Most patients and production companies are unaware of the basic protocols in testing cannabis extracts, as well as the lack of transparency in the industry used to perpetuate sales and purchasing of testing.
An extract cannot be directly submitted for testing. Instead, an extract must be first mechanically separated, removing all impurities. This can be done chemically and physically either with separation hardware or even a centrifuge.
Potency testing separates the head fluids from the solids and impure compounds that are separate from the chemical compounds the facility is aiming for.
This is comprised of:
- impartial aldehyes
- inactive compounds
- contamination particulate
These seven components are removed in the overall % by volume and are excluded from testing. The subsequent compounds, are now present and ready to be examined. The potency testing is completed on the actual chemical profile, extracted at the lab while inactive compounds have been removed pre-testing. This means that realistically if 50% inactive compounds are removed by volume, then only the remainder that was tested is the actual sub-base that was tested. If a lab sends back a 80% potency result, this would in fact mean that the wax tested was really closer to 40% potency.
This is done in a effort to trick the patient into using a testing center. If anything in the industry changes, myself and many professionals have said that eliminating wax, or in the major case, product with high concentrations of inactive compounds is where we need to be to secure the legitimacy of the industry.
We have felt for a long time, when making; perfumes, lotions, topicals, concentrates, etc… that only a high grade product, clean and quality should be available for a patient or customer.
Anytime a product is made it should be considered that the end patient is the one who supports the system. Anytime this is abused it shows who the company behind the product really is.
Here we will discuss the difference between, wax, shatter, and clear concentrates on a scale ranging from what should be eliminated to what should be made.
The gradient scale generally is as follows:
Lowest quality product comprised of 20-50%+ inactive compounds.
Waxes, fats, lipids, solids, aldehydes, inactive compounds & contamination
Should be recognized as poison & avoided at all costs.
As bad as wax, high levels of water & or degraded compounds.
No stability in their natural state, avoid at all cost.
over ground in a processor, high levels of plant matter, fractionating thc is to be avoided.
normally has higher than 60% impurities, It should be noted and avoided like waxes.
Crumble can come two ways:
A. dry and deceiving product, may consistent of highly inactive compounds, “may” taste good.
crumbly less stable final product, lack of moisture & paraffin in crumble has a nonstick
effect. We recommend to avoid it.
B. “can be” a completely dewaxed product, with little to no inactive compounds.
- Live Resin “Wet”
fresh “wet” plant material needs time to properly breakdown organic compounds
methane gases are subject to being extracted during the process.
such gases and organic decomposition may allow the plant to deteriorate the aldehyde levels
when concentrated, they can be bad. aldehyes are an isomer of formaldehyde.
hydrocarbon fluids used in extraction, tend to not operate at full efficiency
- Live Resin “Dry”
live resin “dry“, can be an astonishing product, and it can be processed very well.
drying live resin is as follows, Attach the column with wet material to a base or manifold and run dry nitrogen from the bottom up, taking nearly 4 or 5 seconds, the entire column will be forced dry. This will remove decomposition gasses as well as moisture.
is extracted minus inactive compounds and done under low pressures, as well as low temps to ensure no over extraction is done.
can be sheeted on trays to resemble a glass like product
short extractions results in lighter colors (as long as compounds aren’t already heavily oxidized)
longer extractions result is less stable and less appealing colors. a lot healthier than wax by far.
de-waxed but the moisture content is high (improper extraction, and poor equipment/hardware management) that the compounds homogenize and then destabilize between the separated parties. Ex: water & oils. *water is nearly harmless
- Alcohol or Solvent rinse – Tincture
used for oral or topical uses, generally. The impurity level can be very high.
should not be smoked unless properly produced.
- Clear Fractional Distillate
temperature and vacuum are used to achieve a solvent-less extraction.
you can remove all impurities before and after thc via there boiling points.
proper separation leaves a odorless, tasteless, pure fraction of any value, in many cases THC
- Isolated fractions
Isolate is a useful product near 98-100% pure, single compound.
used primarily for special needs and is specific in nature.
- Misc mystery stuff
If you have to look twice, or you just don’t know; Throw it away.
Our next topic will be how to extract properly. We wanted to explain some of the general differences as we know these terms are abused and argued about a lot. If you have any questions or want something added email email@example.com and we’ll be happy to consider using your views. We will now talk, in depth, about safety and protocol used in proper recovery processes. -JBV