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article imageQ&A: Meet the crockpot of cannabis extraction Special

By Tim Sandle     Jan 28, 2020 in Lifestyle
High recreational cannabis taxes and hazardous black market concentrates are leading consumers to make homemade concentrates. It is now safe to make homemade concentrates by using Source Turbo by ExtractCraft. Troy Ivan explains.
The Source Turbo is capable of safely producing highly concentrated ethanol-extracted oils from cannabis and other botanicals. Roses, hops, and herbs can all be quickly extracted, using alcohol, into an oil that the user can use for a variety of products and purposes—edibles, perfumes, alternative medicines, tinctures, aromatherapy products, and more.
Troy Ivan from ExtractCrafts explains how the technology works.
Digital Journal: How common is it for cannabis users to make their own concentrates? What are the reasons for people doing so?
Troy Ivan: Cannabis users making their own concentrates started a very long time ago with kief, hash or steeping cannabis in oils or fats to make infusions used creating medicated culinary delights. Alcohol-based cannabis tinctures were a common medicine used in the home in past centuries. In more recent history, some people were doing iso and ethanol extraction in the 1970s and 1980s, and in fact, there was even a machine people could buy called the ‘Isomerizer’ in the mid-1970s. In the 1990s people started blasting butane extractions at home in California and not too long after Rick Simpson’s documentary “Run From the Cure” brought the idea of doing rudimentary cannabis extraction to the home to a much wider audience leading to a proliferation of people using rice cookers, crockpots, and double boilers.
At the same time, people were rediscovering the simplicity of making simple cannabis infusions in the home simply by steeping cannabis in a carrier oil for an extended period. While none of these techniques were perfect, some of them downright dangerous, the idea of people making their own concentrates isn’t new, it’s just new to a rapidly growing population new to cannabis. So, is it common? I don’t know. Is it getting really popular? Yes! There’s a large and fast-growing audience for making concentrates at home, an expanding knowledge base, and our home extraction solution making it safe and achievable for anyone. This audience is made up of home growers wanting to process the fruits of their own labor, people concerned with having control of the contents of concentrates they are consuming, and people interested in the craft itself. The craft itself is so fun and activates your creativity so strongly it becomes an obsession.
We’ve all seen the stories of pesticide tainted cannabis recalls, vape carts killing more than 30 people, candy hardener and pine resin being found in concentrates on dispensary shelves, and other tales that make us uneasy about concentrates we’re ingesting into our bodies. This is one of the prime drivers of why consumers are looking to make their extractions, they can produce a product that not only perfectly suits their individual needs and they control exactly what’s in it and what goes into their bodies. With the increasing number of people growing their own cannabis and hemp at home, they love being able to process the fruits of their labor into incredible quality concentrates. Not to mention, you can even use trim to make a pretty good end product from something you may otherwise treat as trash.
Making your own full-spectrum CBD oil is also something becoming very large for us. People can purchase CBD products at the store, gas station, and all over the internet, however, these products are mostly made from CBD isolate. CBD isolate is very processed hemp oil that has removed all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that give each strain its strengths and character. It’s been shown time and time again that full-spectrum CBD oil, like you, would make with our process heightens the effectiveness of CBD much more than isolate products. Retail CBD products are also very expensive and most of them don’t perform as advertised, so making your own is a great option. You can buy a pound of good quality, CBD rich hemp legally for $150-$250 and pull off between 50g-70g of oil that’s around 70% pure. That equates to around 35,000mg - 49,000mg of powerful full-spectrum oil from a single pound of inexpensive hemp.
DJ: What was the idea behind Source Turbo?
Ivan: The idea behind the Source was to put the power of nature and healing in the hands of people to improve both health and lifestyle. The name came from our idea of, “Get back to nature, get back to the Source.” We took a piece of lab equipment called a rotovap, shrunk it to fit on a countertop, and made it easy enough to process by pushing a single button while providing the safety that’s not been seen before. This gives people the power and equipment to create highly customized healthy versions of products sold on store shelves.
What we have is a marriage of advanced tech and engineering with a movement away from big pharma and artificial, over-processed everything. We put this power in people’s hands. Sustainability is another driving force where users maximize the potential of their plant materials and reclaim the ethanol for reuse. For example, to make a very clean extract for smoking or vaping some extraction efficiency is given up and a degree of cannabinoids will be left behind in the processed material. That same material can be processed a second time more aggressively to make a heavier extract for edibles or topicals getting everything out of the starting material possible. Lastly, when users craft cleaner and more potent end products they use less of it and further maximizes the value.
DJ: How does the Source Turbo work?
Ivan: The Source Turbo is an ethanol recovery appliance used in the process of ethanol extraction. Ethanol is a fancy word for grain alcohol, like the brand ‘Everclear’ every one may be familiar with from college parties. Ethanol is food grade and serves as the solvent that collects the essential oils from cannabis, hemp, or almost any kind of botanical. In the case of cannabis and hemp, the essential oils are primarily cannabinoids and terpenes. By simply combining the plant material and ethanol for a few minutes to a few days, the oils from the plant will effectively melt into and co mingle with the ethanol. Then, the plant matter is separated and filtered to create a ‘tincture’ where the ethanol holds all the collected oils in the solution. To isolate the oil collected in the tincture and claim the beautiful concentrate the ethanol must be removed, and this is what the Source Turbo does.
By using a vacuum, we lower the evaporation point of ethanol from 173°F to around 100°F which retains all the delicate components of the oil, that would otherwise be lost to the higher heat, intact and beautiful throughout processing. After about 2.5 hours the oil will remain in the center crucible and all the ethanol will be recovered in the collector for reuse. Working under vacuum at low temps not only produces great concentrates, but it also keeps the process as safe as possible by trapping all the flammable ethanol vapor in the machine and not allowing it to fill the surrounding area.
DJ: What are the risks of this practice?
Ivan: There are a couple of risks that can be avoided with common sense. High-proof ethanol is quite flammable as indicated on the container label and care must be taken as with all other flammable household products when handling and storing. Our equipment mitigates the risk by working at low temperatures and under vacuum, but it’s still very important to work with ethanol in a well-ventilated area, away from any source of ignition. The other possible risk is someone concentrating a botanical they are not familiar with and using it without regard to safety and possibly ingesting something dangerous. Some botanicals can be harmless in their natural form but a health hazard when concentrated, so while it may be common sense, everyone must remember to be careful to confirm that any concentrate intended for processing and consumption is safe for the intended use.
DJ: Is any expertise required to operate the device?
Ivan: No expertise is required at all and that was all the engineering was centered around. We designed it so anyone can use it. We’ve made it so easy to use people forget that the operation they’re performing is actually a highly complex continuous manipulation of ambient temp, ambient pressure, internal temp, internal vacuum, changing internal pressure, evaporation of a volatile liquid, condensation of vapor, recovery of ethanol for reuse, and separation of the oil. To do all of that with the Source Turbo all someone needs to know how to do is push a button, it couldn’t be easier.
DJ: What is your marketing strategy?
Ivan: We are positioned as the world’s first real crossover company, being as applicable to cannabis and hemp as scenting, apothecary, culinary arts, and medicinal applications. Currently, we are primarily focused on marketing across social media. We have been working to scale manufacturing over the past couple of years to get to the point where we can keep up with demand. We’re still struggling to keep up but getting close to the point where we can start expanding our marketing presence without wasting marketing dollars creating more demand we can’t keep up with. We are in a position where our marketing efforts will begin to accelerate, you’ll see us more frequently across traditional marketing and our media visibility is rapidly increasing.
The cornerstone of our marketing is our online community and user groups. Both of them can be found on Facebook: “ExtractCraft Users Group” is age restricted due to the cannabis topics discussed and the “ExtractCraft Test Kitchen” that covers the wilder side of extracting mushrooms, herbs, flowers, roots, barks, woods and all kinds of things. Our user groups are small, but they are highly engaged, focused, kind, welcoming, and very supportive newcomers and helping them build skills and knowledge. They help those with no knowledge of extraction become successful with great results from the first or second run. These groups are unlike anything on the internet, they are special. Word of mouth is the strongest form of marketing there is, and this community has been a tremendous help for us. We really owe our community members tremendous gratitude. In addition to the education in the user group, there’s also a great blog at www.extractcrafter.com with easy steps for beginners to follow, as well as more advanced techniques. These resources get shared in other groups and communities and have had a great impact in spreading the word about who we are and what we are doing, while also providing education.
For the future, there are a few things we expect to see. First, our marketing kicks into high gear with a lot of high-quality content for instruction and education across all the markets that crossover with our equipment. Second, this year we will complete the necessary compliance and manufacturing requirement to finally allow us to expand global distribution to all parts of the world that have been begging us to send products for the past couple of years. Lastly, our recent rebranding and new logo were launched and have given us a much better look. The website, Amazon, and YouTube channel changed over to the new look recently and that rebranding will continue with it being applied to products and packaging throughout the year.
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