In the cannabis industry, non-solvent extraction is any extraction method used to create cannabis concentrates that involves no harmful chemical solvents.
Solventless cannabis concentrates are popular for medicinal marijuana users because they are free of harsh chemical solvent residues such as butane or propane. Popular concentrates that are created using non-solvent extraction methods, and are therefore solvent-free, include kief, freeze-dried hash, water hash, bubble hash, hand-rolled hash, solventless shatter, budder, and rosin.
Typically, all that is required in a non-solvent extraction method is water, heat, a sieve, or pressure.
Non-solvent extraction methods have been done for centuries, especially in areas of the world such as Pakistan, Morocco, Egypt, and Afghanistan.
Classic hash is one of the most common non-solvent extraction concentrates. It is made by using ice water to separate the marijuana plant’s trichomes from the plant’s material. The trichomes are sticky and once dry they readily stick together to form classic hash.
Dry sifting is another non-solvent extraction method that entails using sieves of various sizes to sift the plant material and break the trichomes away from the plant material.
Kief is created via a non-solventless method by breaking away the white trichomes from the plant material by grinding the marijuana plant's resin glands.
Rosin is made by applying heat to the plant material to squeeze and extract the cannabinoid-rich oils.
When water or CO2 are used as solvents during the extraction process, the end result is considered solventless, because these types of solvents don't get left behind in the end product and are harmless.