If a perfect extraction method were to exist, it would ensure that the entire plant profile was preserved. It would be environmentally sustainable as well as safe for both the manufacturer and the eventual consumer to implement. In order to meet the expectations of a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, it would need to be scalable above all other considerations.
So far, extract technology has failed to meet all of the criteria — but that doesn’t imply that fresh advances aren’t taking place all of the time. Take a look at three of the most innovative extraction methods you may not have heard of before.
EXTRACTION FROM SPAGYRIC CANNABIS
It takes a combination of old alchemy and wild speculation to create spagyric cannabis extraction. In its supporters’ view, it is an extraction method that captures the entire essence of the original plant. This historical extraction procedure, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly popular among a specific group.
Originally invented during the alchemy movement of the 15th century by a Swiss-born philosopher and alchemist named Paracelsus (1493–1541), spagyric is a method that is being used today. It is believed that the word spagyric derives from the Greek words “spao” and “ageiro,” which imply to separate and combine, respectively.
In current uses, this entails soaking plant matter in alcohol for several weeks before burning the residual biomass at high temperatures to remove the alcohol. The residual ash (minerals) is re-incorporated into the alcohol extraction process.
Companies who use the spagyric extraction technique say that it results in a finished product that is more water-soluble and bioavailable than products obtained through other methods of extraction. More flamboyant claims are made about capturing the soul of the plant and transforming it into a final synergistic product.
To far, there have been no publications that have investigated these claims in relation to cannabis-specific extractions (as published through PubMed). Only six studies published in the recent decade refer to spagyric extraction in general, and the majority of these are historical reviews of the subject.
The use of spagyric extractions in the mainstream cannabis and/or CBD markets has not gained traction at the time of this writing. Many small businesses, however, sell CBD tinctures and oils that have been derived using this method. These are often small-batch productions that use phrases such as “intrinsic,” “essence,” and “handcrafted” in their branding to distinguish themselves from the competition. Only a few companies appear to make their third-party test findings available for these products.
EXTRACTION OF CANNABIS UNDER LOW PRESSURE AND TEMPERATURE
Popular hydrocarbon-based extraction procedures frequently necessitate the use of high heat and, in some cases, high pressure. Even CO2 extraction, which takes use of supercritical temperatures, necessitates the application of high pressure. Consumers are increasingly demanding extractions that are devoid of hydrocarbons and that contain a whole range of nutrients. As a result, low-pressure, low-temperature solutions are becoming more popular.
The term “ethanol-based technology” refers to ethanol-based technology that combines low-temperature extraction with filters to produce goods without the use of high pressure. Botanical extracts derived from ethanol have been used for centuries, and newer advancements are improving on this time-tested process.
Healer CBD is one such firm that is working on developing a low-pressure and low-temperature technique that will preserve the full spectrum profile of the cannabis while eliminating the potential dangers of hydrocarbon solvents.
The revolutionary nano-filtration technique removes undesired particles, such as pollutants, but a second layer of filtration removes the solvent after the first layer. There is no need for hydrocarbons, high heat, or extreme pressure to produce a full-spectrum extract as a result of this method.
Instead of being relegated to the fringes of the cannabis and CBD sectors, low-pressure and low-temperature extraction technologies are gaining acceptance in the cannabis and CBD markets.
PURE5 Extraction, for example, uses a modified non-flammable, non-toxic hydrocarbon for room temperature extractions, which is non-toxic. Precision Extraction has a number of centrifugal extractors that operate at low or room temperature, which meet this demand as well.
EXTRACTION OF CANNABIS USING VAPOR-STATIC TECHNIQUES
The use of vapor-static extraction, a patented process created by Boulder Creek Technologies, is a relatively new discovery in the extraction sector. This device, which works in a similar way to a personal vaporizer, adds heat to cannabis or hemp plant material, resulting in the production of vapor. A cooling process takes place within an electrostatic precipitator, which condenses the produced oil into a concentrate once it has been condensed.
Boulder Creek’s CEO and Founder, Rick Bonde, explains it in more detail: “The cannabinoids are condensed and collected by our lungs when we use a personal vaporizer to consume cannabis. With the Vapo-Static System, we may achieve the same result by substituting an electric charge for the gas.”
In contrast to rosin presses or other common solvent-free extraction technologies, this technology is scalable, allowing for greater production volumes. In the words of Bonde, “Vapor-Static Extraction technology is capable of handling 5,000 pounds or more of biomass every 24-hour cycle, with an extraction efficiency of up to 90 percent.”
Beyond the needs for commercial scalability, there are further advantages to going solventless. The cost of operation is reduced by as much as 80 percent when compared with the costs of ethanol and CO2. It is naturally one of the most environmentally friendly extraction methods accessible because it does not require the use of petrochemical solvents. Not to mention the fact that because vapor static extraction does not rely on high pressure or dangerous chemicals, manufacturers do not require a C1D1 or C1D2 facility to conduct their business successfully.
The world of plant extraction is becoming better and better all of the time.
A decade ago, butane extraction was the preferred method of extraction; however, this is no longer considered the industry standard. Instead, the extraction industry is in a perpetual state of change, constantly attempting to develop safer technologies with higher yields while still preserving the whole spectrum of the plant’s natural properties.