Research based articles

The Benefits of Using Water as a Solvent for Cannabinoid Extraction

Providing the industry with a safer and more sustainable way to extract cannabinoids from the hemp and cannabis plants, water-as-solvent technology has many advantages when compared to traditional extraction methods. By utilizing water as the solvent, the extraction process yields a more sustainable, consistent, and affordable output of high purity pharmaceutical grade cannabinoids. In this guide we will discuss some of the many advantages using water as the solvent for cannabinoid extraction has.

Eliminates Harmful Solvents

Traditional extraction methods typically use harmful solvents, such as butane or ethanol, for extraction needing remediation to rid the product of volatile solvents that can be harmful for one’s health if ingested. However, the solvents and techniques used tend to not discriminate against most fungicides, herbicides, and pesticides. Instead, the process often concentrates these toxic compounds in the final extract or concentrate, leaving trace amounts in the final product, despite remediation efforts. This can pose a great risk to the consumer, as over time ingesting these chemicals can lead to nausea, vomiting, respiratory paralysis, and more. With the majority of consumers using cannabinoids to better their health, it is crucial these toxic compounds are fully eliminated.
When utilizing water as the solvent, the cannabinoids are extracted without the use of harsh chemicals or solvents, eliminating the need to rid the final cannabinoid extract of volatile solvents. Additionally, the process effectively eliminates contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, microbial, and mycotoxins, producing a safer and cleaner cannabinoid extract.

Extraction of Acidic Cannabinoids

Acidic cannabinoids, such as CBDA and CBGA, have been gaining more popularity and for good reason due to the many benefits they hold. Unfortunately, finding products with acidic cannabinoids on the market can be difficult due to the complications that can arise when extracting acidic cannabinoids.
Acidic cannabinoids can convert easily into their neutral parts through decarboxylation, a process where cannabinoids are exposed to heat. For example, when heated CBDA converts to CBD. When extracting cannabinoids with traditional solvents, such as butane or ethanol, pre-dehydration of the plant is often required for efficient extraction. However, when the plant is dehydrated is causes a conversion of the acidic cannabinoids to their decarboxylated form, leaving trace amounts of the acidic cannabinoids when the plant is ready for extraction. When utilizing water as the solvent there is no heat or dehydration of the plant required, allowing for the extraction of all cannabinoids, including the rare offerings of acidic cannabinoids, at a mass scale.

Tasteless and Odorless

Cannabinoid extracts from traditional extraction technologies typically have a robust flavor that is difficult to infuse into edible products. They are most commonly in a solid form, making it not only difficult to infuse, but also difficult to accurately dose the extract. Extractions from water-as-solvent technology are odorless and tasteless, able to easily infuse into cannabinoid products, and dosing is made simple with free-flowing microcrystalline powder.

Safer for the Environment

When using butane or ethanol, fumes from the extraction process can be released into the environment, posing risk to the surrounding communities and those who work within the extraction facilities, despite efforts made to contain the fumes. Additionally, both butane and ethanol are extremely flammable and take costly measures to ensure safety. Water is an inorganic solvent that poses no harm to the environment and is cost effective.
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