Cannabis extracts encompass a wide range of products. These products are commonly the result of extracting cannabinoids, terpenes, and other beneficial compounds from the cannabis plant. Different products involve different cannabis extraction methods. Here, we’ll take a deeper dive into some of these methods to help you understand a bit more about the process behind making your favorite extracts.
Alcohol extraction is pretty straightforward. The process involves submerging cannabis plant matter into alcohol and letting it sit. The alcohol dissolves and extracts the beneficial compounds from the plant. After removing the solid material, the liquid gets filtered, and the alcohol is evaporated out.
Using butane as a solvent results in butane hash oil (BHO). To extract cannabinoids, extractors pressurize and heat liquid butane before passing it over solid plant material. The next step involves evaporating the solvent to create the final product. The benefit of butane extraction is that it’s easy and affordable. Furthermore, the drawback is that products may have lingering solvent and may not be the safest products on the market.
CO2 extraction uses supercritical carbon dioxide to extract compounds from cannabis. The gas gets exposed to high pressure and low temperatures to convert it into a liquid. Then it’s pressurized further and heated before passing over plant matter. Lastly, it gets exposed to normal pressure and the CO2 evaporates.
With CO2 extraction, there’s no risk of leaving behind harmful chemicals. Lower temperatures mean preserving more cannabinoids and terpenes. Moreover, these products are also some of the purest on the market.
Water extraction is a type of solventless extraction that uses ice water to create a potent extract. Cannabis flowers get dunked in a bucket of ice water and gently stirred around. The process causes the trichomes on the plant to separate and sink. Consequently, as they fall, they go through a series of screens and there’s no risk of residual chemicals without the use of a solvent. Furthermore, the use of cold water helps to preserve more beneficial compounds.
There are also a few forms of basic extraction that have been around for a long time. Additionally, these methods don’t involve the use of a solvent. As such, there’s no risk of toxic chemicals getting left behind in the final product.
One form of basic extraction involves grinding cannabis flowers and running them through a series of sieves. This method creates what’s known as kief.
Secondly, you can make extract by freezing cannabis buds, breaking them apart, then running them over screens to separate the trichomes. These trichomes then get pressed into blocks known as hash. Additionally, ice water extraction (which we mentioned above) is a way to create this particular product.
Choosing From Cannabis Extraction Methods
You might not know where to start or what to choose with such a broad range of extracts to choose from. Therefore, a great way to decide which ones you like best is to experiment. No matter which extracts you select, be sure to read the label. Always opt for high-quality products to ensure the best experiences and optimal results.