Advancements are constantly being made in the world of cannabis concentrates. Now, extractors are exploring the collection of cannabinoids through a familiar form of communication: sound. Learn more about ultrasonic cannabis extraction! CBD has become a wildly popular herbal supplement, but many users simply don’t know how the plant extract is created. There are many ways to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. CBD can be extracted from the hemp plant’s fibers through any of these methods: carbon dioxide, hydrocarbon, natural solvents, and steam disti Studies have shown that CBD is hydrophobic. The traditional extraction method is to add a pungent solvent to carry out a series of chemical reactions in a
Ultrasonic Cannabis Extraction, Sonication and Concentrate Innovation
W e’ve been extracting cannabinoids for ages, yet there’s always a degree of difficulty in getting them all out of the plant effectively. And while we’ve been able to find what the best extraction methods are in both solventless and solvent-based categories (resulting in some amazing advancements in product selection and quality), there is a continuous need for innovation at both the consumer and commercial level. This drive for improvement has spurred a hash renaissance of sorts, creating cleaner products and a wider variety than ever before.
Most people have heard of closed-loop extraction, rosin presses and other forms of cannabis extraction by now, but there’s a new advancement in extraction technology on the market that might surprise you. Strangely enough, it involves a familiar piece of communication: sound.
We’ve explored the many ways sound interacts with cannabis before but now we’re going to shift our focus to the world of cannabis concentrates. Extractors are now using ultrasonic vibrations to create their concentrates and what they’re finding is that they can produce concentrates faster while securing a higher potency and more accurate overview of a plant’s compound profile. Here’s how it works:
Ultrasonic Cannabis Extraction: How Does it Work?
Unlike solvent-based extraction that utilizes chemicals (butane and propane most commonly) to strip cannabinoids from plant matter, ultrasonic extraction has given us a means by which we can utilize oils as an extraction medium instead of hydrocarbons. Through a process known as sonication, ultrasonic extraction can yield concentrates with higher potency and a more robust cannabinoid profile.
To fully extract the compounds without damaging them, an extractor must rupture the cellular walls of the cannabis plant without harming its components. This is a difficult task to do, especially with hydrocarbons.
Ultrasonic extraction conquers this issue by creating rapidly pulsating ultrasonic vibrations within the extraction medium (usually coconut or olive oil), making it possible to penetrate the integrity of the cellular walls without destroying the plant’s precious cannabinoids and terpenes. As an alternating sequence of high and low-pressured bubbles pulsate throughout the medium, the makeup of the cell walls is dissolved and the components are free to be collected.
Ultrasonic Extracted Concentrates Today
Through ultrasonic cannabis extraction, very little, if any, of the cannabinoids and terpenes are harmed during extraction. Essentially, ultrasonic cannabis extraction creates full-spectrum concentrates that have an almost identical chemical makeup to the original flower used for the extraction.
Ultrasonic extracted concentrates are known to provide effects similar to those of the flower they were extracted from.
Ultrasonic extracted concentrates are known to have the same smell and taste as the starting flower and even the same psychoactive effects. Of course, the concentrates have a much higher potency than flower, so consumers should be careful and start small. Ultrasonic extraction can yield about 15% of a bud by weight in concentrates, resulting in some potent products.
If you need some help getting started with concentrates, be sure to check out our “Tips for a Successful Dabbing Experience.”
Even more important than potency, the cannabinoid profile that ultrasonic extraction delivers is extremely robust. That means that you might feel increased effects and a different experience than you would when dabbing concentrates that isolate cannabinoids, like distillate and THCA.
Basically, when dabbing ultrasonic extracted concentrates consumers receive everything that flower brings to the table: cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and even basic plant material like chlorophyll. It all adds to the flavor and effect of your experience, and sonication brings it to you in one of the cleanest ways possible.
Is Ultrasonic Extraction the Best Way to Extract from Cannabis?
When discussing the best extraction methods, it really depends on the individual and what their personal preferences towards cannabis are. After all, cannabis affects everyone differently and some people might prefer a different extraction method over another solely based on the unique way cannabinoids interact with their own body.
For example, if a consumer feels only solventless concentrates help them achieve desired effects, then sonication would be off the table for them. However, since some solventless extraction methods utilize heat and pressure (like rosin), which we know can degrade the compound profile, a consumer might wish to compare the effects of ultrasonic and solventless extraction methods to see which results in a purer experience.
For consumers who have no qualms against using a solvent in principle, and only aim to avoid potentially dangerous solvents like butane and propane, then ultrasonic extraction might provide the best option. Coconut oil and olive oil both produce potent and flavorful products when mixed with sonication and are known to be less harmful than other chemical solvents.
Are There Any Downsides to Sonication?
As far as health is concerned, there doesn’t appear to be any negative health consequences to utilizing sonication as an extraction method at this time. That being said, it’s possible to use sonication with a solvent that may pose health risks, such as propane.
At the industrial level, it can be difficult to scale up the intensity of the sonication to a full batch of product. Extractors either need to worry about overheating of the medium if it is not mechanically stirred around the cavitation instruments, or they need to battle the difficulty of distributing the sonication evenly throughout a medium. Either way, the need to keep the medium at a low-temperature during sonication is integral to ensuring the extract’s authenticity – which can be a difficult feat.
Ultrasonic extraction has been a huge leap forward for innovation in cannabis extraction. It’s healthy, time-effective and, most importantly, delivers a concentrate that is as close to the real flower as possible. And while we may not see ultrasonic cannabis extractions on a wide-scale commercial level for some time, it’s great to see advancements being made in the ever-expanding world of concentrates. We’re just excited to see what’s next!
Have you ever experienced ultrasonic extracted concentrates? Share your feedback in the comments below!
As a former global educator, Nicholas uses his B.S. in biology to leverage his understanding of cannabinoid science into meaningful content for readers. For several years, Nicholas has written for several blogs, including Green Flower, and provided copywriting services for CBD and cannabis companies worldwide. He’s also a Staff Writer for Terpenes and Testing Magazine, CBD Health and Wellness Magazine, and Extraction Magazine.
Warm Water Ultrasound Extraction vs Other Methods
CBD has become a wildly popular herbal supplement, but many users simply don’t know how the plant extract is created. There are many ways to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. CBD can be extracted from the hemp plant’s fibers through any of these methods: carbon dioxide, hydrocarbon, natural solvents, and steam distillation. One of the new methods is warm water ultrasound. But how does it compare to the other methods?
The Medicinal Community and Ultrasonic Extraction
Ultrasonic extraction is considered the wave of the future when it comes to the successful extraction of cannabinoids from hemp. The medicinal cannabis industry has started to turn to the advanced method as one of the best ways to obtain viable therapeutic compounds successfully from the cannabis plant fibers. It is a clean method that leaves no solvent residue.
Early Ethanol Extraction Methods
In the early days of extraction, ethanol was often used which is a solvent based procedure that can leave behind a residue. However, complex, and often expensive devices are enhancing the extraction industry. New extractors have been designed with great technical know-how that are exceptional such as ultrasonic extractors.
Ultrasound Extraction Price Comparison
The ultrasonic extractors (often called ultrasonic emulsifiers) are the latest scientific devices being used to obtain CBD from hemp. They are ideal for small to medium-sized operations that are having to watch their financial budget but who want to improve their extraction processes.
How Does Ultrasound Extraction Work?
Water ultrasonic extraction relies on ultrasonic waves (referred to as sonication) to pull the cannabinoids from the plant fibers. An environmentally friendly extraction method, it does not use harsh solvents. Another perk is that it takes only minutes to obtain the cannabinoids compared to other methods which take from hours to days to obtain the extraction. Depending on the ultrasonic extractor, it can be easily modified to work with a wide array of solvents such as CO2, H20, coconut oil, olive oil, ethanol, and warm water.
No Heat Extraction
Another benefit of ultrasonic extractors is that they don’t rely on heat, so the cannabinoids and terpenes of the plants are never broken down or destroyed by hot temperatures. Most extraction methods rely on remarkably high heat which may destroy cannabinoid potency and can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the whole plant cannabinoid’s medicinal value. Luckily, the method is extremely low thermal and does not require temperatures more than 140° F (60°C).
Breaking Through the Cellular Walls
With ultrasonic extraction the problem is that THC and CBD are hydrophobic . Typically, harsh solvents have been required to pull the cannabinoids from the cell walls. Bioavailability has been a problem in the breakdown of the tough cellular wall so finding the perfect extraction method has been challenging. With ultrasonic extraction, the sonication uses ultrasonic waves. A probe is inserted into the mixture. The probe starts to put forth both high and low pressure sound waves. The waves create microscopic currents and pressurized liquid eddies which creates a harsh environment. The speed of the waves goes at speeds of 20,000 per second which effectively bust through the cell walls. The sheer force creates a pressurized atmosphere. Millions of tiny bubbles form that start to pop and effectively break down the cell wall. Once the cell wall breaks, the inner material is released which creates a powerful emulsion.
Ultrasonic Emulsion Creates High Concentrations
Ultrasonic emulsion is a method that can be combined with other extraction methods to create remarkably high concentrations. The method is easy to replicate. Producers can combine other methods to create optimum cannabinoid potency. With liposomal technology, CBD which is naturally hydroponic, the water soluble solution is quickly transformed. Liposomes work as tiny messengers and they further help encapsulate the cannabinoids with the process to create a powerful therapeutic agent.
CO2 Extraction vs. Ultrasound Extraction
One of the most popular extraction methods is CO2 extraction, which is also eco-friendly, solvent-free, and amazingly effective. Supercritical CO2 extraction renders exceedingly high yields of CBD without damaging terpenes or the plant’s other phytochemicals. Although this method is impressive, it is also awfully expensive and must be carried out in a sophisticated and advanced laboratory setting. Also, it produces lower yields than warm water ultrasonic extraction.
Steam Distillation Extraction
Steam distillation has been used by many CBD brands because of its low cost and the fact it does not leave behind any harsh solvent residue. However, it is notoriously ineffective. Also, the heat can damage the plant’s terpenes.
Natural Extraction Methods
Natural extraction methods have also been explored but they seem to leave behind a strong chlorophyll taste which many users find unpleasant. In addition, they produce lower concentrations of CBD.
Warm water ultrasound extraction has many benefits, and it is quickly becoming the favored method.
If you are seeking a CBD product that is solvent-free then please contact Also Organics to learn about their products which are created using warm water ultrasound extraction.
CBD Oil Plant Ultrasonic Extraction Equipment
The strong shear force generated by the ultrasonic cavitation penetrates the plant cells, pushes the green solvent into the cells for absorption and extraction of CBD
Studies have shown that CBD is hydrophobic. The traditional extraction method is to add a pungent solvent to carry out a series of chemical reactions in a high-temperature environment, but this method is easy to destroy the structure of CBD and reduce CBD bioavailability.
Ultrasonic extraction greatly reduces the dependence on irritating solvents by virtue of its extremely high-strength shearing force, and can be processed at low temperature in green solvents (ethanol). Ultrasonic cavitation can penetrate plant cells and at the same time send ethanol into the cells to absorb the CBD.