How are terpenes extracted from cannabis?

Can you explain the process by which terpenes are extracted from cannabis plants and how this extraction process affects the quality and purity of the resulting terpene product?

One answer “How are terpenes extracted from cannabis?

  1. Terpene extraction from cannabis plants is a complex process that requires state-of-the-art technology and technical expertise in order to ensure the highest quality and purity in the resulting terpene product. It involves three main steps: harvesting, isolation, and purification.

    Harvesting begins with collecting all plant material, ensuring it is free of mold and other contaminants. At this stage, it is important that the plant material is handled with care, as the plants’ natural oils and terpenes can be easily damaged or lost in the process. Once the material is collected and prepared, it is then ready for extraction.

    Isolation of the terpenes requires advanced extraction technology and equipment. The preferred method is a supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) process, as it yields the purest form of terpenes without introducing additional contaminants or oxidizing the oil. This highly efficient and effective method involves pressurizing a carbon dioxide (CO2) liquid to the point where it transitions from a liquid to a gas, referred to as a supercritical fluid. As the gas enters the plant material, the temperature set by the operators causes the terpenes to be released into the CO2 gas, while leaving behind unwanted debris. The terpenes are then collected in a separate chamber and continue to be separated as the pressure is reduced in stages. This isolates the terpenes from all other plant matter.

    Finally, the purified terpenes are subjected to a rigorous purification process that ensures that the product is free of any remaining contaminant material. This is done by a series of filtration steps, including sub-micron or UF filtration and other processes including ultra-low temperature flash chromatography. After the terpenes are purified, they are concentrated for a final product.

    The entire extraction process is highly complex and involves numerous steps to ensure the highest possible quality and purity in the final terpene product. The controlled process from harvesting to purifying the final terpene product helps farmers, producers, and consumers ensure that their efforts have resulted in a top-quality terpene product that is free of contaminants and meets all safety and quality standards.

    Overall, the extraction process for terpenes from cannabis plants is instrumental in ensuring the quality and purity of the resulting product. The method used must be specifically tailored to cannabis plants, as different styles and varieties may require different extraction methods in order to get the highest quality product possible. As the legal cannabis industry continues to expand, so too will the use of extraction technology and refinement processes, allowing for the production of high-grade terpenes that meet the standards and expectations of consumers.

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