There can be a lot of misconceptions in extraction, which can lead to confusion and misunderstanding. Here are 5 ideas that are continually observed, as well as a little bit of enlightenment on the truth.
Misconceptions in CO2 Extraction
The stigma around cannabis and hemp is well-rooted - and centers heavily on - theatrical depictions of marijuana users in later 20th-century cinema. But the truth is, the cannabis industry is full of significant amounts of entrepreneurs, professionals, and scientists. Though there is a stigma still around the products, the demographics of those involved in the industry are wide, varied, and tending towards a more educated and informed crowd. Don't let stereotypes fool you - the industry is in growth mode, with revenues expected to eclipse $20B in the next few years. The people actively contributing to that growth are far from the stereotypical group.
It's all about Yield
The question is always asked unconditionally, "what's the yield?" The heuristic line of thinking behind this question is one of the greatest misconceptions in the industry. The belief is that more mass is better, but the truth is that's only half true. More QUALITY mass is better, but judging extraction systems on the sheer volume of output alone is missing the big picture. The better question is recovery percentage, or rather, how much of the key compounds of interest are being extracted. A large output of fats and waxes isn’t optimal, but an extraction that results in a higher quality concentration of desirable compounds is a winner.
90% in 2hrs
Related to yields and recovery comes the question of run times. It's very easy to make statements like, "this CO2 extraction machine has a recovery of over 99%" and "this machine can do a run in two hours". Put together, this would seem to be a very desirable extraction system. Unfortunately, combining two completely separate, truthful statements does not equal one larger statement of fact. Aside from the laws of physics, the ability to recover in the high 90s in 2 hours or less on a CO2 system is simply impossible. While it is possible to get recovery of over 99%, and it's also easy to get run times of 2 hours or less, believing (or stating) that those two are possible together is patently false.
All you need is a machine
With the amazing growth rate of the cannabis and hemp markets, many budding entrepreneurs are looking at the industry with high expectations. Many believe that once you have a system up and running, you've got a license to print money. The truth is far less glamorous. As in any other business, cannabis requires significant amounts of work, having business systems like supply chain and distribution in place, and ensuring that your operation is properly licensed for what you intend to do. While there is significant opportunity in the industry, a successful operation is one that has done the right planning, has the right systems in place, and is willing to put in the work to realize goals.
CO2 is the most expensive method
There's a lot of technology involved in CO2 extraction, and this can lead to higher initial costs. Many times, businesses forgo CO2 extraction in favour of other solvents that have a lower barrier to entry. Unfortunately for them, while the initial costs may make other options more attractive, the long-term spend in dollars, time and resources can be far more expensive. When you look at costs of production over the course of a year in business, CO2 presents one of the most cost-effective, efficient and safe options on the extraction market.
Want to know more? If you're interested in learning more about the science behind extraction, you can find a selection of interesting articles in our stories section or you can contact us.