Let’s take a look at the way the short path wiped film Rotary Evaporators works. Where other methods employ solvents to help the extract material move or flow with the process, these systems make use of the melting points of cannabinoids instead.
These compact systems are set on top of a feed vessel sending extract material in to a heated evaporation vessel. Inside this evaporation vessel is a rotating wiper blade that evenly distributes the extract material on the vessel walls. The extract material only spends a quick amount of time on the wall to limit heat exposure as well as any degradation for the material.
The close proximity of the condenser for the heated vessel wall supplies a short path for the extract to go to. Hence the name, short path distillation process. As the wiper system moves the extraction material down through the vessel, it evaporates to the condenser which converts it back to some liquid. This liquid is then collected towards the bottom and is now a distillate.
Heavier material like the chlorophyll, sugars, salts, and wax fractions are not able to evaporate off the surface of the evaporation vessel wall and they also travel, through the wiper blades, into a separate container that is also at the bottom. A separate and chilled evaporator captures the terpenes in their own individual flask.
The Short Path Distillation Process – The Short Path Distillation employs a setup that utilizes the identical principles, just with no wiper system to distribute the extraction material.
Instead, a heated flask is when the extraction material is fed. Gradually, increased heat is used to the extract material inside the feed flask. A vacuum is also applied to assist in drawing the vapors up to the fractionating tubing. Through the fractionating tubing the contents then hit the condensing tube, where fractions take separate paths.
As with the wiped film process, the load of each fraction determines the collection flask.
To improve product refinement, each process can hold the extract material run through them many times. Just like the wiped film process, this setup is also relatively compact and lends well to multiple devices working simultaneously in a smaller space.
Benefits associated with Short Path Distillation – Flavor and “experience” are clearly more consumer-centered advantages, however for producers, there are lots of more that come with employing either a short path distillation process or short path wiped film distillation process.
One particular production advantage is a thing called “continuous feed” which is great for making large volumes of product for longer amounts of time with greater consistency.
Where other extraction processes use heated beakers, continuous feed also enables a larger degree of scalability to your production which just isn’t most of an option with batch mode stills.
High evaporation rates allow for more distillates to get captured while the relatively low processing temperatures (130-180°C) contribute to the truth that there aren’t any solvents required to move the extract material from the process.
Above all, this system will separate cannabis into high concentrations of THC and CBD distillates. Actually, short path distillation can lead to cannabis distillates which can be 99% pure. So when you are trying to create a pure CBD product, for example, working with the short path distillation process is probably the best methods you can use.
The compact style of short path distillation systems makes them a perfect option to utilization in operations where large amounts of multiple strains need to be extracted. Lastly, these machines are simple to use and therefore are largely automated in their function.
Isolate versus Full-Spectrum – Using the short path distillation or wiped film distillation process brings about pure isolates – whether that be THC, CBD, or some other cannabinoid or terpene you may be opting to distill.
Isolates are definitely the purest and many potent type of the compound, plus they possess some benefits like being completely odorless and tasteless. This is great if you use these compounds in foods or beverages, for example, as it does not change the taste in any respect.
However, a developing body of scientific research has found that full-spectrum extracts have many benefits over isolates. The multitude of compounds found in cannabis work together to make what’s referred to as entourage effect, which enhances the potency of the medicinal properties.
Consequently, you may want to take the pure isolates made out of the short path distillation process and use reverse chromatography methods that will result in a full-spectrum extract. This can be especially useful uuubfc creating successful CBD products, for instance, since the end product can have no traces of THC, and definitely will continue to have most of the other beneficial compounds found in cannabis.
The sweetness with using Molecular Distillation is that you can isolate each specific compound, then combine them together in unique blends that will yield highly specific results. The possibilities are endless when using technology as precise as short path distillation.