As recently as a few decades ago, the legal cannabis market was dominated by flower and hash products. Then, the industry experienced a shift.
Cannabis smoking was on the decline and consumers were heating the plant’s oily extract to obtain higher THC concentrations. Now, when you enter any retail dispensary, you’ll find shelves fully stocked with a variety of extract options. For those who aren’t familiar with extracts, there is a lot to learn.
Extracts are more effective than their plant-based counterparts and easier and more convenient to consume discreetly. Formerly a very narrow niche in the industry, the portability and potency of extracts continue to rapidly expand.
Although traditional flower sales have had a stronghold on the market for years, cannabis extracts are eclipsing flower sales in several markets. New technologies and techniques are enabling producers to cultivate a wider variety of extracts in more efficient and effective ways.
The extracts market is therefore rapidly increasing. According to a recent report from Grand View Research, extractions alone could make up $28.5 billion of the global cannabis industry by 2027.
According to Steve DeAngelo, co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Oakland, California-based Harborside cannabis chain, most active ingredients in cannabis are contained in trichomes: the sticky crystalline structures that sit on the plant’s surface. “The point of every extraction method is to detach the trichomes from the underlying vegetable material, taking away as little of the underlying vegetable material as you can,” DeAngelo explained.
Many categories of cannabis concentrates are primarily defined by their final form:
- Shatter, a clear extract. Its texture ranges from what has been described as “snappy and toffee-like” to “brittle and glass-like.”
- Wax, also known as budder or frosting, has a consistency that is much softer than shatter.
- HTFSE, or High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract, is rich in flavor. Conventional extraction methods with harsh heat environments can destroy terpenes. HTFSE, however, is a new extraction method that shifts focus from cannabinoid potency, to terpene preservation. New technology enables techniques like flash-freezing plant material and exposure to extremely low temperatures and the proper light solvents.
Most extracts in today’s market use solvent-based extraction techniques, where solvents are flushed through a high-pressure chamber to wash cannabinoids and terpenes from the flower. One company seeing great success with this method is Pure Extracts. The company’s Vitalis CO2 Extraction system produces Full Spectrum Oil (“FSO”), which is one of the purest and highest quality oils. Pure Extracts is nicely positioned to offer a variety of different product formulations in the near future, each with specific functionalities.
Considering how far the industry has progressed in recent years, it will certainly be interesting to see what the industry looks like in the future.
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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