Study: Cannabinoid Extraction Methods Matter

This study examined the differences in extraction methods for different cannabinoids, and their impact on the efficiency of extraction to the final product. It was published in November 2021 in the journal Science Reports.

The authors used standard testing protocols for the most popular methods and processes for extracting 14 different cannabinoids in both acidic and neutral forms. The methods studied were ethanol, isopropanol, and two different protocols for super-critical CO2 extraction. 

Perhaps the best way to summarize the results is to look at the author's graphic above. It shows the relative concentrations of each cannabinoid after extraction. Green indicates ethanol, blue is isopropanol, and purple and yellow are 2 types of super-critical CO2.

Visual inspection indicates that generally super-critical CO2 (fraction S1 = purple) was the most efficient in extracting the acidic cannabinoids (suffix "A") while ethanol (green) and isopropanol (blue) extractions were most efficient for extracting the neutral cannabinoids.

"Significant variation in the bioactive chemical profile was observed in the extracts resulting from the different protocols".

The full text paper is here at Nature.com