Your Complete Guide to Cannabis Oil Extraction Equipment
As of this year, 33 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Though the remaining 17 states continue to be more stringent with their views on cannabis, all of them have passed legislation allowing people to use CBD, the compound in marijuana and hemp that offers health benefits without the psychoactive effects. In most cases, legal CBD comes in oils and products that contain extracts.
Reports show CBD sales across the United States surpassed $813 million last year. In light of the latest laws revolving around both recreational marijuana and medical cannabidiol, analysts expect sales to surge to more than $1.8 billion over the next two years alone. As the public’s awareness of CBD continues to grow, so will its interest in cannabis oil extraction equipment.
Different Ways of Consuming Cannabis
It seems the majority of cannabis users prefer smoking over other consumption options. This is one of the easier methods because it simply involves rolling dried buds and lighting up. From there, inhaling the smoke provides all the health and recreational benefits the strain of choice has to offer. It doesn’t take a life-long stoner to realize the difference between some smoke from a blue dream joint and a hit from a bong packed with some og kush. Taste buds don’t lie, and everyone has their own favorite among the classic weed seeds for sale at i49.net.
Smoking produces effects more quickly than other consumption methods. Some feel the impact in as little as three minutes. That said, unprocessed inhaled cannabis offers less bioavailability, or the amounts of compounds absorbed and used by the body, than other alternatives. When you smoke marijuana, you exhale most of the helpful compounds. Only a small percentage is actually absorbed.
Understanding the Magic behind Cannabis Oil
Smoking may be the simplest and most popular method of cannabis consumption, but it’s not exactly the most efficient. You’re using the entire bud and burning it to produce an impact, so you have a lower concentration of THC, CBD, and other compounds. That means you need more product to get the desired results. This brings us to cannabis oil and the numerous ways you can consume it.
Vaporization is one of the most common ways of using cannabis oil. Though this is just another form of smoking, you use the oil of the cannabis plant as opposed to the entire bud.
Vaping offers about the same bioavailability as traditional smoking, but you may get more of an impact with the former because you usually have a more concentrated product. At the same time, vaping doesn’t heat the cannabinoids to the same extreme temperatures as conventional smoking, so it doesn’t burn off quite as much of the important compounds. Rechargeable and disposable vapes are becoming increasingly popular and are available in a wide variety of strains and flavors, from Afghani Kush to Blackberry Kush.
Sublingual Drops and Oral Solutions
Oral consumption is another highly favored alternative. Various drops and sprays containing cannabis extract are placed in the mouth, under the tongue, or on the inside of the cheek with this method. As a result, cannabinoids are absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
When those vital compounds go directly to the bloodstream, they bypass the digestion process. This means they take effect more quickly and remain in your system longer. Since you’re not burning off any of the product, more of the compounds are available for absorption as well. Oral CBD products have a bioavailability of as much as 70 percent depending on their concentration. Again, you could experience more powerful results with a lower dose.
Topicals containing CBD oil provide relief from pain and inflammation by being absorbed through the skin. They’re not burned or digested, so you’re more likely to get the full effects rather than wasting a great deal of the beneficial cannabinoids.
Of course, absorption takes a little time. You won’t feel psychoactive effects from THC when using topicals, but you’ll experience its other helpful influences. Some studies show CBD absorbs into the skin much more easily than THC as well.
Edibles containing CBD oil are becoming increasingly popular. You can add cannabis extract to virtually any food or beverage you might otherwise enjoy. Doing so produces a potent punch that goes well beyond those of caffeine, sugar, protein, and other components. In essence, it takes your favorite comfort foods up a notch or two.
Since CBD oil goes through the digestive process when you consume edibles, this method offers the least bioavailability. Your liver filters out many of the cannabinoids before they have a chance to take effect. CBD oil in edibles also takes longer to kick. In some cases, you may not begin to feel its impact for an hour or two after consumption. CBD and THC are notorious for sneaking up on you when you consume edibles as well. This often leads to overdoses and unpleasant side effects.
Getting the Oil out of the Cannabis
To use cannabis oil for tinctures, vape juices, skin creams, edibles, and other products, you have to get the oil out of the plant itself. This takes a bit more than simply squeezing the buds and stems until they bleed. Several CBD oil extraction machines are on the market, and they operate based on three distinct extraction methods.
Hydrocarbon extraction machines soak cannabis in butane or propane to draw out the cannabinoids from the plant. Once they’re removed, the machines heat the resulting solution to burn off the hydrocarbons. This leaves behind only the purified cannabis oil, and further processing usually isn’t necessary.
When compared to other methods, hydrocarbon extraction is generally faster and produces higher yields. In many cases, this technique preserves more of cannabis’ terpenes and other compounds. This means you get a better flavor, aroma, and overall impact out of your Bruce Banner fast strain seeds or LA Confidential plant’s extracts.
Some people recoil at the thought of the same flammable compound found in cigarette lighters being used to process the CBD oils they plan to consume, but there’s no real need to worry. This technique has been used in the food industry for quite some time, and it’s approved by the FDA. Reports show you’ll inhale far more hydrocarbons from the air around you than you’ll get from ingesting cannabis oil that’s extracted using this method.
Still, many areas are cracking down on the use of hydrocarbon extraction methods. If you’re operating in those areas, you’ll have to jump through far more hoops to gain licensing. Setting up your facility may be more expensive and time-consuming as well. On top of that, some states and cities have banned hydrocarbon extraction altogether.
Hydrocarbon extraction machines come in a wide range of prices. Smaller machines like the ABLAZE Mini Closed Loop Extractor run about $500 or so whereas Luna Technologies’ Io Extractor will cost you more than $200,000. As you might imagine, the less expensive models generally offer lower production capacities and fewer features.
CO2 extraction generally requires more complex equipment than other techniques. Machines made for this method use gas instead of liquid to draw out extracts from the cannabis plant. They place the gas under high temperatures and pressure to convert it into a supercritical state, meaning it has the properties of both a gas and a liquid.
Like hydrocarbon extraction, this method produces high yields and pure products. CO2 extraction equipment is often much more versatile than other alternatives, too. It offers the option of changing up the temperatures, run times, pressure levels, and other variables to produce different products. This gives you the freedom to create waxes and oils of different consistencies. With some machines, you can even control the concentrations of CBD, THC, terpenes, and other compounds.
Though all approved cannabis extraction methods produce products that are safe for consumption according to the FDA, CO2 extraction is often considered safer than hydrocarbon for those using the machinery. Machines meant for this method are a bit pricier than those for hydrocarbon extraction, though. On the higher end of the spectrum, The Force from Apeks Supercritical costs more than $440,000. Cheaper models include OCO Labs’ Super C Extractor for about $4,000.
People describe alcohol extraction as both the simplest and the most complicated option depending on who you ask. Some say it requires less effort and precision than other methods, and you can alter batch sizes based on your production needs. Others point out that though you don’t have to be quite as exacting with your temperature settings when extracting CBD oil using alcohol, even slight variations can make a significant difference in the quality and potency of the final product.
Either way, alcohol extraction uses ethanol to coax CBD oil out of the cannabis plant. You basically steep the plant in alcohol, and it pulls out the oil. From there, you heat the resulting solution to burn off the alcohol. You’re left with pure CBD oil.
Alcohol extraction machines are a bit less expensive than other types. The SolventVap 20-liter Rotary Kit from Across International costs around $19,500 while the Extract Craft Source Turbo will set you back about $600. It’s also fair to mention you can use the alcohol extraction method in your home kitchen using standard pots and pans, a strainer, and a few other household staples. This is only suitable for producing relatively small amounts of oil, though, and the quality will vary.
All Things Considered
Cannabis oil extraction machines range in price and size. Some will fit on your countertop whereas others are only meant for use in sizable production facilities. Consider the types of products you want to produce, your budget, and the amount of space you have available among other factors before deciding which option is right for you. Also keep in mind, you’ll need special licensing and certification for CO2 and hydrocarbon extraction.
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