What are Cannabis Oil Extraction Solvents ?

Cannabis components

The main Cannabis components are THC (Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol).

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC) is the first-string psychoactive ingredient, other notable compounds with biologic activity are tetrahydrocannabivarin, cannabidiol(CBD), cannabichromene, cannabinol, cannabigerol, and delta-8-THC.

What is Cannabis oil?

Cannabis oil is a gluey, thick, resinous essence made of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, which is extracted from the cannabis plant (indica or sativa). This oil is a cannabis based product obtained by separating the resins from cannabis flowers using a solvent extraction process such as:

Cannabis Oil Extraction Solvents

Butane Hash Oil (BHO):

cannabis-oil-extraction-solvents-bhoButane Hash Oil, usually referred to as BHO, is a type of cannabis concentrate made using butane as the main solvent. BHO extract is made by blasting marijuana with butane, a solvent that takes all the THC with it and nothing else. Evaporating the butane leaves only the resin, a amber-colored, waxy substance.Butane Hash Oil comes in different textures described as crumble, Budder, sap and honeycomb.

By using this form of extraction the THC content will be as high as 80-90%.The oil should always be lab tested for purity because it may contain traces of pesticides, butane or other unhealthy contaminants.

Photo Credits: Skunk Pharm Research

Carbon dioxide (CO2):

cannabis-oil-extraction-solvents-co2Carbon dioxide is a odorless and colorless gas. CO2 from a fluid form converts into a liquid form when is pressurized. CO2 is a pure substance that occurs naturally and leaves no residues behind. This extraction method ensures cannabis concentrates are pure. This being perfect for the cannabis oil. CO2 extraction devices basically freeze and compress CO2 gas into a cold liquid form. The system then passes this cold carbon liquified gas through high grade cannabis, pulling out all of the essential trichome and terpene oils and waxes out of the plant material into accumulation receptacles. Tapering the pressure on the CO2 after the extraction is complete permits the liquid CO2 to turn back into a gas and evaporate into the atmosphere.

This extraction process is the purest one, that is why the cost of this process is higher. The final product is less vicious than BHO and it can have high level of THC or none at all.

Ethanol:

cannabis-oil-extraction-solvents-ethanolAn analytical study made on these extraction solvents has shown a good performance and a efficient extraction of the terpenes and cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Although pure ethanol will also extract big amounts of chlorophyll from the cannabis material, the final extract will have a distinct green color and sometimes an unpleasant taste. Trying to remove the chlorophyll by filtering the ethanol was effective but is not recommended because a big proportion of the cannabinoids and terpenes were removed too. And a problem might be that the consumption-grade ethanol is a expensive product

Naphtha and Petroleum-ether:

cannabis-oil-extraction-solvents-naphtha

These two are similar products but not the same, Naphtha is the equivalent to kerosene or diesel fuel in some countries, both solvents are considered very harmful and dangerous, their components might be neurotoxic, these products are considered cancer hazards by their manufacturers.

We are against using this solvents as a form of cannabis oil extraction, we do not recommend it!

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