Making cannabis and hemp derivatives is an art, and, like all art forms, it takes many years of direct hands-on experience to master. To expedite your journey towards extraction mastery our in-house experts have offered up their extraction expertise. In this guide we’ll demystify how to make common derivatives by outlining all of the steps necessary to perfect the extraction and refinement processes.
(*Note, for the purposes of this guide we have broadly used the term “derivative” to describe all of the various forms of outputs and end-products that can be extracted and refined from the cannabis and hemp plant in either liquid or solid form.)
This overview covers the entire Cannabis Derivative Journey: we’ll explore all the different methods of cannabis extraction, forms of derivatives, various end-products and their current market potential.
Even in the face of a pandemic, the legal cannabis and hemp derivative market is growing. If anything, COVID-19 has made the market more valuable as people seek out ways to escape from the hellscape that is 2020. The inclusion of cannabis businesses as essential businesses in many states indicate how much public opinion has changed about cannabis in the last few years. It’s only a matter of time until we reach full national legalization for all cannabis derived products. Federal legalization and continued product innovation promise a future in which mainstream retail channels adapt and embrace distribution and sale of cannabis- and hemp-derived products. And you’ll want to be ready to sell when they do.
The unprecedented growth of the cannabis industry and its all-but-certain Federal legalization presents a significant business opportunity for those willing to capitalize on it. Here’s why you should be one of those people:
Despite the setbacks posed by a global pandemic, the US and global cannabis and CBD markets have continued to flourish. How, then, should cannabis processors keep up with consumer demand for the many derivatives that this wonderfully complex plant can produce? How do we ensure that our systems and technologies can stay on pace as the market evolves?
The short answer to these questions is to stay nimble and agile as this burgeoning–yet volatile–new industry rises out of the underground. That means being open to new multivarious cannabinoid derivative forms so you can respond to market shifts and consumer demands.
Before diving into the extraction process itself, let’s take a step back for a moment and define what we mean by the word “derivative”.
Most cannabis derivatives contain the two “major” cannabinoids:
But there are a whole host of “minor” cannabinoids that are worth exploring as consumers become more sophisticated. Minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, THCV, and THCA are generating a lot of interest in the marketplace. Not only are producers hunting for the next uber-popular cannabinoid, but also new studies are showing significant health benefits from these lesser known cannabinoids.
Other non-cannabinoid derivatives from the cannabis plant include desirables such as flavonoids, and terpenes, as well as “undesirable” compounds such as chlorophyll.
Terpenes are the unique compounds that give cannabis end-products their distinctive flavor and aroma ‘notes’ and are thought to contribute to psychological effects.
For the purposes of this guide we have broadly used the term “derivative” to encompass all of the varied and different concentrates, outputs, and end-product forms derived from the cannabis plant–in either liquid or solid form. This includes hemp, which is simply a cannabis plant that produces ≤0.3% THC.
What follows is an overview of the entire cannabis derivative journey; from pre-processing, through the primary stages of extraction and into further stages of refinement. This overview is by no means exhaustive but will provide you with a comprehensive overview of resulting outputs and final end-products–including their colloquial names by which they’re most well-known to consumers.
To illustrate the stages of the Cannabis Extraction and Refinement Process we created The CanDer Journey™ – The Cannabis Derivative Guide. The Guide illustrates each stage of the process, its accompanying concentration range, common derivatives, and estimated market size per end-product application.