THCA extracts can work wonders for those producing cannabis goodies and those consuming them. Why? Because they bring flexibility into the final products, so you can adjust dosing and purity. This blog has been written to answer the questions that may kindle your interest in all things extraction: What are extracts? How are they different from concentrates? How to extract THCA from raw plants? What are extracts used for? Whether you are an industry expert or just curious about behind-the-scenes processes, this guide will expand your knowledge of THCA products. THCA extracts and concentrates: Key differences Before unraveling the extraction secrets you can put into practice, you should be well-versed in extracts and concentrates. The two terms are mistakenly considered interchangeable because both product types result from plant trichome extraction. However, they are more siblings rather than twins. In fact, concentrates may not be extracts, but the latter are all deemed concentrates. While concentrated products are often ready for consumption right off the bat, an extract is a mixture that can be refined and used to make other THCA goodies. If you are into the process, you can choose between two methods to take cannabinoids out of the plant – solvent or non-solvent – which brings us directly to production differences between a THCA extract and concentrate: Extracts typically undergo a solvent-based process. This method uses chemicals to dissolve the trichomes. Once done, the compound is pulled out, leaving you with extracts such as crumbles or shatter. The same products can be achieved with mechanical methods like water pressure. Concentrates are obtained from weed in a non-solvent manner, so there are no chemical agents. Instead, the trichomes are subjected to physical rubbing or pressing to separate them from the plant, resulting in highly purified end products. Another difference is that extracts aren’t the final products like concentrates, which gives manufacturers some wiggle room. They can drag particular types and amounts of cannabinoids from plants to make extra goodies and create unique formulations focused on potency, relaxation, or anything else. THCA extraction process and methods The specifics of extracting cannabinoids from plants depend on the method you adopt. The main idea of a solvent process is to combine weed with a chemical to pull the trichomes out of the raw material until the solvent is enriched with cannabinoids. It may develop an amazingly concentrated THCA content to be added to the existing products or blended with other compounds. On the other hand, solvent-free methods leave you with trichomes derived from weed in a less complicated way. When it comes to THCA extraction, the go-to solvents and solventless methods are the following. Water Extracting THCA often requires pricey equipment and specialized knowledge. But if you want to do this without the hard part at home, the water extraction method is your best bet. Putting your plant in the ice-cold liquid and waiting for trichomes to detach is basically the entire process of obtaining above-average THCA. Ethanol Ethanol is another simple way of extracting THCA. All you need to do is soak the plant in the compound and remove the solvent from your end product. As a potent medium-polarity solvent, ethanol eliminates unnecessary weed components, leaving you with the purest extract possible. However, this method typically results in suboptimal terpene extraction, so most extracts need further refinement before usage. Carbon dioxide US facilities have been adopting this method for years. During the process, a highly pressurized CO2 substance circulates through the weed plant to isolate its terpenes from the base. This method has an array of benefits compared to others, including 100% bacteria elimination, elevated extraction efficiency, and residue absence in the final product. Do you have pressure and heat control equipment at your disposal? This can pave the way for extract enrichment with selected cannabinoids, which makes CO2 a win-win option for those creating products with THCA. Butane and propane Butane and propane can be coupled together or used separately to get THCA. During the process, you will need to place weed in a container and let a solvent go through it. Once cannabinoids are separated, evaporate the solvent and enjoy organic THCA-enriched extracts before your eyes. Knowing how to extract THCA from weed using butane and propane is literally vital because this method is associated with a fire hazard. Still, the game may be worth the candle for fully equipped facilities looking for second-to-none extracts. Temperature and pressure adjustments allow keeping THCA content as high as 80% here. Any chemical-based extraction method requires the product to undergo purging to eliminate remaining solvents and make sure nothing falls through the cracks into your crumbles or other extract forms. They vary based on textures or processes they are subjected to. Why embrace cannabinoid extraction? After taking your weed through multiple extraction stages, you’re finally holding a THCA extract in your hands. But what should you do with this rough, non-final goodness? The advantages of cannabinoid extracts stem from the process itself, putting you in control of the amount, purity, and content of THCA in your final product. Think of them as the backbone of: More products to create. Extracted cannabinoids can be icing on the cake of various THCA goodies, from edibles to tinctures. They open the door to a raft of formulations to suit different consumer preferences. Customized effects. During the extraction process, you can regulate the precise content of THCA for mild or longer-lasting effects. You can even eliminate that psychoactive touch by lowering the amount of cannabinoids. Enhanced quality. When you extract it on your own, there’s nothing you should brace yourself for. Since you are responsible for extraction and refinement, you know what to expect from the edible or oil you produce with THCA extracts. All four cannabinoid extraction methods can be adopted without investing millions of dollars. However, you should always put a premium on purity, safety, and extraction efficiency, considering the size of your premises and the type of weed involved.