Cannabis Extraction: Most Popular Methods to Extract Weed


There are a plethora of health and well-being benefits associated with cannabis. However, there exist, as well, concerns about its legal status and use as a recreational drug. The result is that the numerous benefits of the plant remain unknown or not talked about by the masses.

A report by Harvard Health Publishing demonstrates the several benefits of marijuana. Studies have shown it is successful in treating Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD. With evident benefits, it comes as no surprise that cannabis use has become increasingly common.

Part of the prevalence of cannabis use has led people to experiment with different types of extraction. Cannabis extraction is on the rise. This article will explain the reason more people are doing this and delve into the most popular methods of extraction.

Why Extract Cannabis?

Increasingly, people are turning to cannabis not only for recreational but therapeutic uses as well. The benefits have led medical professionals around the world to seek out different methods of extracting oils from the cannabis plant.

According to PharmOut, cannabis extraction serves to isolate specific target compounds. Researchers can administer these compounds to patients based on their medicinal benefits. Compounds found in the cannabis plant are known as cannabinoids. Reports have shown that there are at least 113 of cannabinoids in the plant.

Subsequently, there are countless medicinal cannabidiol products like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). You can separate these compounds from the rest of the plant via extraction. Cannabis, in its extracted form, is known as cannabis concentrates. From a medical perspective, cannabis concentrates are beneficial. They make it easier to administer specific dosages of cannabinoids for medical treatment.

It is also used by those who wish to use marijuana in tincture or oil form, rather than smoking it or consuming edibles. Subsequently, cannabis concentrates are optimal for people who want to dab or vape marijuana.

Depending on what method you use, cannabis concentrates come in many forms such as oil, bubble hash, kief or rosin. Different forms of consumption can lead to varying quantities of THC in the resultant product. The variability is critical to note. Besides its medicinal uses, THC is also a psychoactive substance, which causes one to feel ‘high’. So, if you plan on extracting your own cannabis, proceed with caution and bear this in mind.

This article covers the two most popular types of cannabis extraction: solvent-based extraction and solventless extraction.

Solvent-Based Extractions

Person holding a cannabis extract bottle and dropper

Christian Sweeney at Cannabistry Labs details three types of solvent-based extractions:

Ethanol Extractions

Ethanol extraction is the most straightforward technique. It allows you to extract substantive amounts of THC in a small amount of time. It’s a simple process: heat the bud of the plant with some ethanol and then follow this up with distillation to obtain the desired cannabinoid.

Butane Extractions

The butane extraction method is similar to ethanol extractions. The technique also delivers the desired cannabinoids on a shorter timescale. However, it won’t produce the same quantity of products as ethanol extractions. Butane extractions do, however, have an additional benefit. The method lets you preserve some of the terpenes from the raw material.

In case you didn’t know, terpenes are the organic compound from cannabis that gives it its distinctive smell and flavor. Terpenes are also present in substances like essential oils. They enhance the overall effects of pleasure and relaxation from these oils. Terpenes from cannabis plants also have medicinal benefits.

CO2 Extractions

CO2 extraction is a highly-advanced and complicated method of extraction. As such, most experts recommend only other professionals or experienced extractors undertake this method.

CO2 extraction is a unique process in which you can change the temperature and pressure in each extraction. The variability makes it easy to tailor the process based on the strain you extract. Ultimately, the flexibility of the technique means that the chances of successful and quality extractions increase significantly.

Solventless Extraction

According to PharmOut, there are several ways to extract desirable components of the plant without the need for solvents. You can separate kief from the rest of the cannabis plant bud by sieving it and grinding it into a powder. Also, you can extract rosin via a flat heat press device.

You can even extract hash (or hashish) in two different ways:

  1. One way is to freeze the buds. Break them into microscopic parts and then sieve the hash. Press the filtered product into a block.
  2. Another way is to use ice-water to separate hash from the rest of the plant. Wait for it to dry and then again press it into a block.


Following these basics will make the cannabis extraction process quick, easy, and enjoyable!

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