In this article we will discuss about mechanical extraction. Terpenes are becoming increasingly popular due to the rise of homeopathic medical techniques like aromatherapy. Due to these compounds being produced by a large variety of plants, there are a host of differences that can make one terpene solution’s quality better than others.
Another factor that can affect terpene quality is the extraction process. These extracts can be easily contaminated if they aren’t handled properly, so the method that the terpene is acquired must be as clean and efficient as possible.
In comes mechanical extraction methods. Since human hands don’t interact with the product during the process, it’s extremely easy to produce a safe and pure terpene. This article will go through mechanical terpene extraction methods and the specifics that come with such techniques.
What Is Mechanical Extraction?
Mechanical extraction can be easily defined as extraction techniques that don’t require the use of solvents. Heat and pressure are two of the most important factors for successful mechanical terpene extraction.
Mechanical extraction is usually accomplished by exerting force on the confined seed or base material. The high pressure will rupture the cells walls and make the oils ooze out of the base material. The container that is crushing the base material has small holes that will allow the oils to escape and be bottled.
There are two main approaches in mechanically extracting terpenes from the base material: batch and continuous. Like what its name implies, the batch process has the machine press one batch of materials at a time. This lets the machine make the most out of the base material. Meanwhile, the continuous process has the machine running while the materials are being added.
There are certain setbacks that the two extraction methods must contend with. While batch processing allows you to get more out of your base material, the amount of manpower involved in the operation is excessive. Meanwhile, continuous extraction won’t be able to make the most out of the base material since you can’t maximize the pressure.
Mechanical extraction may remind some people of the way rosin is created. The impeccable quality of the terpenes yielded is generally regarded as more premium compared with solvent-extracted products.
Pros and Cons of Mechanical Extraction
People have come up with different methods of extractions to get the most yield in the most efficient manner. Mechanical extraction has proven to be one of the most effective means of getting terpenes, but it doesn’t come without its own share of problems.
Pro: Mechanical extractions allow for a purer terpene
One of the biggest reasons terpene suppliers select mechanical extraction is the quality of the terpene produced in the process. Since the base material doesn’t interact with other compounds like solvents, you’ll be getting a virtually pure product out of the process.
Terpenes especially need to be produced with as little impurities as possible. Since these plant products are used for medical purposes, it’s vital to keep the terpene as clear as possible to maintain its quality.
Pro: Machines are easy to use
Machines specifically built for terpene extraction are easy to use. These specifically designed machines make extraction easier. So long as the right machine is doing the work, terpene harvesting can be easily done.
Pro: Various terpenes can be extracted with the same machine
Mechanical terpene extraction doesn’t rely on chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about finding the right mix that extracts the terpene without damaging it. The extraction machines can collect terpenes from various source materials without worrying about how the quality will be affected in the long run.
Con: Extraction equipment is costly to buy and maintain
Compared to other popular terpene extraction methods, the bulk of the expenses will come with the acquisition and maintenance of the equipment. Since the equipment is specifically made for the process, it can be difficult to find reasonably priced machines, parts, and maintenance work.
Shopping for a terpene press will be a complicated process that requires frequent interactions with the seller. Ensuring that the equipment is perfect for your needs will make the upfront investment worth it.
Con: Unwanted materials in the base plant may end up in the terpene
Mechanical extractions can produce the purest terpenes, but this doesn’t mean that the extract will be solely terpenes. If the base material had any pesticides applied unto it, it’s possible for the pesticide to contaminate the terpene.
To avoid such a dilemma from happening, make sure that the base material doesn’t have any undesirable compounds on its surface. Check with the supplier of the base plants and make sure that no harmful compounds were applied to the plants before harvest.
Get the Best Terpenes with ME
As terpenes’ medical capabilities grow in popularity, the need for better extraction techniques also balloons. While mechanical extraction is still a process that is far from perfect, it’s a viable method for individuals that want to maintain the purest terpene structure.