Despite being prohibited, cannabis has been immensely popular over the past couple of decades. Cannabis proved to be a lucrative space once territories began legalizing the substance for medical and recreational use, but things blew up once cannabis concentrates hit the market. Thanks to constantly improving technology, processors are now able to pull cannabinoids from the plant, creating high-potency cannabis products that have enjoyed major sales.
Extracting cannabinoids and terpenes from hemp and cannabis is an insanely complex process, with the most common extraction methods thus far being butane hash oil (“BHO”) and carbon dioxide (“CO2”) extraction.
BHO, which is a solvent-based extraction method, uses a light hydrocarbon solvent called butane to strip cannabis plants of their resin. Although this method dates back to the 1970s, it can be dangerous because butane is highly flammable, thus requiring specialized training as well as closed-loop equipment for extraction. Closed loop refers to a system that pulls compounds from the cannabis in a completely airtight environment.
If done correctly and under the proper conditions, BHO can produce extracts with up to 90% THC, resulting in high-potency products that can be used for edibles, vaping and topical treatments, among others. Carbon dioxide extraction, on the other hand, uses pressurized CO2 to pull compounds from cannabis. Most of the cannabis oil used in vape cartridges is extracted via CO2 extraction. Like BHO extraction, carbon dioxide extraction requires the use of specialized equipment, and amateurs with no training are advised to avoid both of these extraction methods.
Due to the complexity and newness of BHO and CO2 extraction in the cannabis industry, a lot of people don’t know much about them. For instance, there seems to be a misconception about butane hash leaving residual solvents and producing impure extracts with an unpleasant taste, which is false. In fact, carbon dioxide extraction often uses a second solvent to winterize or crystallize the extract, which has to be removed later on. As a result, extracts made via this process also run the risk of contamination. Additionally, carbon dioxide extraction can be especially dangerous as CO2 extraction systems operate under extremely high pressures, ranging from 1,500-8,700 PSI.
As long as both methods are implemented by trained individuals using the right equipment and in controlled environments, the resultant extract will be quite safe to consume. However, note that there will be slight product differences. Since CO2 extraction calls for a lot of post processing, it may have a reduced natural flavor and a different consistency. It will also take longer compared to BHO processing, which has less post-processing steps. Due to the complexity and equipment required for these extraction methods, consumers should leave extraction to the experts and stick to easier alternatives such as cannabutter and cannaoil.
Consumers are encouraged to stick to high-quality cannabis extracts made by some of the leading companies in the industry, such as Chalice Brands Ltd. (CSE: CHAL) (OTCQB: CHALF), to avoid putting themselves and others at risk while trying to DYI their own extracts.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Chalice Brands Ltd. (CSE: CHAL) (OTCQB: CHALF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/CHALF
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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