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The Top Cannabis and THC Extraction Methods: Getting the Good Stuff

The Top Cannabis and THC Extraction Methods: Getting the Good


The Top Cannabis and THC Extraction Methods: Getting the Good Stuff

Experts reckon the legal marijuana market will be worth more than sixty-six billion dollars worldwide by the end of 2025. It’s an eye-watering figure and proof that the cannabis plant has become a valuable commodity.

Getting the good stuff out of it and in its purest form is the way forward.  Analytical methods along with real lab equipment are essential to do this safely. THC extraction is all about chemistry. This is how it can be done.

THC Extraction and Solvents

Extraction techniques come into play for isolating specific desirable compounds from the plant. Cannabis contains more than a hundred cannabinoids or chemical compounds. These include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD accounts for up to forty percent of the plant and many believe it helps with anxiety, pain management, and sleep issues. THC is the psychoactive compound that can give you a high. Isolating these two chemicals clearly has advantages.

A common form of extraction relies on a solvent, such as alcohol. The cannabis soaks in alcohol, normally ethanol. Removal of the plant material follows and equipment filters the liquid. The alcohol will then evaporate.

Safety First

Volatile solvents such as butane, propane, and hexane can also help to prepare extracts. Because of the hazardous nature of these gases, this should only ever happen in controlled environments.

The extract should undergo analysis for concentrations of specific compounds. This can be done through a THC lab test, for example.

Many solvents aren’t safe for us to consume. It’s vital to check their absence in the final product to guarantee a safe, chemical-free extract is being offered.

Using CO2 for Extraction

Instead of using alcohol or other solvents, this method extracts the cannabis components from the plant with carbon dioxide. High pressure and heat turn the CO2 supercritical. That means it behaves like a liquid and a gas at the same time.

The equipment necessary for this method of extraction is more expensive. It does though produce higher yields. The process uses modifications to extract specific compounds. That happens through changes to temperature, pressure or runtime.

The different compounds achieve concentration levels at different speeds during the same procedure.

Once the cannabis components have been extracted, the CO2 goes into a condenser. It turns into a liquid for filtration and reuse. This makes this method cheaper and reduces the need to dispose of waste.

More Basic Extraction Methods

Not all types of cannabis extraction need investment in large amounts of machinery. Kief, for example, can be separated from cannabis buds simply by grinding and sieving.

Hash can also be made by taking frozen cannabis buds and breaking them into ever smaller pieces over a screen. Ice water can also be used to separate the trichomes from the bud. Once they’re dried they can then be pressed into a hash block. 

Chemical Processes

The most efficient way to remove and separate the useful compounds in a cannabis plant is to use professional equipment. This is going to give you the purest results for THC extraction and other cannabinoids. 

Continue reading related articles on our site, such as, ‘Cashing in on cannabis: how to start your own CBD business.’