Cannabis / Hemp Distillation

To create distillate, cannabis crude oil is distilled at very high temperatures. The cannabis oil evaporates and becomes purified in its vapor state. This is called Short Path Distillation, Thin Film Distillation, or Fractional Distillation.

Distillation

Purification into a highly concentrated and refined cannabinoid oil

Isolation

CBD isolate is used for herbal supplement and end-product applications

THC Remediation

THC, heavy metal, pesticide, and color remediation

Formulation

Preparation into tinctures, topicals, vaporizer cartridges, water-solubles, and other consumer focused end-products

Cannabis
Extraction

Crude oil is extracted directly from plant material

Winterization

Precipitation of inactive compounds

Filtration & Color Remediation

Removal of unwanted compounds and refinement of cannabis extract

Solvent Recovery

Reclaim solvent to perform further extractions, winterization, or other post-processing techniques

Degas/Decarb

Polish and activate crude oil for further refinement

Distillation Solutions

G3 SERIES SHORT PATH DISTILLATION KIT

Our G3 Series Short Path Distillation Kit series is the most comprehensive, innovative, and efficient short path kit we have ever released.

All G3/G3X/G3X-R Short Path kits are certified and peer-reviewed to NRTL standards.

As an industry leader in quality short path systems, we have been at the forefront of this progressive technology and have worked to design and build a best-in-class system that is easy to integrate into any existing laboratory or operation.

  • 5L G3 Series

    Batch Capacity: 2500g

  • 12L G3 Series

    Batch Capacity: 6000g 

  • 20L G3 Series

    Batch Capacity: 10,000g

HIVE15™ THIN FILM DISTILLATION SYSTEM, STAINLESS STEEL, SINGLE STAGE, 0.15M2

Lab Society has partnered with HVE (High Velocity Evaporators) again to bring a revolutionary redesign of the hybridized wiped/thin-film evaporator.

The HiVE15™ has a smaller footprint yet is still capable of fast and precise distillation, translating to savings in time and resources. This elegant and modular system was engineered with flexibility and ease of use in mind.

The HiVE15™ is here to claim its place as the most powerful benchtop TFD/WFE in its class.

  • Evaporator Surface Area

    0.15 m2

  • Feed Rate

    1-3 liters per hour

THIN FILM DISTILLATION SYSTEM – 2-STAGE, 0.2M2

Lab Society has partnered with InCon Process Systems (IPS) to bring the industry the most comprehensive continuous short path thin film distillation plant on the market.

Designed solely around distilling high-boiling-point compounds (coupled with low-boiling-point constituents in feed stock), the stainless steel CannaBeast® Dual-Stage Thin Film Distillation System has all the features necessary to streamline and maximize throughput with its 0.4 m² evaporation system.

  • Evaporator Surface Area

    (2) 0.2 m2

  • Feed Rate

    5-20 liters per hour

Cannabis / Hemp Distillation

Distillation of cannabis oil is one of the most important steps in the cannabis processing chain. Distilling cannabis oil and creating high potency cannabinoid “distillate” is one of the most successful ways to profitably build a cannabis processing business.

Cannabis Distillate

Cannabis/hemp distillate is not only a stand-alone end product itself, but is also a precursor for many other end products such as isolate, water-soluble formulations, and novel cannabinoid synthesis. Distillation is one of our top specialties at Lab Society, and thus we pride ourselves on creating and offering the most efficient and high quality distillation systems on the market.

Distilling Cannabis Crude Oil

Distillation of cannabis crude oil is done after the cannabinoids are extracted from the plant material, and properly prepared via winterization or other post processing techniques. The crude oil used in distillation must be fully decarbed/degassed and minimal to no residual solvents, terpenes, or other light volatile compounds should be in the crude oil before it is ready to be distilled. Cannabis distillation is similar to the solvent recovery step in that we are vaporizing the targeted compounds and then recondensing them which purifies them in the process. The difference is, cannabis crude oil is a much heavier compound than solvents and therefore has a much higher boiling point. What this means is that a different style of distillation system must be used, and the temperatures needed to achieve effective distillation are much higher. The vacuum pressure needed for cannabis distillation is also much higher and is usually referred to as ultra-high vacuum rather than the light vacuum pressure needed to distill lower boiling point compounds like solvents.

Types of Distillation Systems

Benchtop Short Path Distillation

There are two main types of cannabis distillation systems. The first is known as a benchtop short path. The term short path refers to the distance between the boiling flask and the condenser. This “short path” allows high boiling point compounds to quickly evaporate and recondense without residing as a vapor for too long of a time. Heavy boiling point compounds can convert and become unwanted compounds if the path of the distillation system is too long. This is known as residence time and is a key reason why short path distillation works so well for cannabis crude oil. The term short path can also be applied to other types of distillation systems besides a benchtop short path as we will discuss further below.

Benchtop short paths utilize a boiling flask and distillation head which is connected to a condenser. Once the cannabinoids have evaporated and have been pulled through the distillation head by the vacuum pump, the condenser allows those cannabinoids to recondense into distillate. The distillate has a higher viscosity than most liquids, so the condenser must be warm enough to maintain flowability while also effectively condensing the cannabinoid vapors. Benchtop short paths are tabletop systems as their name suggests, but they are still able to run significantly large amounts of crude oil and are easily scalable by adding another system of equivalent size. Benchtop short paths utilize “batch” distillation. This means that after each run, the system must be cleaned and the boiling flask must be refilled with cannabis oil to perform another run. Benchtop short paths have a much lower barrier to entry compared to other types of distillation systems meaning they are easier to acquire at a lower start-up cost.

Wiped/Thin Film Distillation

The second type of cannabis distillation system is known as a wiped or thin film distillation system. Wiped films main advantage over benchtop short path is that it can be run continuously. This means that oil can constantly be fed into the system and that the system does not need to be stopped, cleaned, and refilled after each run. Many wiped films utilize a feed tank and pumping mechanism to continuously fill the system with cannabis crude oil. Wiped film also has minimal residence time, as the crude oil is fed into the evaporator, it is pulled downwards by gravity. The evaporator is heated and the cannabinoids evaporate and recondense on an inner condenser within the evaporator body. The residue which no longer contains cannabinoids, continues down the wall of the evaporator and is discharged into a different area of the system. The distance between the wall of the evaporator and the internal condenser is also considered a “short path” because it is very small, often only a few inches or less. This means that when the cannabinoids evaporate, the vapor does not have to travel very far to recondense.

Wiped films are often more expensive than a benchtop short path system, although they can achieve much higher throughputs due to their ability to run continuously. Wiped films also can include higher levels of automation making the process less involved for operators. Wiped films come in a variety of sizes from small table top versions all the way up to industrial scale plants which can distill hundreds of liters per day. It is important to match the size of the distillation system with the expected amount of crude oil you will be producing.

Cannabis/Hemp Distillation Conclusions

Whether you are using a benchtop short path or a wiped film distillation system, the distillate created from both will be nearly identical. Distillate is a highly concentrated cannabinoid mixture that no longer contains any water, terpenes, solvents, volatile compounds, or heavier organic plant matter. Pure distillate is known for its colorless, and near odorless characteristics and its light, honey-like consistency. Distillate is a highly sought after end product by many consumers and processors alike, as it used to create a variety of highly potent cannabinoid end products.

Lab Society specializes in distillation and we offer a variety of tailored distillation solutions for all laboratories and processing facilities. No matter the size or scale of your operation, we can supply a system that is guaranteed to create high potency distillate within your price range, as long as you can procure clean cannabinoid crude oil that is ready to be distilled.

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