Cannabis distillates are some of the most important materials produced in the industry. As the primary ingredients in most CBD or THC products, this substance derives the most effect out of the cannabis plant. However, before these materials find their way into edibles and smoking devices, they need to undergo the distillation process to ensure they’re of the proper purity and quality. This is how to improve cannabis distillation efficiency in your laboratory and a few things about the distillation process to keep in mind.
The Distillation Process
Before discussing the different ways to help increase the efficiency of your distillation process, it’s important to review what these steps entail. Cannabis distillation is the procedure of heating cannabis crude oil at a reduced boiling point to separate pure CBD/THC distillate from its lower-quality materials. This refinement is what allows us to produce higher quality and more effective cannabis-based products for the open market.
The extracting process doesn’t remove all impurities from the cannabis. But by heating up this material to a temperature between the two constituent’s melting points, one converts into a gas, and the other remains in place. This conversion enables the gas to travel into another container, where it collects back into a purified CBD/THC liquid.
The Importance of Distilling Cannabis
As briefly mentioned, cannabis distillation has several different purposes. It yields a pure material comprised of mostly cannabinoids. This makes it much easier to control the exact quantities in specific products and, therefore, determine the psychoactive reaction a consumer will receive. Distilling can make cannabis-based consumables much safer and more predictable for the public.
Distillation is also important for product innovation in the cannabis industry. Pure distillate lacks the terpenes and flavonoids that give the plant its natural taste and smell. This substance has a more diverse range of uses in foods and snacks. This further increases the possibilities available for future product development. Purified plant terpenes from natural sources may be used by the customer to enhance the flavor profile.
Increasing Distillation Efficiency
When producing a pure final distillate, waiting several days is not a requirement. With the right techniques at your disposal, you can create several liters in just a few hours of distilling. Efficiency in this process is the key to creating more products and growing your lab’s ability to create new formulas for testing. Consider using these tips for improving cannabis distillation efficiency in your facilities.
Filter and Refine Your Crude Extract
Before cannabis materials undergo the distilling process, the substance contains a series of additional compounds that could potentially end up in the pure distillate. This is especially likely if some of those chemicals have a similar boiling point to the fatty acids and cannabinoids. It’s recommended that you run your crude cannabis extract through a filtration process, such as winterization, clarification, or scrubbing filtration, before you start distilling. This ensures there’s less material interaction and fewer constituents with the same boiling point, making the distillation process itself work much more efficiently.
Decarboxylate and Degas Materials Beforehand
We also encourage you to run your extract through decarb and degas processes prior to distillation. This helps convert acidic cannabinoids into their neutral, consumable forms and removes volatile compounds that reduce the quality of a pure distillate. So, when you start the distillation procedure and put this substance under a vacuum, there’s less fluid to manage, and distillation will occur much quicker.
Use a Quicker Distillation Method
There are several different techniques for distilling cannabis extract, such as short-path distillation and fractional distillation. However, if you want to make this procedure more time- and cost-efficient, it’s important that you carefully select the best method. Wiped-film distillation or wiped-film short-path distillation has quickly become one of the most effective ways to create pure distillate.
These specialized pieces of equipment use a series of rotating blades to wipe along the interior of a heat evaporation column. This leaves behind a thin film that conducts a faster transfer of heat onto the extract flowing down the walls of the chamber. Condensed distillate will stick to the innermost pillar and run down into a collecting beaker, while vaporized distillate will cool and collect separately. With a better heat conductor, this method is one of the fastest ways to quickly produce high-quality distillate.
Our patented SinterTek technology, for instance, increases purity by up to 10 percent in one run, subject to input material quality. These sintered mesh baffles direct the flow of material with maximum possible efficiency. This produces cleaner distillate in a fraction of the standard timeframe.
Apply Residence Time
Another key to more efficient cannabis extract distillation is limiting the amount of time this material remains exposed to direct heat. While high temperatures play an essential role in converting distillate substances into vapors, too much can degrade or isomerize the cannabinoids you want to collect. Wiped-film systems are ideal, as they leave a thin, oily layer behind to reduce material sticking. This ensures that extracts are only exposed to direct heat for a short period of time before they dissipate into the rest of the chamber.
Purchase the Right Equipment
The most important strategy to increasing cannabis distillation efficiency is to have the right type and quality of tools at your disposal. With premium lab equipment, these core procedures occur with a reduced margin for error. This not only helps you produce higher-quality materials but also makes the process move much faster. Finding a supplier with several years of experience making devices for cannabis distillation and who you trust to deliver systems that cater to your efficiency goals will be paramount.
At Beaker & Wrench, it’s our mission to provide cutting-edge, state-of-the-art equipment for cannabis labs all over the world. With our extensive background in this industry, we know what professionals are looking for in these machines and how to achieve the highest quality and most efficient results possible. Our cannabis distillation system can yield several liters of premium distillate in as little as an hour. We’ll even train your team in how to use these machines, ensuring that it’s always performing at the best of its ability. For more information about our products or to ask any questions, feel free to contact us.