Botanical Extraction

Evolution of Extraction: Catching the Wave of Industry Competence

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Are you a surfer? It doesn’t matter. Keep reading. If you are, can you imagine a world without surfboards? We’d still be sliding across waves on our bellies, like featherless penguins on the sea. It’s absurd. Likewise, the world of extraction without unique tools is particularly drab.

Cannabis extraction is becoming fancier and more refined. The belly-sliding of mechanical extraction is getting old, and someone figured out how to make extraction’s new surfboard: ultrasonic and microwave-assisted extraction techniques (1). Let’s examine the recent move towards the assisted extraction techniques of cannabinoids.

Why Belly Sliding Wasn’t Enough

Physical labor for fun? No, thank you. Hand-grinding and using sieves to extract kief or make bubble hash provides attractive products, but who has the arm strength? There are many ways to extract cannabis without manual labor. Unfortunately, due to their use of hazardous materials, not all of them create healthy products (2).

Before surfboards, there were planks of wood. For extraction, that plank of wood’s analogue is olive oil. It marvelously extracts cannabinoids and terpenes from the Cannabis plant, but its evaporating point is too high. Essentially, it’s impossible to separate the concentrates from the substrate because they boil off with the oil when heated (3). How many times did the first surfers use unstable boards until they created the first surfboard? Cannabis extraction methods are likely evolving more rapidly.

Refining the Plank of Wood to Make a Surfboard

Moving from archaic experimentation to a sophisticated understanding of Cannabis extraction can be enhanced using sound and microwaves. Both methods provide extractors with ways to remove cannabinoids and terpenes from Cannabis flowers in effective ways.

Figure 1 What’s your favorite way to extract cannabinoids and terpenes?

By breaking down cellular defenses and promoting the mixture of water and oil, ultrasonic extraction is rapid and environmentally sound. Microwaves heat up plant moisture and encourage cannabinoids and terpenes to seep out of the plant material. Likewise, without the use of dangerous chemicals, microwave-assisted extraction is also environmentally safe.

Why the Evolution?

Ultrasonic and microwave-assisted extractions techniques are expensive to set up. So, why would a person or company do this? It’s all about awareness; the awareness of how Cannabis is cultivated and its products manufactured. Consumers these days are hyperaware and insist on knowing the origins of their products. Thus, a competitive–and highly creative–industry has emerged that seeks to serve the wants of the customer.


  1. “Cannabis Concentrates: Differences Between Microwave and Ultrasonic Assisted Extraction” Extraction Magazine. Accessed March 27, 2018.
  2. “CO2 Extraction–Methods and Devices Used to Create Cannabis Concentrates” Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training. October 18-19, 2016.
  3. “Cannabis Concentrates: Medical Significance and Extraction Methods” Accessed March 27, 2018.
  4. Figure 1. Photo credit to Pixabay.

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