Terpene Extraction from Pressed Rosin Pucks Using Vacuum Distillation and Cold Traps

Objective:

To extract terpenes from pressed rosin pucks without the use of solvents, employing a vacuum distillation technique combined with cold traps to obtain pure terpene fractions.

Materials:

  1. Pressed rosin pucks
  2. Vacuum pump
  3. Vacuum Oven (we used the reliable Across International 150C)
  4. Cold traps (-40F capable)
  5. Cold trap vials
  6. 3/8″ Silicone tubing
  7. Vacuum grease
  8. Separation Funnels
  9. Analytical balance
  10. Balance verification weights

Experimental Parameters:

  1. Vacuum Pressure: Maintain a constant and appropriate vacuum pressure in the system using a vacuum pump. Adjust the pressure as needed to optimize the distillation process. A lower pressure reduces the boiling points of terpenes, aiding in their extraction.
  2. Temperature: Use vacuum oven to maintain a temperature of 160F.
  3. Cold Traps: Use cold traps to condense the terpene vapor efficiently. The cold traps capture the terpenes and prevent them from escaping into the atmosphere. Cold traps will be set to -40F. At scale multiple cold traps may be daisy chained together to increase condensing capacity.
  4. Vacuum Grease: Ensure all joints and connections in the distillation setup are properly sealed with vacuum grease to prevent air leaks. Airtight connections are crucial for maintaining the vacuum and preventing terpene loss.
  5. Terpene separation: Collection vessels should be left to thaw out completely before transferring contents to a separation funnel. Separation of terpenes from hydrosol will take up to 12 hours depending on the volume. Once separated decant hydrosol layer.
  6. Terpene Collection: Use container with minimum head space for terpene collection, once collected transfer container to freezer for storage.

Safety Considerations:

  1. Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in the distillation area to avoid the buildup of any volatile fumes.
  2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Wear appropriate PPE such as gloves, lab coat, and safety goggles.
  3. Handling Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): When handling VOC solutions, follow safety protocols for handling these substances to prevent injury.

Note:

Perform the experiment in a well-ventilated laboratory setting, following safety guidelines and regulations. Proper training and supervision are essential when working with vacuum pumps, vacuum ovens, and volatile materials to ensure the safety of the experimenters.

Applications of Terpene Extraction from Pressed Rosin Pucks

1. Vape Cartridge Formulation:

  • Purpose: The isolated terpenes extracted using this method can be directly used in the formulation of vape cartridges. The purity and concentration of these terpenes enhance the flavor and aroma profiles of vape products.
  • Process: The terpenes are mixed with cannabinoids in specific ratios to create a balanced and desirable vaping experience.
  • Advantages: This application allows for the customization of vape products based on terpene profiles, catering to diverse consumer preferences.

2. High Terpene Hash Rosin Production:

  • Purpose: High terpene hash rosin is a premium cannabis product where terpenes play a crucial role in determining its quality. The extracted terpenes can be reintroduced to hash rosin, enhancing its flavor and therapeutic properties.
  • Process: After extraction, the terpenes are carefully blended back into the hash rosin in controlled amounts to achieve the desired consistency and profile.
  • Advantages: This enhances the overall sensory experience and may potentially increase the therapeutic benefits due to the entourage effect.

3. Edible Extracts Production:

  • Purpose: Post-terpene extraction, the residual pressed rosin pucks can be further processed with cooking oils to create cannabinoid-infused edible extracts.
  • Process: The pressed pucks are infused into cooking oils under controlled temperatures, allowing cannabinoids to bind with the fats in the oil.
  • Advantages: This method provides an efficient way to utilize all parts of the cannabis plant, minimizing waste and creating a versatile product that can be used in various edible forms.

4. Topical Product Formulation:

  • Purpose: Similar to edible extracts, the cannabinoids left in the pressed pucks post-terpene extraction can be used in the production of topical cannabis products like creams and balms.
  • Process: The cannabinoids are infused into topical bases, like creams or oils, to create products that can be applied to the skin.
  • Advantages: These topicals can offer localized relief and are a non-invasive method of utilizing the therapeutic properties of cannabinoids.

5. Research and Development:

  • Purpose: The isolated terpenes can be used in research studies to understand their individual and synergistic effects when combined with cannabinoids.
  • Process: Researchers can utilize the pure terpenes for various studies, including their effects on flavor, aroma, and potential therapeutic benefits.
  • Advantages: This could lead to new product developments and a better understanding of cannabis chemistry.

Conclusion:

The vacuum distillation technique for extracting terpenes from pressed rosin pucks opens up a multitude of applications in the cannabis industry. From enhancing vape cartridges and hash rosin formulations to creating edibles and topicals, this method maximizes the use of cannabis materials, promoting sustainability and innovation in product development. Furthermore, it contributes significantly to research in understanding terpene profiles and their implications in cannabis-based products.

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