Automating the Cannabis Oil Extraction Process
Extracting oils from cannabis and hemp is not an easy process. It often involves a very labour intensive procedure, many different types of equipment, compliance rules that are thousands of pages long, and a large capital expenditure budget. Maratek has recognized these issues and put its 50+ years of engineering and manufacturing experience into the cannabis industry to provide equipment for the entire process, eliminating these issues.
Maratek provides top of the line Cryogenic Ethanol Extraction equipment for small to extremely large industrial-scale operations. Whether you are processing 50 pounds per day or looking at building an industrial turnkey extraction facility, Maratek has you covered. With over 50 years of engineering and manufacturing experience, Maratek has brought its innovative equipment to the Cannabis industry. OERS equipment performs three steps in one automatic process. Bulk ethanol recovery, final ethanol recovery and decarboxylation are performed a single automatic process with minimal operator time needed.
All of Maratek’s equipment are backed up with comprehensive testing, hard science, and money backed guarantee based on a total daily 95% ethanol extraction solution-processed. A 24-hour cycle includes filling, heating up, continuously topping off the still, and finally a full boil-down to solvent-free oil, which is typically unachievable with falling film systems.
Maratek’s EV line, EV-M Commercial Cannabis Extractor, EV-I KG Industrial Cannabis Extractor, has been engineered to maximize extraction yields while excelling in engineered automation. Our uptime guarantees utilize our secure remote troubleshooting technology and the ability to dispatch a technician within 24 hours if your equipment needs on-site service. Plus, we offer lifetime remote service at no extra cost.
Download the EV-M brochure HERE!
Maratek EV Cannabis Extraction Equipment
- Suitable for ethanol, butane & propane solvents
- 60-90 lb per hour processing* (SOP Dependant)
- 99+% Solvent Recovery
- Designed for cannabis and hemp
- Designed and manufactured in Canada
- C1D2 compliant
Operating Costs of Starting A Cannabis Extraction Business
Thinking of starting an extraction business?You’re not alone. Check this article for CBD extraction machine cost that you need to know. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp production, the extraction industry has seen a boom in the last six months. There’s never been a more exciting or lucrative time to work in extraction, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before jumping in feet first.
In this article, we will cover hemp processing starting from farming and harvesting to producing end products. You will learn what CBD processing equipment is needed for effective CBD processing in each step.
We will also explain how CBD oil is extracted and what CBD oil extraction machine is best to complete the process.
We will share a list of the important features and factors to help you choose the right CBD extraction equipment for your hemp extraction business, and highlight extraktLAB’s leading-edge, supercritical CO2 CBD oil extraction machine.
By the end of this article you’ll discover how extraktLAB’s equipment has the lowest operating costs, fastest throughput, smallest footprint, and most scalable design in the CBD oil extraction industry.
Over the last several years, there is no doubt that there has been a boom in the CBD oil extraction machine industry.
According to the latest reports, we should expect substantial market growth of hemp and CBD production by 2023. As the demand for hemp and CBD productions increases we see the incredible variety of products and services stemming from it.
Hemp is a particular species of plant grown for industrial use. The process of harvesting and using this plant has existed for tens of thousands of years and is continuing to grow exponentially. This includes the production of clothing, paper, paints, food products, biodegradable plastics, and more.
Hemp has a low amount of psychoactive cannabinoids (what is traditionally known to cause a “high”) in the plant. The plant also contains a common cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD), which has many reported health benefits.
Recently, producers have discovered how to make CBD oil in full-scale production, opening a new profitable industry.
The growing list of uses of the hemp plant makes it a virtually limitless plant. However, to access its benefits, hemp has to be processed into usable materials, like textiles or CBD oils. For this purpose you will need to use specialized CBD processing equipment to harvest, dry, extract, and process hemp.
As you read further, you will learn how the CBD oil extraction process works to extract CBD oil and the purpose behind CBD extraction. We will also highlight the right type of CBD extraction and the best CBD extraction method you can use in your CBD processing startup.
It is important to note that there are key features and factors to consider when choosing CBD extraction equipment for your CBD or hemp extraction business.
CBD Oil Extraction Machine: How to Extract CBD Oil
CBD is a compound that has a variety of potential medical applications such as relief from anxiety and pain. CBD is different from Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a compound that makes users high.Therefore, it is considered safe for most people.
There are several practical ways to extract CBD oil from hemp. Some CBD extraction systems used CO2 as a solvent in the process of oil extraction. Using CO2 as a solvent is a pure and clean form of CBD oil extraction as there is no residue after extraction.
The extracted CBD oil has to be refined after extraction in order to isolate CBD and other individual compounds. This is achieved with the help of three processes conducted one after another. They are called winterization, solvent removal and distillation.
To perform effective CBD oil extraction, a suitable solvent is very important. Effective CBD oil extraction depends on the capability of the solvent to strip the CBD from the hemp biomass.The column containing the ground hemp biomass is injected with the solvent of choice which will then act on the CBD in order to remove it from the plant material where it can be collected and refined downstream.
There are few practical methods of CBD extraction; however, the best method for CBD oil extraction is supercritical CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction is the most environmentally friendly extraction method as well as the most consumer safe extraction method.
CO2 CBD extraction is also much less expensive than other extraction methods in terms of long-term operational costs. In terms of solvent loss, solvent cost, and operational costs, it is a proven profitable extraction method when compared to other extraction methods over just one year.
extraktLAB manufactures cutting-edge, supercritical CO2 extraction equipment for hemp and botanical extraction industries.
Our CBD oil extraction machine has the fastest throughput, lowest operation costs, smallest footprint, and most scalable design in the CBD oil extraction industry.
We operate a 10-ton/day processing facility within our 38,000 sq ft manufacturing and demo facility in Wisconsin.
Contact extraktLAB today to learn more about leading-edge hemp oil extraction machines.
CBD Processing Equipment for Effective CBD Processing
As mentioned previously, there are numerous products that come from hemp processing. These products are all derived from the cultivation of the plant that involves hemp farming – planting, harvesting, shucking, separating, formulating, and creating final products.
Harvest and use of hemp include the production of clothing, paper, paints, biodegradable plastics, food products, and more through the processing of hemp. Recent uses of hemp include the practice of extraction and use of cannabidiol (CBD).
Recent research claims that high-quality CBD oils may have numerous health benefits. Today, you can find anything from skincare products, to edibles, to vaporizers that contain CBD.
In order to create CBD products, hemp has to be processed into usable materials with the help of specialized equipment for harvest, drying, extracting, and processing hemp.
Let us have a quick look at hemp processing equipment, such as combines, CBD hemp harvesters, and decorticator.
Hemp farmers use the combines to collect bulk hemp stalks for industrial use. However, this machinery drastically reduces the capability to create quality CBD oils by compromising the quality of the hemp flower.
One more piece of equipment used in CBD processing is a CBD hemp harvester. This machinery cuts the hemp flower at the stalk more carefully and loads the crop together, reducing any damage to the CBD flower.
Lastly, is the decorticator. This is used to create any kind of industrial bulk hemp crop product. Decorticators are used by the processor to separate the fibrous internal material from the stem of the hemp.
After the hemp plant is carefully harvested, it is run through the shucking procedure. At this stage, special equipment is used to separate the flower from the rest of the plant material.
This separation is crucial as the hemp flower has a much higher CBD content than the other parts of the plant.
Once the separated CBD flower and seeds have been tested for any unwanted materials, they are to be prepared for CBD extraction.
CBD extraction equipment can differ greatly depending on the end result needed. It could be a simple food-grade alcohol extraction done in a home setting or a large-scale CO2 extraction.
Supercritical CO2 extractors are considered to be the most advanced, efficient, and powerful extraction equipment in the hemp and botanical extraction industry today.
extraktLAB’s extractors are powerful, efficient, and practical for those producers who want the highest possible quality while achieving efficient productivity.
You will need to have at least four different employees in order to run a CBD processing or CBD extraction facility, this includes:
- quality assurance manager
- shift manager
- analytical operator
A quality assurance manager will help you comply with GMP requirements and produce a quality CBD product.
It is crucial to have a quality assurance manager at your CBD processing or extraction facility who is aware of the requirements and can implement those in your business.
A shift manager will organize and schedule operators at each station and track the production output. The manager will also be responsible for operator training, yields, workforce management, meeting quality requirements of the end product.
Operators are needed to execute the production plan following standard operating procedures. They should be trained on how to use the equipment and how to move materials in and out of the process.
The operators are responsible for recording the data for the quality management system and basic equipment maintenance.
Analytical operators, or quality control technicians, are typically chemists and have a laboratory background. They are important to provide yield and in-process testing to the manufacturing facility.
An analytical operator works with quality assurance to ensure that incoming raw hemp biomass conforms to purchasing and quality specifications.
At extraktLAB, we manufacture leading-edge, supercritical CO2 extraction machines primarily used by the hemp and botanical extraction industries. Our equipment is renowned for having the fastest throughput, smallest footprint, lowest operating costs, and most scalable design in the CBD oil extraction and processing industry.
Contact extraktLAB to learn more about the exciting and most cost-effective CBD oil extraction opportunities available in the industry today. You can call us at 651-600-0036 or submit an online form for more information.
How Does CBD Extraction Work?
Whether you’re considering buying CBD extraction equipment or already own some, you should be aware of how it works.
Let’s find out how to use a CBD extraction machine, how it works, and its purpose in the extraction process.
How to use a CBD Extraction Machine
Before you jump straight into its working principle, some considerations are important. To perform effective extraction, a suitable solvent like ethanol or butane is very important. That’s because effective extraction depends on the capability of the solution to act on the plant.
The solution goes from the operating tank to the extraction cylinder. The solvent acts on the plant to extract much desired plant components.
How it Works
The underlying principle of CBD extraction is pretty much the same in all CBD extraction machines. The typical process in CBD extraction equipment runs in a cycle. Let’s see how it works:
- First of all, the solvent goes into the operating tank where plant material is present already. The solvent is injected into the operating tank.
- The next step is the movement of solvent from the operating tank to the extraction cylinder.
- Once the process in the extraction cylinder is complete, the extract pours into the vessel. Here, the solvent begins to vaporize. The highly pressurized solvent is released into another chamber.
- In the next phase, the solvent travels through an expansion filter. This process can speed up by applying some heat to the expansion filter.
- In the next step, the solvent vapor escapes the expansion filter and moves into the recovery pump.
- In the final phase, the solvent drains into the recovery pump.
The process keeps happening in a cycle until you get crude CBD oil.
What is its purpose?
Considering the benefits of hemp, a CBD extraction machine is extremely important. The prime objective or purpose of CBD extraction equipment is to extract and produce high-quality consumable hemp oil.
How much does a CBD Extraction Machine Cost?
There are a number of factors that contribute to the overall costs of a CBD extraction machine. These include the method of extraction being used, the amount of extract you plan to make, the products you intend to put on the market, the size of the extractor, the operating system of the extractor, etc.
The truth is a CBD extraction machine can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to half a million dollars or more depending on the technology itself. A smaller extraction system for R&D purposes can be considered a “desktop” extractor and can use a number of solvents in order to extract CBD. This can be hydrocarbon, ethanol or CO2.
For any size extractor, hydrocarbon and ethanol extraction equipment is generally much less expensive than supercritical CO2 extraction equipment. This is because CO2 equipment is highly specialized to handle the operating pressures necessary for CO2 to reach its supercritical state that makes it efficient for extraction.
So, where an ethanol extractor may cost $5000, a comparable CO2 extractor could cost potentially $10,000. Again, there are a variety of factors that play into this pricing, but it can be reasonably expected for a CO2 extractor to be nearly double that of ethanol or hydrocarbon equipment.
Then there is the operating system of an extractor. There are extractors that are entirely operated manually, and some extractors that are fully automated. The difference between these systems can be thousands of dollars which makes inexperienced operators lean towards a manual operating system. However, full automation can even itself out in terms of cost efficiency in a short period of time by reducing labor costs and fully optimizing an extraction operation so that its efficiency is at the highest possible level.
Of course, the size of an extractor no matter the extraction method used is directly proportional to the cost of the machine. While some extractors are designed to process 10 to 80 pounds per day and can cost tens of thousands of dollars, other extractors can be designed for industrial levels of hemp processing that can cost hundreds of thousands.
How CBD Is Extracted From Hemp
There are several methods that can be used to extract CBD from hemp. While they are different in their methods, the general principle remains the same. This involves stripping the CBD from the plant material, and then refining the extracted oil into a product that is a pure and potent form of CBD extract. Let’s take a look at the steps of extraction and the various methods used to extract CBD from hemp.
Step 1. Bucking and Grinding
In order to get the best yield from the process, it’s important to get the steps before the actual extraction process is optimized. This is why shucking and grinding are important. Shucking involves removing the high CBD containing flowers from the rest of the plant. Once they’ve been removed, they can be grinded into a consistency that allows the solvent to best strip the CBD from the biomass and get the best possible yield.
Step 2. Decarboxylation
While this is an optional step before the extraction process, we find that it is the best process for obtaining terpenes and improving extraction efficiency. This involves placing the plant biomass in a vacuum oven and heating the material until the CBD-A converts to the active CBD through the decarboxylation process. By connecting a cold trap collector to the vacuum oven, the terpenes from the plant can also be collected.
Step 3. Extraction
This step is the true extraction process. The plant material is placed into an extraction column where a solvent is introduced that is capable of stripping the CBD from the biomass so that it can be collected as a crude oil. This is most often accomplished using CO2, ethanol or hydrocarbons.
Step 4. Winterization & Filtration
This process is specific to CO2 extraction. It takes the winterized oil and introduces it to small amounts of food grade ethanol and sub-zero temperatures. This solidifies the fats and waxes from the crude oil so that they can be filtered and removed.
Step 5. Solvent Removal
This step is necessary to remove the remaining solvents from the extraction and winterization process. By applying heat and vacuum pressure, the solvents can be volatilized which evaporates them so that they can be removed from the extract. This is often accomplished by using a rotary evaporator or a falling film evaporator.
Step 6. Distillation
The final step uses the same principles as solvent removal, but with a more refined process. This removes any trace materials like solvents, terpenes, and other plant materials that will lower the purity or potency of a distillate. After this process is done, you will be left with a high quality distillate.
What to Look for in Hemp Extraction Equipment
Not everyone can do it, but with the right setup and equipment, you can completely optimize the hemp extraction process. The right equipment is highly critical to making the extraction process, cost-efficient, quick, and convenient.
Let’s find out what to look for in CBD Extraction Equipment
You need CBD Extraction Equipment that has the following features:
- Highest Yield and Daily Throughput.
- Smallest Footprint.
- Low Operating Costs.
- Unlimited Scalability.
- GMP Compliance Support.
- Training of Your Labor Force.
- Documented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for All Processing Steps.
All of these features are available in extraktLab’s extractors.
extraktLAB’s line of supercritical CO2 extractors are the most advanced, efficient, and powerful extractors in the hemp and botanical extraction industry today.
With a throughput capacity from 79 to 844 pounds per day depending on the extractor model, the e-110, e-140, and e-180 extractors are powerful, efficient, and practical systems for producers who want the highest possible quality and productivity.
These extractors are designed to provide the highest throughput yield in the shortest period of time while satisfying the traceability requirements for GMP compliance.
extraktLAB’s supercritical CO2 extractor series are of the highest quality and productivity built with safety, efficiency, and overall quality in the extraction industry today.
Best Method for CBD Oil Extraction
When it comes to CBD extraction, there are quite a few methods that are practiced. However, the best method for CBD oil extractions is Supercritical Co2 extraction.
Supercritical CO2 extraction
Supercritical CO2 extraction is practiced to extract the desired substance from plants. One of its major uses is in the extraction of CBD oil from hemp. CO2 extraction offers excellent hemp oil extraction.
Working principle of Co2 Extraction
- Carbon dioxide is used at an elevated temperature and pressure to extract soluble compounds from the plant. Above the critical temperature, CO2 becomes a supercritical fluid, increasing its ability to solve non-polar compounds.
- Under supercritical conditions, carbon dioxide acts much like fluid solvents in terms of its solubility selectivity. It results in excellent extraction. By raising the temperature and pressure of the carbon dioxide, the process speeds up.
- When it moves through the biomass, the non-polar compounds get dissolved because the supercritical fluid breaks it down. Once this has happened, the liquid carbon dioxide reverts back to the gaseous state and leaves behind a “crude oil” that contains CBD.
Benefits of CO2 Extractions
So, we have seen how CO2 extraction occurs and why it’s effective for CBD oil extraction. Let’s look at its benefits to find out why it’s the preferred method for CBD oil extraction.
- The CO2 extraction system is the most environmentally-friendly extraction method. Because CO2 is considered a natural solvent, a producer can more readily become a certified organic manufacturer. With other extraction methods, there are risks of chemical residuals, which is not the case with the CO2 extraction method.
- It’s much less expensive than other extraction systems. If your preference is to obtain less expensive products, then CO2 extraction is the best choice.
- Since there are no chemical denaturants leftover because of this extraction method, it creates the safest products for customers.
Consider the Operating Costs First
However ripe a business opportunity extraction may be, building and maintaining momentum must involve a firm grasp and accurate calculation of operating costs and cannabis extraction equipment cost. For example, let’s say that a home brewer makes a new stout beer in his garage, and after selling a few batches to friends, decides to use his passion to launch a formal business.
After calculating his operating expenses, he determines that his operating cost to produce a pint of beer is about $2. This is a powerful piece of knowledge, as it can be used to calculate margin, project future revenue, and build a plan to scale up operations. Realistic calculations of operating expenses can mean the difference between expanding or closing your doors in the first six months.
Thinking of starting an extraction business? You’re not alone. Check this article for CBD extraction machine cost that you need to know. With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing hemp production, the extraction industry has seen a boom in the last six months. There’s never been a more exciting or lucrative time to work in extraction, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before jumping in feet first.
Calculate Your Cannabis Business Operating Cost
Starting a Cannabis Business? Check out our Calculators and to analyse costs, estimated revenue, yield, initial investments and important metrics for your extraction business.
Why Your Operating Costs Matter
Louis Mosca writes in Forbes, “Understanding your true operating costs will allow you to set realistic pricing in your bids/estimates/quotes. Without it, you could be seriously underbidding your products and services, with disastrous results.” It is powerful knowledge precisely because there is so much promise in doing it right, and so much risk in doing it wrong. Guesstimates aren’t going to cut it.
As the cannabis industry grows, the margins are going to become thinner. It is inevitable that large multinational corporations are going to enter the cannabis economy and try to claim a piece of it. When big players compete in the marketplace and consumers have real choices, the players with the lowest operating expenses can offer their products at more competitive prices, while still making a profit.
Comparing Costs: Supercritical CO2 Extraction vs. Ethanol Extraction
What factors contribute to a cannabis extraction lab’s operating expenses? There are several extraction methods that are popular, and some of the larger businesses use more than one method, depending on what they are manufacturing. But here we will consider only two: ethanol extraction systems and supercritical CO2 extraction. When formulating your operating costs which includes CBD extraction equipment cost, this list is a good place to start. Remember you want to calculate the cost to produce, for example, a gram of winterized crude CBD oil.
Input Biomass (Plant Material)
Unless you have a grow contract with a cannabis cultivator, surprisingly, this may be the most difficult thing to predict, as the fluctuation in prices could be caused by anything from government regulation to the weather. If you don’t purchase biomass, you’ll probably be looking to set up toll processing (flat fee for a set amount of processing) or split contracts (whatever product is produced is divided up) with the grower of the biomass. This is basically the same whether you are extracting with ethanol or CO2.
Both extraction methods require testing by independent laboratories to ensure THC level compliance in CBD oil, and to ensure purity and consistency of product.
This list will vary based on the products you offer, but may include materials such as vape pens, cartridges, bottles, boxes, labels, packaging supplies, etc.
Supercritical CO2 and ethanol extraction both require the cleaning and maintenance of extraction machines and all participatory equipment, Buchner funnels, etc.
Differences Between the Two Extraction Methods
Wages, benefits, taxes, workman’s comp, insurance, training, and turnover are calculations found in any business’s operating expense calculation, regardless of extraction method. However, you should consider how many employees you’ll need to run the type of extraction equipment you utilize in your facility–as well as the education level required for operation.