Cannabis extraction is a multi-faceted procedure that goes beyond merely extracting desired elements from raw plant material. Achieving the utmost purity and potency when producing isolates or distillates requires a comprehensive post-extraction refinement process.
Manufacturers heavily depend on advanced technologies such as winterization, filtration and distillation to transform raw cannabis oil into a crystal-clear and highly potent final concentrate. This intricate procedure is indispensable due to the complex composition of the cannabis plant, which contains more than 550 distinct chemical compounds and more than 100 phytocannabinoids identified.
This includes tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). *Each of these compounds demands specific extraction and processing methods to safeguard their unique qualities and potential therapeutic benefits.
Learn how to extract THC and CBD oil quickly and easily using CannaTrue™'s step-by-step guide. This overview will provide a detailed explanation of the extraction process and discuss how you can obtain high-quality CBD oil.
Understanding the Basic Principles of Extraction
Extraction is a broad term in the cannabis and hemp industry, that encompasses multiple stages, including extraction, purification and solvent removal. For most end-products, extraction represents only the initial phase in the journey with subsequent refinement being paramount in converting raw cannabis plant material (biomass) into a purified, high-quality product like edibles, vape pens and isolates.
The CannaTrue™ EPD extraction process involves the application of vacuum, heat and food grade Ethanol. These elements are harnessed to extract or separate the desired compounds from various biomass sources, encompassing everything from flowers and stems to processed materials, which include valuable cannabinoids like THC and CBD, along with other beneficial components. This extraction process employs cold, high-purity ethanol to yield an essential oil concentrate.
The Vital Role of Equipment in Cannabis Processing
Before starting the extraction process, make sure to invest in the right equipment that suits your specific needs for clarity, purity and potency. While the quality of the starting plant material certainly influences the ultimate outcome, it's essential to recognize that the choice of extraction equipment holds an equally pivotal role in shaping the quality and composition of the final product.
There are several equipment options for crude oil extraction, including solvent removal systems and all-in-one units, like the CannaTrue™ EPD (Extraction, Purification and Distillation) System. These tools are the key to efficiently extracting the desired compounds and obtaining the best yields from the cannabis plant material.
When selecting an extraction or CannaTrue™ EPD System, make sure to look at all the features and the level of support the company provides after your purchase has been made. Equipment matters and customers get a high purity essential oil with CannaTrue™'s patented extraction technology.
Gathering Materials for Extraction
To begin the extraction process, gather the necessary materials, including flower or trim material, potent solvents like CO2, butane, ethanol, or other suitable options. High-quality plant material is often preferred for its superior cannabinoid and terpene content. The choice of solvent depends on the extraction method you plan to employ.
Cannabis plants are first harvested, then the material is dried and cured to remove excess moisture to improve the quality of the final extract. It may also need to be trimmed and then stored in a cool, dark and dry environment to prevent mold or degradation of cannabinoids and terpenes.
Before extraction, quality control testing is crucial to analyze the plant material's cannabinoid and terpene profiles while also detecting contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals and microbial agents. Following this, the plant material undergoes preparation, often involving grinding or milling to enhance surface area for improved extraction efficiency.
Activating Cannabinoids through Decarboxylation
An essential step in the extraction process is decarboxylation, where the CBD flower or hemp plants material is heated to activate the cannabinoids. This process happens in the distillation module and starts by removing the ethanol from the cannabis oil. Once the oil has been fully purged of the ethanol, the distillation module will go through an automatic decarboxylation phase. The purpose of the decarboxylation is to convert the cannabinoid acid (THCa and CBDa) into their active form THC and CBD.
Extracting Crude Oil
The extraction process becomes significantly more streamlined and efficient when using a fully automated system by reducing the number of required steps and minimizing the level of operator interaction. These systems are engineered to handle the extraction process with precision and consistency.
Purifying and Refining the Extracted Oil
After obtaining the crude oil, it's crucial to purify and refine it further. This step ensures the removal of impurities and unwanted compounds from the extract. Processes like filtration, winterization, decarboxylation, distillation and others are employed to achieve a pure and refined final product.
It is important to invest in a quality system, like CannaTrue EPD, that uses a safe and efficient automated extraction process that eliminates the steps required to create a high purity crude oil with inline winterization, pesticide and herbicide removal through filtration, fully purging the crude oil of food grade ethanol, and finally decarboxylation. This ensures you are obtaining the cleanest, high-quality cannabis crude oil that manufacturers require to make high end products.
Consult the Experts for Recommendations
Our experts recognize the importance of using dependable equipment and have comprehensive knowledge of the cannabis extraction refinement process. Reach out to our CannaTrue™ team today to find the best equipment for transforming crude oil into distillate.
Brad Kovach is an IT manager and PLC Software Engineer at CBG Biotech. He is a subject matter expert in extraction, purification and distillation processes and has worked at CBG for more than 25 years.
Source: *National Library of Medicine
At CBG Biotech, we rely on a set of customer-first core values that promote ethical and honest behavior, personal accountability, and teamwork to deliver the solutions that set customers up for success. If you have a question or would like more info, please call 800-941-9484 (and press option 3 for support) or get in touch with us online today!
Check out these other helpful resources:
- Everything You Need to Know About Cannabis Oil Extraction Systems
Go on the journey of a cannabis plant through an extraction facility – from solvent-based extraction to the use of steam distillation, liquid hydrocarbon and supercritical CO2 – learn how to carefully extract cannabinoids from the plant biomass.
- Video Series: How Do the CBG Biotech CannaTrue™ Systems Work?
CBG CannaTrue™ SRS Series and EPD Systems process and purify essential oils while capturing the desired cannabinoids and some terpenes from cannabis and hemp. Our solutions are at the forefront of helping provide clean, effective yields and concentrates for those who need them most.
- Carrier Solvents in Extraction: Ethanol vs Butane
Ethanol and Butane (also referred to as Hydrocarbon) can be used to extract oil from cannabis and hemp. It is important for a processor to review the safety, efficacy and working history of a given solvent in application. Learn some of the differences between Ethanol and Butane and to make more informed decisions.