Cannabis Oil Extraction Methods

Concentrated cannabis oil extracts are becoming increasingly popular among self-medicating patients as a claimed cure for many illnesses. Each oil extraction technique has advantages and disadvantages.
By Luigi L. Romano and Arno Hazekamp On February 23, 2014
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Photo credit: INLIFE Healthcare

Published in full in Cannabinoids 2013.

Cannabis oil: Chemical evaluation of an upcoming cannabis-based medicine

Abstract: Concentrated cannabis extracts, also known as cannabis oils because of their sticky and viscous appearance, are becoming increasingly popular among self-medicating patients as a claimed cure for cancer. In general, preparation methods for cannabis oils are relatively simple and do not re-quire particular instruments. The most well-known example of such a product is called ‘Simpson oil’. The purpose of the extraction, often followed by a solvent evaporation step, is to make canna-binoids and other beneficial components such as terpenes available in a highly concentrated form. Although various preparation methods have been recommended for cannabis oils, so far no stud-ies have reported on the chemical composition of such products.

Recognizing the need for more information on quality and safety issues regarding cannabis oils, an analytical study was performed to compare several generally used preparation methods on the basis of content of cannabinoids, terpenes, and residual solvent components. Solvents used include ethanol, naphtha, petroleum ether, and olive oil. The obtained results are not intended to support or deny the therapeutic properties of these products, but may be useful for better understanding the experiences of self-medicating patients through chemical analysis of this popular medicine.

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Revision date: 
Feb 23, 2014