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Knowing The Different Concentrates And Extraction Methods Of CBD

Unless you're utilizing a CBD-dominant flower, the product you're using most likely contains a concentrate or extract, making it critical to understand the various concentrates and extraction methods of CBD.

Other medicinal elements such as terpenes and flavonoids can be extracted alongside cannabis depending on the extraction procedure. The extraction can be processed further to eliminate plant components, chlorophyll, waxes, and other unwanted compounds, or stripped of all other compounds to yield a pure CBD isolate.

Extraction is a two-edged sword in that the longer and more aggressive the procedure, the more likely it is that both beneficial and undesirable molecules will end up in the extract. Companies are inventing new and novel extraction procedures as product markets grow, resulting in cleaner and more reliable products.

Mechanical and chemical extraction procedures are the two basic types of extraction. There are numerous extraction procedures, some of which are so simple that they can be done at home, and others which require very expensive specialized equipment as well as skilled experts to oversee the operation. Each approach has benefits and drawbacks, and understanding your extraction options will help you make the best decision for your specific needs and desires.

Let's have a look at some of the most popular extraction methods.

Mechanical Extraction

Mechanical extraction is physically separating the sticky trichomes from the plant and collecting them in order to generate concentrated products like kief, hash, and rosin. Because mechanical extraction does not employ solvents, these concentrations are commonly referred to as "solventless" or "solvent-free." Mechanically extracted concentrates can be made in a number of ways, including sieves, water, heat, and pressure.

Kief CBD concentrate with a small spatula sitting on it
Kief CBD concentrate with a small spatula sitting on it


Kief is the simplest and most straightforward concentration to make. Sifting the resinous trichomes through a fine screen that leaves plant debris results in kief, which is essentially a collection of resin-filled trichomes. Indeed, a three-chamber grinder for home usage may collect kief every time you ground flower, which can then be collected and utilized separately. You may also buy larger screens to rub the bloom against to get rid of the kief. Kief is a white powdery material that can be added to smoked flower or used to make edibles.

Dry Sieve (Dry Sift)

Dry sieve, also known as dry sift, is a more refined variant of kief. It uses even finer filtration screens and removes the trichome stems, leaving just the roundheads, which contain the most pure and concentrated form of the cannabinoid-rich resin. It has a lighter hue and a fine powdered consistency, and it can be utilized in the same manner as kief. It is frequently pressed into hash.

CBD-dominant cannabis and hemp strains can be used to make both kief and dry sift products professionally.

A large and small rectangular brown bar of the hashish CBD concentrate
A large and small rectangular brown bar of the hashish CBD concentrate

Hash (Hashish)

Hash, often known as hashish, is a cannabis concentrate that has been made and used for hundreds of years. The Arabic term "hashish" also means "grass." Hash is often manufactured by pressing the mechanically separated trichomes in kief and dry sifting, though procedures vary. The trichomes rupture under pressure, causing the oily resin inside to bind together and form a thick, crumbly, paste-like substance that is commonly smoked.

A hash can be created using a variety of methods. Ice water extraction is one of the most prevalent methods for producing high-quality non-solvent hash, and the most typical end result is known as "water hash" or "bubble hash." It's prepared by soaking plant trimmings or flower buds in ice water and gently stirring the mixture with your hands or a machine. The trichomes, which grow brittle in the freezing waters, are forced to fall off as a result. They're then passed through a fine screen that filters out most plant materials such ground fan leaves, sugar leaves, and pistils, similar to the screens used to manufacture kief and dry sift.


Rosin is a concentrate that has gained popularity in recent years as an all-natural, solvent-free option that keeps the trichomes' terpenes and other therapeutic ingredients. Heat and pressure are applied to plant material or kief to create it. The resin is released from the trichomes and generates a clear amber concentration when heat and pressure are applied.

Chemical (Solvent) Extraction

Chemical or solvent-based extractions have gone a long way since the first cannabis alcohol tinctures that graced pharmacy shelves until prohibition in the early 20th century.

Today, a variety of solvents are mixed with plant material to remove cannabinoids and other phytochemicals from the plant matter in these sophisticated "chemical extractions." Other chemicals such as terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, and wax can be extracted from the plant in various degrees depending on how thorough the solvent is. There is no one-size-fits-all solvent for cannabis extraction, thus producers will balance cost, safety, and desired end results when deciding on a process.

Once the extraction is complete, the solvents are purged from the resinous oil, much like any other extraction process. In the realm of concentrates, purging is a broad term that might refer to evaporation, vacuuming, or hand-whipping. Each purge procedure has its own set of modifications and creates final products of varying consistency. While there are a variety of solvent purging methods available, vacuuming is by far the most prevalent. From pure concentrates to shatter to infusions, CBD oil-based tinctures to edibles, the completed concentrate can be utilized to make a number of goods. They can also be processed further to remove undesired plant components such as chlorophyll and wax, as well as distillates and isolates.

Simple Alcohol And Glycerin Extracts

This approach stretches back hundreds of years: until the early twentieth century, alcohol-based cannabis tinctures were frequently utilized in North America. Because cannabinoids are alcohol soluble, alcohol is an excellent extraction technique. You can manufacture an alcohol-based tincture at home using a high-proof grain alcohol and decarboxylated crushed cannabis flower, but in professional manufacturing, the alcohol is often evaporated to leave the concentrated cannabis oil behind. Although alcohol is a safe and simple extraction procedure, it is not suitable for all people. In addition, using alcohol tinctures sublingually on a daily basis might irritate the sensitive tissue under the tongue, causing ulcers.

Glycerin has become a popular alcohol-free tincture replacement. Glycerin is a sweet, syrupy liquid obtained from plants that is chemically similar to alcohol, allowing it to be used to extract cannabinoids. Make sure the glycerin you're using is safe to eat and comes from an organic source.

A covered transparent brown jar having a white label with the word ethanol written on it
A covered transparent brown jar having a white label with the word ethanol written on it


Ethanol extraction, as the name implies, involves alcohol, however you'll hear about it most typically in the context of commercially generated extracts. The key difference between this and the simple alcohol extraction process mentioned on the preceding page is that professional companies will frequently use specialist equipment to purge the ethanol from the oil extraction.

Because it removes cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, chlorophyll, and tannins from the plant, ethanol is regarded as a highly "exhaustive" solvent. Chlorophyll is a difficult chemical to extract since it imparts a distinct grassy flavor and harshness to concentrates. Chlorophyll can be removed with more refining, however the refining process frequently reduces the strength of the finished product.

Supercritical CO2

Because CO2 is a pure chemical component that occurs naturally and leaves no residues, it is a favored method of extraction among many medium and large-scale producers and consumers. The culinary, dry cleaning, and herbal supplement sectors all use it. CO2 is a non-toxic gas that is frequently used in food (in carbonated beverages, for example).

In terms of product development, CO2 extraction provides the most flexibility. CO2's solubility varies depending on pressure and temperature, allowing specialists to separate distinct compounds such as terpenes and specific cannabinoids. The concentrations of these substances can then be adjusted and tailored. CO2 extraction also allows for a wide range of end products, including edible oils, topicals, and vaporizers, as well as concentrates like wax, crumble, shatter, and sap.

Butane (BHO) And Propane (PHO)

Butane is a common hydrocarbon utilized in extraction that has proven to be a popular choice among manufacturers due to its low cost. Since the 1970s, various hydrocarbons (propane, butane, hexane, etc.) have been employed for food extractions such as corn and canola oil.

Butane, like other solvents, is pumped through the plant material and used to extract cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemicals. Butane has an advantage over other solvents such as ethanol and CO2 since it is "non-polar," meaning it won't suck away unwanted water-soluble molecules such as chlorophyll and plant metabolites. Cannabinoid concentration in butane extracts is usually found to be between 60% and 90%. "Butane hash oil" or "butane honey oil" is the name given to the final extract (BHO).

Propane is becoming more prevalent, and it functions similarly to butane. Propane Hash Oil is the name given to the extract concentrate that results (PHO). Propane has the added advantage of retaining volatile chemicals such as terpenes. Wax, budder, shatter, live resin, and other concentrate end products are all comparable.

In Conclusion

In terms of which method is better, it all depends on your goals and money. CO2 extraction equipment is required if you want to start a serious CBD business. However, if you only want to extract CBD on a small scale, simple alcohol and glycerin extraction is your best bet. Concentrate extraction services that can execute the CBD extraction for you are an alternative to purchasing equipment.

About The Authors

Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah - Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.

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