Cannabis oil extraction

Cannabis Oil Extraction: The cannabis plant is renowned for its vast array of over 113 isolated cannabinoids, apart from THC. Among these cannabinoids, Cannabidiol (CBD) stands out for its well-known medicinal properties and is commonly extracted in cannabis oil. The extraction process of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis oil requires precise handling and the introduction of chemicals in specific proportions. Although there are various methods for extracting cannabis oil, the majority of them utilize solvents. Therefore, our attention will be directed towards alcohol and carbon-based alternatives. Let’s explore the three most commonly used methods for extracting cannabis oil.

  • Alcohol-Based Extraction: Ethanol is commonly used to extract cannabis oil. It can mix with water and dissolve water-soluble chlorophyll-based molecules due to its polarity. The plant material is soaked in ethanol for a specific time, then strained to remove plant particles, resulting in a mixture of alcohol and cannabis extracts. However, caution is needed when evaporating ethanol due to its flammability. This method extracts CBD and other desired compounds without leaving toxic residue. It requires experience, careful approach, and regulated temperature conditions.
  • Butane And Propane-Based Extraction: This method is controversial and dangerous if not supervised by experienced professionals. Butane-based cannabis extracts, also known as butane hash oil, are highly flammable and can cause gas explosions. The remaining butane in the extract is toxic to humans. To safely extract the oil, pressurized heating systems with air-filtration units and refining circulators are necessary. By heating the cannabis and butane in a pressurized containment, the butane can be evaporated. Despite the risks, many extract harvesters choose this method due to its low equipment cost. Some producers use propane as an alternative solvent due to its lower boiling point.
  • Critical CO2-Based Extraction: This option is not the cheapest, but it is the most effective and productive extraction method. It uses supercritical CO2, which is both liquid and gas at the same time under high pressure and heat. By adjusting temperature, pressure, and run-time, specific chemicals and compounds can be extracted from cannabis. CO2 extractions are also the safest and preferred method for medical use because there is no solvent residue in the final extract. The CO2 residue evaporates after extraction. Although a CO2-based extraction system is expensive, the long-term benefits make it worthwhile. After extraction, the CO2 is separated, turned back into liquid, and filtered for reuse. This method minimizes waste and is economically viable due to low reagent usage.

Dawn Scientific also supplies lab/ACS grade Chemicals, reagents, and solvents. Please contact for any of your specific needs and we will be glad to be of your service.

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