Radoiu, M.; Kaur, H.; Bakowska-Barczak, A.; Splinter, S. Microwave-Assisted Industrial Scale Cannabis Extraction. Technologies2020, 8, 45.
Radoiu, M.; Kaur, H.; Bakowska-Barczak, A.; Splinter, S. Microwave-Assisted Industrial Scale Cannabis Extraction. Technologies 2020, 8, 45.
Cannabis is a flowering plant that has long been used for medicinal, therapeutic, and recreational purposes. Cannabis contains more than 500 different compounds, including a unique class of terpeno-phenolic compounds known as cannabinoids; Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most prevalent cannabinoids and have been associated with the therapeutic and medicinal properties of the cannabis plant. In this paper, continuous flow microwave assisted extraction (MAE) is presented and compared with other methods for commercial cannabis extraction. The practical issues of each extraction method are discussed. The main advantages of MAE are: continuous-flow method which allows for higher volumes of biomass to be processed in less time than existing extraction methods, improved extraction efficiency leading to increased final product yields, improved extract consistency and quality because the process does not require stopping and restarting material flows, and ease of scale-up to industrial scale without the use of pressurised batch vessels. Moreover, due to the flexibility of changing the operation conditions, MAE eliminates additional steps required in most extraction methods, such as biomass decarboxylation, winterisation, which typically adds at least a half day to the extraction process. Another factor that sets MAE apart is the ability to achieve high extraction efficiency even at the industrial scale. Whereas the typical recovery of active compounds using supercritical CO¬2 remains around 70-80%, via MAE up to 95% of the active compounds from cannabis biomass can be recovered at the industrial scale.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.