Extraction techniques are employed 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, which contain different chemicals. With cannabis, extraction techniques are often 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. Including the better-known cannabinoids, scientists have identified a lot 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 common methods of cannabis extraction. Before discussing these methods, readers ought to keep in mind that cannabis extraction is chemistry, not cooking. So, some skills in analytical methods plus real lab equipment is needed to perform these methods correctly and safely. Most of the time, the reagents and how they are utilised can create dangerous situations. Consequently, lots of the techniques require safety equipment, like a fume hood. Just as important, the extraction process should be performed correctly to generate a safe product for human use, and also the results needs to be confirmed independently with proper analytical testing.
Cannabis alcohol extraction – Several common kinds of cannabis extraction rely on a solvent, like alcohol. Briefly, the cannabis soaks in alcohol, usually ethanol, the plant material will then be removed, the liquid filtered, as well as the alcohol is taken off with some form of evaporation. One of the biggest 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. Removing the chlorophyll from your extract is important since it produces an undesirable, bitter flavor.
This technique can be done at atmospheric pressure, nevertheless the temperature is carefully controlled, especially during evaporation. This procedure can also require time and must be performed carefully in order to avoid danger as ethanol is very inflammable. One of the biggest benefits of this type of extraction is the fact there is not any chance of leaving toxic residual chemicals inside the final cannabis extract and, it enables the co-extraction of all compounds of interest, chiefly cannabinoids and terpenoids.
CO2 cannabis extraction – Employing a reagent of any kind can add cost and clean-up time, so various techniques should be thought about, and one is CO2 extraction. As opposed to using alcohol, this process removes cannabis components vrpmen the plant matrix with carbon dioxide. Here, though, high pressure as well as heat are employed to turn the CO2 supercritical-meaning it really is simultaneously like a liquid and a gas.
The equipment cost for this method is orders of magnitude more than alcohol extraction, but it produces higher yields and much less valuable material is lost. Plus, this process can be adjusted to extract specific compounds by changing the temperature, pressure or runtime-more likely a mixture of these. Moreover, one study found that different compounds get concentrated at different rates within the same process. So, the extract should be analyzed, especially where concentrations of specific compounds are desired.