An overview of Cannabis essential oil extraction

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Extracting cannabis oil has generally always been a sticky business, and in some cases can leave you with no eyebrows! Luckily with progress in technology, there are safer alternatives to using volatile and dangerous chemicals.

Many moons ago cannabis enthusiasts would use more natural techniques to extract the essential oils from cannabis. Methods such as Ice water extraction were used to freeze the trichomes, allowing the trichomes to break free from the plant matter and settle to the bottom of a bucket. This resin was then dried and pressed into a concentrate known as bubble hash. Other techniques used in the middle east and north Africa were to sift the cannabis through a mesh collecting the trichomes ( pollen ) from under the mesh and pressing that into blocks. Morroco is today one of the biggest producers of this type of golden hash. A more traditional method of making hash is rubbing it in between your hands, allowing the trichomes to heat up and stick to your palms. This resin is then collected and rolled into balls, usually dark brown or black and known as charas.

Ways to Extract Cannabinoids

Luckily in the 21st century, there are many more efficient ways of extracting the cannabinoids from cannabis. Below are a couple fairly new techniques of extracting cannabis concentrates from cannabis:

1 – Butane: Butane Hash Oil ( BHO ) is a method of extracting hash that forces butane over the cannabis plant, allowing the trichomes to drop off. Butane, however, is dangerous and a very volatile compound that can ignite a fire in a matter of seconds, even though a spark. Many backyard oil producers have cause many fires in residential areas by using this method of extraction.

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Cannabis Oil in a Syringe

2- CO2: Carbon dioxide is also a very effective way of extracting cannabinoids from cannabis. However, the development of a closed-loop extraction system does require technical skill and ongoing maintenance to manage. On a large scale with the correct safety measures in place, CO2 is a very effective way to extract trichomes.

3 – Rosin: A fairly new technique in the cannabis industry is a process known as rosin. It’s simply a method of using heat plates and pressure to extract the resin from cannabis. It is not dangerous and one can simply extract cannabis at home using your girlfriend’s hair straighter. If you decide to go this route it might be worth investigating commercial home rosin presses, which are more suitable than a hair straightener. Although this is not very efficient method of extraction it is natural, does not include any solvents and is not dangerous.

4 – Vegetable fats: cannabis trichomes are very soluble in vegetable fats and this method is fairly easy to do at home using a pot and coffee filter. People often refer to the final product as cannabutter. Although not a true cannabis concentrate, it is a way to extract cannabinoids from cannabis.

5 – Alcohol: High volume alcohol is a great solvent for extracting trichomes from cannabis plant matter. The higher the volume the more efficient the extraction process. Actually using the highest food grade possible is best, such as grain alcohol ( 80 %). The process can be lengthy, sometimes dangerous and a lot of work and resources are required to run this method of extraction.

Alcohol is probably the most efficient and safest way to make your concentrations at home. With the development of The Source Turbo has made life easier for home cannabis processors. Developed by ExtractCraft, the closed-loop system can allow you to make cannabis concentrate within an hour. One of the best features is that is developed to save as much grain alcohol for reuse as possible. Because it is a closed loop, it is safe from dangerous environmental factors, does not let of potent pungent cannabis smells and gives you peace of mind when making extracts.

The Process of The Source

1 – Allow your plant material to sit in the grain alcohol overnight.

2 – Filter the settled product through a coffee strain and pour the filtered grain alcohol into The Source.

3 – Press the button and wait for 1 to 2 hours and you have some top quality concentrate of plant essential oils.

The Source really makes the complex process of plant essential oil extraction as easy as can be. Furthermore, it is safe, odourless and easy. Even when finished, cleaning The Source is a breeze. Often extraction processes are messy and sticky, The Source takes all this pain and works away from your hands.

The Source is the first home appliance that integrates Altitude Tuning. It is a unique process that creates a perfect balance of temperature and vacuum, allowing for perfect extraction of plant essential oils. What’s more The Source can be used for many other applications and your imagination is the limit. From aromatherapy oils, through to herbal remedies and new flavours for your brews, The Source is limitless for extraction of plant essential oils and flavourings.

Using low heat temperatures The Source does not burn or waste your essential oils but slowly extract them at optimal temperatures over time. High temperatures can often damage or change the aroma of plant essences, however, The Source does not allow this to happen. Altitude tuning allows gentle heating and vacuuming keeping the extract as aromatic and as high quality as possible.

Terpenes are the plant essential oils that are responsible for flavour and aroma. Extraction at low heats allows these compounds to retain their original structure and smell. Terpenes, in fact, are fast gaining popularity in cannabis communities. The reason for this is there many potential therapeutic and medicinal applications but also the lovely flavours and aroma’s we are used to. Terpenes are susceptible to oxidization and heat degradation so a closed loop low heat system is perfect to extract the terpenes from any plant matter. The Source has two modes of operation, Normal and Turbo, both modes operate at close to 40 ºC ensuring maximum carpenter, aroma, and flavour development.

Cannabis oil or concentrates is a booming business worldwide. Many years ago, it was about the high of THC oil. Today we are seeing a big increase in the medical applications of CBD oil and in the future we will see many combinations of terpenes, cannabinoids and phytocannabinoids being infused with each other for medical and recreational benefits.

The demand for pure and high-quality oils is pushing the market for more efficient and quality oils for the end user. Often extraction processes like BHO, Propane and others can leave a toxic residue of solvents on the final product. If the concentrate is not cleaned or purged correctly you can get a very dangerous product that can leave you feeling sick.

The Source is an easy way to get into the science of extraction as it does all the work for you and does not leave you with pungent smells floating around your house and as simple as pushing its button. Within a couple of hours, you will have quality oil that is free from residue and solvents that can easily be infused into other products from edibles to vape cartridges.

Knowing the source of your material is an important factor in making extracts. Mouldy, dirty, or old cannabis can leave a lot of contaminants in your final extract, and you don’t want to be digesting, vaping or combusting something internally with contaminants. So it is always a good idea to know the source of your initial product before starting out. As the old farmer saying goes, “ you reap what you sow”.

The development of extraction methods will continue into the future and isolation of cannabis compounds will also improve. Right now The Source is probably the safest, simplest, most cost-effective way to extract at the convenience of your home.

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