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Cannabis Plant Extracts Introduction

已有 12 次阅读  2021-04-28 22:23
With increased legalization, cannabis has rapidly entered the U.S. market, and cannabis extracts are an important part of the booming industry. In 2018, billions of dollars were invested in the U.S. cannabis industry. Cannabis is sold in a variety of forms, including flower, oil extracts and edible foods. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction is a common method for separating various components from the plant because it yields a pure, clean and safe product.
Carbon dioxide reaches a supercritical state at 1071 psi and 31.1°C. When the molecule is in a supercritical state, it has the properties of both a liquid and a gas. This is advantageous because CO2 can enter smaller spaces like a gas, but it can also dissolve and act like a liquid solvent. The physical properties of supercritical CO2 are easily controlled, allowing it to be bonded to any molecule of the producer's choice.

Extraction Equipment and Methods, careddi Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine
The size of the extraction system will vary depending on the batch size. Samples can be as small as 10 grams or as large as hundreds of kilograms. Some systems have the option to be automated so that the producer's presence is not required during the batch process. Supercritical CO2 extraction can take longer to complete than other methods due to constant fluctuations in temperature and pressure. For example, extraction of 20 lbs. plant material may take 4 to 6 hours.
In order to perform the extraction, the plant material must be ground and placed into the extraction vessel. the CO2 gas is subjected to high temperature and pressure. A pump then presses supercritical CO2 into the extraction vessel, where it meets the plant and breaks down the wool hairs, causing them to dissolve some of the plant material. A pressure relief valve then allows the material to flow into a separate vessel where the pressure and temperature are regulated using an internal compressor and heater. By varying the temperature, pressure, and flow rate, certain molecules will bind to the CO2, thus separating them from the plants. Many systems will re-route the CO2 back to the storage tank for use in the next batch. The extract is then moved to a collection tank (e.g. beaker).
Benefits of Supercritical CO2 Extraction
By using supercritical CO2, manufacturers have complete control over the process, can recover CO2, and this method is more environmentally friendly than other methods. In addition, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled CO2 as safe for industrial extraction. CO2 acts as a detergent and therefore kills microorganisms, mold and mildew in the process. The yield using supercritical CO2 is higher than other extraction methods. However, the yield and quality of the product can be easily changed by adjusting the physical properties.
If there is residue on the extract, it will evaporate away because CO2 is a gas at room temperature. Extracts obtained from supercritical CO2 extraction are attractive to the food, beverage and medical industries because it ensures that there is no residual solvent on the product. Since there are no residual solvents on the product, the extract will be purer than many solvent-based extraction methods. In addition, the plant will not be subjected to extreme temperatures and therefore will not experience degradation like other extraction methods.

Overview
Supercritical CO2 is a widely used extraction method in the cannabis industry because of its ability to effectively purify plant material. When CO2 is used in a supercritical state, it allows for the isolation of certain molecules by controlling the physical properties of the producer, thus allowing the producer to always have control over the process.

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