What is an Extract?

What is an Extract?

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of creating an effective product involves the extraction process.

At Kingdom Harvest, we take this process very seriously and have developed proprietary processes and formulas focusing on creating the highest degree of efficacy possible. Below is a more detailed explanation of the extraction process.

Phytocannabinoids are the most sought-after components of the cannabis plant, but they must be separated from the rest of biomass in order to be used in most products on the market today. Generally, this is done with solvent extraction.  In extraction, a solvent will dissolve a solute, bringing that solute into the liquid. The extraction process for cannabinoids is conceptually the same as making tea wherein tea leaves are added to hot water and allowed time to sit and comingle. The hot water has properties that are like certain compounds in the tea leaves, allowing those compounds to be dissolved by the hot water and brought into solution (dissolved). Other compounds, because they don’t have many similarities to water, will be left in the tea leaves. When the tea leaves are removed, the dissolved compounds are left in the water while the other compounds remain in the tea leaves. Caffeine, antioxidants and a host of other compounds are now present in the hot water, making it tea.

The same idea is applied to cannabis, except that in this case we’re not after caffeine, we’re after cannabinoids. Cannabinoids have properties that are more similar to oil than water, so water can’t be used to extract them. Other solvents must be used which have been affinity for cannabinoids. Among those most commonly used are Supercritical CO2, ethanol, and butane. In each case, the cannabis plant material, generally slightly ground-up flower, has one of these solvents wash over the surface of the plant material, pulling the cannabinoids into solution along with other compounds, and again leaving many behind in the plant material which don’t interact well with the solvent. The solvent can be filtered to get out all the little bits of plant material, and you’re left with a cannabis extract. The solvent can then be removed leaving behind what is called a cannabis concentrate (as the cannabinoids have now been concentrated into a thick honey-like paste with a high content of cannabinoids).

Ethanol is a natural product of the fermentation of sugars by yeast. Ethanol is the alcohol that is found in beer, wine and spirits. Ethanol has a rich history in making medicinal herbal preparations as it has the ability to extract a wide array of compounds, somewhat more broad than most other solvents.

Kingdom Harvest uses food grade, 200-proof (100%) non-GMO corn-derived ethanol for our extraction process. Our process, using ethanol, produces a high-quality product with significant efficacy. This does not mean that any process using ethanol produces a high-quality product, or that any product that doesn’t use ethanol can’t produce a high-quality product. Instead, what we found through our persistent testing and refining of our formulas and processes, we know using Ethanol works and works well.

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