Under the 2018 Farm Bill, a hemp extract will be considered legal if its tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a psychoactive cannabinoid, does not exceed 0.3%. To perform successful THC remediation requires chromatography and pure99 which is the best choice for THC removal.
pure99 Chromatography System Enables THC Remediation At Scale.
The compound THC which is responsible for psychoactive effects should be kept at lower than 0.3% for hemp to be Farm Bill compliant.
For Lawmakers to distinguish hemp from other plants that contain high traces of psychoactive components, they limited the THC amount that could be found in hemp biomass.
While in the biomass extraction process, the THC amounts in the extract happen to be higher than what the Farm Bill limits.
The THC concentration increases to a phase where the oil is considered unfit for commerce, as the oil undergoes more refinement.
Due to this, a separation process was introduced by most producers in their workflow for hemp processing. Broad-spectrum hemp oil is a hemp extract without THC anymore. Separation of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) from the other cannabinoids in the oil is usually done for broad-spectrum hemp oil production.
THC remediation in the Hemp Processing Workflow
A supercritical CO2 extraction method is often used to extract hemp biomass. This produces high-quality clinically approved hemp extracts cleanly and efficiently.
Next is hemp extract distillation. It contributes to the potency increase of CBD and THC and also pulls out an important sum of the plant matrix, producing a clean distillate that is considerably free from waxes and resins.
What usually happens when a producer wants to improve the purity is that they distill the hemp extract several times. While we prescribe that before chromatography, they distill the hemp extract twice. Once a hemp extract finishes distillation, it is ready for chromatography. Then, the extract is mixed with a solvent and injected into a chromatography column. The separation process transpires on the column and the equipment leads each component into their intended vessels.
Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract
Broad-spectrum hemp extract is an oil that is derived from hemp but contains a non-detectable amount of THC in the material.
It carries with it not only CBD but also has essential nutrients that stay in the extract after chromatography. The reason why most consumers desire it over isolate or crystal extract.
Techniques for THC Remediation
THC removal from the hemp oil can be done in several different ways, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The primary methods are Chromatography, degradation, Liquid-Liquid Extraction and Crystallization
Simply crystallizing out the CBD is considered to be one of the most effective ways for THC removal. The crystallization process will crystallize CBD and leave the matrix effectively removing THC from the isolated CBD.
Be that as it may, some consumers prefer to still have the plant characteristics including phytonutrients that are eliminated during the crystallization process such as terpenes, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
Due to this demand, paving the way for various ways of THC removal from CBD while maintaining much of the integrity of the phytonutrients and plant components.
Another efficient technique of removing THC from oil is the degradation of the THC into CBN by exposure to oxygen and light.
However, this process makes the oil undesirable for consumption since it degrades it into a black sludge. Additionally, as the THC undergoes degradation, it also degrades the target molecule CBD. Therefore, this process can’t be set to target one compound over another.
This is a technique that involves sample exposure to two separate solvents that are not miscible with each other.
Oil-vinegar salad dressing is a good example of this technique. The flavors that are soluble in the oil phase will be present in the oil phase, if you add herbs and spices into the two solvent dressing, shake and let it separate. While, flavors that can be dissolved by water, will be found in the vinegar phase. This is the liquid-liquid extraction technique.
Centrifugal partition chromatography is a form of liquid-liquid extraction which involves a pumping mechanism. It exposes the sample to a series of two solvent extraction operations and utilizes centrifugal force to transfer the products from the extraction step to the other. It is closer to liquid-liquid extraction than chromatography since it does not have a stationary phase, even though it can separate involving a series of liquid-liquid extractions.
Another technique that involves immiscible liquids in a countercurrent flow improving the efficiency and exchange rate of extraction is called counterflow current chromatography.
These processes need numerous passes with numerous extractions, all the while increasing the costs as the number of passes increases.
Chromatography is another hemp remediation technique. It is commonly used in food, pharmaceutical, and all kinds of manufacturing industries around the globe. It has enjoyed broader application for separations of intricate mixtures because of its reliability and versatility.
THC Remediation Methods and Techniques Pros and Cons
THC Remediation Cost per Gram
The THC remediation stage on the hemp extract process is pricey. Deciding on the financial matters is essential when considering the operational costs, solvent cost, recovery cost, and capital equipment.
The RECOVERY OF CBD is the most costly contributor compared to techniques during the process. It has a high cost per gram because of low recovery high-cost input materials (distillate or isolate or crude), liquid liquid such as centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC), counter-current chromatography, and degradation.
The cost per gram is low and offsets the expense for stationary phase recycling as a result of chromatography’s high recovery. If a proprietary stationary phase is utilized, stationary phase recycling can be expensive.
Chromatography can be calibrated to address high-throughput requirements; however the expenditures of performing it can be more costly compared to liquid-liquid extraction, crystallization, and degradation.
On the other hand, this is not true with counterflow current chromatography or centrifugal partition chromatography: these processes require a high capital cost to scale up.
Crystallization and Liquid extraction techniques have the advantages of high throughput. However, liquid techniques have lower selectivity compared to chromatography and therefore the recovery suffers.
Using light and heat in the degradation of all THC into CBN is not an applicable technique for THC removal from CBD or hemp extract. The rationale behind this is that the recovery is inferior and the extract is highly degraded. However, degradation processes are usually inexpensive. Chromatography undoubtedly has the highest recovery rate among the techniques.
As defined by the method, chromatography has adjustable selectivity which includes the mobile phase and stationary phase. Techniques can be tuned to adjust the selectivity. This is also the case for liquid liquid techniques.
The crucial edge that pure99 CBD chromatography possesses among the other techniques is that selectivity is achieved without water in the eluent.
The fundamental asset that chromatography has over countercurrent chromatography and centrifugal partition chromatography is efficiency.
The usual high-pressure chromatography method can develop thousands of separation plates per minute while typical CPC and CCC produce 10s to 100s of plates per minute.
Chromatography: The Best THC Remediation Method
There are various methods of THC remediation. Chromatography produces the prime THC remediation simply due to its high throughput, high recovery, high selectivity, and general application in separation processes.