What Is Solventless Extraction?

What Is Solventless Extraction?

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Have you enjoyed a live rosin-infused edible lately? Well, you can partly thank solventless extraction for that. It is a method of extracting the aromatic, flavorful compounds from the cannabis plant.

Solventless extraction can be traced back to Indian traditions, with the earliest recorded instance of cannabis consumption being 2,000 BCE. This method was used to make concentrates called charas and hashish, via home-made hand presses and sheer pressure. 

Today, as concentrates become more popular, so does this extraction method, especially for health-conscious consumers. So, let's look at what solventless extraction is, what kind of concentrates it creates, and why some consumers prefer it over solvent-based extraction.

What is Solventless Extraction?

extraction of rosin using a dab rig

Solventless extraction is a cannabis concentrate production method that uses heat, pressure, water, or ice to separate trichomes from the cannabis plant. These trichomes, which are rich in terpenes and cannabinoids (the active compounds in cannabis), are then used to create cannabis extracts.

Solventless vs. Solvent-Based Extraction

Typically, solvent-based extraction uses chemical solvents such as ethanol, propane, and butane to produce concentrates. These, obviously, raise issues of concern for certain cannabis connoisseurs.

On the other hand, solventless extraction is mechanical and does not use any chemical compounds

As a result of using chemicals, the standard product of solvent-based extraction must be purged to remove residual solvents, while solventless extraction yields a product free from such residual solvents. The purge process done on the solvent-based extraction normally leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. This aftertaste and the risk of contaminants make it less popular among cannabis connoisseurs.

New Developments in Solvent-based Extraction

Fortunately, recent technological developments have allowed premium companies like Hometown Hero to use non-toxic and environmentally friendly solvents like R314a to produce popular solvent-based extracts like live resin. The certificates of analysis (COAs) of our vapes prove that this new method has the ability to yield an end-product without concerning residual solvents.

However, this safer solvent is not what is generally used by other brands in the industry. 

Types of Solventless Extracts

rosin dripping

There are several different types of extracts derived from the solventless extraction method, and they come with different applications:

Dry Sift:

  • Production Method: Sieving dried cannabis to collect trichomes, forming a potent powder.
  • Applications: Smoking, pressing, vaporization

Hash (Traditional):

  • Production Method: Hand-pressed from dried cannabis resin glands (trichomes), preserving potency.
  • Applications: Smoking, vaping, edibles

Ice Water Hash:

  • Production Method: Agitation in ice water separates trichomes, yielding a clean, potent hash.
  • Applications: Smoking, vaping, edibles

Freeze Dried Hash:

  • Production Method: Freezing and drying cannabis flowers before collecting and pressing trichomes.
  • Applications: Smoking, vaping, edibles

Rosin Budder:

  • Production Method: A whipped form of rosin, is achieved by incorporating air during the extraction process.
  • Applications: Dabbing, vaping, edibles
Now, you may be wondering why we did not include arguably the most popular type of solventless extract, live rosin. This concentrate truly deserves its own section, so let's get into that.

What Is Rosin?

Rosin is a cannabis extract renowned for its flavor and purity. It is produced by applying heat or pressure to a cannabis flower or hash, causing the trichomes (the resin glands containing cannabinoids and terpenes) to burst open and release their contents. The released resin is then collected, resulting in a sticky, golden concentrate called rosin.

Rosin can be consumed in various ways, including dabbing, vaporizing, or even incorporating it into edibles after decarboxylation. 

What Is Live Rosin?

Is there a difference between rosin and live rosin? Yes. It is called ‘live” because the cannabis material used for extraction is fresh, usually harvested immediately and flash-frozen to preserve its freshness and terpenes. This process helps preserve the active compounds (like the delicious terpenes of your favorite strain) that can degrade over time in dried cannabis flowers. This is why live rosin is considered the crème-de-la-creme of cannabis extracts. 

To make live rosin, the freshly frozen cannabis material is processed using heat and pressure, similar to traditional rosin extraction methods. The trichomes are carefully extracted, resulting in a sticky, resinous substance that is rich in cannabinoids and terpenes.

The fresh cannabis material used in live rosin extraction preserves the plant's natural terpenes and cannabinoids, resulting in a product with rich flavor and aroma. Live rosin therefore gives a more nuanced and flavorful experience compared to other concentrates.

Why Is Solventless Extraction Better?

delicious amber colored rosin concentrate on a dab rig

Some cannabis connoisseurs prefer solventless extraction because, unlike solvent-based extraction methods, solventless extraction techniques only use mechanical (non-chemical) methods to isolate cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant. This creates a more pure end product.

That being said, solvent-based extraction methods do have their applications. But here are the benefits of a solvent extraction method...

Benefits of the Solventless Extraction Method

  • Purity: Solventless extraction methods, such as rosin pressing or dry sifting, do not use any solvents. This creates pure cannabis concentrates that offer consumers the chance to savor the natural essence of cannabis.
  • Preservation of Terpenes: Solventless extraction techniques preserve the delicate terpenes present in the cannabis plant. These aromatic compounds contribute to the flavor and aroma and create the entourage effect.
  • Full-Spectrum Effects: Solventless concentrates retain a broader spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes compared to some solvent-based extracts. This creates a more complex and nuanced effect profile, often referred to as the "entourage effect," where the various compounds work together to enhance therapeutic benefits.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Solventless extraction methods are more environmentally friendly than solvent-based techniques. This makes solventless extraction a greener and more sustainable option for cannabis concentrate production.

Why Enthusiasts Love Live Rosin Products

assortment of live rosin gummies with flavor cues

Live rosin is one of the highest-quality cannabis concentrates you can consume. The use of fresh cannabis material ensures the preservation of cannabinoids and terpenes, which not only makes it more flavorful but also improves your experience through the entourage effect. The best way to experience it is through our collection of Delta-9 THC and live rosin-infused products. You can enjoy it in gummies, delicious individually wrapped taffy, and a beautiful blend of chocolate and raspberry bites. Whatever you choose, each bite will bring you closer to nature with a renewed appreciation of the cannabis plant.

Until next time, Happy Exploring and Mind Your Mind.

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