Extraction is a simple process that has been used for centuries to create natural byproducts from many different types of plants. In short, the goal is to collect desirable compounds while leaving behind the undesirable compounds and unusable plant material. Within the world of extracts, there are many product types we’ve been familiar with for centuries – teas and tinctures, for instance – while other product types are more recent innovations.
Today, numerous cannabis extracts have become commonplace on the market. The processes used to extract the cannabinoids and terpenes that make them up are as varied as the products themselves. With guidance from Joshua Eades, chief science officer at Canadian medical cannabis producer Tilray, we explored the chemistry behind a couple of the methods used to create them.