Cannabis Extraction: What Method is the Best?
August 16th, 2017
Pain relief, skin protection, cancer prevention – cannabis extracts are associated with abundant health benefits, of which contribute to marijuana’s ever-growing medicinal status. The result of extraction is an oil that is rich in one of 113 natural compounds found in the cannabis plant, better known as Cannabidiol (CBD). However, cannabis-derived extracts are not always in oil form, with wax, shatter and powder being just a few examples of the various consistencies and textures that can be created from the plant.
The Legalities Associated with Cannabis Extracts
Controversial as it might be, medical cannabis has now been legalized in 29 US states. In fact, Texans may soon have the opportunity to purchase medical cannabis oil extracts, following legalization in 2015. Despite this, CBD remains widely misunderstood, with its legal status being somewhat hazy. Based on the “Establishment of a New Drug Code for Marihuana Extract”, CBD extracts are still considered Schedule I controlled substances. [I]
Cannabidiol extracted from medical marijuana plants may be harder to legally obtain, due to the fact tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is present in these plants. Oil that is expressed from the hemp plant itself is considered a dietary supplement by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) since the oil is obtained from industrial hemp plants. [II] Commercial growth is prohibited by the law. Nevertheless, hemp CBD oil can be extracted from the plant matter yourself!
Reasons to Extract Marijuana for Medical and Recreational Use
One of more than 400 ingredients contained in the marijuana plant, CBD is non-psychoactive and has even been relied on as a cure for seizures and epilepsy. [III] When extracted properly cannabis oil can provide a user with the same health benefits associated with the entire hemp plant, minus the feeling of being high.
Examples of the ways in which cannabis oil concentrates can be consumed are as follows:
- Vaporizers – Vaporizing, or “vaping” as it is more commonly known, is one of the cleanest ways to inhale cannabis oil. It is not harmful to health, nor is it intrusive for anybody who is in the company of the person who is vaping, due to the fact the heated oil creates a non-toxic mist.
- Bowls – Cannabis concentrates, like CBD oil, can be smoked out of bowls by heating a glass wand and using the wand to vaporize the concentrate.
- Dabs – An up-and-coming method of vaporizing cannabis oil, dabbing involves using a torch to heat a skillet, before using a bong or similar piece of apparatus to inhale the smoke from the heated skillet.
- Edibles – Many cannabis users prefer to infuse CBD oils into a variety of edibles, whether it is butter, desserts or even their morning eggs! When consumed in edible form, the effects tend to last much longer than when a user inhales smoke or mist.
- Tinctures – Usually taken orally, tinctures are a convenient option for people on the move. Discrete and simple to use, these liquid extracts offer a straightforward way to provide children with a dosage of medical marijuana oil.
If you don’t want to risk acquiring a product that has been created with low-quality cannabis material, consider making your own cannabis concentrates. Anyone who is not a trained professional is not advised to attempt the extraction of cannabis concentrates alone. On the other hand, it is possible to make your own cannabis extracts if you use the correct materials, follow the instructions carefully and perform the task in a well-ventilated area.
Varieties of Cannabis Extraction
Rather than spending your hard-earned money buying cannabis concentrates at a medical marijuana dispensary, why not make what you want, where you want, when you want? Selecting the right strains is critical to ensuring your medical or recreational requirements are met. In addition to this, you must determine which method is most fitting for you personally.
Let’s take a look at the main types of cannabis oil extraction and what is involved in each process:
- Dry Sieve (Dry Sift) – This non-solvent type of hash is very easy to make from cannabis. The plant’s trichome heads are extracted with three separate screens to create this extract. The buds are rubbed across the screens, allowing the particles to collect beneath the screens. Plant matter quality impacts the purity of the finished result.
- Hash – Perhaps one of the most well-known of all cannabis extracts is hash. Generally, the trichome heads will be isolated from the plant and stalks through the process of ice water extraction.
- Kief – A basic concentrate made of trichomes, kief might not be the best quality cannabis concentrate, but you can expect the THC to be anywhere around 20-60%.
- CO2 Oil – Carbon dioxide (CO2) supercritical fluid extraction is a low toxicity process that involves using a high-pressure vessel to transform the CO2 into liquid form as a result of intense pressurization. Upon releasing the pressure, the supercritical CO2 is dispersed into the cannabinoids.
- Butane Hash Oil (BHO) – You may have heard about comb, honey toast, honeycomb, hash oil, wax or glass concentrates. These are different names for butane hash oil (BHO), which contains 80-90% THC and has a glass-like consistency.
- Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) – Hailed for its miraculous healing potential, “nature’s cure for cancer” also goes by the name of Phoenix Tears. Dissimilar to hemp seed oil, this whole-plant cannabis oil is extracted from different strains. The levels of THC and CBD differ, depending on the quality of the marijuana flowers and buds. Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is usually applied directly to the skin or taken orally.
- Rosin – The concentrate has a shatter-like consistency and is a much safer alternative to using solvents for cannabis extraction. Both heat and pressure are used to mechanically extract the plant resin.
Why You Should Choose Live Resin Cannabis CO2 Extracts
As an emerging trend for cannabis connoisseurs, CO2 extraction is without a doubt the safest and most appealing method of making your own cannabis concentrates. Not only can supercritical CO2 be relied on for making cannabis oil but also, tea, fruit and nut extracts, perfumes, omega-3 oils, and tobacco extractions. [IV] Recyclable, cost-effective and not harmful to the environment, CO2-extracted oils can be produced efficiently in large quantities.
Deemed safe by the FDA, the CO2 extraction process sees the supercritical CO2 passing through high-grade bud, after using a compressor and heater to raise the liquid CO2 pressure. Only the most vital terpene oils and trichomes are drawn from the plant material with CO2. You can guarantee that the final product will be fragrant and full of flavor, not to mention incredibly pure.
You might want to try the “live resin” method for making a much more potent cannabis oil. By freezing the plant and performing extraction immediately after, the cannabis plant material will retain its quality. This method produces an oil so intense that it is akin to eating fresh fruit, as opposed to dry fruit. By curing the plant matter prior to extracting it, the marijuana’s floral scent gives the extract a pungent taste. [V]
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