About 1.2 billion people suffer from medical conditions treatable by cannabis. Over a period, the consumption rate has increased in the US, where California has the maximum cannabis consumers. Experts say the cannabis extraction companies are also booming in this growing market. There are estimations that spending on legal cannabis worldwide will touch $66.3 billion by the end of 2025.
The quality of cannabis is a significant factor in sales, and it depends on the extraction process. Also, cannabis is a family of plants with two primary classifications- Indica and Sativa.
Marijuana can either be from Indica or Sativa families, and hemp comes from the cannabis Sativa family. Here, choosing the right plant material is equally vital in the quality of the end products.
Let’s learn about the extraction process of high-quality cannabis concentrates.
According to the Medical Cannabis Network, cannabis consumption has many health benefits. Cannabis controls malicious cells in the body, reduces tremors in Parkinson’s disease, slows the development of Alzheimer’s disease, alleviates pain in arthritis, and treats ADHD & PTSD patients.
The solventless extraction of cannabis is the safest and inexpensive procedure. The extraction takes place by applying pressure through mechanical forces and squeezing out the oil from cannabis. The most common extractions of the solventless process are Bubble Hash (Water Hash) and Rosin. Post-extraction, the extracts undergo thorough quality and sterilization process to discard the impurities.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) Extraction
The cannabis extraction companies make use of CO2 in two different formats. One is supercritical CO2, and the other is the subcritical CO2 extraction method. In supercritical, the CO2 is pressurized under high temperatures and brought into liquid form. The liquid CO2 then enters the trichomes and dissolves the terpenes & cannabinoids. It is then moved to a cyclone separator, and again pressure is applied to extract the crude form of cannabis. Wax, shatter, and distillates are the supercritical CO2 extractions.
In subcritical CO2 extraction, there is an application of high pressure but a reduction in temperature. This process of extraction prevents the loss of volatile compounds. Eventually, the extract gains an authentic fragrance and flavor. Flavored oil and terpene extraction are the subcritical CO2 extracts.
Ethanol has a powerful dissolving ability. It is used at different temperatures to extract cannabis compounds. Ethanol at a warm temperature pulls out the cannabis concentrates, and at cold temperature, it produces concentrated distillate. The cold extraction does not require the filtration process.
Chlorophyll in cannabis is also dissolved by ethanol because chlorophyll leaves a green-hue and grass-like flavor to the final product. Tinctures, oil for capsules, cannabinoids, and topicals are the best cannabis extracts from ethanol extraction.
Butane is a type of hydrocarbon solvent used for cannabis extraction and is also one of the popular methods. Cold butane washes the plant material and dissolves the cannabinoids and terpenes. This process leaves behind the unwanted residue.
There is no use of high heat, and the extraction comes out terpene-rich. Cannabis is somewhat psychoactive when there is a high amount of THC. Terpene-rich cannabis is known to have high concentrates of THC. Butane Hash Oil (BHO), wax, and shatter are the primary extracts of butane extraction.