By Harrison Thacker
Hemp extracts contribute to a wide range of uses. All of which command stellar revenues. One of the best aspects of hemp is that there are many ways to harness its beneficial properties. If you’re curious about what our options are when it comes to extraction methods, we’re breaking down the most popular choices.
Vegetable oil for hemp extracts
One of the oldest tricks in the book, this method holds the distinction of being one of the simplest means of extracting hemp oil. The steps are simple and easy enough to do at home if you’re working in very small batches of hemp.
- Heat your hemp from 30 minutes to an hour at about 250℉. It’s okay to go a little under temperature.
- Combine the oil and heated biomass or flower in a pan and set the temperature to 212℉.
- Let it simmer for about another two hours.
If you’re looking to extract oil on an industrialized level, this is a timely, and somewhat messy process you should avoid. You’re also trading some quality for convenience here. This method isn’t as proficient at removing all unwanted plant matter as other options. In all, take this approach with a real “you get what you pay for” mentality.
CO2 for hemp extracts
One of the most popular methods, this process uses carbon dioxide (CO2) to separate valuable hemp extracts from other plant material. By manipulating its versatility in different climates, CO2 provides a safe and efficient extraction option. You can even repurpose leftover CO2 liquids for future use.
One of the main drawbacks to this approach is its cost. Conservative price estimates range from the tens, to the hundreds of thousands for legitimate operational equipment in CO2 extraction. This limits many aspiring extractors from attaining the necessary moving parts to execute this method. Extracting with CO2 is a tedious process, notoriously prone to mistakes. These can get costly, totalling up to more than the equipment itself. One slip up can ruin a significant amount of your yield, so take caution when taking the CO2 route.
Dry ice extraction
Consider this the “science fair” approach to hemp extracts. Nearly as simple as vegetable oil extraction, the dry ice method employs a fairly fun process. For safety purposes, you’ll want to use protective eyewear and gloves.
- Break your hemp down to small fragments inside of a 5-gallon container.
- Once halfway full, place dry ice on your hemp for three minutes.
- After, drape the container with a mesh cover and shake it up.
- Empty the contents out on a clean, clear surface, and scrape the remains into a jar with a cover.
At this point you’ll have extract that’s ready to use, but again, only a very small amount. It won’t be as distilled or refined as what you’re able to get working with an experienced processor.
Organic solvents for hemp extracts
We’ve saved the best for last when it comes to hemp extraction methods. Organic solvent extraction merges the best of its competitors’ offerings, arriving at the meeting place of a budget-friendly process with fewer contaminants. Using an organic solvent like ethanol sees plant matter submerged in preferred liquid. This eliminates the unwanted plant materials, while leaving the good stuff behind as the solvent evaporates. This method saves time since there’s no need for post-processing. It’s also more environmentally friendly since the solvent can safely get reused. You’re producing less waste. It’s more cost-effective too since machinery costs less and the process itself garners less expense.
Hemp extraction at Arbor Vita8
Getting hemp extraction right is a top priority for Arbor Vita8. We not only focus on quality, but efficiency. Our top-of-the-line extractor can extract crude oil from 5,000 pounds of hemp in a single day. Our automated system is safe and virtually hands-free. Contact us today to learn more about this and our additional seed-to-sale selection of services.