Extracts are a type of concentrate that are made using a solvent. Though the two terms are sometimes mistakenly interchanged, concentrates aren’t necessarily extracts, but extracts are concentrates. A concentrate is a product that is made from a cannabis plant by removing everything except the trichomes and their components. Impurities and irrelevant parts of the plant are eliminated and valuable elements like cannabinoids and terpenes are kept.
To understand cannabis extracts, it’s helpful to have an idea about how they are processed, including:
- How trichomes are collected
- How solvents work
- Uses for extracts in creating other products
Read on for more about this interesting category of concentrate.
The Small Crystals on Cannabis Plants
Trichomes are sticky crystals that coat the leaves and buds of cannabis flowers. These tiny protrusions are where the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are produced. They determine the unique features of each plant strain. To summarize their effects:
- Cannabinoids include THC and CBD. They are chemical compounds that imitate the body’s natural endocannabinoids.
- Terpenes are aromatic oils with a strong smell that determine flavour. In the natural world, their purpose is to repel predators and attract pollinators.
- Flavonoids affect pigmentation and synergize with terpenes to affect taste and odour.
Cannabis extracts pull these valuable compounds out and create a more potent product. When these products are available from AGCO cannabis suppliers, variation could be present depending on the unique profile of compounds available in the trichomes of each plant strain.
How Solvents Would Be Used to Make AGCO Cannabis Extracts
Extracts are cannabis concentrates that specifically use solvents to wash trichomes off of cannabis plants. This contrasts with other concentrates that use mechanical or physical strategies to separate the trichomes from the leaves and buds. Solvents used include alcohol and carbon dioxide.
These two solvents work in different ways:
- Alcohol is used to soak the plant, then the plant matter is removed and the liquid is filtered. The alcohol is removed through evaporation.
- Carbon dioxide works by applying high pressure and heat until the CO2 is supercritical, meaning it behaves like a liquid and a gas at the same time. This extracts the components, after which the CO2 is turned back into a liquid and reused again.
Extract-Based Products You Might Sell in an AGCO Cannabis Dispensary
Concentrates will be legalized in Canada in October 2019 and are planned to be available for purchase by mid-December. What uses are there for extracts in other products you might offer at an AGCO cannabis dispensary? Extracts are versatile and can be used in a variety of products. Some of these purposes include:
- Topical products
These products can have a much higher concentration than flowers, and are used in smaller doses.
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