Different Cannabis Extraction Methods: Explained

The cannabis industry is slowly making its place in the legal market. Many people use products with marijuana in them, believing they have healing effects. But what are the most popular cannabis extraction methods?

The techniques for cannabis extraction have existed for a long time. This is to create CBD oils known for their therapeutic effects. Yet, scientific research hasn’t proven which are the most effective extraction methods. 

This guide includes information on what the best extraction for cannabis is. It also presents the most commonly used methods of extracting cannabis. This is to help you understand what goes into the products you purchase.

Pre-Extraction Phase

Before the extraction process can begin, we must examine what cannabis version is used for many applications. Most commonly, the dry cannabis herb is required as an essential part of developing different products.

The dry cannabis plant prevents the tissue from rotting. The pre-extraction phase of drying the plant promotes potency maintenance and high-efficiency levels. 

However, some external factors influence the flower’s quality preservation and cannabis production. They include oxygen, light, and harvest time, affecting the cannabinoid stability.

Interested in how marijuana is processed and used for recreational and medicinal purposes? Click here to discover the most common cannabis extraction methods.

Cannabis Extraction Methods

Recently, there have been some improvements in the extraction technology. They allow processors to use suitable extraction methods. Some CBD extraction machines and automated robots make the job even easier.

The best CBD extraction methods can be solvent-based or non-solvent-based. All processes have their advantages and disadvantages. But they are all generally considered effective.

  • Solvent-based hydrocarbon extraction

One of the most well-known cannabis extraction methods is hydrocarbon extraction. This process is also called butane hash oil extraction. Butane and propane are solvent-based materials most commonly used to process food.

However, these hydrocarbons can also contribute to the cannabis industry. They have a low molecular weight and can preserve many of the cannabis plant’s terpenes. They also have a low boiling point, perfect for producing full-spectrum extracts.

  • CO2 cannabis extraction

Cannabis extraction with CO2 is also very common. This method can extract cannabinoids from the plant material without leaving toxin residues. This is because carbon dioxide is a non-toxic and sustainable gas among solvents.

When this gas gets heated above its usual temperature and pressure, it converts into fluid. But this concoction is similar to both gas and liquid. When this happens, CO2 finds itself in a supercritical state.

This is when the cannabis extraction process begins. The cannabis buds wash over the CO2 to separate any plant compounds like THC and CBD. Then, the solvent evaporates and turns into liquid to eliminate any unnecessary compounds.

  • Ethanol extraction

The most common solvent used during cannabis extraction is alcohol. Ethanol is a type of alcohol and a solvent in the food industry. But it’s also efficient in separating the terpenes and cannabinoids from the cannabis plant.

Before the cannabis extraction process, the ethanol is kept at room temperature. Some even use it slightly chilled. Then, the best thing to do is to pour the solvent over the raw plant to dissolve the compounds.

To promote extract purity, the solvent is removed from the plant by the end of the extraction process. This step creates an ethanol-based concentrate that can be used for various purposes in the cannabis industry.

However, this solvent might leave a residue that requires additional processing to get removed. It creates a crude extract and doesn’t have a high terpene concentration. Thus, it’s not suitable for creating full-spectrum products. Instead, it works best for distillates and isolates.

The ethanol extraction method requires the use of certain instruments. These include a rotary evaporator, water chiller, and vacuum pump. They produce pure, high-quality extracts used in products people often buy.

  • Solvent-free agitation extraction

Agitation cannabis extraction methods are used to break the outgrowths from the flower buds. Most commonly, these outgrowths are called trichomes. They can be found in the stems and leaves of many plants, including cannabis.

This extraction method is believed to elevate the potency of the herbs. It usually involves the use of a grinder and creating an extract. Then, the processed cannabis flower is ready to create joints.

People can also use agitation for ice-water cannabis extraction. This technique involves submerging the marijuana in water and ice. The cold water breaks down the trichomes after the agitation process is complete.

  • Solventless pressing cannabis extraction

One of the lesser-known cannabis extraction methods involves using rosin pressing systems. Heat and pressure melt the waxy rosin from the cannabis plant. They break its cells and release the oils that people use for consumption.

To create potent and concentrated oils, manufacturers use rosin. This ingredient is dark and sticky, often used to create topicals and edibles. 

What Method Is the Most Efficient?

All the cannabis extraction methods mentioned above are efficient. But customers still wonder what is the best for their needs and preferences. The quality of a cannabis extract depends on the materials and processes used during its production. 

Most consumers prefer extracts like distillates, isolates, or full-spectrum products for medical purposes. Some search for THC-free products created with natural hemp. Thus, they choose ethanol-based extracts in their CBD products. 

Regardless of the methods involved in cannabis extraction, consumers must focus on one crucial step. After purchasing a product with a cannabis extract, proper storage is key to retaining its quality and longevity. 

Store your cannabis extracts in a dry and cool place. Keep them away from excessive heat, light, moisture, and humidity. This is to avoid cannabinoid degradation. Also, to ensure their shelf life is prolonged as much as possible.


We hope we have helped you learn the traditional cannabis extraction methods that have been used for years in various industries

All extraction techniques require precision, expertise, and proper equipment. This is to ensure the quality of the cannabis is well preserved.

Also visit Digital Global Times for more quality informative content.


Writing has always been a big part of who I am. I love expressing my opinions in the form of written words and even though I may not be an expert in certain topics, I believe that I can form my words in ways that make the topic understandable to others. Conatct: zeeshant371@gmail.com

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