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The Science of Extracting: Methods for THC Concentrates

  • by Adan Perez
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Science of Extraction: Methods for THC Concentrates
    1. Solvent-Based Extraction
      1. Butane Extraction
      2. Propane Extraction
      3. Ethanol Extraction
      4. CO2 Extraction
    2. Solventless Extraction
      1. Rosin Press Extraction
      2. Ice Water Extraction
  3. FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
    1. Q: What is the best method for extracting THC concentrates?
    2. Q: Are solvent-based extraction methods safe?
    3. Q: Can I perform THC extraction at home?
    4. Q: What are the advantages of rosin press extraction?
    5. Q: Is CO2 extraction more efficient than solvent-based extraction?
    6. Q: How should THC concentrates be stored?
  4. Conclusion




In the world of cannabis, the demand for THC concentrates has been steadily increasing. These highly potent extracts provide users with a more intense experience and are sought after for their medicinal benefits. However, the process of extracting THC concentrates is a complex science that requires expertise and precision. In this article, we will delve into the various methods used for the extraction of THC concentrate, exploring the intricacies of each technique and shedding light on the science behind them.

Quick Note! Dont forget to check our Patient Journal, developed in partnership with top medical professionals to give you all the tools necessary to chart every important factor in your therapy. 


The Science of Extraction: Methods for THC Concentrates

Heating Coil | Precision Extraction  "Condenser Coil, a silicone based coolant is used to help chill the solvent back into a liquid as it passes through the coil, helping to speed up the recovery process."  View inside X40 Multi-Solvent Extractor | Precision Extraction


Solvent-Based Extraction

Solvent-based extraction is one of the most common methods used to obtain THC concentrates. This technique involves dissolving the desired compounds from the cannabis plant using a solvent. The solvent acts as a carrier, separating the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant material. Popular solvents used in this process include butane, propane, and ethanol.

Butane Extraction

Butane extraction, also known as butane hash oil (BHO) extraction, is a popular method for producing THC concentrates. The process involves passing liquid or gaseous butane through a container filled with cannabis plant material. The butane acts as a solvent, stripping the plant of its valuable compounds. The resulting mixture is then purged of any residual solvent to obtain a pure concentrate.

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Propane Extraction

Similar to butane extraction, propane extraction utilizes propane as the solvent. The process follows the same principles, with propane being passed through the cannabis material to extract the desired compounds. Propane extraction is favored by some due to its lower boiling point compared to butane, resulting in a more efficient extraction process.

Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol extraction involves using high-proof alcohol, such as ethanol, as the solvent to extract THC concentrates. This method is widely used in both commercial and home extraction setups. Ethanol is a versatile solvent that can extract a wide range of compounds, including cannabinoids and terpenes. Once the extraction is complete, the ethanol is typically evaporated, leaving behind a concentrated oil.

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CO2 Extraction

CO2 extraction, also known as supercritical fluid extraction, is a method that utilizes carbon dioxide (CO2) as the solvent. This technique involves subjecting CO2 to high pressure and temperature, transforming it into a supercritical state. In this state, CO2 exhibits properties of both a liquid and a gas, making it an effective solvent for extracting THC concentrates. The supercritical CO2 is passed through the cannabis material, dissolving the desired compounds. The CO2 is then depressurized, allowing it to return to its gaseous state and leaving behind a concentrated extract.

Solventless Extraction 

Rosin Press Extraction

Rosin press extraction is a solventless method of obtaining THC concentrates. This technique involves applying heat and pressure to cannabis flowers or hash to extract the desired compounds. The process can be performed using a specialized rosin press machine or manually with a hair straightener or . The heat and pressure cause the cannabinoids and terpenes to ooze out of the plant material, resulting in a sticky resinous substance that can be collected and used as a concentrate.

Ice Water Extraction

Ice water extraction, also known as bubble hash extraction, is a method that utilizes ice-cold water and agitation to separate THC trichomes from the plant material. The process involves stirring the cannabis material in ice water, causing the trichomes to freeze and become brittle. The mixture is then filtered through various screens to separate the trichomes, which are then dried to obtain a potent concentrate known as bubble hash.

Key Point: This infographic chart shows the various types of cannabis concentrates available in the market. Divided into two main categories: solvent based & non-solvent based, each concentrate listed shows its flavor (terpenes), potency (cannabinoid) & purity (remaining adulterates) in respect to its counter parts. 


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is the best method for extracting THC concentrates?

A: The best method for extracting THC concentrates depends on various factors such as desired end product, equipment availability, and personal preference. Each extraction method has its advantages and disadvantages, so it's essential to consider these factors before choosing a method to extract your material.

Q: Are solvent-based extraction methods safe?

A: Solvent-based extraction methods can be safe if performed correctly, location is well designed for safety and with proper equipment. It's crucial to follow safety protocols, such as working in a well-ventilated area and using high-quality solvents. Purging the extract thoroughly to remove any residual solvents is also essential for safety.

Q: Can I perform THC extraction at home?

A: Yes, THC extraction can be undertaken at home, but it necessitates both expertise and appropriate equipment. Solventless extraction methods, such as Ice-Water Extraction (bubble hash extraction), utilize clean water, ice, and micron bags (Bubble Bags) to capture the trichomes after subjecting the material through multiple washes with ice-cold water and ice to produce ice water hash. Another approach is Rosin Press Extraction (Mechanical Press), which involves using heat and pressure, similar to a hair straightener, to create live rosin. However, it is crucial to exercise caution with solvent-based extraction methods due to the flammable nature of certain solvents. Therefore, we strongly advise thoroughly researching and educating oneself before attempting any extraction procedures at home. It is essential to note we DO NOT advise to try this method at home. 

Q: What are the advantages of rosin press extraction?

A: Rosin press extraction is favored by many due to its solventless nature, making it a safer and more accessible method for home extraction. It also retains a higher level of terpenes compared to solvent-based methods, resulting in a more flavorful end product.

Product Note: Live Rosin has gained popularity among cannabis connoisseurs for several compelling reasons. It stands out as a preferred choice among other cannabis extract products due to its unique characteristics and the benefits it offers to consumers for its High Terpene Content, Potent Cannabinoid Profile, Solventless Extraction, Clean Taste and Aroma, Full-Spectrum Experience, Artisanal Appeal, Health and Safety Considerations, and its Eco-Friendly Aspects. Live Rosin has earned a reputation as a top-tier choice among extract products for its quality and purity.

Q: Is CO2 extraction more efficient than solvent-based extraction?

A: CO2 extraction is generally considered to be more efficient than solvent-based extraction methods. It allows for precise control over temperature and pressure, which can result in higher yields and the preservation of delicate terpenes.

Q: How should THC concentrates be stored?

A: THC concentrates should be stored in a cool, dark, and airtight container to preserve their potency and prevent degradation. Keeping them away from heat, light rays, and moisture will help maintain their quality over time.


The science of extraction for THC concentrates is a fascinating field that continues to evolve. Various methods, from solvent-based extractions to solventless techniques, offer unique approaches to obtaining highly potent cannabis concentrates. Understanding the science behind these methods and considering factors such as safety, efficiency, and desired end products will help enthusiasts and professionals alike navigate the world of THC extraction.

Dont forget to check out our Cannabis Taster Journal to help facilitate your adventure through guided entry pages and graphics designed to help you document the flavors, effects, and potency of your cannabis experiences.

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