As the hype around the cannabis industry continues to grow, so does the innovative approach to cannabis extraction. And while manipulation of the marijuana plant is not a new practice, access to modern day equipment is allowing for a greater focus around efficiency, precision, and expansion of the industry overall.
In this guide, we’ll be covering the 3 main types of cannabis extraction, as well as the type of equipment needed for achieving successful results.
The History of Cannabis Extraction
1940s-60s: The first manufactured cannabis product intended for oral consumption is developed and used for the MK Ultra interrogation program, a biochemical-based interrogation method created by the CIA.
1970s: Cannabis extraction officially hits the mainstream with the release of D. Gold’s Cannabis Alchemy: The Art of Modern Hashmaking.
1990s: The first detailed description of butane hash oil extraction procedures is published on Erowid, a popular online psychoactive library that surfaced in the mid-1990s. Though deemed dangerous and controversial, it would later inspire the invention of closed loop systems (CLS), an extraction method that feeds butane through a vertical column packed with ground cannabis.
2000s: An article is released on Cannabis Culture that discusses a new-found substance called hash oil “Budder” which uses a series of refinements involving alcohol. Budder makes its proprietary debut in 2003 at Da Kine Dispensary and is shortly followed by the invention of “dab rigs”, a product that speeds up the concentrate vaporization process.
2010s-Now: Hash oil enthusiasm continues to rise and creates a new focus on extraction technologies ranging from advanced CLS systems to C02 supercritical extractors and more.
Modern-day Cannabis Extraction Methods
A cannabis extract is defined by the method through which it is made. Unlike hash and kief which are made through natural methods, the process of extraction relies on the use of a solvent such as Butane, Carbon Dioxide and even propane.
Due to it’s FDA-approved standing, carbon dioxide is one of the most desirable extracting solvents in the cannabis community. Not only is the solvent non-toxic, the extraction process doesn’t contribute to carbon emissions in the atmosphere, making it both safe and eco-friendly.
Equipment: High Output 5000PSI: The Force
From the manufacturer: Our most versatile and highest-yielding systems with the shortest extraction times, the 5000psi Series systems efficiently extract botanical oils without thermal degradation at industry-leading processing rates. Utilizing our Dual-Phase Pumping System — both a liquid pump that allows for high CO2 flows at higher pressures and the Diaphragm Compressor Technology gas pump for energy efficiency and cold separation, these systems provide high production with a wide range of processing options for supercritical and subcritical extractions.
The Butane Extraction method is commonly used in the production of BHO products (also known as butane honey oil or butane hash oil). Due to butane being a highly volatile hydrocarbon, it’s extremely dangerous to work with outside of an extraction lab and has developed a bit of a stigma within the cannabis extraction community. Butane is a desirable solvent for extractors because it is relatively non polar. This means that the finished product excludes water soluble compounds like plant alkaloids and chlorophyll.
Equipment: 5-lb Closed Loop Extractor Kit V2.0
From the manufacturer: The five pound unit is the most affordable large scale extractor yet! The BHOgart utilizes food grade (304L and 316) stainless steel to perpetually ensure a clean product. The five pound extractor runs 13 pounds of solvent at once, which is adequate to run a material tube as large as 6”x36”! The large 12”x12” collection vessel allows for superior recovery times.
The Rossin method is a bit different from the others in that it doesn’t involve the use of a solvent, meaning it’s technically not an extract at all. However since the end product is similar to other solvent-based extracts, rosin is actually a concentrate. The process of creating Rossin relies on heat and pressure rather than an expensive, solvent-based machine, making it a much more appealing cannabis extraction method for early-stage dispensaries.
Equipment: X5 Electric Heat Press
From the manufacturer: The new Rosin Industries X5 Electric Heat Press eliminates the need for a pneumatic compressor. This plug and play, user friendly heat press puts you in full control with it's built in electronic pressure controller. The X5 Electric Heat Press gives off a sleek and clean design that is perfect for any work space.
Need Cannabis Extraction Equipment?
At Cannabis Equipment Leasing, we make it possible to get the extraction equipment you need without breaking the bank. Learn more about our simple, flexible lease structures or contact us directly to discuss your cannabis equipment leasing needs.
1. Cannabis Alchemy (2nd ed.) 1977 and 1989. D. Gold