Expertly engineered and built, Apeks Supercritical CO2 cannabis oil extractor systems are high-performance machines For businesses across the spectrum of the cannabis industry, extracts are in high demand. Innovation has led to a wide range of new cannabis and hemp products available for retail, and smart entrepreneurs are thinking strategically about the extraction equipment they use in their operations. According to Headset, vape CBD oil can be expensive. Is it possible to make CBD oil at home? What ingredients do you need and what does the process look like? Read this article to find out!
Apeks CO2 cannabis oil extractors for cannabis oil concentrate.
Designed by staff engineers with expertise in industrial automation and 17-plus years’ experience building cannabis oil extractors. Apeks Supercritical CO2 extraction systems efficiently extract pure, high-quality essential oils. While any botanical material can be extracted, the majority of our customers use Apeks equipment to extract oils from cannabis and hemp to produce CBD and other products.
Our customers are producing some award-winning oils with Apeks systems which feature simple fractional extraction and cold separation processes to preserve volatile oils for higher-quality and higher-quantity yields. When plant matter is exposed to too much heat or cold, terpenes (scent) and flavonoids (taste) are impaired (thermal degradation). We take every precaution to avoid this, which is why our systems are water jacketed.
High output Apeks Duplex® System – optimized for low pressure/low temperature subcritical extractions
Download a price list today!
Cannabis oil concentrate (Hemp)
Apeks machines are designed to extract cannabis oil concentrate. The new Duplex® system pulls oils very quickly in a subcritical extraction, which means less post processing work needs to be done because not many undesirable materials were extracted (fats, waxes, etc.). The Duplex® also allows for quick processing during supercritical run, if you’re wanting the entire extract. The quality of the cannabis oil depends on what you put in. If you put high quality cannabis in, for example with a 20% THC content, you’ll get 20% THC in return, but it will be concentrated. The base material is important – you can’t expect to put poor quality material in and get high quality oil out.
Controlled decarboxylation and greater yields of THCA.
TCHa is converted to THC via a chemical process using heat called decarboxylation. Apeks thermally-sensitive extraction equipment allow processors greater control over the decarboxylation of their extractions because cold separation does not decarboxylate (or very minimally) the extracted oils in the separator as most competitor systems do. Therefore, processors can produce on average a 20% greater yield of THCa. This is important because converting THCa to THC by decarboxylation activates the psychotropic elements of cannabis which some processors and end-users don’t want. Some prefer non-psychotropic cannabis concentrates to put in medical cannabis products aimed at children, or for patients who want the medicinal benefits, not the intoxicating effects.
Old Faithful – Hemp and cannabis extraction equipment.
Apeks systems have rightfully gained the reputation among processors and extraction experts as being solid performers, built to last. Knowing they’ll be working with their machines for many years, customers are known to affectionately call them by name like Old Faithful, The Workhorse and The Beast.
Apeks systems use carbon dioxide as a solvent, which is safer, purer, and cleaner than alternative extraction methods. The CO2 is pumped through a closed loop system, converting CO2 from gas to liquid, and back to gas again. Using high pressure, the gaseous CO2 is pumped through the extraction vessel where it becomes liquid and extracts the oil. Then the liquid CO2 and oil flow to the separator vessel during which the CO2 is decompressed, converting back to gas. In the separator vessel the CO2 separates from the denser, heavier oil which drops down into a collection cup. The CO2 then continues its loop and is recovered in the gas cannisters. Approximately 90% of the CO2 is recovered during an extraction.
The systems work best with ground up, dried cannabis (or other) plant material. The plant material should be dried thoroughly. CO2 extraction doesn’t like water in the source material so drying the cannabis properly beforehand is essential. Customers in humid climates sometimes use freeze dryers to remove water from the plant. Once dried, the material should be ground to coffee-ground consistency before loading into the extraction vessel. CO2 is pumped through it, extracting the oil. The CO2 and oil move to the separator vessel where the denser, heavier oil drops down into a collection cup. The CO2 then continues its loop and is recovered in the gas canisters.
7 Leading Cannabis Extraction Machines
For businesses across the spectrum of the cannabis industry, extracts are in high demand. Innovation has led to a wide range of new cannabis and hemp products available for retail, and smart entrepreneurs are thinking strategically about the extraction equipment they use in their operations. According to Headset , vape pens alone accounted for nearly 25 percent of overall industry sales in the first quarter of 2022. As the industry continues to expand and innovation persists, businesses with the right extraction equipment will be more capable of meeting the evolving marketplace’s demands.
3 Methods of Extraction
As with any significant purchase, smart businesses develop a comprehensive understanding of their options before making any investment. There are three main methods of extraction used to create high-quality hash. When the processes are conducted correctly, they all produce a final product without any leftover solvent residue. However, each method maintains its own appeal.
Ethanol extraction is a popular method because of its versatility; it can produce several different cannabinoid derivatives. This may be ideal for craft processors creating high-end exploratory products or large-scale labs working to isolate specific terpenes or cannabinoids. Ethanol extraction processes must be conducted in C1D1 or C1D2 conditions because it involves volatile, flammable substances. This means the layout of an ethanol extraction lab must be designed and outfitted according to strict government regulations. A big selling point for ethanol extraction is its solid ROI and cost-effective operation. Ethanol is recoverable and reusable over multiple cycles, making the process easily scalable and financially responsible for many operators.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extraction uses pressurized supercritical CO2 to lift cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp biomass. Unlike ethanol, CO2 is not volatile as a solvent and is commonly used to produce essential oils. Manufacturers of medicinal products may be drawn to CO2 extraction to ensure their extracts are safe for consumers with compromised immune systems. CO2 extraction is also an appealing option for those creating vape products and other concentrates. Using CO2 helps maintain the flavor profiles of the strain during the extraction process because it preserves fragile terpenes.
Solventless extraction uses heat, pressure, ice, or water to extract cannabinoids from plant matter. With the rapid development of cannabis processing technology and the consumers’ overwhelming demand for “clean” products, solventless extraction has grown in popularity. According to Headset , solventless products are contributing to the overall rise of the concentrated cannabis sector despite their relatively high retail price. It is worth noting that some common cultivars, like OG Kush, do not perform as well in solventless extraction.
If you’re researching your next major extraction equipment purchase, consider some of the following leading options for ethanol, C02, and solventless systems designed for the cannabis industry.
Apeks Supercritical Duplex
The Apeks Duplex is a CO2 system optimized for both subcritical and supercritical processing. Using a continuous batch operation system and featuring multiple separator cups, the Duplex can process up to 180 pounds of dried botanical material per day. Its closed-loop system recovers 95 percent of the CO2 for efficient extraction of oils without thermal degradation. There are no decompression valves in this system, meaning operators never have to worry about clogs. Its open-frame design and visual indication of valve positions enable easy configuration. The Duplex can be fully automated with its integrated chiller control, ability to interface with SQL databases, and data collecting control panel.
Delta Separations VTS-50
Delta Separations recently launched its solventless extractor, the VTS-50 , using cold-water mechanical separation techniques for producing ice-water hash. A two-person team can output up to 33 pounds of dry hash per day, with options for manual operations or automated functions. The VTS-50 uses crossflow vortex agitation with customizable ranges to separate trichomes in water as suspended undissolved solids. Once this water and trichome mix is separated from the remaining biomass, it’s easy to filter, separate, collect, and dry the product for use in high-quality, light-colored hash. The machine is also easy to clean, UL certified, and comes with comprehensive customer support.
Eden Labs Hi-Flo FX2
Eden Labs’ Hi-Flo FX2 is a powerful closed-loop CO2 extractor with the ability to process over 100 pounds of biomass in a single day. This system’s automation software collects valuable data for research and development, offers rich analysis for pilot programs, and provides industrial output evaluation. The Hi-Flo FX2 features an electric pump for quiet and dependable operations, no internal moving parts for seamless operations, and fast terpene capture with an advanced oil integrity cup design. Eden Labs also offers onsite installation and training, and they guarantee operator certification in two days. With the available Self-Sufficiency Kit, it’s easy to keep the system operating at peak performance over the long run.
This CO2 extractor is a versatile cold trap available for terpene and vapor recovery in pre-extraction decarboxylation processes. Decarboxylation of the biomass using vacuum ovens is performed before CO2 extraction, increasing the efficiency and accuracy of terpene captures. Depending on biomass moisture, ExtraktLAB’s terpTRAP can handle 10 tons per day. Its heat exchanger is capable of 20 tons of heat exchange capacity and features process connections to support chilling, vacuum, and condensates produced by the largest decarboxylation processes. Using the vacuum distillation method collects terpene vapors for high-quality products and makes biomass more liquid-soluble. The terpTRAP is UL certified, GMP compliant, and accommodates full-spectrum terpene recovery.
GreenBroz 420 Alchemist
With GreenBroz 420 Alchemist Trichome Extractor, businesses can turn their trim into high-quality kief, ideal for producing profitable solventless extracts. The 420 Alchemist, with an eight cubic foot capacity, yields 15 to 25 percent by weight through their standard 180-micron screens that can be used with or without dry ice. It is also incredibly simple to operate; with just one adjustable timer dial to turn, the operator can lock the trim, unlock the tumbler, and set the timer for seamless functionality. The whisper-quiet motor spins the trim chamber at 20 revolutions per minute, and its surgical grade steel design is easy to clean and food-grade certified. GreenBroz American-made products come with a three-year warranty and boast customizable compatibility with almost any system for post-harvest automation.
C-40 Centrifugal Extractor
Precision Extraction C-40 Centrifugal Extractor
Precision Extraction is a branch of Agrify, the vertically-integrated cannabis solutions provider, that creates top-of-the-line ethanol extractors for businesses of all sizes. The C-40 is designed for mid- and large-scale volumes with C1D1 compliance and PSI certification. In a 10 to 20-minute cycle, the C-40 can process up to 40 pounds of biomass. The low-temp configuration features multi-function jacketed housing that supports either liquid coolant or vacuum insulation. With impressive efficiency and accuracy, the C-40 removes 98 percent of cannabinoids from biomass and removes 97 percent of solvents from final products. Precision Extraction knows that its machinery is a big investment for any business, and offers financing options to make acquisition fast, easy, and economical.
Pure Pressure Pikes Peak Rosin Press
Pure Pressure has created a rosin press that is lauded by many in the cannabis industry. The solventless extractor can process up to 3.75 pounds of flower or over seven pounds of dry sift or hash per day. The aluminum heat plate assemblies feature independent thermocouples which evenly distribute heat and ensure temperature accuracy. Each Pikes Peak Rosin Press includes two sets of orientation legs, so the machine can operate vertically or horizontally. Pure Pressure’s custom intuitive software, called Pressware, enables incredible control, consistency, and the ability to save up to 29 pre-set recipes for consistency across markets and suppliers. To guarantee customer satisfaction, Pure Pressure offers a two-year warranty and professional end-user support.
DIY Guide: How to Make Your Own CBD Oil From Hemp
People use CBD oil to reduce pain, ease anxiety, combat inflammation, and improve their response to daily stressors. With so many benefits, as well as advanced technology involved in making CBD oil, commercially available products can be expensive.
And you know what?
You can easily make CBD oil at home if you want to save money.
While it won’t be crafted with the same precision as professionally extracted CBD oils, a homemade batch of sublingual drops is still safer than some of the untested and mislabeled products sold in vape stores and head shops.
If you’re looking to make CBD oil at home, you’ll need just two ingredients: high-CBD hemp flower and a carrier oil such as MCT oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil. Alternatively, you can use alcohol as the solvent, which we’ll also cover in the article.
The Benefits of Making CBD Oil at Home
People take CBD in various forms, but oil is one of the staple products. People usually buy their CBD oil online or in dispensaries, but ultimately it depends on where you live. Some states will spoil you with choice, whereas others will offer limited options. That’s why we always recommend getting your CBD from a trustworthy online retailer.
More to the point, those with far fewer options may want to consider making their CBD oil at home to save time on browsing hundreds of products and comparing different brands. If you have the know-how, what can go wrong?
Not only that, but you’ll also save money on your monthly supplementation. High-quality CBD oils can be expensive, especially when coming from reputable brands.
If these two aspects are your priorities, then making CBD oil at home is a viable option.
Let’s take a look at these few simple ingredients that can yield great CBD oil straightaway.
What You’ll Need to Make CBD Oil at Home
First, you need to consider your extraction method and check if you can get some quality hemp flowers somewhere near you. If not, look for high-CBD strains online; there’s a lot of great companies shipping their flowers to all 50 states.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at how to pick the right strain for making CBD oil at home.
Strain Selection: Selecting a High-CBD Strain
CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana.
While all hemp strains grown for CBD oils contain higher than average CBD levels, this isn’t the case for marijuana plants.
Marijuana is typically higher in THC, but you can find some high-CBD hybrid strains obtained through selective breeding. If you can find these somewhere near you — provided that you live in a place where marijuana is legal — making CBD oil at home from this type of cannabis is fine.
If you want a product that’s legal in all 50 states, we recommend that you look for high-CBD hemp flower online.
Decarboxylation: Activating the CBD
If you want to make CBD oil, you need to make sure that the CBD has been converted from its inactive precursor CBDA. CBDA is an acid that has many health benefits of its own, but it doesn’t have the properties of CBD.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. There’s no CBD in raw, unprocessed hemp plants. If you want to extract CBD from hemp, you need to activate it through heat before combining the plant material with the solvent of your choice.
You can activate CBD through other means of heating. The most common decarboxylation method for making CBD oil at home is the oven method. Some people use a slow cooker, which is another inexpensive way to activate CBD. However, these methods are also imprecise and may not activate your cannabinoids efficiently.
If you want to perform decarboxylation properly, you’ll need a decarboxylator, also known as a precision cooker. This device can maintain optimal temperatures needed for the full activation of CBD and trace cannabinoids without destroying terpenes. Using a professional decarboxylator is a worthwhile investment for anyone who makes CBD oil at home regularly and is looking for a consistently good product.
What Alcohol / Carrier Oil Are You Going to Use?
If you’re ready to make CBD oil at home for the first time, you’ll first have to decide which method you want to use. Amateurs have two options to choose from: food-safe alcohol or carrier oil.
Alcohol extraction requires you to soak the hemp plant in alcohol until it strips all the beneficial compounds from it. The process also requires patience because the extract gains potency over time. The longer you let the product sit, the stronger it will get. This is how cannabis tinctures are made.
The second method involves using natural plant oils as carriers due to CBD’s fat-solubility. It’s a gentle process for which you can use hemp seed, olive, and coconut oils.
There’s also a third extraction method. However, this one is reserved for professionals, as it involves the use of pressurized CO2. This method requires a lot of space, extremely expensive equipment, and scientific knowledge to perform properly. It’s by far the best method to produce CBD oils, but since it can’t be performed under home conditions, let’s stick to the first two.
Extraction Methods: Different Ways of Making CBD Oil at Home
In this section, we’ll focus on making CBD oil at home using the two methods discussed above.
1. Make CBD Oil Using Alcohol
- 30 grams of ground hemp flower
- High-proof, food-grade alcohol
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment paper
- Baking tray
- Catchment container
- Double boiler
- Wooden spoon
- Plastic syringe
- Fine strainer
- Decarboxylate your plant matter by grinding it up to an even consistency and placing it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place your hemp flower in a preheated oven at 225 F (110 C) and let it bake for one hour.
- Place your decarboxylated flower in the mixing bowl and submerge it completely in the alcohol. Use the wooden spoon to stir the decarbed buds for up to 10 minutes. During this time, the alcohol will extract the desired compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes. Stirring the mixture speeds up the process by shaking off the trichomes that produce these compounds.
- Separate the CBD-infused extract from the plant matter. Strain your liquid through a piece of cheesecloth into a collecting container below. You’ll notice that the solution has a dark green color. Repeat this process until your extract becomes more clear.
- Set up a double boiler. Pour the alcohol tincture into the top of the boiler and apply steady heat. High-proof alcohol is highly volatile and will evaporate at low temperatures. If necessary, turn the heat on and off. Make sure that you have a decent ventilation system, and if not, perform this extraction outdoors. The vapor from alcohol is highly flammable and poses a risk of explosion.
- Once all the alcohol has evaporated, the extract will have a viscous, tar-like consistency. You can draw it up into a large syringe while it’s still warm or keep it in a bottle with a glass dropper.
2. Make CBD Oil Using a Carrier Oil
- 30 grams of high-CBD hemp flower
- 450-500 ml carrier oil (hemp seed and coconut are the best)
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Herb grinder
- Double boiler
- Glass jar with lid
- Decarboxylate the hemp flower using the same method as in the recipe above.
- Now it’s time to combine the flowers and oil to start the extraction process. Place the two ingredients in the double boiler, feeling the bottom container with some water, and bring it to a light simmer. It’s important to ensure that it’s not a rolling boil because if you get the mixture past 150 C, the majority of terpenes will evaporate. The simmering process takes up to 3 hours, with the end product looking slightly darker than the unprocessed oil.
- Carefully remove the top of the boiler. Take your jar, place the cheesecloth over the top, and pour your mixture into the container. Make sure you have strained as much oil as possible from the hemp plant, then dispose of the flower.
- Seal the container and store it in a cool, dry place. You can use it as is or add it as an ingredient in your food recipes.
Tips for Making CBD Oil at Home
- Choose high-CBD flower
- Use high-quality, healthy carrier fat
- Be precise
- Store your CBD oil as you would any other herb-infused oil
- Try adding natural flavorings to the oil to improve its flavor.
Advantages of Professional CBD Oil Extraction
Now that you know how to make DIY CBD oil at home, you’re probably wondering how it turns out when compared with professionally manufactured oils — those obtained through CO2 extraction.
As written earlier, CO2 extraction is the golden standard in the industry. This method yields safe, top-shelf products, but it requires an expensive triple-chamber machine, large amounts of flower, and an experienced professional to oversee the process. Using CO2 extraction guarantees pure and more potent products than any homemade method. If you’re looking for a superior product, CO2-extracted CBD oil is your best bet.
Final Thoughts on Making CBD Oil at Home
Making your own bottle of CBD oil at home is a good option to kickstart your CBD routine if you want to save time and money. In the meantime, you can do your research on the CBD market and compare different brands online to get a decent deal on quality products. Many premium companies offer reward programs, discounts, and bulk pricing on their CBD oils. But as you do your research, you will already have a bottle of safely made CBD oil to test your body’s response to this compound.
Still, we recommend you purchase a professionally extracted CBD oil if you attempt to ease a specific condition. Commercial products are not only precisely crafted but they will also have the exact ingredients and potencies listed on the bottle.
Have you tried to make CBD oil at home? Let us know in the comments!
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.