Botanical Extraction

Hemp as an Opportunity for Cannabis Extractors

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Written by Derek Johnson

Extraction is big business in the cannabis industry, especially where tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is concerned. However, extracting cannabidiol (CBD) has proven to be a wonderful opportunity as well.

Looking back at the history of extracts, we see that the lion’s share of early extractions were done on cannabis flowers for the production of THC concentrates. In fact, it may be safe to say that extracting anything else but this intoxicating cannabinoid was unheard of.

However, CBD made a big explosion onto the scene, and the cannabis marketplace welcomed it with open arms. Now, all sorts of products are created containing the highly desired cannabinoid, and the market is literally and figuratively eating them up. According to different market research reports, the market dollar value for CBD (nationally) in 2020 and beyond will be in the billions of dollars and is expected to grow over the years.

Fortunately for extractors in the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp federally. And as of the end of 2020, only one state, Idaho, has not enacted legislation allowing for hemp cultivation within its borders. This means 49 states can now produce this form of cannabis.

Extractors need hemp flowers or biomass to produce the CBD needed to supply the market. And hemp farmers, whose numbers have been increasing since the passage of the Farm Bill, need the extractors to process all the plant material they have been and will be producing. From 2018 to 2019, data from the US Department of Agriculture shows that the total number of acres planted with hemp increased more than four-fold.

Many farmers are sitting on biomass from 2019 harvests due to oversupply and disruption caused by COVID-19 early in the pandemic. This material is ready for processing and is available at a lower price because of these unfortunate market forces. Because of the oversupply, the price of biomass dropped more than $25 per pound from 2019 to 2020.

Additionally, COVID-19 has caused the health and wellness industry to turn some of its focus to CBD to help with anxiety and stress, which has helped the industry maintain sales and revenue.

As the market recovers, stabilizes, and continues to evolve, extractors will be comfortable knowing that they have plenty of sources of biomass and flowers to produce potent extracts. The more sources there are, the more quality material to choose from and at competitive prices.

Image Source: Rodolfo Clix from Pexels

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Derek Johnson

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