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Whats the best way to extract while preserving heat-sensitive compounds??

Discussion in 'Medical Marijuana Usage and Applications' started by 00Hassel, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Good morning!
    This is on the heels of forum discussions regarding making canna-oil and concentrates. There has been talk and questions of preserving the active compounds within the plant, in regards to making high-quality medicine.
    The field has long since evolved from simply getting high. Everyday more research is being done highlighting the synergistic action of the 421 compounds present in cannabis. THC and CBD get the mainstream attention, however the content/ratio of terpenes is one of many important elements as to what results you will end up with.
    This is one of the reasons why synthetic THC products made by Big Pharma, such as Marinol, will NEVER offer the same medicinal benefits as cannabis grown organically, sustainably and utilized/extracted in "whole form!"
    A well written overview:
    Advanced but digs in deeper to the pharmacological aspects of the synergistic compounds:
    There is specific mention that the terpenes are heat sensitive and lost at a temperature lower than the THC extraction point. This is potentially a similar concern of the myriad of other compounds that may very well play important roles that we've yet to discover in the labs.
    With that understood:
    Does anyone here have helpful information on what they feel are the "best" ways of extraction to preserve the most of the medicinal constituents?
    Subcritical CO2? Dry ice?
    Is there a "low heat" method low enough to not destroy them?
    Be mindful also that even if it does not exist today, your thoughts and intentions may very well change the mold of how things will be done in the future. I have nothing against RSO/BHO/etc however in terms of advancing processes and doing things better and better... I can't help but feel that in terms of preserving the medicinal constituents, there HAS to be a better way of doing this!
    If people are curing cancer & XYZ from (relatively) crude/primitive/high heat extractions, think of how much BETTER we can help people by offering a higher quality, more therapeutically and medicinally potent end product!

  2. So you are looking for a way to extract the cannabinoids in their raw form, such as THCA, CBDA, CBNA, etc.? Many ways you could achieve this. Freshly dried and cured bud that isn't too old will have little active compounds. Many will still be acids which will treat different medical ailments than the decarboxylated cannabinoids. One option would be to make a tincture. You could soak the plant material in solvent of choice. 190 proof everclear is the best for tinctures IMO. You will pull all the waxes, terpenes, cannabinoids, and chlorophyll. To avoid pulling the chlorophyll, you could do a cold wash, but you will not pull the waxes and as many terpenes this way, to my understanding. It makes for a cleaner end product but some would argue that terpenes and waxes and everything else has it's own benefit and even may work synergistically with the cannabinoids. So if you want that diversity, a prolonged soaking of the cannabis at room temp (in your solvent of choice) would be the best way to do it without activating the cannabinoids. Glycerin or olive oil could be alternatives among many others if you do not wish to use alcohol.

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  3. #3 Honokiol, Feb 12, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2014
    How you choose to manipulate the medicine changes with the outcome you seek.  Medical intention changes how a patient will best manipulate the plant.
    Cannabis as a medicine is at or near the peak of it's medicinal usefulness right now today and beginning to wain.  Cannabis is being eclipsed by rapidly expanding knowledge of the endocannabinoids and the discovery of new plant sources of cannabinoids outside the Cannabis plant.  Remember as I write this that every cannabinoid does something a little different.  The issue is not that there is any thing wrong with cannabis or it's cannabinoids as medicine but more an issue of the crowd of other cannabinoids that are emerging from the shadows around Cannabis and Cannabis blending in with the rest of the crowd.
    It is in fact a very good thing.
    The first issue, is that the endocannabinoids operate too many specific functions that can not be replicated by the cannabinoids in cannabis.  Most of this is involved in immune system regulation and that covers a stunningly large number of exceptionally specific compounds our bodies must make for it's self from the stuff we eat.  Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency is really a diagnosis of malnutrition and all the research appears to be pointing at insufficiency of Omega-3 fat consumption accompanied with surplus Omega-6 consumption.
    The second issue is that numerous other non cannabis phytocannabinoids are being identified in the food chain and in ethnobotanical use that were unknown as little as 5 years ago. 
    It currently appears likely that Cannabis will continue to be useful in pain management for the foreseeable future, It will probably retain some sort of usefulness in cancer treatment for a while too.  But every day we learn something new and every time a new endocannabinoid or other plant cannabinoid is found and it's actions are identified as superior for this use ot that use Cannnabis will lose a little of it's importance in medicine.
    Don't take this wrong Cannabis as a source of cannabinoids will always be useful to us but that usefulness diminishes with each new endocannabinoid and plant cannabinoid discovered.  In 50 years cannabis will be useful to medicine in a similar way to alcohol today.  It will be in stuff we use for this or that, but no one will take much notice or interest in the fact.
  4. Great info guys thank you!
  5. Hassel,
    My dispensary has been working with a lab that is doing supercritical CO2 extraction. They extract cannabinoids and terpenes successfully. The terpenes are actually extracted seperately, the 24 major ones in the strain, and then recombined to the cannabinoid oil.
    The oil is a really good product. Recombined with the terpenes at varying ratios, they can approximate different strains for different batches of oil. For example they have a Jack Herer flavor that is high in limonene and pinene and it feels pretty close to Jack Herer, the GDP version on the other hand is high in myrcene and linalool. 
    As far as I know, Rick Simpson oil also preserves secondary cannabinoids and terpenes in the extraction. And if the reports are anything to go by, RSO has the highest medicinal value of any cannabis product ever made.
    Thank you very much for this info.
    I work with a group who are laying their groundwork to branch into the market in CO... and they are pricing out machines from Eden Labs and Apeks, as they wish to make high-quality concentrates via CO2 extraction. The group is already in the market of high quality herbal supplements, so there is allure in CO2 for them in regards to safety and not needing to purge out toxic solvents.
    I've read that subcritical CO2 extraction produces better yields for concentrates, in contrast to supercritical - in your experience have you seen or heard this to be the case? Or was it more of an opinion that fact?
    In regards to RSO - thank you for that comment. Run From The Cure is one of my all-time favorite cannabis docs and although his process may be "crude," it is clear that the medicinal value of the end product is extremely high. So a lot of the most important (known) elements must be preserved still. Plus if push came to shove... If myself or a loved one was ill and needed the medicine, didn't have 100k for a CO2 machine, I personally would make RSO for them still. The pound of bud is much easier to acquire than proper CO2 machines.
    I was doing some more research and came across some great, concise information regarding decarboxylating cannabis that I wanted to share here. To be more specific, aside from very helpful information regarding the process itself, the author listed the boiling (vapor) points and properties of many of the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids.

    Terpenes and flavonoids are listed in similar fashion. IMO this is a great bookmark to add to the resource list.
    Be well!

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