\\\nScientists have identified close to 550 different chemical compounds in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Even if we consider just cannabinoids, we can find close to 100 different variations. The purpose of extraction is used to segregate a few desirable compounds from those chemicals based on the needs of the producer and the consumer demands. Some producers even create a single extract with multiple compounds, which is often termed as “whole-plant extracts”.\n\n\\\nWith continued legalization, awareness of the health benefits of cannabis products is on the rise. The demands for products with certain compounds such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are also increasing. To meet those demands, producers are constantly on the lookout for newer technological advancements to facilitate the production process. The extraction process is one of the most important areas in the production process once the plants are harvested.\n\n## Better Bioavailability of Cannabinoids\n\nCannabinoids are fat-soluble. Which means they don’t dissolve in water. From a commercial point of view, this is not a good thing to have as there would probably be more consumers if those compounds were easily miscible with regular drinks such as diet coke, etc. Solubility plays an important part in the absorption rates of cannabinoids in our bloodstream. Bioavailability is the proportion of a substance introduced to the body that enters the blood circulation to have an active effect. This means the better the bioavailability, the more impact it will have on the same dosage. Therefore, manufacturers needed some innovations to increase the bioavailability of these compounds so as to provide consumers with an incentive to buy from them and not their competitors.\n\n\\\nOne thing to note here is that the method of ingestion of cannabinoids also has an effect on the absorption rates. According to [a report](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16237477/) published by Iain J McGilveray, smoking THC allows only 3.55% bioavailability. On the other hand, oral ingestion can lead to 4-12% and a subsequent increase in absorption rate as well. The only way to make a substance be 100% bioavailable is by injecting it directly into the bloodstream. The better the extraction process, the better the bioavailability of the cannabinoids. Below we will read more on the different types of extraction techniques used today.\n\n## Hydrocarbon Extraction and Its Challenges\n\nHydrocarbon extraction is pretty common in the food industry. They may not sound like something we would like to consume but are being used for the production of colors and flavors for over 50 years. Compounds such as butane and propane are recently being used for the extraction of specific cannabis profiles. This type of extraction usually involves the use of butane as the primary solvent, which, when mixed with the cannabis plant material, would dissolve the desirable compounds present in the plant. Other hydrocarbons or a blend of a few of them can also be used for this extraction process.\n\n\\\nHydrocarbon extractions help in retaining the authenticity of the strain by letting the original chemical compounds and terpenes remain in the final product. Also, by changing the levels of the solvents (butane, propane, etc.), we can get a completely different final product. However, there are a few challenges to this extraction method. Maintaining strict standards is essential as propane and butane are highly flammable and can easily cause a disaster. Secondly, the use of low-quality solvents can lead to residual solvent levels above the safe zone. This is because such solvents may contain contaminants that can alter the final output. Hence, it is advised to buy only lab-tested products.\n\n## Nanoemulsification\n\nJaiswal, Dudhe, and Sharma defined nano-emulsions in [their report](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4362737/) as “a colloidal particulate system in the submicron size range acting as carriers of drug molecules. Their size varies from 10 to 1,000 nm. These carriers are solid spheres, and their surface is amorphous and lipophilic with a negative charge.” There are multiple benefits of the nano-emulsification extraction technique. One of them being better bioavailability. It improves the bioavailability of any drug, including medical cannabis. Therefore, we can expect cannabis products extracted through this process to have the same effect with much less intake. This will, in turn, eliminate the side effects associated with consuming too much THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Even the absorption rates are high because of the smaller droplets that provide more surface area for greater absorption. Unlike hydrocarbon extraction, where the solvents used may contain toxic impurities, nano-emulsification is usually non-toxic and non-irritant in nature.\n\n## Supercritical CO2 Extractions\n\nCarbon Dioxide extraction is already common in the food and herbal supplement industries and has finally made its way in the cannabis industry for the extraction of cannabinoids. Supercritical CO2 extraction is a specific form of the CO2 extraction technique where the CO2 used is in its liquid form (above the critical temperature and pressure).\n\n\\\nA supercritical fluid maintains the properties of both the liquid and the gas. When this supercritical CO2 is passed through the cannabis plant material, it reacts with several active compounds by dissolving the membrane of the trichomes.\n\n## The Future of Cannabis Tech\n\nTechnology is driving the cannabis industry like crazy, thanks to the [legalization of medical cannabis](https://quickmedcards.com/medical-marijuana-card/state-cannabis-laws/) in various states. From improvements in the cultivation, extraction, and packaging processes, tech startups are also helping in the faster delivery of products to consumers. There are improvements in every stage of the seed-to-sale process in the cannabis industry. DNA sequencing is helping producers develop strain variations and thus increasing commercial importance.\n\n\\\nResearchers are trying to find ways to extract the genes from the plants that produce the various chemicals, including cannabinoids. The final goal is to develop those chemicals without having to grow a single cannabis Sativa plant. Some of the modern cannabis tech companies have found a way to make personalized strains depending on the biochemistry of the consumers. Depending on the unique physiology of the consumers, tailored blends of essential cannabinoids are being produced. In the cultivation stage, new LED lighting techniques are being used to reduce costs and produce better crop quality for better variants.\n\n## Conclusion\n\nThe primary objective of the extraction technologies is to be able to isolate more and more cannabinoids that can be used with the endocannabinoid system. There are even talks that compounds such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN) can generate about $30,000 to $50,000 per kilo. And with more awareness of the [medicinal benefits](https://quickmedcards.com/medical-marijuana-card/conditions/) of cannabis, researchers are on the lookout for the potential health benefits of the several other compounds present in the cannabis Sativa plant that are yet to be used commercially. It all depends on who innovates the most advanced extraction techniques first and thus gets a hold of this competitive market.