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SOLVENTS VS SOLVENT-LESS FOR CANNABIS EXTRACTION

Colby Young |

Solvents and solventless methods are both used for cannabis extraction. Solvents are liquids that are used to dissolve the cannabis plant material and extract the desired compounds, such as THC and CBD. Common solvents used in cannabis extraction include ethanol, butane, and CO2. Solvent-less methods, on the other hand, do not use any liquids to extract the compounds from the plant material. Instead, they rely on mechanical means, such as pressure and heat, to separate the desired compounds. Examples of solventless methods include rosin pressing and ice water extraction. Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the desired end product, the scale of the operation, and the regulatory environment. 

The goal of solvent-less extraction is to retain the natural terpenes and flavonoids of the plant, while eliminating the need for potentially harmful solvents.
Solvent-less extraction is considered to be better because it does not use any chemicals or solvents in the extraction process. This means that the final product is purer and contains no residual solvents. Additionally, it is a more environmentally friendly and safer method of extraction. It also allows for preservation of terpenes and other natural compounds that can be lost or degraded using solvents. It also eliminates the risk of explosion or fire that can be associated with the use of solvents.

HASH VS ROSIN

Hash is a type of cannabis concentrate made by separating the trichomes (resinous glands containing the plant's cannabinoids and terpenes) from the plant material using a mechanical process such as sieving or ice water extraction.

Rosin is another type of cannabis concentrate made by applying heat and pressure to cannabis flowers or hash to separate the trichomes from the plant material. Both hash and rosin are used for dabbing or vaporizing, and can also be used to make edibles or topicals.

RESIN VS ROSIN

Resin and rosin are two different substances that are produced from the cannabis plant.

Resin refers to the sticky, gooey substance that is produced by the cannabis plant, particularly in the buds and leaves. This resin contains the plant's cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds, and is typically collected using solvents like butane or CO2. The resin can then be further processed to create products like hash, wax, and shatter.

Rosin, on the other hand, is a solventless extract made by applying heat and pressure to cannabis flowers or hash. This process causes the resin to separate from the plant material, creating a liquid that solidifies into a wax-like substance. Rosin is known for its purity and terpene retention, and it's becoming a popular method of extraction because it's simple, safe, and affordable.

Both resin and rosin contain high concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes, but rosin is considered to be a cleaner, more natural alternative to the solvent-based resin.

WHAT IS ROSIN 

Rosin is a solid form of resin that is obtained by heating liquid resin to vaporize the volatile liquid terpene components. It is used as a sealant in construction and as a flux in soldering and tinning, as well as in the manufacture of varnishes, printing inks, and soaps. It is also used in the production of rosin-based violin and bow rosin, which is used to increase friction between the bow and strings of stringed instruments. It is also used to make rosin-based products for dance and gymnastics, including rosin bags and rosin powder, which are used to increase grip on surfaces such as dance floors or gymnastics equipment.

WHAT IS PRESSING OIL
Pressing oil refers to the process of extracting oil from seeds, nuts, or other sources through the use of mechanical pressure. This can be done through the use of a press or expeller, which applies force to the oil-bearing material, releasing the oil. The resulting oil is typically unrefined, and may contain impurities or particles from the source material. It is commonly used in the food industry and for making cosmetics, soaps and biofuels.

 

HOW TO SCALE SOLVENT-LESS

There are several ways to scale solvent-less processing, including:

  1. Increasing the size of the equipment: Larger equipment can process more material at a time, which can increase the overall yield and efficiency of the process.

  2. Automation: Automating certain steps in the process can reduce labor costs and improve consistency.

  3. Improving the efficiency of the process: Optimizing the process to reduce waste and increase yield can help to scale the process more effectively.

  4. Multitasking: Running multiple process simultaneously can increase the output and scale the process.

  5. Investing in R&D: Investing in research and development can lead to improvements in the process and new ways to scale it.

It's worth noting that solvent-less processing is generally considered a low-volume, high-value application, so scaling it may be limited by market demand rather than technological limitations.

 

BENEFITS OF SOLVENT-LESS

Solvent-less extraction methods have several benefits over traditional solvent-based methods. These include:

  1. Safety: Solventless extraction methods do not involve the use of potentially hazardous chemicals, making them safer for both the environment and the people handling the materials.

  2. Purity: Solventless methods typically result in a purer final product as there is no residue from solvents left behind.

  3. Flavor: Solventless methods tend to produce a product with more natural flavors and aromas, as the process does not strip away any of the naturally occurring terpenes.

  4. Cost-effective: Solventless methods are typically less expensive than solvent-based methods as they do not require the use of costly solvents.

  5. Legal compliance: Solventless methods are legal in most countries, while some solvents used in solvent-based methods may be restricted or prohibited.

  6. Scalability: Solventless methods are also more scalable as they do not require costly equipment such as rotary evaporators, which are often needed for solvent-based methods.

 

WHY IS SOLVENT-LESS EXTRACTION BETTER
Solvent-less extraction is considered to be better because it does not use any chemicals or solvents in the extraction process. This means that the final product is purer and contains no residual solvents. Additionally, it is a more environmentally friendly and safer method of extraction. It also allows for preservation of terpenes and other natural compounds that can be lost or degraded using solvents. It also eliminates the risk of explosion or fire that can be associated with the use of solvents.

 

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT FOR SOLVENT-LESS
The equipment required for solvent-less cannabis processing will vary depending on the specific method being used. In our industry, as a manufacture or processor innovation is key to compete in the marketshare space for concentrates.

Access Rosin® offers the solutions necessary to streamline the process at scale: efficiently. We design-to-build customized 3-part solvent-less systems complete with innovation and automation for your company to compete with all forms of concentrate in the marketshare. We take accountability for the equipment's ability to scale efficiently and effectively in-order to streamline your companies production. From floor plans to consulting, we have you covered. As a manufacture / processor, your equipment and workflow efficiency is the most important asset to your company. It is required when considering how to adapt to an increase in demand for rosin, with a 30% annual growth rate overall.

 Additional equipment such as a trimming machine, flower dryer, and storage containers may also be necessary.

COST  

The cost to begin solventless cannabis extraction can vary depending on the scale of the operation and the specific equipment used. A small, home-based operation may cost several hundred dollars for a basic rosin press and necessary supplies, while a larger commercial operation may cost tens of thousands of dollars for specialized equipment and facilities. In general, the cost of starting a solventless extraction business will be lower than that of a solvent-based extraction business due to the lack of expensive solvents and safety equipment required. However, it is important to note that the costs for compliance and licensing fees for both types of extraction businesses can be high in certain states and municipalities.

DANGERS OF SOLVENT EXTRACTION
Solvent extraction is a method used to separate a desired substance from a mixture by using a solvent. The process can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken, as the solvents used can be flammable, toxic, and potentially harmful to human health. Inhaling solvents can cause respiratory issues, skin contact can cause irritation or chemical burns, and ingesting solvents can be fatal. Additionally, improper disposal of solvents can harm the environment. It is important to use protective equipment, follow proper handling procedures, and properly dispose of solvents to minimize the risks associated with solvent extraction.