When one intends to create a “craft” or “boutique” concentrate, the goal is to create a high quality, unique dabbing experience for the consumer. For the sake of this Q&A, we’ll be looking in-depth at solvent-based concentrates. However, many considerations will remain the same regardless of the primary extraction method.
Cannabis Business Times: How can cannabis processors ensure product quality during the extraction process?
Precision: The single largest factor in output quality is input quality. Starting with material that has been specifically selected and subsequently grown for concentrate production will yield the best result.
Next comes handling the raw extract. When crafting a concentrate specifically for dabbing, we like to recommend performing the least amount of post-processing possible. Excessive residence time under a high vacuum and high temperature isn’t necessary and only does more harm than good. A skilled processor utilizing a proper SOP will understand how to obtain satisfactory residual solvent analysis results while preserving delicate constituents of a cannabis extract.
CBT: What kind of equipment is used to produce boutique concentrates?
P: In terms of primary extraction, any standard closed-loop extraction system capable of operating at or below -40°C will be sufficient. Inert gas assist is recommended as the resting vapor pressure of your solvent/solvent blend will be dramatically reduced as operating temperatures decrease. For post-processing, the final consistency desired will dictate which tools we’ll utilize. Everything from vacuum ovens to centrifuges has its place in the arsenal.
CBT: What are some best practices when producing craft concentrates?
P: As with any method, adhering to a strict SOP will always garner the best results. Extra considerations will need to be taken when utilizing fresh frozen material, so it does not introduce water into the finished product.
CBT: What kind of safety considerations should processors be mindful of?
P: Standard hydrocarbon extraction safety protocol and PPE will suffice. Use caution when handling material and vessels that have been held or operated at low temperatures.
CBT: What are some common mistakes to avoid during the extraction process?
P: The most common issue is utilizing sub-par starting material and expecting a stellar finished product. When it comes to this method of extraction, the material quality truly dictates the output quality, not just the yield. Sourcing or cultivating the right varieties is of utmost importance. Why does this matter? Better resin makes better concentrates. Cultivating cannabis with the intention of solely using the biomass for extraction encompasses fundamental differences in comparison to dry flower-based cultivation practices.