Imagine going to a cannabis dispensary that sold muddy brown shatter or cloudy-colored crumble. Would you still want to shop there? Cannabis quality is often linked to color, especially when it comes to concentrates and extracts. Knowing this, extract artists employ specific strategies designed to improve their products’ color.
One of the most common color remediation techniques used by cannabis companies is color remediation columns (CRC). These are cartridges or columns in a closed-loop extraction system packed with filtration media like silica gel and activated carbon. When the crude cannabis or hemp oil is pushed through the column, dark, undesirable pigments are filtered out. Silica gel and activated carbon, for instance, help remove chlorophyll. Bentonite clay is another option.
The benefits of using CRC revolve around the technique’s ability to help transform a middle- or even below-grade cannabis oil into a glossy, high-quality concentrate. In addition to helping the concentrate achieve a better color, CRC can also remove impurities and toxins that might affect the consumption experience.
There are drawbacks associated with this technology as well. Increased filtration can strip an extract of its cannabinoids and terpenes as well as its color. The likelihood of this result increases if the extract technician is inexperienced. Media can eventually break down and contaminate the final concentrate.
An additional drawback for consumers is that cannabis companies could potentially use CRC to trick consumers into paying a high price for sub-par cannabis. When performed at an expert level, CRC can purify the oil and enhance its taste and appearance. However, the same technique works on oils produced from poor-quality cannabis as well as it works on those made from superior flower. Thus, companies could potentially use CRC to mask a product’s defects rather than to enhance its natural attractions.
As a consumer, you can make sure that you’re buying quality concentrates by only purchasing from companies you trust. Look up the company’s reputation online and see what people are saying. Talk to your local budtender. Confirm purity and potency with third-party certificates of analysis.