Our CBD Extraction Process and the Extraction System
StillCanna has developed a turnkey extraction and distillation solution to convert hemp
(less than .3% THC present) or cannabis feedstock into distilled cannabinoid oil.
The History of CBD Extraction
Traditionally, smoking cannabis type products has been the primary form of consumption, followed by crudely extracted oils using cooking type oils to produce infused edibles for those that do not wish to or are restricted from smoking.
Over the past five years extraction and distillation equipment and methodologies have become more sophisticated as firms turn from essential oil extractions to hemp and cannabis. Extracting the cannabinoids (chemicals that activate cannabinoid receptors in the body) and other essential compounds and oils from hemp and cannabis is difficult and expensive. Hemp and/or cannabis growers and cultivators are typically not good or experienced at extraction.
CBD is an extract taken from cannabis plants and although it is present in marijuana, CBD oil is most commonly extracted from agricultural or industrial hemp. This is because these varieties of cannabis contain less THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical that produces psychoactivity in humans. However, quality matters. Low-grade CBD oil may not offer the same levels of benefit offered by top-rated CBD oil because of a variety of factors, and it could even potentially contain harmful toxins.
Like any manufactured product, one of the best ways to ensure quality is to use high-quality materials. This is especially important in CBD oil because of the hemp plant’s characteristic as a “hyperaccumulator.” This means that the hemp plant easily absorbs anything that is present in the ground that it was cultivated and farmed. If a hemp plant is grown on rich soil, the resulting plant will be of high-quality that can produce CBD oil in the same high-quality. If a hemp plant that is used in production of CBD oil was cultivated in a land that is rich in heavy metals such as mercury and lead, the resulting oils will also reflect the amount of heavy metals absorbed by the plant, making it unsafe for humans to consume, especially children or others who are extremely vulnerable to toxins. Our Partners provide PEI certified quality land to grow its hemp on. This is critical.
Another quality of a good CBD oil is that it is manufactured proving a wide range of cannabinoids in the oil, referred to as full spectrum oil. CBD Isolates are becoming increasingly popular, but in reality, it is only one of over 80 cannabinoids in the plant. Providing full spectrum oil rather than using only one part, ensures that the oil contains not just CBD, but also the full range of primary and secondary constituents of the hemp plant. These include terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids that are generally believed to work synergistically with CBD, making the benefits exponentially higher than CBD alone.
Common Extraction Methods
The most common methods use some type of solvent. This can be a liquid solvent, CO2, or an oil solvent. If the plant material you start with contains THC as well as CBD (such as smokable cannabis), the process to separate CBD from other cannabinoids is more complex and generally requires expertise and professional equipment.
Liquid solvents use plant material like flowers and “trim” put into a container. Liquid solvent (usually butane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, or ethanol) is run through the plant matter to strip it of cannabinoids and flavours and transfer them into the liquid. Then, the liquid is evaporated away from this mixture to leave only concentrated chemicals and flavours in the form of oil. One concern is that some solvents can leave traces of impurities in the finished CBD oil (meticulous processing methods and the right solvent can minimise this). Also, some liquid solvents remove chlorophyll from the plant along with cannabinoids and flavours, giving the finished oil a greener colour and more bitter taste. This remains the most common method for CBD extraction.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a unique molecule that can function as any state of matter - solid, liquid, or gas - depending on the pressure and temperature it is kept under. Because variables like pressure and temperature have to be kept very specific in a CO2 extraction, this extraction method is usually done with a piece of equipment called a ‘closed-loop extractor’. The CO2-cannabinoid mixture is pumped into a chamber where it is kept at an even lower pressure and higher temperature so that the CO2 gas rises to the top of the chamber while the oils containing chemicals and flavours from the plant material fall to the bottom to be collected for consumption. These systems have been very popular in the past several years but they have been unable to meet large industrial requirements at a reasonable cost.
CO2 technology is only an initial step in the extraction of CBD from industrial hemp. Up to 5 or more separate processes need to be followed to take the initial product produced through C02 extraction to market.
Oil extraction, using oils, to extract cannabinoids from hemp and cannabis is a practice that dates back to biblical times or even earlier. Many small and home- producers who make their own CBD products still employ this simple extraction method.
Infused oil is also highly perishable, and so must be stored in cold, dark place. Overall, this process makes it unviable for commercial CBD producers, but a simple, safe, and inexpensive option for individual enthusiasts.
The Stillcanna Extraction System
StillCanna has engineered a proprietary commercial scale extraction system that utilizers food grade
ethanol as its extraction medium. With an existing beta unit, we have developed a brand new method
of refining and distilling cannabis down to a molecular level to produce a range of CBD products.
Stillcanna Model of Extraction
- Can process large volumes in shorter time
- Lower cost per gram to process Cannabis to CBD.
- Provides specific refinement.
- Only uses food grade ethanol and uses no carcinogenic compounds.
- Through molecual isolation, will define the future profile of CBD.
Existing Model of Extraction
- Restricted to small volume
- Higher cost per gram to process Cannabis to CBD.
- Only provides primary extraction not refinement.
The first stage of the Extraction System solution involves using a food grade ethanol to extract cannabinoid concentrates (in the form of an oil) from the hemp feedstock. The actual solvents used in the extraction process:
Ethanol is deemed to be a new method in which to extract cannabinoid from Feedstock. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classify ethanol as “Generally Regarded as Safe”, or GRAS, meaning that it is safe for human consumption. The Company currently uses food grade ethanol for its extraction and distillation.
After the extraction process, the cannabinoid concentrate is purified by separating the ethanol and other undesirable substances (such as fats, waxes, lipids, pigments, solids, chlorophyll etc).
During the refining process, the idea is to separate the cannabinoid concentrate from the undesirable substances.
This process is known as winterization. In order to separate the ethanol and cannabinoids the concentration is frozen. A great deal of undesirable substances such as plan waxes and other material remain frozen while we filter out the ethanol and cannabinoids that remain liquid and do not freeze.
With distillation, the separation is carried out not by solvents, but by other means. More volatile materials are more easily distilled and condensed as distillate while the heavier materials remain as liquid collected as residue. Distillation is performed after initial extraction to further concentrate and purify the desired compounds.
The level of purity depends on the quality and composition of the feedstock plus all subsequent handling and processing prior to the distillation process. However, the Company is able to produce full spectrum oil high purity from any feedstock.
The levels of cannabinoids (CBD initially, though could produce THC) in the distilled cannabinoid oil from PEI are at least 90% or higher. Hence, 90%+ of the distilled cannabinoid oil is pure cannabinoids. The full process takes approximately 12 hours.
The Extraction Unit
The Company working with engineers experienced in fluid dynamics coupled with degrees in brewing and distillation
was able to create a commercial scale extraction methodology. The company’s proprietary operating procedures along
with its custom designed and manufactured equipment can produce high volume consistent cannabis oil.
The extraction and isolation of cannabinoids from hemp can require up to 10 individual steps, many of which are labour intensive and inefficient.
The Company through is engineering expertise was able to consolidate several steps of the CBD extraction process with proprietary technology.This consolidation allows the company to process more hemp volume per hour than other commercial facilities.
Is it Patentable?
We have manufactured equipment
that is proprietary.
We have developed a methodology that is in
the process of being patented.