Automation at all stages has already improved the extraction process, especially with regard to repeatability and accuracy. Quadron Cannatech focuses on developing automated extraction systems specifically for the cannabis industry. Its BOSS CO2 Extraction System incorporates automated controls that eliminate the use of manual valves and has been designed to make load and unload times as short as possible to increase production capacity. The company claims that by streamlining the process its setup can process 20 pounds of cannabis material in 4 hours and run continuously without supervision, enabling a total of 6 runs per day.
Over on the butane side of the extractor world is the Io extractor, a fully automated system capable of extracting 18lbs of plant material per hour. Priding itself on its novel data logging suite, Luna Technologies’ product constantly reviews the temperatures and pressures of each run, logging and refining its process with each cycle.
Ice Water Extraction
The price: $19,470
The BOSS CO2 Extraction System
The price: starts at $189,000
The CBG extraction process begins by soaking your CBG-rich biomass in your solvent of choice (typically either CO2 or ethanol) to draw out the terpenes and/or cannabinoids. The resulting solution can go through post-filtration step(s) and is then evaporated using heat and vacuum to remove residual solvents. This results in a refined CBG crude extract. The crude concentrate is then further distilled to create a purified CBG distillate, in preparation to be isolated from the other cannabinoids by means of affinity chromatography.
Extracting CBG efficiently begins while the plant is still growing. Because CBGA is the first cannabinoid to show up in young hemp or cannabis plants, there is a very slim window of opportunity to harvest the plants and ensure a financially viable yield.
Chromatography: Either for spectral analysis or for separating the mixture into its’ isolate forms based on each component’s affinity for the stationary phase at an industrial scale.
The Extraction Process:
The issue of CBG scarcity posed a challenge to breeders. As you know, cannabis and hemp breeders are an adaptable lot that love a challenge. Breeders have started to experiment with cross-breeding and genetic manipulation to create strains that yield higher amounts of CBG in mature plants. This means that the extraction of CBG is quickly becoming more efficient to extract, resulting in a more affordable end-product for consumers.
While old school lovers of THC-heavy recreational cannabis may scoff at non-intoxicating products, this is exactly what the mainstream consumer is seeking. In short, this is where a lot of the revenue will be made. Most consumers want to alleviate their medical condition or increase wellness but without feeling high.
After the plant is harvested these cannabinoids are processed into the more commonly known forms of CBD, THC, and CBC that are used in many end-products. Sometimes a minute amount of CBG and other minor cannabinoids come along for the ride to create “full-spectrum” products. “Isolates” are created when a major cannabinoid such as CBD is isolated from other cannabinoids.
At this point there are only a few trusted “high CBG” products out on the market. If you’re interested in trying CBG oil yourself, do your research and insist on viewing test results. Just like CBD, this is still very much an unregulated marketplace with tons of poor quality products that are difficult to distinguish from the “good stuff”. So buyer beware!