If you came down with a sickness in 1721, you’d probably have a doctor open up your veins to let your blood drain out. Fast forward to 140 years later, during the American Civil War, and moonshine was your pain reliever before your arm was sawed off after getting hit with a lead ball. In 2018, you can speak with a specialist on the other side of the country and manage your ailment via telemedicine.
Technology is always progressing. In the case of medicine, we should be extremely thankful for that. In the case of cannabis extraction, there’s ample reason for gratitude, as well.
Here’s how nanotechnology in cannabis extraction has sped up the rate of extract production and provides positive health outcomes to consumers.
Increased Rate of Production of High Quality Extracts
When utilized safely, ethanol, butane, and other common mediums will extract and the desired compounds present in Cannabis (1). However, not all solvents are created equally.
Boiling points matter in solvents. THC and CBD have boiling points of 157° Celsius and 180° Celsius, respectively (2). Olive oil’s boiling point is a higher 190° Celsius. So, while olive oil works well to extract cannabinoids and terpenes, igniting it will deactivate the compounds before the oil burns off.
Butane is an effective and easy-to-use extraction tool, yet it has the potential to leave behind dangerous chemicals (3). Financially speaking, however, these are some of the easiest ways to extract compounds from plants.
If start-up cost is no issue, there’s a better, and faster way to make high-quality extractions.
Thank you, nanotechnology.
With the capability to create miniature jets and tiny, rapidly imploding bubbles, ultrasonication of solvents brings higher-yield extracts in a shorter amount of time without the use of dangerous chemicals.
According to Journal of Food Science, the use of ultrasonication is “an efficient and green extraction technique” that “saves resources, time, energy, and cost” for producers (4).
There’s an even more important benefit to using nanotechnology in extraction: improved health outcomes.
Positive Health Implications
Medicinal cannabis is all about providing people with a natural, safe, and effective means of treating their ailments. By creating higher-yield extracts using safer solvents in a shorter amount of time, more people can quickly access the medicine they need through a medium they desire.
Nanotechnology is integral to this process. Though start-up costs of nanotechnology-assisted extraction are considerably higher than more archaic means of extraction, the end-product is worth the cost in terms of production quality and patient outcomes.
What are your thoughts on nanotechnology and extraction techniques? Will tiny robots with advanced artificial intelligence eventually manipulate plants to control us? Or is using advanced technology a good idea?
- “3 Ways Your Neighbor is Extracting Cannabis Right Now.” Accessed April 25, 2018. https://extractionmagazine.com/category/applied-technology/3-cannabis-extraction-processes/
- “Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts: Greater than the Sum of Their Parts?” Accessed April 26, 2018. http://www.cannabis-med.org/data/pdf/2001-03-04-7.pdf
- “Warnings on Butane Extraction and Dabbing.” Accessed April 26, 2018. http://www.canorml.org/news/warnings_on_cannabis_butane_extractions_and_dabbing
- “Ultrasound-Assisted Extraction of Cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. Optimized by Response Surface Methodology: Extraction of Cannabinoids.” Accessed April 25, 2018. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323158189_Ultrasound-Assisted_Extraction_of_Cannabinoids_from_Cannabis_Sativa_L_Optimized_by_Response_Surface_Methodology_Extraction_of_cannabinoids