Terpenes are aromatic oils found in plants, including the cannabis plant. They have an distinctive smell and are responsible for the aroma and taste which is associated with cannabis. Different strains of plants are associated with different aromas, there are many terpenes. Cannabinoids, commonly known as CBD are compounds also found in the Cannabis plant. Both terpenes and cannabinoids react with receptors in our brains to produce a variety of effects and both have been shown to have medical applications.
In order that we are able to use the terpenes and cannabinoids, they have to be extracted from the plant using certain equipment, such as coils and heads over at MFS, and there are several ways that this can be achieved. Three of the common extraction methods are detailed below. All have their advantages and their disadvantages and when it comes to extraction, purity, taste, time, cost and so on have to be factored in and a balance achieved.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction
This is a common extraction method and is popular due to the fact that it does not use solvents and after extraction, there is no residue from the process. Some other methods of extraction can leave behind some residue. Carbon Dioxide is known as a ‘supercritical’ fluid, meaning that when it is put under pressure it changes from its gaseous form into a liquid form although it continues to possess the qualities of a gas. It is this feature which makes it suitable to be used in the extraction of terpenes and cannabinoids. The Carbon Dioxide is put under pressure, passed into a tube containing the plant material and when it is returned to its normal gaseous state, it leaves behind the desired compounds from the plant.
In this type of extraction, alcohol is used as the extracting medium. Ethanol is commonly used for the process. There are different ways that this process can be carried out using ethanol in different temperature states. The process is normally carried out using extraction equipment and after use, the ethanol is evaporated leaving the desired material behind. Try credible sites like Organic CBD Nugs for CBD products.
Butane and Propane Extraction
Propane is often favoured over butane for terpene extraction as it is considered more efficient, whereas butane is used to extract more of the cannabinoids, it being seen to be more efficient for that process. Using a pressurised extraction system, the butane or propane is used as a solvent to extract and produce a hash oil. As propane and butane are flammable, care must be taken when using this extraction process.
Different manufactures will use different extraction processes to create their product and for users who have a preference, it is always a good idea to find out which process has been used. As we have mentioned, cost is a factor, some extraction methods take longer and are more costly than others. Safety is a consideration as is the purity of the product, so one product may be more expensive than another similar product and that could very well be to do with the extraction process that has been used.