannabis, extraction techniques can be 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 lots of desirable cannabis compounds; sometimes called whole plant extracts. Such as the better-known cannabinoids, scientists have identified more than 550 chemicals in cannabis in general including components like terpenes. Extraction techniques are also utilized to concentrate chemicals of interest.
This short article goes over the most typical ways of cannabis extraction. Before discussing these techniques, readers need to keep in mind that cannabis extraction is chemistry, not cooking. So, some skills in analytical methods plus real lab equipment must perform these techniques correctly and safely. Most of the time, 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 must be performed correctly to make a safe product for human use, and also the results ought to be confirmed independently with proper analytical testing.
Cannabis alcohol extraction – Several common forms of cannabis extraction count on a solvent, including 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 form of evaporation. One of the greatest challenges is the inherent polarity of solvents like ethanol-meaning it has a propensity to combine with water and dissolve water-soluble molecules like chlorophyll. Eliminating the chlorophyll from the extract is important because it produces an undesirable, bitter flavor.
This technique can be practiced at atmospheric pressure, however the temperature is carefully controlled, especially during evaporation. This procedure can also take some time and must be performed carefully to prevent danger as ethanol is very inflammable. One of the greatest benefits associated with this form of extraction is the fact that there is not any chance of leaving toxic residual chemicals within the final cannabis extract and, it enables the co-extraction of compounds of interest, chiefly cannabinoids and terpenoids.
CO2 cannabis extraction – Using a reagent for any kind can add cost and clean-up time, so various techniques should be thought about, then one is CO2 extraction. Instead of using alcohol, this technique removes cannabis components vrpmen the plant matrix with co2. Here, though, high pressure and also heat are used to turn the CO2 supercritical-meaning it is simultaneously like a liquid and a gas.
The equipment cost for this particular strategy is orders of magnitude more than alcohol extraction, but it produces higher yields and less valuable material is lost. Plus, this method can be adjusted to extract specific compounds by changing the temperature, pressure or runtime-much more likely a mixture of these. Moreover, one study found that different compounds get concentrated at different rates inside the same process. So, the extract ought to be analyzed, especially where concentrations of specific compounds are desired.