The Future of Commercial Hash Washing & Solventless Cannabis Concentrates
It may be hard for some to believe but the cannabis boom is only just beginning to take shape. While massive gains have already come, they will pale in comparison to the not too distant future. The global legal cannabis market is projected to surpass $146 billion by the end 2025. This market estimation includes consumption methods for both recreational and medicinal use.
In both cases, solventless concentrates are beginning to make their presence felt. Concentrates overall, including products from all extraction methods, saw its sales increase a staggering 114 percent between 2015 and 2017. In Colorado, concentrates accounted for 27.3 percent of the market's demand in 2017.
Those numbers don’t lie. It’s clear that concentrates are on the rise. This sector of the market stands poised to become massive thanks in part to innovation and larger batch productions that weren’t possible just a short time ago. Today, what could once only be mass produced through chemicals and solvents is close to being rivaled by heat pressure and other chemical-free methods. Additionally, a new method could soon be hitting the market and further changing the landscape. As such, the future of concentrates and solventless extraction, in particular, is gearing up to be an exciting one.
Affordability and Scalability
In the past, we've detailed how solventless extraction methods save on startup costs. Contrasted by solvent-extraction startups, chemical-free extractors can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in startup costs. While the cost of entry was lower, producers remained cautious to enter the solventless market thanks to lower yields compared to BHO extraction. This low production resulted in longer periods to pay off the startup costs.
Admittedly, these headaches still exist for many producers in the market. However, issues around cost and scalability should change soon enough as the market and its technology move out of its infancy. Today, PurePressure and others in the space have closed the production gap, increasing potential for scaling an operation just like BHO extraction has for some time. With rosin on the rise, now may soon be the time where market demand and production outputs align for gains across the supply chain.
The Medical Market Appeal
Concentrates often tend to be associated with the recreational aspect of cannabis consumption. While certainly true, that opinion limits the full and actual appeal of solventless extraction equipment, rosin and other solventless concentrates.
Solvent-free products are often regarded as the superior product for medical and palliative purposes. One reason these concentrates received the distinction is their purity to the plant. Unlike other concentrated products, patients have the assurance that a solvent-free product contains only what came from the plant. In doing so, this eliminates any risk of other compounds or chemicals interfering with a patient’s treatment.
Cannabis extraction equipment now allows producers to create solventless products for patients in an array of consumption methods. While they could, in theory, do a dab, a patient is more likely inclined to a less intense consumption method. Vape cartridges and edibles made from rosin expanded solventless consumption access to patients. Today, solventless extraction equipment includes enhanced rosin tech and extends to pills and tinctures as well. Depending on the need, patients can reach for a solventless treatment option just as a recreational user could to get high.
Solventless Extraction Equipment Continues to Evolve
Cannabis extraction technology hit the ground running once legalization began to spread. Today, a number of innovative methods have hit the market or are soon to come. One of the more cutting-edge steps has been the creation of commercial-scale ice water washers. While the art of making ice water hash isn’t new, it’s technology is advancing much like cannabis extraction machines for rosin production. What was once just a small-batch approach has blown up to meet the rising consumer demand.
Soon enough, ice water extraction will be the next wave in commercial solventless production. Just picture massive brewery tanks. Now imagine those tanks processing ice water hash instead of beer. These huge pieces of equipment will wash flower with recirculating chillers, freeze large yields and handle other needs of a commercial-scale solventless extraction operation.
Pretty amazing, right? That day isn't too far from now.
Another of the more exciting areas of the market to watch is vape cartridges. By now, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that vape cartridges are on the rise and don’t expect to stop anytime soon. A sector that used to be riddled with solvent-extracted oils often cut with other elements and filled in subpar cartridges, is now changing. Thanks to regulations, cartridges are improving and so is what is going inside them. Today, in legalized markets, it is common to find chemical-free cartridges filled with the terpenes and full-spectrum of the plant it derived from. While the price for these cartridges is a slight bit higher at this time, the market should balance in time and reduce prices a bit while remaining a luxury item.
Don’t Forget About Edibles
Rosin and other solventless products are welcomed additions to edibles as well. With production levels increasing through new solventless extraction equipment, this opens the door for producers to create premium edibles. Rosin is an ideal enhancement to an edible by adding more potency, flavor and effects to the product. Having an edible that is free of any solvents is likely to align with key consumer demands. With the natural food and products movement underway for some time now, it only makes sense that rosin and other solventless products would find their way into the equation.
Overall, the future of solventless extraction equipment and its products like rosin is extremely bright. Not only does this present producers with an exciting opportunity, but is also a thrilling time for consumers as well. Commercial-scale ice water hash, rosin and numerous other solventless products are going to hit sales counters sooner than later. With the price expected to decline, consumers and patients alike find themselves with an opportunity to be at the forefront of the solventless concentrates wave.