A new low-cost method of extracting CBD, CBN, and THC has been developed using hard-cap espresso machines.
In 2003, Gordon Gund had a decision to make. As the leader of a billion-dollar organization, decisions can make or break a person’s career. Gund faced a decision like this. Except his decision was easy.
All he had to do was hand over a contract of roughly $18.8 million to an 18-year-old kid.
Do you think that sounds like a difficult decision?
It wasn’t. That kid was Lebron James, and he ended up being the 1st overall pick of the NBA draft in 2003. The decision Gund had to make was simple, quick, but not inexpensive. In the world of cannabis extraction, processors are looking for all three.
As it turns out, someone may have invented the Lebron James of cannabis extraction, except at a much lower price point.
In 2016, researchers outlined how they were using hard-cap espresso machines to detect (with liquid chromatography) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in soil and sediment.  The researchers pointed out that “the use of hard-cap espresso machines in the analytical laboratories offers tremendous possibilities as low cost extraction units for the extraction of solid samples.” 
Processors in the cannabis industry may have taken notice because they are now using the same playbook.
To save on their own costs, researchers from the University of Valencia used cannabis that had been seized by police to prove their assertion that extracts could be made with nothing more than a $300 espresso machine and a common laboratory solvent. 
By combining the cannabis with 2-propanol (isopropyl alcohol) and running it through their coffeemaker, the researchers found that the final product was not much different from extractions made with ultrasonic-assistance. The total extraction time was 40 seconds, and the ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) methodology enabled a 1-minute analysis.
The authors of the paper compared the extractions using gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry and IMS and found they were roughly equivalent.
More importantly, however, were the logistics of obtaining the extract from the espresso machine. For example, the entry cost ($300) is a pittance compared to the high-dollar costs of ultrasonic extraction equipment.
It’s also far less complicated to operate and maintain, which means that this method of extraction is simple, quick, and extremely cost-effective.
As it turns out, these researchers might have just created the next superstar of analytical cannabis extraction for subsequent laboratory evaluation.
- Armenta, S., et al. “Hard Cap Espresso Machines in Analytical Chemistry: What Else?” Anal Chem, vol.88, no.12, 2016, pp.6570-6576. [Times cited = 11; Journal Impact Factor = 6.350]
- Leiman et al. “Fast Extraction of Cannabinoids in Marijuana Samples by Using Hard-Cap Espresso Machines.” Talanta, vol.190, 2018, pp.321-326. [Times cited = 1; Journal Impact Factor = 3.545]