As an increasing number of medical professionals engage with and endorse the therapeutic properties of cannabis, use of a cannabinoid infused vapor has become increasingly popular. The primary benefit is that such a vapor provides a much smoother experience compared to the harshness of inhaling smoke. For the chronically ill seeking relief from pain and other symptoms, this method is certainly a much better experience.
The truth is that Cannabis oil extraction techniques have been around for many generations, and have been used for the purposes of both pain relief and recreation...
In fact, Hash is one of the oldest results of fairly rudimentary extraction techniques, and dates back centuries. Given the new popularity of Cannabis oil in both recreational and medical areas, cannabis extraction equipment is attracting a lot of interest from buyers who specialize in Cannabinoid infused substances for both recreational and medical markets.
The primary benefit of extracting the Cannabinoids is that it creates a pure concentrate that is of excellent quality and can be more easily infused into other products.
Though there are a myriad of extraction methods, both archaic and modern, the purity and quality of the resulting concentrate varies. Following are some of the more well-known methods of extraction:
- Hash: With a very long history of human use, this concentrate is typically created through ice water extraction whereby the heads that contain the Cannabis oils are isolated from the non-essential material of the rest of the plant. It is a rudimentary process that is relatively simple to perform, but produces a lower quality concentrate.
- Kief: One of the simplest concentrates to produce, Kief is basically the trichome heads of the plant that have been filtered through specialized screens to get rid of the non-essential plant material. In a more advanced method of this type of filtering called Dry Sieve, more screens are used to leave only the THC containing trichome heads of the plant.
- BHO: Butane Hash Oil is certainly a much purer form of Hash and contains a higher concentrate of THC, but it may contain traces of Butane and other toxic chemicals in some cases.
- Supercritical CO2: Co2 cannabis extraction is a very modern method of producing a pure concentrate that is of superior quality to most others. One of the biggest benefits of using Co2 is that when under pressure it turns into a fluid that aids in the extraction of the essential Cannabis oils without leaving a residue or toxic byproducts.
The Supercritical Co2 Extraction Method
Due to the relative safety of the supercritical Co2 extraction method, high quality commercial grade Co2 extractors are in great demand within both the recreational and medical industries. The fact that Co2 extraction is already in use in the food and beveridge industry and also in the cleaning industry means that it is already a proven method of extracting substances without leaving toxic residues and other byproducts.
In the context of Cannabis oil extraction, the supercritical Co2 method is ideal because it does not result in significant damage to the delicate compounds within the THC containing areas of the plant. This means that a much purer and higher quality concentrate is produced that is well-regarded in the relevant industries and fetches higher prices.
Investing In Extraction Equipment The Smart Way
Given the relative popularity of supercritical Co2 extraction today, there are a number of manufacturers who sell vessels and other equipment for this purpose.
Obviously, any grower looking to invest in Cannabis extraction machine and equipment will want to make a fairly quick return on investment, especially since they have already invested a large amount in good quality growing equipment for Cannabis already.
From a buyer’s perspective, it is important to make an investment in Co2 extraction equipment with the following factors in mind:
- Production capacity: The size of the vessel you choose for the pressurization of the Co2 will determine how much Cannabis oil concentrate you can produce in a single day. To know what size vessel you need for your business, you need to know not only the current demand from your buyers, but also future demand. You will not want to overextend on a large vessel unless you know that you will have the buyer demand to offset your equipment costs
- Future demand: Supercritical Co2 extraction is not only low in toxicity, but is also fairly rapid. Since the Co2 fluid dissolves very quickly, leaving a high quality residue, as a grower you will be able to produce at a greater rate. Balancing this against fact against the cost of your investment is a critical element in ensuring the future success of your business.
- Ongoing costs: As any smart business person will tell you, understanding your overheads is essential to understanding your profit margins. Since Co2 is readily available, it is also low in cost. This means that apart from the initial investment in the extraction equipment, ongoing costs will be relatively inexpensive by comparison to other extraction methods.
- Safety: High grade Co2 extraction equipment is expensive compared to equipment optimized for light hydro-carbon extraction. As much as this might at first seem like a huge disadvantage, it must be remembered that hydro-carbons are flammable. As a grower, this means that if you do decide to invest in light hydro-carbon extraction equipment, you may need to also pay thousands of dollars to have your facility modified to comply with fire and safety codes. Due to the fact that Co2 extraction is widely regarded as safe relative to other methods, any official health and safety inspection of your facility is more likely to meet with a tick of approval.
Considering Your Options
Clearly, there are many extraction options to consider when looking to grow your business. Some growers favor light hydro-carbon methods, while others prefer supercritical Co2. Safety, production capacity, and ongoing costs are all extremely important considerations when looking into extraction equipment, but the needs of your customers will also factor large in your decision making.
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