Marijuana Concentrates: The 3 Most Popular Techniques


In recent years, the popularity of marijuana concentrates has increased dramatically. They are incredibly powerful and can provide relief from chronic pain. Furthermore, Marijuana concentrates have countless applications.

They can be used to make cannabis edibles, wax, and oils. Marijuana concentrate can also be smoked through vapes and e-pens. There are many websites where you can find an assortment of products and applications of marijuana concentrates.

Although many people know about cannabis extracts, few are really aware of how they are made. There are three common ways to create marijuana concentrates : hydrocarbon extraction, ethanol extraction, and supercritical CO2 oil extraction.

Extraction with hydrocarbons

Butane and other similar compounds such as propane and hexane are very useful for the extraction of chemical substances of plant origin such as terpenes or cannabinoids.

Butane Hash Oil (BHO) is quite prevalent due to its extreme potency. It is commonly 80% to 90% THC content. BHO is perfect for people looking for therapeutic effects from THC. It is generally used to counteract severe pain and muscle spasms. It is also quite effective against stress and anxiety.

Hydrocarbon extraction is a popular technique that is also used outside of the marijuana industry. It is used to make essential oils and oil-based fragrances. As such, hydrocarbon extraction is a well-known and commonly practiced method of capturing organic compounds from plants.

The BHO manufacturing process begins with a tube containing the marijuana flowers and a container containing butane or any other hydrocarbon that may be in use.

Some people also mix two types of hydrocarbons (namely propane and butane) to increase the polarity for a more thoroughly extracted end product. The hydrocarbon is then pumped into the marijuana flowers. This extracts cannabinoids such as THC, CBD, and CBA. The marijuana-infused solvent is collected in a separate container.

At this point, the extracts are not safe to use, because the solvent may also contain certain pesticides that were used on the plant, and of course, it's still mostly hydrocarbons.

The mixture is heated to remove these unwanted toxins. However, this has to be done at a specific temperature, so that the hydrocarbons evaporate, and the marijuana extracts are all that is left.

Too much heat can ruin the final product, so be very careful and monitor the temperature continuously to make sure everything is in order.

After the butane evaporates, a golden substance will remain, the consistency of which will depend on the temperature at which it was prepared.

This substance is BHO, and it is ready to be used. It can be used in its current state, or it can also be crystallized to create shatter, a popular marijuana extract.

Extracts made with ethanol

the Ethanol extraction same principle that is used in creating BHO. It involves spraying a solvent on the buds and removing said solvent so that the pure cannabis extract is left behind.

However, instead of a hydrocarbon-based solvent, ethanol is used in this process.

Ethanol is one of the oldest solvents used to create marijuana concentrates. The advantage of using ethanol is that it dissolves terpenes and cannabinoids much faster than butane.

On the other hand, unlike butane, ethanol has a high polarity, which can lead to the extraction of certain elements that are not extracted by butane.

Ethanol can also extract tannins, chlorophyll, and various other pigments from the marijuana flowers. These compounds must also be removed to obtain a pure product.

Most of the time, activated carbon filters , similar to those used for water filtration, are used to remove these impurities. Activated carbon quickly absorbs these contaminants due to its porous and absorbent nature.

It is similar to hydrocarbon extractions. The solvent is heated to remove the ethanol, leaving pure, concentrated cannabis extracts behind.

Oil by supercritical CO2

The popularity of supercritical CO2 is rapidly increasing in the marijuana industry. This is because it is a more natural and organic solvent than hydrocarbons and alcohols . Furthermore, supercritical CO2 does not leave behind any potentially harmful substances after extraction.

Now anyone who is not studying chemistry may be wondering what a supercritical substance is. Supercritical fluids are gases that are exposed to high pressures until they turn into liquids. Therefore, supercritical CO2 is just highly pressurized carbon dioxide.

Like the two previous extraction processes, the solvent is poured onto the buds and flowers of the plant, and the cannabinoids are extracted into it.

Supercritical CO2 is extremely cold, which is beneficial to the extraction process. As we have said before, excess heat affects the quality of the concentrate. Since liquid CO2 is cold, it preserves the natural attributes of the strain being extracted. This means that the flavor and aroma of the strain are preserved.

Furthermore, liquid CO2 is also a very easy to remove . It automatically returns to its gaseous state and evaporates.

No need to use heat in this process. However, the concentrate that is produced is often highly refined, making it perfect for use in vaporizers and e-cigarettes.

Equipment needed for cannabis extraction

It does not matter what extraction procedure you are using. Choosing high quality material can make a significant difference in the final results . For example, if the jars and tubes you are using are not airtight, problems can arise.

During BHO and ethanol extractions, bottles can explode if the seals are not airtight. Even in CO2 extraction, tight seals are essential to maintain high pressure. Leak-proof seals also prevent impurities and contaminants from entering the concentrate.

In summary, there are several ways to create marijuana concentrates, and all of them have certain advantages and disadvantages. The end product is potent and can have many medicinal benefits.

However, unlike standard marijuana flowers, you have to be more careful with marijuana concentrates. They are significantly more potent, and ingesting them in excess can create an uncomfortable state of mind.

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Marijuana Concentrates: The 3 Most Popular Techniques

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Published on August 18, 2022

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