Discussions about the cannabis industry focus on all sorts of topics – from growing to consuming to the political winds of the day. For some strange reason, cannabis extraction does not get a whole lot of discussion. This, despite the fact that extraction is key to maintaining a robust market. Things would look a lot different without it.
Houston-based CedarStone Industry describes cannabis extraction as the process of separating chemical compounds from cannabis plant material. The compounds processors are mainly interested in are cannabinoids and terpenes. And of course, the two most well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC.
So, why does extraction matter so much? Why is it so important to a robust industry? Consider the following four things:
1. Smoking Is Not Always Preferred
Marijuana has been harvested and smoked for millennia. You could make the case that smoking is still the most popular consumption method. But not all marijuana users prefer it. Many do not want to inhale marijuana smoke any more than they do tobacco smoke.
In the absence of smoking, consumers are left with three other options: dry heating, eating plant material added to their recipes, or using products derived from cannabis by way of extraction and distillation. A THC tincture offers a perfect illustration of the third option.
Tinctures are concentrated oils consumed by placing a drop or two under the tongue. They are produced by extracting THC from plant material and then combining it with other ingredients to make the end product.
2. Smoking Isn’t Always Appropriate
Next up, there are plenty of consumers who do not use marijuana or THC. Yet they still use cannabis in the form of products derived from industrial hemp. The reality is that you wouldn’t smoke hemp. There are no benefits to doing so. But extract CBD and other compounds from hemp biomass and you have something with which you can work.
For that reason alone, CedarStoneIndustry manufactures extraction and distillation equipment. They provide the machinery that processors need to obtain extracts from all sorts of cannabis plants.
3. Smoking Still Illegal in Some Places
Extraction is also necessary because smoking cannabis is still illegal in many places. Take Utah. In the Beehive State, cannabis cannot be used recreationally. It can only be used medically, and smoking is not allowed. Patients have to either dry heat plant material or use a derived product made with extracts.
Without hemp and marijuana extraction, Utah patients wouldn’t have access to nearly as many retail products. Their only choices would be dry heating plant material or adding it to their own recipes.
4. Derived Products Are Convenient
Even those consumers who prefer to smoke cannabis know that derived products are convenient. You cannot light up a joint in any environment where tobacco smoking is prohibited. But you can put a tincture under your tongue or pop a gummy into your mouth.
Cannabis extraction gives processors the opportunity to manufacture derived products that are more convenient to use. Furthermore, extraction allows for infused beverages and foods. Right now, there is an entire market developing around cannabis-infused drinks. Extraction is that which makes it possible.
Companies specializing in hemp and CBD extraction work behind the scenes. They are backstage while growers and retailers are out front. It is a safe bet they don’t mind because they are in it to make money. And rest assured there is plenty to be made.
Cannabis extraction does not get talked about a lot. But it is the key to a robust industry. If extraction ever falters, it will have a massive impact on the way people consume hemp and marijuana products.