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Aug 26

A Guide to Cannabis Extraction, Technology, and Equipment

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Disclaimer: Medical decisions should not be made based on advertising. Consult a physician on the benefits and risks of particular hemp-derived products.

Cannabis extraction has come a long way in recent years, especially since the legalization, or relaxation of laws in some US states and Canada. There are over 100 cannabinoids that can be extracted from the raw Cannabis Sativa flower. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are the two most in demand for medical purposes.

Cannabinoids can be extracted in a number of ways, but the most popular and efficient is solvent based extraction. In this process, the plant material is exposed to a solvent (ethanol, in our lab) and agitated, which dissolves the cannabinoids. The ethanol-cannabis mixture then goes for further processing, depending on what needs to be extracted.

Extraction processes

We use the Cryo-Ethanol process to do our extraction, as it is faster, more efficient, and less damaging to the compounds within the distillate. The ethanol is eventually distilled out and re-used, making it a very economical extraction method.

If we were to remove the oil from the ethanol at this point, it would be known as “crude oil”. A full spectrum distillate, containing a large number of chemical compounds extracted from the plant. Further processing is needed to isolate specific cannabinoids or compounds.

Falling film distillation is used to separate two or more compounds by boiling point. The material is spread evenly, under pressure, into a thin film for efficient heat exchange. The ethanol can be easily evaporated out of this thin film, allowing it to be separated and stored for future extractions.

We use wiped film distillation for thermally sensitive compounds. It is a much gentler process where the crude material is wiped onto the inside of a heated tube allowing the evaporated CBD and Terpenes to be collected in separate condensers. The remaining materials with higher boiling points can be further processed by other means.

We also have an isolation reactor for refining CBD into a pure product with no detectable amounts of THC or any other compounds.

Our lab specializes in extraction of biological materials above 10 liters in volume. While we are branching out and processing other materials, we don’t want to lose expertise in cannabis/hemp extraction. We are also able to provide natural product extractions for use as Regulatory Starting Material (RSM).

 

 

Analysis

Our lab has access to top quality analysis tools and expertise, allowing us to verify and adjust our extraction at every step.

Flash Chromatography is available as an analytical tool to determine the efficiency of the distillation processes, but it is also used to further purify extracts and remediate unwanted components, such as THC, solvent left over from distillation, or terpenes.

This is accomplished by introducing the sample to the instrument along with a solvent. The compounds separate based on their polarity.

Reverse-Phase Chromatography is also possible using the same equipment.

High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) is also available at our lab.

HPLC is more accurate than flash chromatography and is used where an extremely fine product is needed. It differs by using high pressure and a smaller vessel than flash chromatography. Compounds are also separated out based on their polarity.

HPLC can be used to create either isolated or broad spectrum CBD distillates, which contain no detectable THC.

We have access to a mass spectrometer, allowing for very detailed analysis of samples. It can be used to determine quantities of relevant compounds, pesticides, metals, or other contaminants present in the samples.

 

 


The above explanations are just a broad outline of our services. We have a very well equipped laboratory and highly skilled and experienced staff. We would love to work with you to increase productivity or to explore new avenues. Please feel free to contact us here. We look forward to working with you.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.