As more and more countries legalize medical marijuana, the body of research on cannabis is growing exponentially, and much of this new research is focused on the individual cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant — all of which have different potential medical uses and benefits.
Now it turns out that there is a very simple method of extracting cannabinoids from the cannabis plant – and it takes less than a minute. A team of scientists from the University of Valencia in Spain decided to check whether it can be used in a simple espresso machine Cannabis extract. The findings of the study, which will be published in the International Journal of Pure and Applied Analytical Chemistry, details how researchers were successful in using a hard-cap espresso machine to manufacture cannabis extracts. The team of researchers, from the University of Valencia in Spain, intended to make extracts for analysis using common laboratory solvents and the espresso machine.
In an article the scientists detail how they used the Essenza Manual XN2003 Nespresso simple espresso machine to extract the cannabinoids THC, CBD, And CBN from cannabis supplied to them by the Narcotics Department of the Valencia Police.
“It has been evidenced that the developed method for the major cannabinoids extraction is a really encouraging example of the wide range of possibilities that a conventional and low cost hard cap espresso assisted extraction could offer in analytical laboratories,” says the study.
Sampling of 0.2 Cannabis was grinded and inserted into an empty coffee capsule . The machine is filled with isopropanol (isopropyl alcohol), instead of water.
The machine was activated and in about 40 seconds a liquid extract was produced containing approximately 90% of the cannabinoids measured in the sample (THC, CBD and CBN). The method was tested in comparison to traditional extraction methods such as ultrasound extraction and was found to be nearly as effective.
“The quantitative extraction of THC, CBD, and CBN from the buds, leaves, and stems has been achieved in a single and fast extraction of 40 seconds,” reads the study. The researchers also noted that they used a thorough cleaning method, and that the machine was “used in our laboratory during the last two and a half years without observing any damage or incident.”
“Our experience shows that this method for extracting the main cannabinoids yields good results, and demonstrates the variety of uses that can be made with a cheap and convenient espresso machine,” the study concludes.
Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in using cannabis extracts especially in countries that have legalized the drug. In California, for one, the market share of cannabis flowers has dropped from 90% to 54% from 2015 to 2016, as cannabis extracts, primarily cannabis oil, have become more popular. Vaping cannabis oil, specifically, in the use of electronic pens or cigarettes has become the consumption method of choice for many cannabis consumers. There are also many other ways to consume concentrates; while vaping is the most famous of all, consumers can choose to dab or use tinctures.
The method was cross-referenced against ultrasound-assisted extraction, gaschromatography-mass spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry, and was found to produce similar results with a much lower extraction time (around one minute).
The results of the study are promising and surprising, and could eventually result in the production of machines intended for consumer use. If the right amount of research is done in the future, patients who would rather use vaporization methods than smoking flower could use such a device. Maybe in several years time, we will see a cannabis extraction machine for use in your home, right next to your juicer and coffee maker. In the meantime if you have a hard cap espresso machine lying around, get that lab coat on and start extracting.