Monthly Archives: February 2022

Why Carrier Oils Matter

Developing and perfecting a process that complements the cannabis biomass and the product you wish to create involves precise extraction processes and can leave you with a potent final product. To make these products ready for consumption, it is essential that these compounds are suspended in a non-harmful suspension—typically through the use of carrier oils.

Carrier oils are oils that do not come from the cannabis plant directly but instead a source such as coconuts, avocados, or arnica. Due to their composition, fat solubility, and non-irritating properties, these oils make for simple and straightforward bases that allow cannabinoid delivery with greater comfort—not to mention other benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, or moisturizing properties already present in the oil itself.

When you consider the profound aromatic properties of essential oils, you can appreciate how blending with a more common oil may prove to be gentler on the body. This ease of application is tied to both oral and topical forms of cannabis ingestion. Today’s blog will focus on the importance of selecting a complimentary carrier oil for making high-quality CBD products and what you should consider when purchasing products for personal use.

Common Carrier Oils

Let’s examine a few common carrier oils and how they complement CBD blends.

Unrefined MCT Oil (Coconut):
Coconut MCT oil is typically regarded as one of the best carrier oils available to product developers. MCT oil absorbs better than most other oils and has a higher CBD bioavailability. Additionally, MCT offers properties related to skin health and protection from bacteria.

Hemp Seed Oil:

Hemp seed oil, like hemp seeds, is regarded as a superfood due to the high concentration of vital fatty acids. This hemp-based oil has been connected to a number of health advantages, including reduced inflammation, reduced risk of heart disease, and antioxidant properties. As a carrier oil, it is relatively neutral in flavor, offers high CBD availability, and helps improve sustainability goals through using the entire cannabis (hemp) plant.

Avocado Oil:
This cooking ingredient can also be used as a carrier oil. For our purposes today, organic avocado oil (high in lutein) aids in the absorption of nutrients into the skin and is an excellent carrier oil for CBD skin products. For your mind and body, avocado oil also offers moisture, vitamin A and E, as well as oleic acid.

Why We Blend

We blend cannabis extraction with carrier oils for several reasons. Chiefly, because carrier oils become a simple and highly bioavailable canvas that we can use to deliver CBD experiences. These oils are easily absorbed by the body and allow for consistent dosing of CBD to taste in terms of flavor, aroma, and potency.

Potency would become much more difficult to measure without a carrier oil to dilute the finished product. Likewise, the aroma and concentration of skincare benefits would be lost—leaving only a highly psychoactive ingredient with a less pleasant means of entering the body.

Finding a balance between the characteristics of the CBD isolate, the aromatic additions, and the balance of health benefits from essential oils, carrier oils, and the CBD isolate is what makes the process of discovery and product creation so unique.

Like trying new foods, a greater palate to draw from makes for a more fulfilling experience and final product.

Abundant Labs is committed to elevating cannabis and experiences. Through thoughtful methods and complementary formulations, we create products that bring you closer to your wellness goals while maintaining the purity and comprehensive effects of the full-spectrum extraction.

Explore our product offerings here, or contact us for more information on the role of carrier oils in the cannabis process.

Processing Deep Dive – Falling Film Distillation

Distillation has become the object of considerable efficiency improvements in response to the worldwide need for more sustainable chemical processes. Several technologies have been proposed to make more compact, safer, and energy-efficient equipment. Falling film columns have been widely employed in heat and mass transfer research in the previous century. Compared to conventional distillation, research suggesting the falling film technique in distillation conditions showed various advantages, including low residence time and more straightforward construction.

We’ll look at what falling film evaporators are used for, how they work, and the advantages and disadvantages of using this type of equipment in this blog.

How Does Falling Film Distillation Work?

Falling film evaporators heat a given solution with an electric heater or a heat pump until the lower boiling point liquid turns gaseous. Then a condenser is used to transform the separated gas back into a liquid, which produces the recovered solvent. Vertical tubes and shell exchangers, where the process takes place, make up the bulk of falling film evaporators.

A transfer liquid is heated and then used to heat the inside of the tube, which holds the crude oil and solvent solution, in the shell and tube heat exchanger system. This exchange ensures that the solution is evenly heated and that the majority of the ethanol evaporates at the same rate. The substances in cannabis, namely crude oil and ethanol, have two different boiling temperatures and thus can be separated when heated up to a certain point. 

Ethanol has a boiling point of roughly 50°C, while crude oil has significantly higher boiling points, allowing the oil to be easily separated from the solvent at high temperatures. The extracted oil is drawn into a collection tube by vacuum, while the vaporized solvent is drawn into a condenser, where it can be converted back to liquid form and reused. The oil is now ready for sale or further processing to fully separate the THC or CBD molecules.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Falling Film Distillation

This type of evaporation process has the advantage of exposing the extract to less heat and allowing for continuous operation. Falling film evaporators can also manage a high flow volume and are easily automated. Batch evaporation takes significantly longer and exposes the extracted oil to higher temperatures for more extended periods, which some producers believe is a dangerous factor in deteriorating their valuable oil. Finally, good falling film evaporators will recover 99 percent of the solvent used, resulting in a considerably purer cannabis extract.

However, there are some disadvantages to falling film distillation as well. If the solvent and oil extract solution is not precisely fed in at the same rate that the solvent evaporates, the substantial residual solvent will be left in the oil. This drawback can be solved using sensors and computer control; however, many low-cost falling film systems require human feed pump control. Falling film operation becomes a time-consuming procedure for a skilled operator without automation. Solvents are still used in falling film units. Solvent extraction is gradually being phased out in favor of solventless extraction methods such as ice water extraction and air extraction, which eliminates the need for ethanol in the first place.

A falling film evaporator is a ‘shell and tube heat exchanger used to separate compounds or solvents with different boiling temperatures. These devices are incredibly efficient and effective, allowing for rapid evaporation rates. Due to the outstanding performance provided by these instruments, many factories and labs around the country have started upgrading outdated equipment to falling film evaporators.

Abundant Labs is proud to work with growers directly to secure unique biomass that serves the needs of CBD users and product developers nationwide. Don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website for more on our practices, techniques, and material acquisition process. We are always looking for inventive plants that produce superior quality distillate.


What Goes Into Testing Cannabis (Hemp)?

Cannabis is a flowering plant native to Central and South Asia that has been appreciated for its numerous psychoactive and medicinal qualities since ancient times. It has been illegal in most nations since the early 1900s because of the potential for abuse, as well as social and political concerns. 

However, as the cannabis sector has grown, it has also developed from naive enthusiasm to a more staid and reliable approach that desires credibility. Lab testing is an essential aspect of the cannabis legal environment and ensures the health and safety of consumers. Any cannabis product purchased from a licensed facility must now pass a series of tests conducted by a state-accredited lab. These tests verify that products are safe to eat and use.

Who Sets The Standards For Cannabis Testing?

Because the FDA still classifies cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic, the US federal government has mainly stayed out of cannabis legislation, leaving it to the states that have legalized it. The only exception is medical cannabis products, prohibited without prior FDA permission. Cannabis-based medications that claim therapeutic properties must go through the same lengthy FDA approval procedure as other drugs, including safety and efficacy clinical trials. These trials are often prohibitive and have stopped many cannabis-based drugs from being put out on the market.

Testing and labeling for potency (THC and CBD) and contaminants such as residual solvents, microbes, heavy metals, and pesticides varies by state. Still, most states require testing and labeling for potency (THC and CBD) and various contaminants such as residual solvents, microbes, heavy metals, and pesticides. All retail cannabis products in Michigan, for example, must be tested for cannabinoid and terpene strength, foreign matter, microbial and mycotoxin contamination, pesticide and chemical residue, fungicides, and the presence of residual solvents. In Montana, third-party lab testing focuses on the conventional contamination suspects, as well as a few others with more loosely defined quality standards, such as “mammalian excreta.”

What Is Cannabis Tested For? 

To be compliant with regulations, cannabis products must pass a series of tests. The following is a list of some of the things that most state regulatory authorities require:

  • Potency– The overall amount of cannabis content, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other phytocannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and tetrahydrocannabivarin, is measured during potency testing (THCV). To calculate the level of main cannabinoids, potency testing is usually done using liquid chromatography with UV detectors. Mass spectrometry is becoming more popular for analyzing trace and minor cannabinoids. FTIR spectroscopy is commonly used in industrial and manufacturing situations to test the potency of oils, crude extracts, and distillates.
  • Contamination – Marijuana contamination testing frequently uses cutting-edge technology to identify recognized manufactured toxins. Pesticides, growth media, groundwater, bugs, and airborne pollutants are only some of the sources of contaminants detected in cannabis. Contamination can occur through either intentional or accidental reasons. Toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury from the soil or water used to cultivate the plants are examples of unintended contamination. Alternatively, the contaminant could have been intentionally introduced, such as a pesticide sprayed on cannabis to boost crop yield.
  • Terpenes – Terpenes are found in both hemp and cannabis plants, although their strength varies depending on climate, soil type, and crop age. Furthermore, terpene profiles can vary depending on whether they’re found in a flower or an extract. Terpenes found in flowers may produce more consistent potency results. The pharmacological advantages of a strain can be tailored for each patient’s symptoms by determining the types and amounts of different terpenes contained in the strain. Testing also aids in phytochemical composition standardization for consumer safety and medical efficacy.

Even though it might have had a difficult start, the cannabis testing sector has increased in a short time, and several professional, certified testing labs are already supplying growers and consumers with reliable quantitative data. Although there is no complete consensus on the medical use of cannabis or the consequences of legalizing adult recreational use, most people agree that cannabis products should be submitted to the same quality and safety checks as any other food or drug on the market. As always, more testing is necessary to ensure health and safety for all cannabis consumers.

Abundant Labs is proud to work with growers directly to secure unique biomass that serves the needs of CBD users and product developers nationwide. Please contact us or visit our website for more on our practices, techniques, and material acquisition process. We are always looking for inventive plants that produce superior quality distillate.

What Properties Make for “Unique” Cannabis Biomass?

Like all other species of flowers, each strain of cannabis has unique properties that set it apart from others. You may have blue tulips or red ones—each offering you a different experience. For cannabis, however, the unique properties go much deeper than just appearance. When working with hemp (a type of low-THC cannabis plant), these details become vital to understanding the final product.

Genetics can contribute to many different outcomes when it comes to growing your cannabis:

  • The height the plant will grow to.
  • The time it takes to grow and harvest.
  • The concentration and distribution of cannabinoids.
  • The terpene makeup.
  • The side and appearance of the bud.
  • The prevalence of trichomes.

Today’s blog will examine the properties that lead to unique cannabis in greater detail and why detailing the lineage and unique content of cannabis biomass (including hemp) is essential in producing high-quality full-spectrum distillates.

Breeding and Crossbreeding for Cannabis Biomass

You may have learned at some point that the fruits and vegetables we enjoy today share little commonality with the plants we bred them from. Even beyond “heirloom tomatoes” and “artisanal gourds,” there are more profound historical expressions of plant growth that we have traced through genetic lineage and painted evidence.

When tracing roots back to India and North Africa, we discover that early cannabis was much smaller and spindlier, with long, thin leaves. Today, we know this line as Sativa.

As more plants were discovered and shipped to growers, we saw an emerging trend in the ‘70s of breeders crossing plants to produce desired outcomes, such as broader leaves and larger buds. Pure “landrace” strains became replaced by hybrids and unique profiles that featured desired terpenes, potencies, or favorable growing habits. With these improved strains, we may grow more cannabis at a faster rate, reducing the ecological footprint of growing operations while offering the consumer greater choice in their purchases.

Why Unique Cannabis Produces Better Distillate

While CBD Isolate will result in a highly refined product that features zero tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a full-spectrum isolate will carry along with it a wide range of non-CBD compounds—albeit at a reduced potency thanks to the hemp lineage.

The difference between these two concentrations is not only in the methods used to produce them but also in the final product’s complexity. Residual cannabinoids, terpenes, and other properties will carry through to the final product, making it imperative that quality biomass is sourced.

As with wine or beer making, starting the process with vibrant, fresh, and unique biomass sets you on a path to creating an unforgettable product. Our search for unique cannabis biomass ensures that our final product is as full of character as the plant itself was.

Our delicate process preserves the best of the flower, leaving the user with an exact fingerprint of the plant that makes it up. For that reason, we choose only the best in unique cannabis and hemp biomass when selecting products for refinement.

Abundant Labs is proud to partner directly with farmers to secure the best biomass possible for our distillate production. We are always looking for sources of biomass—especially those with unique attributes. Please visit our Farmer Form to have one of our representatives contact you.

For more information on our process, Hemp IQ, or any questions, please visit our contact page.