Cannabis extracts are significantly potent than your standard cannabis buds. But, the process of extraction is complex. When extracted properly, the concentrates can prove useful as medicines as well.
Cannabis extraction companies follow different methods for bulk concentrate extraction. Here are the essential details you should know about bulk concentrate extraction.
Different Methods for Bulk Concentrate Extraction
- Supercritical CO2 Extraction
Cannabis concentrate manufacturers mainly use the Supercritical CO2 extraction method to obtain bulk cannabis concentrate. When CO2 is pressurized under high temperature, it becomes a supercritical fluid. This fluid possesses gas and liquid properties.
As a gas, it can pass through solids, and as a liquid, it can dissolve compounds into the solution. In bulk concentrate extraction, the supercritical CO2 enters the trichomes, dissolves terpenes and cannabinoids, and moves them out of solution. The liquid now contains cannabis concentrate. The CO2is then separated from the concentrate through a cyclone separator.
- Subcritical CO2 Extraction
In subcritical CO2 extraction, CO2 is used under high pressure. This extraction process is ideal for bulk concentrate extraction. It is also known for its efficacy, safety, and tenability. The subcritical CO2 extraction uses a close loop system that allows the recycling of CO2 between extractions. This extraction method is suitable for terpene extraction and full-flavor cannabis oil.
Ethanol is one of the accessible solvents used to extract cannabis bulk concentrate. Many extraction companies prefer ethanol for its universal solvency. The efficacy of ethanol in extraction can be attributed to the single hydroxyl group and a hydrocarbon tail. This chemical combination allows ethanol to dissolve in various substances, including lips, terpenes, waxes, and cannabinoids.
In other solvent extractions, additional processing is needed to remove waxes. In Ethanol extraction, terpenes and cannabinoids are pulled directly from the biomass, and no further processing is required. For bulk concentrate, cannabis concentrate manufacture uses ethanol at cold temperatures to produce concentrate distillate.
To obtain full-spectrum extracts, manufacturers use high heat in ethanol extraction. Within a closed-loop system, ethanol is recoverable, which makes it a “green” solution for bulk cannabis concentrate extraction.
Hydrocarbon extraction is one of the popular methods to extract terpenes and cannabinoids. In hydrocarbon extraction, butane is the solvent. Butane is effective in extracting desired compounds while filtering out the unwanted ones.
Since butane is made only of a hydrocarbon chain, it dissolves terpenes and cannabinoids, leaving rest behind. The butane has a low boiling point, which means it can be easily removed from the solution after the extraction is complete.
As the name suggests, this process does not use any solvents to extract terpenes and cannabinoids. Instead, this extraction process relies on pressure to squeeze out the oil from cannabis. The solventless extraction method is labor-intensive and time-consuming. However, it remains the best method to obtain full-spectrum extracts.
The lack of heat in the extraction process can lead to microbial contamination. Hence cannabis extract manufacturers use sterilization processes and quality control in this method.
Cannabis concentrate bulk manufacturers are pursuing excellence in extraction technology. The manufacturers are working with other industry experts to standardize safety certifications and product testing. These are some of the essential things you should know about bulk concentrate extraction.