Houdini Lab

Microwave-Assisted Processing of Cannabis and Hemp

The majority of industry experts are aware that producing extractions that are both consistent and of a high quality is essential if a company want to win the trust of consumers and adhere to the ever-stricter rules. As soon as Dr. Steven Splinter and the rest of the team at Radient Technologies (TSX Venture: RTI; OTCQX: RDDTF) learned that the Canadian government would start shifting the rules on cannabis, they saw an opportunity to bring MAPTM to the cannabis industry. This opportunity allowed them to capitalize on the growing demand for MAPTM.



“…one of the most important motivating factors for them (the government) was to ensure the safety of cannabis products… Additionally, there would be a requirement for cannabinoids to be extracted with a very high level of efficiency. Dr. Splinter offered some commentary.


Furthermore, in light of the modifications that the federal government of Canada made to the regulations governing cannabis, Radient entered into a strategic partnership with Aurora Cannabis Inc. in the latter half of 2016. One of their endeavors consisted of evaluating the effectiveness of their extraction procedures, and a news release issued in the latter half of 2017 describes the favorable outcomes of their collaborative effort. Radient’s patented technology started making a strong push into the cannabis sector at around the time that it was determined that the MAPTM technology was effective.


In the cannabis market, there is an undeniable need for high-quality cannabis extractions, and MAPTM is being applied to the sector in order to meet this need on a big scale and in a commercial setting.


MODERN, HIGH-TECH FACILITIES Designed to Satisfy Soaring Demand

The Radient corporation has its headquarters in Edmonton, Alberta, and is expanding to a worldwide scale with the construction of two large-scale facilities; the first is now under construction in Edmonton, while the second is scheduled to begin construction in Southern Germany in the year 2020.


Caitlin Cheedle, Director of Communications at Radient, offered broad logistics and a roadmap for the company’s future while providing commentary on the numerous sites located in Edmonton.


At this time, only cannabis is being processed at the Edmonton I facility, which complies with GMP standards, is approved by Health Canada, and possesses a license from the NNHPD. It has the capacity to deal with 200 kg of cannabis material per day.

The Edmonton II facility is currently undergoing modifications to allow it to process industrial hemp (for extracting CBD). The company anticipates that it will be able to process 1,500 kg of industrial hemp every single day once the project is finished by the end of 2019.

When completed in 2020 as planned, Edmonton III will have the capacity to process more than 1,000 kilograms (kg) of medicinal cannabis and more than 10,000 milligrams (mg) of industrial hemp each day.

The development of the Germany location is similarly anticipated to be finished by the year 2020, and it is anticipated that it will be able to treat the same quantity of bio-mass as the Edmonton III facility.


First, let’s go into Microwave Assisted Processing and the reasons why it’s such a crucial standard for the industry. According to Dr. Splinter, the patented MAP TM technique utilizes microwaves to improve the extraction of chemicals from natural biomass. This is accomplished by heating the biomass with the microwaves. This indicates that the technology utilizes the energy of microwaves to heat the moisture that is present in natural materials. In this instance, the natural materials that will be utilized are industrial hemp or cannabis biomass.


How exactly do microwaves work, and how are they different from other methods of substance removal?


The microwaves function by supplying immediate heat and allowing a precise element of control to be added to the whole process. This is a characteristic that is exclusive to extraction processes that are supported by microwaves. Dr. Splinter explains, “There are a couple of ways to describe it, but the main way to think about it is that microwaves do not heat by the normal processes of conduction, convection, etc. from hot surfaces. Instead, they heat instantly due to the interactions of the wave with the material that is being treated.” Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic radiation that can be used to treat a variety of materials.


He went on to say, “Because of this, microwaves actually heat in a selective manner. This means that different types of materials absorb and release the energy from the microwaves in different ways.” You can create some pressure, and you are not waiting for the normal slow extraction driving forces of diffusion to get your components out into the solvent, which is one simple way to understand why microwaves are good for extracting from plant material. In general, the majority of the energy is deposited within the residual water. So, this is one simple way to understand why microwaves are good for extracting from plant material.


When it comes to extraction techniques, the go-to procedures are typically those that include the use of solvents and are predicated on diffusion. Diffusion is a process that is dependent on concentration gradients. The MAPTM method, on the other hand, utilizes a pressure-driven process that provides fast and concentrated heating of the cannabis material. Because of this, it is possible to apply it on a more extensive scale while still preserving the complete profile of the biomass.


Dr. Splinter made the following statement: “What differentiates us from everybody else…is our ability to accomplish it at scale.” Over the years, we have improved the technology and are now able to execute these benefits at scales that are important to the commercial sector.


How does Microwave-Assisted Extraction fare better than Extractions Carried Out Using Solvents?


MAPTM provides a number of benefits, including a shorter amount of time required for processing and increased yields. In addition to this, the product that was developed has a better level of purity. The MAPTM process requires less energy and a smaller volume of solvents. Because the patented method developed by Radient can only make use of ethanol and water as solvents, it completely does away with the need for potentially dangerous hazardous compounds. When compared to a number of traditional methods of extraction, the processing done with the assistance of a microwave saves time and cuts down on the overall costs of processing.


However, one of the most significant advantages is that this method of extraction may be utilized on a much larger scale. This is one of the many benefits. Conventional procedures, such as those involving ethanol and CO2 extraction, do offer some measure of control in some situations. On the other hand, it can be challenging to keep the same level of control when applying such extraction procedures on a bigger scale for commercial purposes.


In order to identify and isolate the important components present in the biomass, microwave energy is utilized. Because microwaves are focused into the biomass, this causes the biomass to experience direct volumetric heating. Instantaneous and concentrated heat are the two primary benefits that are propelling MAPTM toward success on a worldwide scale. Because of how quickly the continuous flow extraction works, the total time required for the process is now measured in minutes rather than in hours.



Dr. Splinter acknowledges that in the not-too-distant future, there will most certainly be a trend toward stricter controls and higher quality products. The cannabis industry is currently undergoing a constant stage of evolution; as researchers discover how various components of the cannabis plant can be exploited for a variety of health advantages, technologies are stepping up to match the pace of this discovery. And in a world in which profit is king, but reliable quality rules the monarch, the MAPTM technology provides a solution for fulfilling the ever-increasing demand of industry without compromising the purity of the product. This is important in a culture in which profit is king.