People are investing in solvent extraction machines to make weed extracts more potent and flavorful than ever. There is an additional cost associated with these devices, which can range from $500 – $1,000 for a small business. However, the solvents used in the process have been shown to be harmful and even carcinogenic. Will businesses continue purchasing these machines?

The “solvent vs solventless concentrate” is a question that many cannabis consumers ask. There are pros and cons for both, but the decision ultimately comes down to personal preference.



For many producers, regulators, and consumers, the use of chemical solvents for extracting cannabis oils and other natural components from a marijuana plant is still a controversial subject. When you add the terms “solvent-free” to the equation, the solvent vs. solventless extraction debate gets even more complicated, with an increasing number of consumers insisting that their concentrate is really devoid of chemicals they believe are possibly hazardous. When choosing which kind of extraction equipment to buy as well as which goods perform best in the marketplace, many companies consider the disputed aspects of health, safety, quality, attractiveness, and profitability. 


What is solventless extraction, and how does it work?

The natural, mechanical method of extracting the trichomes from the plant material is known as solventless extraction. Humans have been producing hash for millennia using solventless extraction techniques like dry sifting marijuana through thin screens all throughout the globe. The cannabinoid-rich trichomes are broken off by rubbing cannabis flowers against a small mesh or screen, and the kief is collected below. The powdered kief is transformed into a recognizable lump of hash — a solventless concentrate — by applying heat and pressure.

Many kinds of cannabis concentrates are made from flower or trim using modern solventless extraction equipment, including kief, live rosin, wax, shatter, bubble hash, edibles, and more. Today’s commercial trichome extractors use moderate agitation and a succession of 180-micron screens to shear the resin-rich trichome heads from residual plant debris, similar to the dry-sift method. The kief that results may then be packaged for sale or processed into a number of cannabis products. Some producers use cold water or dry ice in the extraction process to freeze the trichomes, allowing them to be broken off and separated from the rest of the plant material while keeping their taste. While it is more difficult to manufacture in large numbers than solvent extraction, there is less waste and the end product has fewer contaminants. 


It’s essential to note that, for the sake of these talks, the cannabis business does not consider water to be a solvent. Every scientist will tell you that water isn’t just a solvent; it’s also the “universal solvent,” capable of dissolving more compounds than any other liquid. When a chemical or gas such as propane, butane, CO2, or ethanol is used to strip cannabinoids and terpenes from a cannabis flower in the manufacture of concentrates, it is referred to as a solvent in the cannabis business. It’s a separate debate whether or not this industry-specific difference is legitimate. 


What’s the difference between solventless and solvent-free?

The phrase “solvent-free” is most often used to indicate goods that satisfy the regulatory threshold for residual solvents in a particular area. While this strongly suggests that the product is solvent-free, this is not always the case. Every cannabis concentrate supplied in a licensed dispensary must be solvent-free, regardless of the method of extraction employed in its manufacture. Residual solvents have permissible limitations in various states and nations, such as 5,000 parts per million for butane in cannabis oil in Canada. While the phrase “solvent-free” is useful, being “solventless” is even more important for those who don’t want to risk ingesting any leftover chemical solvents.  


So, what exactly is solvent extraction?

Chemical solvents such as propane, butane, carbon dioxide (CO2), and ethanol are used to extract cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant in the solvent-based extraction process. In the post-extraction step, purging is needed to guarantee that any remaining solvents are eliminated to the amount considered acceptable by the state or country’s authorities.


Chemical solvents are used by many producers because they are usually extremely effective at targeting all of the plant’s accessible trichomes. In comparison to solventless extraction, chemical extraction is also quicker. While solvent-based extraction has its advantages, it comes at a cost. The initial cost of a solvent-based extraction system is considerably higher than that of a solventless method. Operators who handle volatile solvents in butane systems or high-pressure devices capable of more than 10,000 psi of pressure to produce CO2 oil also need considerable training. 


Because of the illegal butane hash oil (BHO) flames and explosions, solvents have earned a bad image. Many customers would rather avoid the sector entirely because to the lung problems mainly linked with cannabis extracts from vape gate in 2019. While the bulk of the bad press around solvent-based concentrates can be traced back to illegal market production in hazardous circumstances, the impression of solvents as a less healthy choice in the marketplace remains.


Which is the best option for business? 

Lower entrance barriers are a major reason why solventless extraction is the most appealing alternative. Solventless extraction equipment is usually less expensive than its solvent-based equivalents. The solvent-based machines also require extensive safety training in order to work at high pressures with volatile ingredients, which may be dangerous if not handled correctly. 

Solventless concentrates are leading in terms of return on investment (ROI), due in part to a strong confidence in goods like artisan rosin. Even after factoring in a slower manufacturing period as compared to BHO products, some artisan rosins are selling for over $100 per gram with strong customer devotion, guaranteeing extremely favorable profits. Multiple runs with the same plant material that would otherwise be discarded may produce a range of middle-grade rosins, kief, and edibles during the second and third passes, thus “turning trim into gold.”

The “what is the primary metabolite that provokes the effects of inhalation?” is a question that many people are interested in. The answer to this question will help you decide what solvent extract would be best for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using a form of solventless extraction?

A: One of the benefits is that solventless extraction allows for a more pure product. This means there is less chance of contamination and no dangerous solvents needed to be used. Additionally, recycling options are available which makes it easier on the environment and also provides extra clean energy from waste materials created during production!

What is the difference between solvent-based and solventless extracts?

A: Solvent-based extracts are extracted using a solvent, which is typically petroleum distillates like hexane. These solvents can be toxic to the plant material or let out chemical fumes during extraction. On the other hand, solventless extracts take advantage of natural cellular lipids and proteins that liquefy when heated for easier removal from their original source materials without having to be processed with any sort of chemicals at all.

Is Live resin solvent or solventless?

A: Live resin is a solventless process.

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