When it comes to cannabis and hemp oil extraction it really boils down to the end-product that your business is creating. So, how can your company not only create a better end-product to drive revenues, but also improve your internal processes?
What is Distillation?
The answer is simple. Investing in better pieces of equipment that help you to both improve the way your business operates and allows you to create a higher-purity product with no extra effort needed.
What is simple distillation?
Terpenes (and terpenoids) are aromatic organic hydrocarbons found in many plants and even some insects. These organic compounds can cause odour, bad taste and discolour in your cannabis and hemp extraction that will all affect the purity of your finished product.
If you’re doing multiple passes, typically the solvent is removed from the mixture to start, then the individual chemicals are isolated. If you’re doing a full spectrum distillation, then you might choose a temperature that evaporates multiple compounds at once. Just ensure that the temperature doesn’t get too high, as heating up too much can destroy the potency and effectiveness of a cannabinoid.
You start with a cannabis extract that has already been created from the original plant matter. This slightly refined material has most of the cannabinoids, terpenes, lipids, waxes, and plant cells that come from the cannabis plant. However, it’s in a form that’s a lot easier to distill compared to putting plants in the distillation machine.
Wiped film distillation systems are the high-end, large-scale machines that are highly specialized and require a lot of space in your building. In most cases, you won’t need to move into these machines until you have a much higher need for specialized distillation technology. The short path distillation kits can handle many types of commercial usage.
Full spectrum distillation is sometimes referred to as whole leaf, as it incorporates many of the chemicals in the original plant matter. Some consumers enjoy this experience because it’s similar to the taste and smell they would get from non-solvent extraction methods, such as using grinders or sieves. Other people want the combination of cannabinoids to produce the desired effect.
The Fractional Distillation Process
You might assume that you need substantial startup costs to get the equipment necessary to do fractional distillation in-house. However, there is a type of distillation kit that is accessible for smaller operations and enthusiasts, which is an excellent way to get started in this part of the cannabis industry.
As the extract begins to vaporize, the vapor gets pulled into a different area of the machine. The condenser is kept cold, so that the vapor turns back into a liquid form as it passes into this part of the equipment. The liquid is collected into a vessel with the separated chemicals. It may need to go through multiple passes before impurities and other undesirable components are removed from it.
Fractional distillation is an excellent method for separating CBD from THC and other psychoactive components of the cannabis plant. CBD products are found around the country, even in places that don’t have legal marijuana. The reasoning for this is that CBD often gets distilled from the hemp plant, rather than the marijuana plant, and it contains less than the legal threshold for THC.
The cannabis plant has many useful chemicals and compounds in it that have various effects for medicinal and recreational consumers. Not all of these components are desired in a company’s product line, so an extraction method is used to isolate the ingredients that are the most valuable for that use case. There are many extraction and distillation methods available to create oils, crystals, and other forms of cannabis concentrates.
Being aware of potential sources of contamination is another area that you have to pay close attention to. If the machine isn’t cleaned properly between uses, or there are impurities in the collection vessels, then you could end up with a distillate that doesn’t work the way that you want it to. Depending on the chemicals that are involved in the contamination, it could even be something that creates a toxic mixture.