Houdini Lab

A Comprehensive Guide to Solvent-Extracted Cannabis

Soluble Extracts Aside from mechanical extraction (agitation, heat and pressure), we can manufacture cannabis concentrates with a variety of chemical and organic solvents, including butane, propane, ethanol, and CO2. A vacuum oven or dessicator with a vacuum pump dissolving the trichome heads in liquid solvent separates the plant material and leaves us with a pure resin extract with minimal leftover solvent. Non-polar solvents like butane readily dissolve non-polar chemicals from plants, in this case the oils and lipids that make up the trichome heads. In contrast, polar solvents like ethanol will extract both non-polar and polar molecules, including water-soluble components like chlorophyll. Because many extraction solvents are very flammable, only the right equipment should be used to extract and purge, and extreme caution must be exercised at all times to avoid mishaps. Four BHO styles Shatter; Budder; Sugar Wax; Wax. @sergiohuertasdemaria BHO (Butane Honey Oil) is the most often used extract in the cannabis industry. Essentially, plant matter is dissolved in butane to extract resin, which is then heated under vacuum to eliminate any gas, leaving a high-purity cannabis concentrate. Unlike water-soluble chemicals like chlorophyll, butane is non-polar, making it one of the purest extractions imaginable. Cannabis oil has been made with butane for many years, but advances in extraction equipment and processes have led to superior quality products with less contamination from residual solvents. As a result, dispensary menus show a range of distinct textures such as budder, wax, shatter, batter, sap, syrup, sugar, pull & snap. These textures are influenced by genetics, terpene content, purging procedures, and post-extraction treatment. It has a higher THC content and less terpenes than other textures, giving it a stronger effect but less flavor. Live Resin Concentrates Resin This is a popular BHO concentrate made from freshly cut, flash-frozen buds that captures the essence of the living plant. The high terpene level gives it a sticky, syrupy feel. Read more about it here. HTFSE & HCFSE The creation of novel sauce-like extracts with high terpene content is a contemporary concentrate trend. A lengthy, steady, low vacuum purge at low temperatures on solvent extracts derived from high quality cannabis flowers with a high percentage of terpenes produces HTFSE (High Terpene Full Spectrum Extract) and HCFSE (High Cannabinoid Full Spectrum Extract). In this process, the oil separates, with THC-A crashing out of solution and crystallising to create diamond-like particles swimming in a sticky, honey-like golden liquid made up primarily of terpenes, but also include secondary cannabinoids and flavonoids for a fuller impact. A high concentration of THC-A makes HCFSE look like diamonds coated in sauce, whereas HTFSE looks like a runny honey with crystals and is more liquid in viscosity. HCFSE and HTFSE extracts HCFSE and HTFSE Propane Honey Oil Propane Honey Oil is created by substituting butane for propane, which extracts slightly different ratios of cannabinoids and waxes. Because it has a lower boiling point than butane, it can be purged easily without altering the terpenes, giving it that terpene-rich concentration budder/wax texture. Because propane is more expensive than butane, many professional extractors employ a mix of both gasses to maximize efficiency. Extracted wax Waxes and lipids are naturally occurring components in cannabis resin that have no medical effect and may cause respiratory difficulties like Lipid Pneumonia. As a result, many efforts have been made to produce the cleanest concentrations possible, especially for therapeutic items intended for inhalation. Winterisation, comprising a secondary solvent, usually ethanol, and subsequent cold filtering, was utilized first. While effective in removing wax, the method reduces the terpene content of the final extract, limiting its therapeutic efficacy. Dewaxing is now being done as part of the first butane extraction process, at lower temperatures so the lipids solidify and are easily filtered out. Instead of removing waxes like winterisation, this method preserves terpenes and delivers a clean and tasty BHO. QWET/QWISO Quick Wash Ethanol and Quick Wash Iso are alcohol extractions that are the easiest and safest way for home users to make solvent cannabis concentrates. Alcohol is good for beginners making concentrates due to its inexpensive cost and minimal flammability. The two alcohols available are ethanol, which is obtained by fermenting yeast and carbohydrates, and isopropyl alcohol, which is obtained by mixing propene and water. For this reason and your health, we recommend only using ethanol to make or consume alcohol extracts. The quality of an ethanol extraction depends on the starting material and the contact period of the cannabis with the solvent. Short washes (less a minute) generate a shatter-textured cannabis rich extract suited for dabbing or smoking once cold-filtered (winterised) and purged. However, soaking the cannabis in alcohol for a long time extracts additional compounds like waxes, chlorophyll, etc., making the resulting oil dark and viscous, similar to Rick Simpson Oil, which is great for oral and topical use by therapeutic patients but unsuitable for dabbing or smoking recreationally. QWET extraction product QWET extraction product MZ12X/Dexso/DME DME has lately gained popularity as a safer alternative to butane for cannabis extraction. Its manufacturers believe it is safer because to its high purity, low toxicity, reduced flammability (though it is still very combustible), and low melting point (leading to suggestions it can be purged without vacuum – not recommended.). DME also extracts a considerably wider range of compounds than butane, resulting in extracts with more cannabinoid and terpene concentration, but a darker color due to undesired components like chlorophyll being extracted alongside the cannabinoids. While DHO has gained popularity for DIY home extractions, it has yet to find a place in professional extractors’ toolkits, and is not widely available at dispensaries. CO2 – Carbon Dioxide extraction is the cleanest, most residual-free of all solvent extracts, and is substantially safer than BHO. The downside of CO2 oil is that many terpenes are lost during extraction, resulting in bland, homogeneous extracts regardless of the strains handled. As a result, much of the CO2 oil generated is employed in culinary goods, most typically in tincture-type oils, where flavor is less important. Most CO2 oil, however, is terpene-enriched and placed into vape pen cartridges, making it the most widely used cannabis concentrates consumption technique today. Concents sans solvants Isolates and Distillates Many feel this is the future of cannabis, with few new adopters smoking blunts or dabbing globs of “errrl”. Vape pens are attractive to those who prefer to inhale cannabis, but the great majority choose edibles, medibles, and goods that can be dosed conveniently. Cannabis distillates and isolates are becoming more widespread in the USA’s legal marketplaces. Short Path Distillation is used in laboratories to purify and separate cannabis extracts, either solvent or solventless, cleaning them of residual solvents, pesticides, waxes, and lipids to make a high purity extract and one of the most expensive products on the market. Distillate-filled vape pen cartridge Most cannabis distillate goes into vape pens. Distillates These are sticky, flowing liquids with large quantities of fully activated cannabinoids but no terpenes. They come in a variety of colors and can be smoked, dabbed, eaten, or used in recipes. In most cases, distillate is re-terpened and utilized to fill vape pen cartridges. Distillates are viewed as a valuable product when acquired from high grade extracts, allowing patients to precisely dosage cannabinoids and assure successful therapy. But distillation is a popular and successful means for farmers to recoup some of the lost revenue from poorly purified extracts from poorly grown crops that would otherwise fail screening for residual solvents, illegal pesticides, and other contaminants. Because the quality of the final product is dependent on the quality of the raw material, more and more processors are choosing to employ only the best organic extracts in their medicinal distillates. Isolates Cannabinoids are decarboxylated cannabinoids that are purified from terpenes, waxes, and lipids. The distillate is then treated with a secondary solvent and a chemical procedure to obtain 99.9% pure CBD crystals. However, a basic THC-A crystal can be made from raw BHO with a high terpene content by slowly evaporating the terpenes at low temperatures and waiting for the crystals to “crash out” of solution. Several extractors have started making non-solvent THC-A by re-pressing high quality rosin wax/budder at low temperatures and pressures to melt away the majority of terpenes, producing a pale colored crystal/wax type product with no flavour but a highly strong effect. But yields are low with this last step.