Preparation of Crude Extract for Spinning Band Distillation

Various types of crude cannabis extract can be successfully distilled into high purity cannabinoid distillate. With that in mind, it’s critical that the crude always be properly prepared prior to a vacuum distillation process. Depending on the type of extract being distilled, this can include one or more post-extraction steps, such as:

 

  • Rough particulate filtration
    • Removes the bulk of plant material from a cannabinoid/solvent solution, typically used for ethanol-extracted solutions. Generally employs filter media (paper, cloth, filter discs) in the 10-25 micron range.

 

  • Winterization/De-waxing
    • Removes waxes and lipids that were co-extracted with cannabinoids. Uses sub-freezing temperatures to and coagulate the waxes/lipids, making them easy to remove with filtration.

 

  • Liquid-liquid separation
    • Removes chlorophylls, proteins and other compounds that can cause odor and burning issues during the distillation process. This process requires the use of solvents and must always be practiced in a safe manner.

 

  • Sub-micron filtration
    • Removes proteins, carbon residuals, and any other remaining non-solubilized contaminants that may be invisible to the naked eye. Failure to remove these compounds from a boiling flask prior to fractional distillation can cause undesirable results, including low THC potency.

 

crude extract preparation
Ethanol Extracted Crude Being Prepped for Distillation

Cannabis distillation equipment, including Spinning Band, is excellent at producing high purity THC/CBD distillate from crude cannabinoid extract. However, because not all compounds that are collected during an extraction process can be separated from each other using a simple distillation process, proper post-extraction / pre-distillation processing is a critical step to achieve high purity and repeatable results.

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