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Cannabis Extraction

Submitted by Douglas C. Neidermeyer, Sargent At Arms

Cannabis extraction is the process of removing or extracting certain components like THC and CBD from the cannabis plant and converting it into a product that consumers can use all over the world. Extracting the correct components and condensing it to its purest form is also known as concentrating or extracting, which results in amore purecompound. These compounds arebeneficial in both the medically and recreationally markets. There are several methods of isolating specific compounds of the cannabis plant but the three most popular are CO2, hydrocarbon, and ethanol.

CO2 extraction takes carbon dioxide in a metal tank and pressurizes it until it becomes supercritical, meaning it is both a liquid and a gas. Once it reaches this state, it can then pull specific compounds of the plant. The supercritical carbon dioxide is then separated and only the desired concentrated components are left. Once the correct components are extracted, the CO2 can be turned back into a liquid and used again for the next extraction. This is one of the most popular cannabis extraction methods as it’s inexpensive and the safest to use. Usinga  hydrocarbon, butane or propane method dissolves cannabis and extracts the cannabinoids, which is just another name for active compounds found in cannabis. Heat is added to the solvent which evaporates the butane and propane and leaves only the extracts. The ethanol method is when the cannabis is soaked in ethanol. Once the cannabis itself is taken out, the liquid is filtered and leaves behind only the desired extracts.  

Another process being used on the market today is called cannabis distillation, which is used to create extremely potent extracts. During this process, the cannabis oil is heated which allows for the CBD and THC to rise to the surface. It is then turned back into a liquid and is separated from the other substances inside. One of the ways extraction can be faster and more effective is when manufacturers use a vacuum to filter and purify the cannabis contents without using harmful solvents like ethanol or alcohol. A vacuum pump turns solvents into a gas by using a system in which the solvents are then removed from the extracts and the process to leave behind a more pure distillate.

The rule of thumb is the greater the depth of the vacuum, the more the boiling point can be reduced which prevents the materials from degrading. The right vacuum to choose depends on the size of the system, the material being extracted and the speed at which it needs to be done. Even with all these factors taken into account, some experts in the industry recommend using a dry pump to extract while others insist an oil-filled pump is the only way to go. Sometimes, a hybrid pump is recommended because it contains both a rotary vane and turbo pump which achieves an even higher vacuum.

A-VAC Industries offers a multitude of different vacuum pumps for cannabis extraction and cannabis distillation. If you are interested in learning more about which vacuum pump is right for your business- submit a form or give one of our vacuum pump specialists a call. At A-VAC Industries our team has the experience to go above and beyond when helping you choose which pump is right for you. Give us a call at (800) 747-2821, today.