Could ultrasound be the next step in the evolution of cannabinoid extraction? Researchers in Hungary tested how ultrasound could impact the speed and efficiency of cannabinoid extraction. The results were promising. In fact, they found ultrasound increases yields and cannabinoid extraction speed.
Using Ultrasound During Cannabinoid Extraction
A study that was published in The Journal of Food Science and conducted at Sopron University in Hungary looked into the benefits of ultrasound cannabis extraction. A team of Hungarian researchers used alcohol as a solvent and low-frequency ultrasound to enhance the extraction of bioactive chemicals from the cannabis plant. There was also a control extraction with no sonification to draw comparisons from.
Alcohol is a popular solvent used for small extractions like Rick Simpson Oil and it is also used in medical extraction facilities. The extraction equipment is small and easier to obtain than the necessary tools for other extraction methods.
The team of Hungarian researchers conducted an experiment on the influence of time, input power and methanol concentration on the extraction of phenols, flavonoids, the ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) and the overall yield.
Influence On Yield
One of the most notable advantages researchers found to using ultrasound were increased yields. In fact, higher values were obtained during the ultrasonic process when compared to the control extraction. Researchers praised the potential of using ultrasound technology to increase the yield of cannabinoid extraction.
“Appreciably higher extraction of cannabinoids was achieved on sonication against control,” the study report stated.
One of the greatest advantages noted from the ultrasound-assisted extraction was the influence on extraction speed. A typical extraction can take anywhere from thirty minutes to a few days. The experiment found the optimal extraction time with ultrasound was 15 minutes.
“On comparing the ultrasonic process with the control extraction, noticeably higher values were obtained for each of the responses,” researchers said.
Researchers also noted that the time and the solvent “significantly affected the extraction.” Using ultrasound on other solvents could lead to even more effective extractions but more research would need to be conducted.
Certain extractors are already taking advantage of ultrasonic cannabis extraction with other solvents. It is nonthermal so there isn’t enough heat to cause the degradation of active ingredients. It is energy-efficient so costs are low, it doesn’t add any hazardous or toxic chemicals and best of all research has shown it shortens extraction time while increasing cannabinoid yields.