With the recent uptick in cannabis legalization across North America, new methods of consuming cannabis are also being developed. Cannabis concentrates such as oil and distillate are making up an increasing percentage or choices for consumers. Concentrates are increasingly well-represented in cannabis shops, from vaporizer cartridges to infused drinks and edibles. Each year brings not only new products but also new entrepreneurs who want to start their own cannabis extraction business. Recent research predicts that concentrates will represent an $8 billion market in the U.S. alone by 2022. That kind of money has made it enticing to many companies, but there is a lot involved in breaking into the business.

Cannabis Concentrates Explained

Cannabis extraction is about getting the trichomes or the sticky resin that coats them off of the plant and into solution. There is a variety of substances that can achieve it: ethanol, propane, ethylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, dry ice. Cannabis has been used around the world for ages, from Viking ships to ancient Mongolia. It was generally used for spiritual and medicinal purposes, including during childbirth and for toothaches. With increasing legislation at the State level allowing the general use of cannabis, more companies are starting up and developing their own methods and products.
Many entrepreneurs have set their sights on finding the best ways to extract the cannabinoids that give the plant its character and effects, producing products that are a smokeless alternative to traditional methods. The new products come in many forms, including sheets, resins, crystals, and amber-colored oils.

Beginning Extraction

Since there are many different results producers aim for and a variety of methods to use to get them, there’s no single ‘right’ way to arrange an extraction setup. In fact, often extractors will use multiple machines for different purposes. Some shops are devoted to CO2-based extractions, others operate mostly with butane, and a few employ some sort of gas blend. Machinery sizes vary widely, as there are a lot of factors to consider when making a serious investment in a piece of CO2 extraction gear. Reliability and safety should be at the top of your list as well as matching the machine to the ability of any workers.

Having a predictable product on the other end is an important consideration for any producer. You want your customers to come back to you because you are producing a consistent, reliable product. Good equipment companies will offer their customers ongoing support to optimize their equipment.

How do you choose from the hundreds of methods to extract the best cannabinoids to meet your goals? First, identify the type of compounds you want to extract. Then find the best-grown product you can to increase the quality of the extraction. Consult professionals to get their opinion of your plan and their experiences. One expert might recommend ethanol for some extractions but hydrocarbon for others. Another may contend that CO2 actually provides the most complete extraction. Start-ups new to the industry can find a plethora of resources, from online videos to trained salespeople.

When it comes to sourcing the gases you need for your extraction business, Eureka Oxygen has you covered!