High Cannabinoid & High Terpene Full Spectrum Extracts
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Since butane hash oil days of the past, extraction techniques have evolved significantly. These days, premium products tend to use low-temperature, full-spectrum extractions. These full-spectrum extractions are divided into two categories: high cannabinoid full spectrum extracts (HCFSEs) and high terpene full spectrum extracts (HTFSEs). Due to their robust cannabinoid and terpene profiles, these products have an exponentially better flavor and may have a greater medicinal value than isolates. In this article, we will discuss how to make HTFSE sauce, including the basic steps involved.
WHAT IS HIGH CANNABINOID FULL SPECTRUM EXTRACT (HTFSE)?
WHAT IS HIGH TERPENE FULL SPECTRUM EXTRACT (HTFSE)?
Full-spectrum extracts contain a high concentration of cannabinoids. During the process, the many valuable therapeutic molecules are extracted from the plant, leaving the non-therapeutic molecules like fats, lipids, and waxes behind.
In the past, the industry has extracted single or selected cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc.) from cannabis trichomes. Method and industry demands were both partly to blame. Consumers wanted pure, potent isolates in the early days. Both THC and CBD are relatively robust cannabinoids, so they stood up well to high-heat extractions. Almost all other cannabinoids are destroyed by high temperatures.
Two types of full-spectrum extracts exist: high cannabinoid full spectrum extract (HCFSE) and high terpene full spectrum extract (HTFSE). Their names suggest that the former seeks to preserve a wide range of cannabinoids, while the latter seeks to preserve a complete terpene profile. In a full spectrum extraction process, both HCFSE and HTFSE are naturally produced.
Often called HTFSE diamonds or HTFSE sugars, the cannabinoid extract takes on a sugary or diamond-like consistency. There are crystals of THCA suspended within the oily terpene extraction. Veterans of the industry call HTFSE – ‘The Sauce‘ of “Terp Sauce“.
Under most circumstances, HCFSE will contain a higher concentration of THCA than HTFSE, although a high-quality HTFSE can contain up to 50 percent THCA. Terpene preservation is the main objective of this concentrate, which keeps a higher percentage of terpenes (13 to 40 percent) than the cannabinoid extraction.
HOW IS HTFSE MADE?
The primary extraction requires four components: pressure, sub-zero temperatures, a hydrocarbon solvent with a low boiling point, and a high-quality flower.
The HTFSE extraction process requires highly specialized equipment, unlike many other conventional concentrates. You cannot apply if you are a do-it-yourself home grower, as advanced laboratory equipment is required.
High-quality input material is required for all HTFSEs. The plant material does not always need to be of high quality for other extractions that are designed to produce isolated cannabinoids. As HTFSE strives to preserve the natural profile of the plant, producers must source flower with a balanced profile of terpenes and cannabinoids. The terpene and cannabinoid profile of the original material is crucial to the quality of the final product.
As a starting material, most producers use premium fresh frozen cannabis flowers. Fresh frozen flower has a better terpene profile than cured, dried flower, even though a live resin approach is not absolutely necessary.
During the primary extraction, the extractors maintain low temperatures to preserve the volatile, sensitive compounds of the fresh frozen plant material.
As part of this process, the extraction is also dewaxed to remove non-valuable compounds (waxes, lipids, and fats) from the concentrate. Producers can easily and quickly separate undesirable materials from extraction by using sub-zero temperatures.
Separating the solvent from the concentrates is carried out by introducing low heat in a second step. Again, the choice of solvent is critical here, since the boiling point needs to be low enough to preserve the sauce’s therapeutic properties.
When it comes to definitions, the concentrate industry isn’t on the same page. There is a high degree of variation between what a particular producer considers a full spectrum extraction.
The goal of some producers is to remove all the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant in one extraction, while others reintroduce terpenes (natural or synthetic) post-extraction. However, some companies have reintroduced THCA diamonds into terpene extraction. Most people wouldn’t consider this an HTFSE.
The aim of premium extractors is to create HTFSE diamonds within the full spectrum concentrate. Diamonds are crystalline THCA molecules that are pulled from fresh frozen flowers. Diamond formation becomes easier with a higher THCA content in the original plant material.
Live resin lends itself to crystal formation more so than cured resin, primarily as a result of its higher THCA content. A certain harvest may not yield any diamonds at all, depending on environmental stresses, cannabinoid profiles, and other factors. While HTFSE diamonds are the goal, they are not always achievable.
A FULL SPECTRUM PREFERENCE IS BECOMING A MARKET PREFERENCE
As the concentrate industry develops, it becomes more intelligent. The development of better technologies and extraction techniques has preserved a wide spectrum of valuable cannabinoids beyond the THC and CBD molecules that dominated the market previously.
HCFSE and HTFSE both ensure the full spectrum of compounds present in the original material make it into the final, concentrated end product – without reintroducing any compounds post-extraction. The primary benefit of these extractions is that they have a better aroma and flavor profile, as well as improved therapeutic effects.