As laws and attitudes around cannabis start to soften, the cannabis industry is expanding and evolving in some fascinating ways. One of the biggest areas of growth in the cannabis world concerns cannabis extraction. But what is cannabis extraction, and what is cannabis extract? Read on for all you need to know.
What is Cannabis Extraction?
So, what do we mean when we talk about cannabis or marijuana extraction? In simple terms, extraction is a process in which certain molecules are extracted or removed from the cannabis plant matter itself. The results of this process are cannabis extract products, and there are various types of extracts.
This process of CBD extraction and THC extraction is important for various reasons. For one, it helps to create lots of new and different kinds of cannabis products, like hash oil and concentrates. In addition, extracts are usually stronger than cannabis flower, so can be more potent for both recreational and medicinal purposes.
Benefits of Marijuana Extract
So, we know that CBD extraction or THC extraction processes can be used to create a range of cannabis extract products. And there are actually many different benefits associated with marijuana extract. Here are just some of the main advantages:
- Versatility – One of the best things about extracts is that they’re highly versatile, and there are lots of ways for users to consume them. For instance, extracts can be smoked, vaporized, rolled, or even used in recipes for edibles.
- Potency – Another big benefit of many types of extracts is the fact that they’re more potent than marijuana in its basic flower form. This can be very beneficial for people who need to feel the more potent and long-lasting effects of marijuana on their bodies.
- Variety – From solventless CBD oil to tinctures, shatter, cannabis oil extract, wax, and more, there are lots of different kinds of extracts and concentrates. The extraction processes are creating an entirely new category of cannabis products for users to try.
- Medicinal Effects – Another serious advantage of cannabis extracts is the fact that they can be used for medicinal purposes. Some of these extracts may help patients with issues like pain and nausea, for example, or they could take CBD oil for sleep.
Types of Cannabis Extracts
As stated above, these extraction processes are able to draw out a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant in different ways, resulting in various types of cannabis extracts and concentrates. There are a lot of different kinds of extracts and concentrates you can now buy from your local cannabis dispensary, including:
- THC oil
- CBD oil
Common Cannabis Extraction Methods
To produce products like solventless CBD oil and cannabis oil extract, various methods can be used. Here are some of the main CBD extraction methods:
Solvent-based Cannabis Extractions
As the name suggests, solvent-based extraction methods involve the use of some kind of solvent to extract molecules like cannabinoids from the plant. These methods involve the use of a closed-loop system, in which the solvent passes over the plant matter. As this happens, the key components are extracted from the plant and passed into the fluid.
The fluid can then be separated, allowing the desirable components to gather in a separate container, and the solvent can then be reused to break down more plant matter later on. Processors can use a variety of different kinds of solvents, and they may also use additional refinement processes to improve the purity and even alter the color of the resulting extracts and oils.
Hydrocarbon extraction is arguably the most common method of extraction to involve solvents in some way. It can also be known as butane extraction and is used to extract products like butane hash oil. For this process, hydrocarbons such as butane are used to draw out cannabinoids and plant oils.
Propane is another hydrocarbon that can be used in this process. Butane is usually more popular and efficient, but some companies will actually use a mix of butane and propane together, and similar methods are used in other industries to make products like food items and even perfumes.
Ethanol is another product that can be used in cannabis extraction. It’s a type of alcohol made from fermented plant sugars, and since it’s a food-grade solvent, it’s considered quite a safe option to use in extraction. Ethanol is also relatively cheap and simple to use, reducing labor and energy costs. This method works well for producing distillates, as well as isolates.
As well as ethanol extract methods, vegetable oils like sunflower and coconut oil may be used for cannabis extraction. Again, this involves passing the oil over the plant matter to draw out the cannabinoids, and it’s actually one of the few methods that some people can do at home. One of the downsides of this method is that the resulting products have quite a low shelf life.
How to Use Cannabis Extracts
So, what can you do with cannabis extracts? There are many ways in which these products can be consumed. The right method will depend on your preferences, as well as the type of extract you’re using. For example, oils are usually vaporized or mixed in with edibles, while concentrates can be smoked or dabbed. Contact us for more information or if you have questions about using extracts.