Introduction: The market segment which is making money right now is oil extraction and concentrates. This might be cannabis oil (vape pens), hemp oil (CBDs), or in the nutraceuticals industry, phenols and metabolites. The later is mainly used in the supplement industry in tablet, capsule, and concentrate form (tincture – used to drop into tea, flavor drinks, etc.).
Oil extraction is a value-added segment of the industry, which is more profitable than cultivation, due to the limited number of extractors. Lots of cultivators and large supply, drive prices down. Limited extractors, and small supply, drive prices up.
Research: The best strategy is to research and study the area you want to focus on, and which industry and consumer to target. If you focus on a niche market, you will have better results, than if you do what everyone else does.
Branding: Having your own brand will identify your product with consistency. It allows the consumer to quickly chose your product, and refer your product to others. Word of mouth is sometimes the best advertising, and best of all it’s free.
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Steps to Profit
Step 1: Identify your botanical, product, and market. What product do you want to sell, and who is going to buy it ?
Step 2: Identify attributes to your product, and benefits of the botanical. Choose a brand name.
Step 3: Establish a botanical supplier and purity. Have a certified lab test your botanical sample, and indicate pesticide free, and available oil. Negotiate your best price on the botanicals, and insist on regular sample testing, and tracking from growth, harvest, and final delivery.
Step 4: Flavinoids. Do you want your brand product to have flavor ? Botanicals are flavored by compounds called terpenes, which can be removed in the extraction process. They can even be removed, and replaced, with a different flavor (such as removing a hops taste or smell, with vanilla).
Step 5: Establish your market network. This may include direct-to-customer sales (via a website or sales agents), for non-regulated items Amazon, or through retail organizations like dispensaries.
Step 6: Source and assemble your extraction process, including the extraction equipment and any post-processing equipment needed to put the oil or concentrate into a consumer ready format (i.e. vape pens, tincture, etc.). Get competitive quotes on equipment, and go see it in operation before you buy.
Step 7: Develop a comprehensive website, which includes ordering direct, publications on the product, including any scientific research. For fast set-up, use WordPress.
Step 8: Test run your production line, and provide free samples for a limited time.
Step 9: Price your product. A brand name will command a higher price than a generic product. A niche market will also bring higher prices. Do you want a one-time sale, or offer a subscription ?
Step 10: Return on Investment feedback. Set a loop in the chain of supply and sales that allows you to capture and analyze metrics of the cost of goods versus your profit. Adjust your supplier price, and sale price accordingly.
Summary: While this is not a comprehensive list of everything that needs to be done, this will get you on the right path. These steps are merely guidelines, that can get you on the road to profit. You may need to re-number the list, according to your priority and product development. Redefining markets, customers, and profits is a dynamic strategy, since none of those factors are static. Over time, you need to constantly innovate new ways to market and develop your product for a savvy consumer.
Infinity Supercritical Botanical Oil Extraction Machine Which Uses CO2 as the Solvent
SEATTLE, WA July 2017 (Infinity Supercritical Staff Article Review)
Supercritical fluid extraction with CO2 is already used on a large scale for botanical extraction due to its low cost, generally safe nature, and well known properties.
Reference science pdf article: Rovetto, Laura J., and Niccolo V. Aieta. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. The Journal of Supercritical Fluids (2017)
Supercritical (SC) CO2 properties, like density, and thus solvent power, change with temperature and pressure allowing for selectivity via tuning.
One can also use more polar co-solvents, like ethanol, to expand the extraction range of the low-polarity CO2 to include more polar components.
Previous research has shown two different optimal extraction parameters with SFE for terpenes and cannabinoids.
This study did not find a significant difference in extraction rate from 313-333 Kelvin (104- 140 F).
During the extraction time (during the linear trend before exhaustion), a yield of 0.00243g of extract/g of CO2, 0.00455g of extract/g of CO2, and 0.00666g of extract/g of CO2 was found for 17 MPa, 24 MPa, and 34 MPa respectively at 328K. 16.63 percent THC plant potency.
At 34 MPa, 0.0066g of extract/g of CO2, 0.01361g of extract/g of CO2, 0.00431g of extract/g of feed, and 0.00186g of extract/g of feed for the potencies 16.63 percent, 14.03 percent, 10.11 percent and 6.05 percent THC cannabis respectively.
Comparing using SC CO2 at 328K between 17, 24, and 34 MPa, the higher the pressure, the higher the yield, but lower the THC potency of the final mixture. 7.4 percent, 17.2 percent, 18.5 percent extract yield in comparison to total start weight; 76.23 percent, 70.63 percent, 69.41 percent THC potency for over 2 hours. 16.63 percent THC potency starting material and S/F ratios of 50 for high pressures, 100 for low.
At these temperature and pressures, partial decarboxylation takes place on the THCA to THC.
Higher Pressure = Lower Potency
They used a multi-stage depressurization chillers to precipitate the extract. Most of theTHC (and highest extract amount) was found in the first stage at 13 MPa (1,885 psi) and 328K (130 F), but was waxy, pasty, and darker in color. In the second and third separator MPa (1,305 psi) and 328K (130 F) and MPa (870 psi) and 298K (77 F), more fluid yellow color extract appeared.
Compared different potency cannabis (A 16.63 percent, B 14.03 percent, C 10.11 percent, and D 6.05 percent), leading to potencies of extract of A 69.41 percent, B 61.21 percent, C 57.86 percent, and D 56.06 percent total THC. Thus the more originally potent, the more potent the extract.
Extraction efficiency (in relation to THC) rises slightly as potencies decreases (A 89.89 percent, B 89.17 percent, C 90.31 percent, D 92.23 percent).
Extraction efficiency increases as potency decreases.
They attempted to use ethanol as a co- solvents. This would cause more additional process steps, unless you want to use winterization, in which case it does not heavily modify your process line.
No major difference between using 5 percent and 10 percent ethanol by weight in extraction, but noticeable decrease dropping to 2.5 percent. Thus 5 percent is an efficient amount of co-solvents. (328K 131 F, 34 MPa 4,931 psi, S/F 20)
If ethanol is used, use 5 percent.
With the conditions in 12, the plant material was exhausted within 50 minutes of extraction.
Ethanol pulses versus constant flow was compared and pulses either performed better, or the same as constant flow. (2 hour extraction, 5 percent by weight ethanol divided into 3 pulses at 0 minutes, 50 minutes and 110 minutes.)
Since plant material was at exhaustion by the 50 minute mark, only the first pulse was needed to be applied, meaning minimal ethanol is necessary.
Ethanol drastically decreases the SF ratio necessary for lower potencies cannabis to be extracted (only 60 percent of the mass of extract gained using ethanol achieved at 2 hours, compared to the 100 percent gained in 50 minutes).
Something not mentioned in the article, the residual THC in the exhausted plant material is about the same for the lower potency cannabis, implying that the 2 hour extraction extracts all the THC and the extra mass accumulated with the ethanol comes from additional cannabinoids.
Higher Pressure = Lower Potency
2. Extraction efficiency increases as potency decreases.
As Infinity Supercritical has developed and just updated a application based on Filemaker, which allows the commercial processor to estimate potential costs of production and profits. The app is free, and can be downloaded from the link above.
The image below is an example of the 10L starter system using good quality trim at $100 per pound. The estimated yield using Supercritical CO2 extraction is around 5 percent. You need to test the oil content of the trim, to establish how much oil you can extract. In this case, there was 5 percent available oil. While wholesale/retail prices will vary, the ROI simulator gives the processor an idea of what to expect for costs and resulting profits.
Distillation is commonly used to purify and separate liquids. In the Cannabis industry, this is typically done by thin film or simple distillation, which uses heat to vaporize (evaporate) components, which are then condensed into fractions. Those fractions (THC, CBD, and Terpenes) can then be recombined for a recipe, or signature oil which can be used for concentrates (edibles) or vape pens. The new technique is called Flash Chromatography. http://www.biotage.com/news/effective-cannabinoid-purification-by-flash-chromatography
What is Flash Chromatography ?
Flash chromatography is a method to easily separate complex mixtures of compounds. It is based on column chromatography, which is a technique to purify (separate) compounds based on polarity and hydrophobicity. Separate occurs between differential partitioning between mobile and stationary phase. Introduce a liquid (Cannabis oil extract) and this separation technique will result in THC, Cannabinoids, and Terpenes.
If you already have a CO2 extraction system, you will need to winterize your crude oil, then it will be ready for Flash Chromatography. As you identify the components to separate, the machine will automatically identify and then target components to separate into different vials. You can then recombine these separations in to recipes (for example, 10 percent THC, 85 percent CBD, and 5 percent terpenes). Using this method you can make custom vape pens, or concentrates.
Distributorships Available For CO2 Extraction Systems for Cannabis and Hemp Industry
If you are considering entering the equipment side of the botanicals cannabis or hemp industry, we are now making available a distributoropportunity. This allows you to license a territory for a prepaid distributor fee (on a yearly basis).
Any internet direct sales from Infinity Supercritical shipped to that state or territory automatically earn you 10 percent.
Sales commissions are 10 percent from sales you bring in for your state or territory.
As a distributor, you can also buy at a preset price, then set your own pricing.
Yearly State and Territory Distributor Fees Paid in Advance:
California $250,000 per year
Washington $25,000 per year
Colorado $50,000 per year
Oregon $25,000 per year
New Mexico $10,000 per year
Nevada $10,000 per year
Arizona $10,000 per year
Midwest $100,000 per year
East Coast $500,000 per year
South (all states which border Gulf of Mexico) $50,000 per year
Europe $500,000 per year
Asia $500,000 per year
Latin America (Caribbean, Central America, South America) $500,000 per year
As the Cannabis revolution swings across America, states going legal are raking in huge tax revenue, and citizens are finally getting access to medical and recreational benefits of Cannabis production. The momentum is slowing moving towards oil (concentrates) which provide easier access to deliver the benefits via vape pens, edibles, and concentrates for medical purposes (CBD’s). With the political aspects aside, this review will list the aspects of producing Cannabis oil for profit.
Supply versus demand
The mystique of the Cannabis industry has lots of people jumping into the mix, without knowledge of running a business, or the nuances of running a business to make money. A few are becoming millionaires, but most are breaking even, or losing money. Just look at the number of licenses issued in Colorado, and how supply has effected pricing. Business Insider reports that the price of wholesale marijuana has dropped by half in about a year.
What differentiates those making money, and those losing money ?
Those who make money set out with a plan, a budget, funding, and a team to deliver that plan. If you set out with detailed goals and a strategy, you’re already ahead of most of the groups in the industry. Failure to plan, is a plan for failure.
You need to have a startup plan, growth, and exit plan. If you plan and play your cards right, you’ll end up with a successful business.
Information is paramount to profit
In the planning stages, it’s critical to become informed. Read, research, inquire, and educate yourself about what you are getting into.
Read: Study online information.
Research: Online studies, scientific research papers, pricing models and consumer demand.
Inquire: Existing successful operations, and those that are not, and why they are not.
Educate: Sometimes the key to success is a very fine line, stack the deck in your favor.
Select the part of the industry, that interests you the most, and makes the most money.
While this may be easier said than done, select a industry segment that you will enjoy working in, and develop it.
If you are vertically integrated, and have lots of funding, you can run an entire operation from cultivation to retail sales. The savvy types will focus on one targeted segment and make money with that segment, then grow by acquisition.
Start with oil extraction
Who makes the most money in the oil industry ? When compared to the hydrocarbon oil industry, it is the refiners.
Why is Cannabis oil extraction potentially the most profitable and least vulnerable to industry pitfalls ?
While supply and demand will ultimately determine overall industry income, as a Cannabis oil refinery lab (including post processing), you have the flexibility to determine downstream products. With a extraction system, you can make live resin, vape pens, concentrates, shatter, etc. And like other industries, you can tailor the output according to the market demand. Cultivators and retails do not have such flexibility. The ability to morph according to customer demand is an important factor to profitability.
What is the best method of cultivation of Cannabis to make a methodical profit ?
The best profit model would be a indoor grow, with staggered starting and harvest cycles, on a weekly basis. This will not only utilize your energy, personnel, and extraction lab more efficiently, but also allows you to tailor downstream product offerings to consumer demand, while providing a fresh product at all times. While outdoor grows are great, they are only once a year. The stress at harvest season is tremendous, and all that supply drives prices down, at that time of year.
FogPonics is the best kept secret in the Cannabis industry
Developed by a LA entrepreneur, the vertical grow tower system provides a weekly harvest, optimizing energy, personnel, and production specifically targeting oil production. On a five week grow out cycle, FogPonics is designed for oil production with fast growth varieties like Cinderella.
Oil extraction and post production
As oil is extracted from botanicals, the end product is a substance commonly referred to as crude oil. While this material can be used for dabs, it is more likely to go into post processing for refining downstream into concentrates or other products. It is typical for a extraction system to have a complimentary post processing lab, to refine and separate the oil for consumer products.
Strategy for success
Determining your actual business model will depend on your goals and the market in your area, but we recommend the following:
1. Start a extraction facility with post-processing lab.
2. If supply is an issue, vertically integrate with a FogPonics vertical grow facility.
3. Tailor your output products to demand.
4. Start or acquire your own vape pen brand, or develop products with your concentrates.
Source Review: Authors: Omar, J., Olivares, M., Alzaga, M., and Etxebarria, N. (2013).
Title: Optimization and characterization of marihuana extracts obtained by supercritical fluid extraction and focused ultrasound extraction and retention time locking GC-MS.
Journal of Separation Science, 36(8), 1397-1404.
Several monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are responsible for the unique and strong smell of the cannabis plant.
Terpenes are compounds in a group of naturally occurring volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons built off of isoprene which has the molecular C5H8, with monoterpenes having the structure C10H16 and sesquiterpenes having the structure C15H24.
While sesquiterpenes are in lower amounts in the buds of the cannabis plant, through drying the plant gives off a greater loss of monoterpenes, which would mean most of the smell of the plant while drying is from the monoterpenes.
Monoterpenes are mostly unstable and thus can be easily altered or destroyed in many normal extraction techniques, which has led to much focus on using supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) with CO2 to extract them.
Terpenes are miscible in CO2 at low temperatures and pressures while many non- volatile compounds (like cannabinoids) are not, which mean they can be extracted separately.
Due to these miscibility differences, two different optimal extraction parameters were found when trying to optimize the extraction yield for terpenes or for cannabinoids.
The extraction parameters investigated included pressures between 100 bar (1450psi) and 250 bar (3626 psi), temperatures between 35 (95 F) and 55 C (131 F), flow of solvent between 1-2 ml/min (extracting 100mg of plant matter), and addition of ethanol as a cosolvent between 0 and 40 percent by weight.
In reference to terpenes, temperature and ethanol percentage were significant, with low temperature and no ethanol being the best conditions.
In reference to cannabinoids, only ethanol percentage was found to be significant, with mild ethanol percentages being found to be most efficient.
Due to the insignificance of the other factors,
100 bar (3626 psi), 35 degrees Celsius (95 F), and a solvent feed of 1 ml/min are both optimal for terpenes and for cannabinoids, while 0 percent of ethanol is best for terpenes and 20 percent is best for cannabinoids.
It was also found that different cannabis strains had different concentrations of cannabinoids and terpenes.
For example, Critical and Amnesia are richer in cannabinoids than Somango, AK-47 and 1024.
Also in respect to terpenes, Critical species had the highest concentrations of alpha- pinene and beta-pinene and Amnesia has the highest concentrations of limonene.
Out of all the five species, five monoterpenes, twelve sesquiterpenes, and eight cannabinoids were able to be positively identified and quantified.
The separate extraction of terpenes and cannabinoids is important because terpenes contain their own therapeutic benefits and thus can be used without the psychotropic effects of the cannabinoids.
The optimal conditions mean one could extract all the terpenes first and then flush the system with ethanol to extract all the cannabinoids without changing the other parameters. To back this up, in a subsequent extraction as detailed above, all of the monoterpenes were found in the no ethanol extraction and only contain trace amounts of three of the eight cannabinoids.
The study also investigated the optimal extraction parameters of using focused ultrasound extraction with isopropanol and cyclohexane and found the best conditions for overall extraction were 3 s(-1) cycles, 80 percent of amplitude on the sonicator, 5 minutes of sonication time with a 1:1 mixture of isopropanol and cyclohexane.
While this extraction yielded slightly more overall extraction than the SFE, it didn’t allow for the selectivity of the terpenes and the cannabinoids.
Thus it is recommended that SFE CO2 is used for cannabis extraction’s due to the minimal difference in yields, the selectivity it offers, the food-safe nature of it, and the low-flammability of the solvent.
SEATTLE, June 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Infinity Supercritical LLC, a leading manufacturer of botanical extraction equipment, announces the industry’s first organic method of oil extraction using distilled water as the solvent.
The new method involves a spinning disc reactor system which is being introduced into the industry for the extraction of oil from cannabis and hemp. The oil extract, called a concentrate, can be used in vape pens, edibles, and further processed into CBDs for medical and health purposes.
The system is so efficient that the process takes a few seconds, instead of hours or days, which is common in the industry now. In addition, the system uses distilled water as the solvent, instead of commonly used CO2, ethanol, or butane.
With a continuous feed system, different botanicals or varieties can be processed on-the-fly. Legacy batch systems can only process one botanical or variety at a time.
The equipment is modular and can be scaled up to any size. As a continuous feed, continuous flow process, batch systems are now obsolete. The smaller footprint results in lower initial acquisition, maintenance, and operational costs. The added benefit of a smaller continuous feed system is more efficient use of energy.
This process technology can also be used in other industrial applications, such as the production of biodiesel, nutraceuticals, and algae oil extraction. In the high-tech sector, the process can produce quantum dots, which have been identified as a future solar cell technology. With a spinning disc reactor, (SDR) perovskites can be commercially manufactured, with a low cost, continuous feed, production format, which can then be used for continuous, printable, flexible, thin film solar cells.
Infinity Supercritical LLC develops and markets innovative botanical oil extraction systems. Emphasis is placed on developing new technology to reduce extraction time, and producing a superior oil product, maximizing extracted antioxidants, terpenes, and nutrients. Industries served include cannabis, hemp, and hops. Please visit http://www.infinitysupercritical.com for more information.