Hydrocarbon Extraction

Last Updated: August 22, 2018

Definition - What does Hydrocarbon Extraction mean?

Hydrocarbon extraction is the most popular extraction method used to strip the cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and terpenes from cannabis plant material. The process involves the use of hydrocarbons such as propane or butane as the solvent to extract the concentrate.

The highly concentrated extract is then used to create cannabis oils, shatter, glass, hash, wax, and other products.

Hydrocarbon extraction is a clean extraction method that leaves little or no hydrocarbon residue when properly utilized. At the end of the hydrocarbon extraction process, the resulting extract is clean and contains very high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.

MaximumYield explains Hydrocarbon Extraction

The hydrocarbon extraction process generally involves placing the cannabis plant material into a glass test tube. The marijuana is packed tightly into the tube to remove all air pockets. A screen is attached to the bottom of the tube to prevent the plant material from falling from the tube. The tube is then placed in a glass container.

The hydrocarbon such as butane is placed into the hole at the other end of the test tube. Butane is then ignited and allowed to flow into the test tube heating up the cannabis material.

Usually, within a minute or two of heating the cannabis with the butane, the cannabis starts to release its oils. The highly concentrated oil drips out of the test tube and into the glass container. The container holding the oil is then placed into a second container that holds hot water.

The hot water encourages the butane to quickly evaporate from the oil. The oil is then heated again to boiling to further purge the hydrocarbons from the oil. The final purge process leaves the oil clean and free of hydrocarbons.

This definition was written in the context of Cannabis
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