Essentials of Cannabis Extraction: Techniques for creating marijuana products

As cannabis expands into medical and various recreational products, manufacturers apply a variety of methods to extract the essential components. Cannabinoids make up the key active components, and cannabis contains about 80 of them. The most well-known cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the main psychoactive component, and CBD could be useful for a range of medicinal applications. To prepare the various products—from edibles and liquids to smokables and lotions—the crucial chemical components must first be obtained from the plants.

After being harvested, manufacturers extract cannabinoids with one of several methods. In many cases, manufacturers opt for solvent extraction or supercritical CO2 extraction. Typically, solvent extraction relies on solutions of water and alcohol, usually ethanol, as it is economical, but this solvent must later be removed. The supercritical CO2 method, which removes the active components with CO2, provides efficient extraction, but the start-up cost is...

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