Extraction & Refinement
The supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the medicinal oil. The CO2 extraction process allows compounds to be extracted with low toxicity. When done well the end product is safe, potent, and free of chlorophyll.
Alcohol has a high polarity and is water-soluble, making it one of the least-selective solvents. Using well-dried and well-cured cannabis can help decrease the amount of chlorophyll and moisture pulled from the material. Created by filling a vessel with cannabis, which is then soaked in alcohol and lightly agitated. The longer the mixture is agitated and steeped, the more cannabinoids are extracted—but so are chlorophyll, plant alkaloids and waxes. Depending on the starting material and the quality desired, the cannabis is soaked anywhere from a minute to a few hours, after which the solvent is strained. The remaining solvent is then evaporated leaving behind a powerful oil rich in THC.
Hydrocarbon extraction is a type of cannabis concentrate made using butane/propane as solvents. Commonly accomplished using closed loop extraction system of stainless steel vessels that “wash” cannabis material with liquid butane or propane solvent. The process starts with filling a column with cannabis and “washing” it with liquid hydrocarbons (butane or propane). After being collected, the concentrate/solvent mixture is put inside a vacuum oven where excess solvent is removed from the mixture at a much lower temperature than if it were at regular atmospheric pressure. While a number of variables can determine the final consistency of hydrocarbon extraction (mostly temperature), people use different names when referring to each of the different consistencies. Shatter for instance, refers to the glass-like consistency that often snaps or “shatters” when handled. Budder, honeycomb, crumble, and sap are also used to describe the different textures, though they all fall under the category of hydrocarbon
Is a refinement process which takes end product of an extraction process used and refines the oil once more through a fractioning process to produce a substance with a much higher cannabinoid purity.