Cannabis extraction predates the industrial era by nearly a century. The consumption of hashish, a cannabis resin, is traced back to Medieval Egypt where cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were separated from the resin glands of cannabis plants by hand. European botanists began purporting the benefits of cannabis extracts as late as the 19th Century, formulating cannabinoid tinctures for various treatments – but medicinal cannabis use declined in conjunction with the modern era and the invention of vaccinations.
Recent improvements in various laboratory products and research insights have resulted in significant legislature shifts in favor of the medicinal properties of extracted cannabis, with established applications for the treatments of an array of biological and psychological conditions.
Benefits of Cannabis Extraction
Laboratory products for cannabis extraction enable researchers and product manufacturers to accurately control the purity and dosage levels of resultant cannabis oils or resins. Concentrated extracts can be as close as 99% pure, as opposed to cannabis plants which typically contain a maximum of 30% THC and 24% cannabidiol (CBD)– the rest being comprised of extraneous plant material.
While THC is the primary cannabinoid of interest for recreational consumption, CBD-rich extracts are spearheading the resurgent merits of medicinal cannabis use, with far-reaching pharmaceutical implications. CBD exhibits exceptional medicinal properties, including anti-psychoactive characteristics which may, in fact, combat the hallucinogenic and euphoric effects of THC.
Dedicated laboratory products such as CO2 extractors can accurately distinguish between cannabinoids to extract the exact compounds required for given research applications. Existing studies using such equipment has already established the medicinal potency of CBD compounds, displaying significant potential in the treatment of various conditions, including:
- Arthritis: recent studies have suggested CBD could be used to safely treat patients suffering from osteoarthritis;
- Alcoholism: CBD can be used to combat the side-effects of extreme alcohol withdrawal, providing relief from seizures, fever, and withdrawal-related mental disfunction;
- Chronic pain: research suggests that CBD can be used to treat chronic pain, with users unlikely to build up a tolerance to its effects, thus reducing the need to continually increase doses;
- Epilepsy: anecdotal evidence and ongoing research suggests that CBD acts as an anticonvulsant for the reduction of seizures in individuals with epilepsy;
- Schizophrenia: CBD exhibits antipsychotic properties which have had beneficial effects for patients with schizophrenia.
Laboratory products for the extraction of both THC and CBD use two primary methodologies: solvent-based; and non-solvent-based extraction. Even within these two categories, extraction processes vary hugely. Heating elements are commonly used for the initial separation process, while evaporators are used to remove hydrocarbon solvent material such as butane (C4H10) or alcohol from the extracted oils. Various instrumentation is required to produce cannabis extracts of differing chemical compositions, physiochemical structures, and psychoactive or medicinal properties.
Laboratory Products from Glas-Col
Legalization of cannabis in various states has resulted in an influx of interest in the field of cannabis research, and swathes of innovative laboratory products to support these ongoing studies. Glas-Col is a leading supplier of laboratory equipment, with an expansive catalogue of heaters, evaporators, mixers, and more, to support research and product manufacture in multiple fields.
If you would like any more information about our laboratory products, please do not hesitate to contact us.