Exciting Advances in Cannabis Dewaxing Technology Transform Production

by | Jul 28, 2020

Detroiter Karhlyle Fletcher is the host of High Lit, a cannabis research and classic literature podcast featuring leading voices and independent music. In addition to years in written and video cannabis journalism, he is also a traditional author.

While dewaxing makes for a better product, often it slows down production. However, advancements in technology allow for a brighter future, and even a better today. 

What is Cannabis Dewaxing? Is it Necessary? 

In cannabis concentrates, there are fats, lipids, and waxes. Cannabis naturally produces all of these components, but in concentrates, they pose issues. Not only do fats and lipids cloud up a cannabis concentrate, but they mean the substance is less potent. Not separating these unwanted compounds from the extract results in weaker flavor, burn, and overall experience. 

Typically dewaxing involves completely dissolving a sample in a solvent. Putting the sample in 30 to 60°C of ethanol using a 10 mL:1g ratio is effective in separating the individual components. Refreezing the solution causes the fatty compounds to precipitate out. After this process, a vacuum system is ideal for separating the wax from the concentrate. 

Refreezing can take up to a day, and even while processing the material, fats and lipids can reenter into the sample. Traditional dewaxing methods are effective at purifying samples but inconvenient. 

Luckily advancements in technology are always coming along. While before it could take an entire day to wait for freezing samples, there are now superior methods. Before, it might have been tempting to skip dewaxing, but in the modern environment, there’s no excuse due to the availability of innovative and effective methods. 

DrainDroyd Turned from Glass to Steel

A few years ago, Jon Thompson of United Science wanted to innovate the world of dewaxing. His solution was to take ineffective Buchner burners, glass tubes, and replace them with stainless steel. Thompson was then inspired to create the DrainDroyd. While the narrow glass Buchner burners could only handle a low output over hours, DrainDroyd boasts of being able to handle 5L in 5 minutes. 

Not only does the speed of the DrainDroyd save producers tremendous amounts, but it’s a safer device. Glass can shatter in the dewaxing process, halting work and exposing the concentrate to shards. Costs associated with cleaning up, the loss of time, and replacement equipment are all avoided by the use of the DrainDroyd. 

The technology behind DrainDroyd also prevents fats and lipids from reabsorbing into the concentrate. By saving on time and processing consistently, there’s less time for the concentrate to either heat up or cool down at inappropriate times, remixing the components. Not only is this technology coveted within the cannabis world, but hundreds of DrainDroyd units are in use in the food, beverage, and chemical industries.  

Adopting intelligent and modern technologies continues to push the cannabis industry forward from sanitization to efficacy. Saving time translates to saving money, and so the return on investment with the DrainDroyd is obvious. Trusting in science is the best way to modernize any operation, thus concentrate producers would be wise to consider anything that can turn a process that takes hours into something that takes minutes. 

Artisan Cannabis Dewaxing Methods and Popularity 

While the DrainDroyd proves to be one of the most efficient options on the market, artisan producers are finding themselves in love with live resins. The process of creating these concentrates is deeply interwoven with terpene extraction. As the legal industry develops, producers find better ways to manage cannabis samples for optimal cannabis compound preservation. 

Some of these methods include flash-freezing cannabis crops right after harvest. Doing so, and maintaining subcritical temperatures throughout the process is how to produce live resins. Through careful temperature manipulation, the natural terpene profiles can be preserved through the purification of the concentrate, and even separated from the cannabinoids. This process is achieved through crystalizing the cannabinoids and having the terpenes rise into a sauce. Both substances are individually purged, and then kept separate for purity, or recombined to make a potent and tasty product. 

While producers may get particular in the production of cannabis concentrates, the quality and rate of production only improve every year. Innovative methods of managing the substance and groundbreaking devices allow for more potent products and lower overhead for producers.

Dewaxing should be affordable and welcoming to ensure general purity across the market. Technologies like the DrainDroyd and JC Younger’s chillers allow for larger batches and more efficient processing of cannabis samples. By removing steps and adding in scalable technology, the purification of cannabis concentrates only becomes more straightforward. Although there is always more work to be done, contemporary innovations have proven cannabis as a hearty and modern industry.