Friday, April 19, 2024

Unspoken rules of cannabis extraction technology


As industrial cannabis gradually became the focus of the capital market, commercial giants scrambled to enter, and the value of industrial cannabis extract, cannabinoids, was quickly tapped. There are many types of cannabinoids, and the molecular structure is complex. The extraction technology has become a technical barrier for the industrial cannabis industry, and it is also the core weight of the company’s strength and competitiveness.

Cannabinoid refers to the active ingredient found in Cannabis cannabis, and its receptor system (endogenous cannabinoid system) is present in both mammalian nervous and immune systems. At present, there are more than 130 known cannabinoids, mainly cannabidiol CBD, tetrahydrocannabinol THC, cannabis dilute CBC, cannabidiol CBN, and cannabidiol CBG.

Taking CBD and THC as examples, the physical and chemical properties of the two are very close, and the extraction process is very difficult; the CBD oil products that people often use, only 5% -19% of the active ingredients can be absorbed. In order to achieve better product use, the extraction method of cannabinoids is essential.

How to extract cannabinoids?

CO2 extraction

Carbon dioxide extraction method is divided into supercritical, subcritical and “medium key” categories, does not involve the use of chemical solvents to achieve the purpose of protecting CBD and other beneficial compounds.

CO2 extraction

Solvent extraction

Solvent extraction usually uses ethanol and butane as solvents and extracts from the cannabis plant adjuvant. The combination of the two is good, simple and easy to operate, and can be operated at home. This method uses solvent extraction throughout the process to ensure the extraction rate and purity, avoiding the use and residue of toxic organic solvents such as petroleum ether, and ensuring product safety.

Solvent extraction cbd

Olive oil extraction

Heating the plant at a specific temperature for a period of time activates the plant’s chemicals, adds olive oil, and heats for a period of time to finally obtain cannabinoids.

Olive oil extraction

Dry ice extraction

Cut the cannabis plant into chunks and put it in a bucket, cover with ice, invert, and then filter the mixture multiple times with a mesh bag to finally dry the extract until it becomes a powder. This method requires time and effort, but can also be operated at home.

Drikold extraction

In addition, there are many ways to obtain transgenic cannabis, biosynthesis, and chemical synthesis to obtain cannabinoids. The above four are conventional extraction methods.

The goal of cannabinoid extraction technology is to improve the extraction rate and purity of cannabinoids, remove THC residues as much as possible, avoid the use of toxic organic solvents, ensure product safety and environmental protection, and reduce costs as much as possible. In the current method of obtaining cannabinoids, technically sophisticated extraction methods still occupy the mainstream position, and biosynthesis and chemical synthesis are the main directions for obtaining cannabinoids in the future.

Are there advantages and disadvantages of extraction technology?

The extraction of cannabinoids must go through three steps: rough processing, precision processing and purification.

Rough processing refers to the extraction of all cannabinoids (including THC) from industrial cannabis, commonly known as “crude extract”, which cannot be used directly; filtering the crude extract, filtering out THC and other cannabinoids, and obtaining accurate cannabinoids according to demand The refined cannabinoid products can basically meet the market demand; if you want to obtain a higher purity cannabinoid single product, you can carry out the purification operation, through the process of crystallization-purification-recrystallization-repurification, and ultimately get very high purity cannabinoids single product.

Next, let’s take a look at the extraction effect of the solvent extraction method (PS: cannabinoid content is highest in female flowers and leaves in hemp plants).

High-performance liquid detection map of floral and medicinal materials (Figure 1)
High-performance liquid detection map of floral and medicinal materials (Figure 1)
High-performance liquid detection map of floral and medicinal materials (Figure 1)
High-performance liquid chromatogram of the extract of hemp flower and leaf medicinal materials extracted with ethanol (Figure 2)

Remarks: 1 [Cannabidiol CBDV], 2 [Cannabidiol CBG], 3 [Cannabidiol CBD], 4 [Tetrahydrocannabinol THCV], 5 [Tetrahydrocannabinol THC]

[Experimental conclusion] According to the high-performance liquid chromatograms of the above-mentioned cannabis floral medicinal herbs and cannabis floral medicinal herbs extracts, after extracting the cannabis floral medicinal herbs through the ethanol solvent, all the five effective components of cannabinoids were proposed, and other impurities The ingredients are not extracted, and the extraction method is efficient and stable. Therefore, the extraction method using ethanol as a solvent is a reliable extraction method.

Cannabinoid extract
Cannabinoid extract

What about other extraction methods? Please listen to the experts:

Ernie DeMartino, CEO of ASA Process Solutions, headquartered in Texas, USA, has been involved in the design of various system equipment. He has 45 years of experience in the field of industrial cannabis extraction methods. Ernie DeMartino said that the extraction method depends on the amount of cannabis processed and the cannabis terminal For the product, if the quantity of the mosaic raw material to be treated is small, the carbon dioxide extraction method can be used, and if the quantity of the mosaic raw material to be treated is large, the solvent extraction method can be selected. Either way, as long as it can ensure the best results of extracting products, it is economical and practical.

What technology is commonly used in the industry?

At present, the extraction methods commonly used in the industry are carbon dioxide supercritical extraction and solvent extraction.

CBD oil
CBD oil

Carbon dioxide supercritical extraction is the use of supercritical carbon dioxide to dissolve cannabinoids under pressure and temperature to selectively extract components with different polarities, boiling points, and molecular weights. The extracts obtained corresponding to each pressure range are not necessarily single, and then the supercritical fluid is transformed into ordinary gas by means of depressurization and temperature increase to precipitate and purify the required cannabinoids. In the field of industrial cannabis, this extraction method is suitable for individuals, households, or small-scale extraction companies; large-scale specialized extraction factories often use solvent extraction methods, because their technology is stable and suitable for large-scale operations, and the solvents used are food grade Of ethanol is the most healthy and economical.

CBD powder
CBD powder

This is The Ultimate Rule of Industrial Cannabis Extraction Technology

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