CO2, Cannabis, and Terpenes Extraction Information

The Long Draw of Creating Crystal Isolates

Nicholas Demski
Written by Nicholas Demski

How the symbiosis of technology and patience leads to the creation of hyper-potent cannabis products.

There’s nothing as relaxing as kicking back on the sandy shore and plopping a bobber into the lake as you try to wrangle small-mouth bass. A bass’ fight is larger than its body, so despite the small-size of the fish, it’s an entertaining battle. As your morning passes by with bite after bite, you hardly notice the sun rising in the sky.

11 o’clock passes by and the sun’s rays begin to dehydrate your body. At that moment, you realize you forgot your water bottle, and you’re a 30-minute drive to the nearest gas station. Your mouth is drying out, it’s getting hotter outside, but you don’t want to leave the lake.

Do you drink the lake water?

Our distant ancestors would have, but we don’t have the same internal strength they had due to our indoor lifestyles.

For us, nothing beats pure, clean, filtered water.

For cannabis users, the pure, clean, filtered form of cannabis comes in the form of crystal isolates.

Through an intense system of chemical and physical extractions, it’s possible to segregate cannabinoids into their purest forms (1). In fact, crystal isolates contain over 99% of the compound in question. Whether it’s CBD, THC, or a minor cannabinoid, it’s possible to create a substance that is almost completely made of the compound we’re looking for.

This is not a short or easy process. First, the compound (let’s use THC-V for this example) needs to be in an extracted form. Once extracted, it will undergo treatment with hexane and acetic acid to remove any plant material. After being filtered and put through a rotary evaporator, the product is then refined even further through chromatography.

“For cannabis users, the pure, clean, filtered form of cannabis comes in the form of crystal isolates.”

To remove the solvents added in during chromatography, extractors employ another round of rotary evaporation.

Dissolving the product in methanol, filtering it, and a third round of rotary evaporation purifies it even further. A final round of dissolution requires the use of pentane, which is subsequently removed through a fourth and final round of rotary evaporation.

The end-product is an isolated form of THC-V that should stand at over 99.95% pure isolate.

Sure, it’s a long and cumbersome process; however, the effort is worth the result as users are treated with a fast-acting, incredibly potent version of the compound they need.

Sources

  1. “Methods of Purifying Cannabinoids from Plant Materials.” Accessed May 31, 2018. https://patents.google.com/patent/US20050266108

About the author

Nicholas Demski

Nicholas Demski

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2 Comments

    • Hi Brian

      Thanks for your message. Unfortunately, that’s been the problem for far too long. The medical community, however, has begun dusting off their shelved interest in cannabis, as the political landscape surrounding the cannabis industry has changed. Targeted therapeutics are becoming one of the most discussed research avenues for the scientific and medical communities. Technology is allowing patients, not currently able to talk to a “medical professional” about their interest in cannabis, to help in their own cause, and better determine what works for them. While human clinical trials would contribute much in legitimizing the cannabis industry, cannabis users have had to conduct their own trials, while politics inhibited true science from playing any role whatsoever. There’s been lots of folks likely eager to be one of those studied in a trial, if it meant finding a better quality of life.