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Main Ways To Extract THC From Marijuana

3 min read

Cannabis extracts are an amazingly versatile way to consume cannabis in general. By extracting the THC from the cannabis plant, consumers can use those extracts in edibles, vape oils, as dabs, or in tinctures and more.

By creating a pure THC extract, consumers are able to more accurately control their dosage, and get a stronger experience in general.

The exact methods used for extracting THC from marijuana plants can vary wildly and will yield slightly different results. Here are the four most popular ways of extracting THC from marijuana in consumer products. PS. Take a look at our hemp seeds for sale page for specific information on quality seeds.

Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol extraction, otherwise called alcohol extraction, is perhaps the most popular method of extraction. This is primarily because it is the most cost effective and can be done very quickly. This makes it great for manufacturers as it can yield high volumes quickly.

Ethanol extraction involves running ethanol alcohol through the plant material in order to extract the cannabinoids by stripping the cannabinoids and terpenes away from the plant itself. The alcohol is then dissolved through a vacuum evaporating process, leaving only the terpenes and cannabinoid extracts.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

Supercritical CO2 extraction is a popular method of extraction that is on the rise in mass production manufacturing. This is primarily because it can yield incredibly high amounts of extract and is also able to more accurately target certain compounds and cannabinoids during the process.

The process is done by bringing the CO2 to a supercritical temperature, in which it is both a liquid and a gas. During this process, the supercritical compound will be passed through the cannabis plant material and used to strip away the desired cannabinoids and compounds for the extract. This method produces an incredibly 'clean' extract but has a significantly higher production cost.

Butane/Propane Extraction

Butane or propane extraction is another solvent method of extraction that is relatively popular in the cannabis industry. This process uses a heated and pressurized chamber with the solvent and cannabis plant matter within it.

This method of extraction yields what is known as butane/propane hash oil (or shatter). This method of extraction is similar in concept to ethanol extraction but can be a bit more volatile if not performed correctly. This method is usually used to create the very specific product of extract that it yields and is considered a 'niche' extraction method.

Non-Solvent Extraction

There are more 'natural' ways of creating cannabis extracts that do not require the use of solvents or expensive equipment as well. In fact, hash and kief are both considered cannabis extracts in their own right.

This is because hash and kief are made by separating and isolating the trichomes of the cannabis plan and using them as a more potent and direct method of consuming THC. Kief can be made by simply running your bud through a grinder and using the tiny little particulates that collect in the chamber.

Hash can be made by freezing or cooling the bud and breaking it down to isolate the trichomes. These methods are easy to do at home and are considered 'solvent-free extraction methods'.

Understanding the exact method used to create an extract can help you to understand how the final product will taste and feel when used. Solvent extractions can contain trace amounts of residue from the solvent used to create them and can often have a distinct flavor profile. Supercritical CO2 extraction will typically come at a higher price tag.

Ultimately, your preferred extraction method will come down to personal preference; although they are very unique in their own ways.

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