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The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Extraction Introduction
The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Oil Extraction (shop @ Careddi is designed to provide an overview and explanation of all major aspects of cannabis and hemp extraction and refining. The purpose of this guide is to provide a comprehensive overview of cannabinoid extraction and processing for three levels of industry experience.
Beginner: those who are new to extraction.
Intermediate: those already extracting cannabis or hemp) who want to learn more or expand their business, and
Expert: those already in the industry who want to learn about the latest developments.
This guide was created in collaboration with some of the best minds in the extraction and processing industry. Combined, these experts have decades of hands-on experience, thousands of hours of industry research, and have built several successful extraction and processing businesses. Their experience means that this guide contains not only long-standing expertise and hard science, but also practical, hard-won professional tips that you can apply to your extraction business today and tomorrow.
If you are new and/or a practitioner and are not familiar with any of the more scientific terms used, check out the Cannabis Extraction and Processing Glossary.
If you are an expert extractor, you may wish to skip some of the information and jump to later sections, such as
the latest innovations in extraction equipment and systems technology.
Understanding the complexity of the end market: strategic end products for you to focus on in 2020-2021, and
Building a sustainable and flexible cannabis extraction business model that can respond to sudden market changes and industry fluctuations.
But, regardless of your level of expertise, this guide will help you build a more successful and profitable business by providing a thorough and comprehensive introduction and overview of cannabis extraction and processing.
*Note that we'll be uploading new chapters every month for the next few months, so if you want to know when the latest chapter is released? Get on our mailing list to learn about them first.
We created this guide for the following reasons.
To provide the most comprehensive, accessible, practical and easy to understand information on cannabis and cannabis oil extraction on the internet.
To share our real-world expertise and practical advice based on a long history of practical experience in the art and science of cannabis extraction and processing.
Help extractors optimize their techniques and methods and seize market opportunities to successfully grow their businesses.
Help our clients and the industry as a whole build more sustainable businesses through financially viable and flexible business models.
Cannabis plant: A short history of a complex plant
The story of this extremely complex plant and its derivatives goes back to prehistoric times before the advent of writing. Cannabis was probably one of the first plants grown by early agricultural settlers.
Hemp has been cultivated in Japan since before the Neolithic period for its fiber and as a food source, and possibly even as a psychoactive substance. An archaeological site in the Oki Islands near Japan contains hemp achenes from about 8,000 B.C. that may mark the use of the plant. Archaeologically, the use of hemp dates back to the Neolithic period in China, with imprints of hemp fibers found on pottery from the Yangshao culture dating back to 5,000 BC. The Chinese later used hemp to make clothes, shoes, ropes and early paper.
Humans have long been interested in the cannabis plant for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is its psychoactive and medicinal properties.
Over thousands of years, humans began to understand that a certain part of the female plant produced their favorite effects and was used for medicinal, ceremonial and recreational purposes. These early extractors of cannabis began devising ways to concentrate these parts of the plant, thereby increasing its sacramental and medicinal potency.
Fast forward to modern times and in late 2018, with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill (aka Farm Bill), the USDA established a new federal hemp regulatory system designed to facilitate commercial cultivation, processing, and marketing of cannabis. The Farm Bill removed hemp and hemp seeds from the statutory definition of "marijuana" and the DEA's list of controlled substances. It even made hemp a qualifying crop under the federal crop insurance program.
With the passage of the bill, growers began to grow more CBD-rich hemp. The market for cannabis-derived CBD exploded and CBD flooded the market.
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemicals that bind to specific cannabinoid (CB) receptors in the body, called the endocannabinoid system. These receptors are found in the brain and spinal cord (CB1 receptors) as well as in other parts of the body (CB2 receptors). Cannabinoids are named after the plants that helped in their discovery (but are also found in other plants). They can also be produced in the body (endogenous cannabinoids), of plant origin (phytocannabinoids), or made synthetically.
The cannabis plant contains more than 120 different cannabinoids. THC or tetrahydrocannabinol is the most popular and has powerful physiological effects on the body, including changes in mood, pain, concentration and appetite.
The next best-known cannabinoid is called cannabidiol or CBD, and although CBD does not contain psychoactive properties, it has shown great promise in the medical community and may be beneficial for its anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-inflammatory, and antidepressant properties (among other properties).
CBD is usually derived from the "cannabis" plant rather than from marijuana. However, it is worth mentioning here that "cannabis" is a term used to classify varieties of cannabis that contain 0.3% or less THC content... This is purely a legal definition (not a biological one) used to describe non-toxic cannabis in the 2018 Farm Bill (aka "Farm Bill"). So basically, hemp and marijuana are the same plant, but with different percentages of THC content. 
(The reasons for this confusing legal definition are varied and will lead readers into the trap of evolving state and federal cannabis legalization and cultural hypocrisy associated with prohibition, which we need not explore in this guide. (If you are, however, interested in the history of cannabis, check out our chapter on a brief history of cannabis extraction.)
However, CBD and THC aren't the only "cool cannabinoids" in the neighborhood. Over the past few years, as the medical and scientific community has delved into this beautiful and complex plant, other "minor" cannabinoids have begun to be used in general health, disease prevention, and as they (in some cases) replace medications for a variety of ailments. Notable minor cannabinoids that have seen an increase in consumer demand are CBG, CBN, THCV and THCA - to name a few.
We will discuss these in Chapter 3: What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoid-specific end-product market opportunities
The profitability of extracting various cannabinoids changes rapidly based on popular end-product and consumer market trends. For example, just a few years ago, CBD was virtually unheard of. Now, you can purchase CBD products in all 50 states with a wide variety of products ranging from bath bombs, jellies, e-cigarette carts, pain relieving creams to highly effective tinctures ...... to name a few.
However, as with any industry, it pays to stay in touch with market trends and opportunities by knowing what the next big thing is about to happen. In the last year, there has been a lot of discussion in the market around the extraction of minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBN, THCV and THCA, just to name a few.
The reason for this interest is economic: as CBD penetrates the mass market, it becomes less profitable to grow and extract. Now, as consumer demand for a wider range of options becomes more educated and sophisticated, extractors and producers are seeking more profitable revenue streams.
We will delve into the latest market research on these emerging cannabinoids in Chapter 6: Overview of the Strategic End-Product Landscape.

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