Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Microwave Extraction vs. Other Techniques for Industrial Scale Cannabis Extraction

Version 1 : Received: 10 July 2020 / Approved: 11 July 2020 / Online: 11 July 2020 (09:04:17 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Radoiu, M.; Kaur, H.; Bakowska-Barczak, A.; Splinter, S. Microwave-Assisted Industrial Scale Cannabis Extraction. Technologies 2020, 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.


cannabis; THC; CBD; microwave assisted extraction; continuous flow


Chemistry and Materials Science, Applied Chemistry

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 12 July 2020
Commenter: (Click to see Publons profile: )
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: From the View of Chemical Reaction Engineering ( CRE ) -whether Enery of Activation ( Eact ) can be qualitatively concluded
with the efficiancy of extraction ie the Temperature dependency of efficiancy of extraction ? .
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