The Benefits of Processing Cannabis
Why You Should Consider Processing Your Cannabis
As the use of cannabis for both recreational and medicinal purposes becomes more popular, consumers are always looking for the next best thing. When you think of fruit juice, or other items made from concentrate, it doesn’t always leave a lasting impression. In terms of cannabis concentrates, the reputation here is much better. Processing cannabis has begun to be a prevalent way to extract only the best parts of the cannabis plant. Extraction plants and vertically integrated storefronts are using cannabis extraction methods more than ever before. Users are always looking for new ways to consume cannabis, and Mystique Of Maine is here to deliver! This blog will highlight the benefits of processing cannabis to make concentrates, cannabis extraction methods, and how they vary from cannabis flower.
What’s the Difference Between Concentrates and Flower?
When looking at the two, the differences between cannabis flower and concentrates may seem obvious. There is a lot of science behind what makes cannabis flower and concentrates so different. Concentrates are a processed version of the cannabis plant, making potency the most obvious difference between the two. Cannabis flower tends to range from 10%-25% Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) where concentrates are typically anywhere from 50% all the way to 90% for some. Concentrates also go by many more names than your average bud, and tend to have names associated with their various textures such as shatter, wax, oil, sugar, and diamonds. If you are new to the concentrate world but are interested in experimenting, we suggest a concentrate with a low THC percentage to start.
Cannabis Extraction Methods
The list of extraction methods for cannabis concentrates continues to grow. During cannabis extraction, solvents are used to separate cannabinoids from the plant material. Butane, alcohol, CO2, ethanol, and water are some of the most common solvents used in cannabis extraction. Here are four of the most popular extraction methods and their respected benefits.
Butane Honey Oil Extraction (BHO) – This particular extraction method is backed by a lot of research and extensive use in the food and perfume industries. Cannabis is placed inside a container which is then sprayed with butane. The butane strips the cannabinoids which are collected in the container with the butane. The butane is then evaporated or baked off. This process is considered hazardous due to its high flammability, however with the use of a closed-loop system this is greatly reduced.
Supercritical CO2 Oil Extraction – CO2 extraction is an environmentally friendly, non-toxic extraction method. This method leaves no chemical traces behind and is commonly used in the tea, coffee, and beer industries. Supercritical CO2 is passed through cannabis flower in a condenser. The liquid is cycled through a separator to remove excess CO2 from the terpenes and trichomes. Specific equipment is required, but the excess CO2 is recyclable and can be used in future extractions.
Ethanol – Ethanol extraction is becoming more popular and common in the cannabis industry. Ethanol is considered “generally safe” by the FDA and is used as a preservative in small amounts. Cannabis flower is soaked in ethanol to separate the cannabinoids. The cannabis is then put through a refining process to enhance purity. Ethanol removes unnecessary compounds, leaving one of the purest forms of concentrates on the market.
Water – This is a solvent-less method of extraction for consumers who want to be completely chem-free. Cannabis is submerged in ice-cold water and stirred, which removes the trichomes from the plant. The trichome-containing water is then passed through various screens, yielding a product with 50% – 70% THC.
The Benefits of Cannabis Extraction
Processing your cannabis has a multitude of benefits. Cannabis flower is commonly seen as natural, where concentrates are looked at as having more chemicals. In reality, using concentrates is a much safer way to consume cannabis. In a chemical sense, concentrates are much cleaner, as concentrates are free of plant matter, thus being free of carcinogens which are a byproduct of smoking plant material. The effect from cannabis concentrates comes on stronger and faster than flower. Other than being a safer option, cannabis concentrates offer many advantages over flower. Concentrates can be added to butter for a smokeless experience and be a preferred choice for individuals seeking intense psychoactive affects.
Why You Should Process Your Cannabis
There are many reasons why you should consider processing your cannabis into concentrates. Consumers are looking for more convenient ways to enjoy cannabis and reap the benefits. From being able to consume less for a desired effect, to providing various consumption options and textures that vary in flavor as well as THC percentage, processing your cannabis has never been a better choice. The popularity of concentrates is rising and continues to grow as more research develops.