Introduction to cannabis extractions, Extraction is a technique that we hear more and more about in the cannabis world. Various methods of extraction have been developed around the world. Men used the extracts to make dyes, perfumes, aromas, remedies.
If you are reading this guide and are interested in extracting cannabis, terms like trichomes, BHO, BubbleHash, or 710 should hold no secrets for you. If not, go HERE! For the others we start with music:
It comes in the form of Shatter, Wax, BubbleHash, Ice-O-Lator or even Rosin. Where does the extraction come from? Is she dangerous? Are we only extracting Cannabis? We tell you everything.
How long has the process of cannabis extraction been used?
Man has discovered the benefits of plant extracts for several millennia. The first extractions were carried out by alcoholic fermentation in infusion, maceration, or decoction. Even today and despite the many advances that have been made, knowledge of techniques and know-how remains an essential element to obtain a quality extraction.
What are the main Cannabis extraction methods?
Now let’s find out about the main extraction methods and how they relate to the extraction of Cannabis:
The filtration: This technique dates back to prehistoric times and allows as the name suggests filter out “impurities”. In practice, this is similar to making Hashish / Bubble Hash. Once the flowers are cut and dried, they are lowered against sieves of different diameters in order to obtain the desired quality. You have certainly already done filtration extractions yourself with your 4-part grinders!
The pressing (Or RosinTech): You realize extractions almost daily. Whether it’s to make your fresh orange juice in the morning or to let the air escape your leaf when you roll a joint and get ready to glue. In practice, this technique is called Rosin Tech. This involves squeezing Cannabis flowers between two plates at a pressure and temperature sufficient to extract the famous Rosin. Simple straightening iron and baking paper are sufficient even if with a real press it is much better …
The decoction, infusion, maceration: All these techniques are widely used by your grandparents. Whether it’s to make jam, tea, or grandpa’s house pear, everything goes there. In practice, these techniques are used to make Marrakech butter, mixed rums, or even make your own e-liquid.
Hydrodistillation: This technique used since ancient Egypt allows evaporation to recover the essential oils of the plant. In practice, it is not widely used in the cannabis world. In industry it is used a LOT, almost all essential oils are extracted in this way.
The solvent extraction: This type of mining is much more recent, it dates from the 19th century and helped to overcome the problems associated with the inability to extract certain concentrated in water. We saw this practice appear forty years ago in the cannabis world. If it remained very marginal at that time, today, with the legalization in the many American States, the extraction by solvents is in full BOM.
In the USA, extraction is already the biggest branch of the cannabis industry thanks to all the possible uses.
Many brands offer extraction systems of all kinds and sizes. These extractors must choose the extraction gas. The most common extraction solvent is Butane (the same gas as in your lighters). We have also noticed the appearance of DME (Di Methylether) in recent years for the general public. A gas that is already used in many of your aerosols and that is used in the pharmaceutical and food industry.
Finally, the last process of this extraction is the purge of your product. Once your concentrate has been mixed with the gas, you must purge it so that it is suitable for consumption. This is an essential point and we will develop it in length, width, and across in a future guide.
What can we extract?
In general, the term extraction covers all the techniques for isolating aromatic or pharmacological compounds. An extraction can also be defined by the well-known term essential oil. Thus, essential oils have been used since the dawn of time because of their stimulating properties, in particular on the cellular activities of plants and animals, or inhibiting, for example on microbes (disinfection).
Recent work on hemp oil and its anti-bacterial properties are also very promising and suggest a multitude of medical applications. Many plants containing oils rich in active molecules are therefore used for therapeutic purposes. The virtues of mint, sage, rosemary, and many others have been known since the dawn of time and no longer need to be dismantled.
The techniques recently developed in the medical and recreational cannabis industry can be reproduced on culinary plants or containing aromatic compounds such as certain lipids.
Rosemary is a good example, its essential oil can easily be extracted by the use of non-aqueous solvents such as Dimethyl ether and be used for human consumption without any danger. The flowering tops of Helichrysum also attract the attention of the scientific community thanks to the potential presence of “Anti-Cancer” terpenes. The oil of this flower extracted by supercritical CO2 contains monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and neryl acetate. Nicknamed “Boxer’s Oil” and prescribed in the treatment of hematomas, this extraction has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Most people who have no knowledge of extraction will often tell you the same thing:
- It’s a hard drug!
- You can die!
- Why are you doing this ?
To answer these questions, we refer you to the article on Fantomas & Louis de Funes which will provide you with many answers.
If you don’t want to leave this page here is ours:
Extractions allow only the desired molecules to be removed from the plant. There is no product more “pure” than an extraction because this one removes all the superfluous parts of the plant. It is the epitome of the product.
Extractions are part of your daily life:
- Food (Tomato concentrate / Dehydrated puree / Oils …)
- Drinks (Syrups / Liquors)
Whether it is extraction by infusion, maceration, evaporation, with or without solvents… You are surrounded by extracts every day.
Extractions are therefore essential! If only for the pharmaceutical industry which only “lives” because you do not know how to do your own extractions and your own medications yourself. Hence the problem of legalizing cannabis for the pharmaceutical industry.
Safety measures to take during an extraction
Any extraction requires security measures to be taken. Even if the extraction techniques without solvents remain relatively “safe”, it seems essential to be in good conditions to use a hydraulic press with heating plates. Cannabis extraction
In this section, we will mainly discuss the safety measures to be taken into account for extraction using solvents. When you are going to pass gas through your raw material, you will in a way “Degrease” the plant of its resin. It is in its liquid form that the power of the solvent is used for the extraction and concentration of molecules (such as THC, CBD, etc.).
At ambient atmospheric pressure, butane or Di Methyl Ether (DME) expands and transforms almost instantly into gas. This, therefore, means that when you perform an open circuit extraction, the gas will trigger an endothermic reaction which will instantly freeze the tube. Be careful with your fingers, put on gloves, and avoid contact with metal as much as possible during this phase (otherwise you will get stuck …)
Always keep in mind that you should not be in an enclosed environment during your extractions. No flame should be lit when handling the bottles and more generally NO FLAME from the start to the end of your RUN (Extraction Session). We will develop safety measures in more detail in our first guide on solvent extraction, but if you have to keep one thing in mind it is:
Your life is precious. If you want to perform extractions, no one can stop you, but the more secure you will work the more you will be able to perfectly perform/master the extraction operations. Knowledge and mastery are key elements in obtaining a perfect product.
This guide is now coming to an end and opens the doors to a series of guides initially intended for solvent extraction. We are also working on “Solventless” extractions which will be added as and when. Many thanks to Hempulse for the valuable help and knowledge they have given us throughout the writing of this guide.