Cannabis Batch Extraction using Probe-Type Sonication

Extracting cannabinoids such as CBD, THC, CBN etc. from hemp and marijuana for production purposes involves a combination of chopping, grinding or crushing the cannabis plant, ultrasound-assisted solvent extraction, and subsequent isolation of the bioactive compounds. Here is a practical instruction of ultrasonic cannabis extraction in medium-scale batch production using larger barrels, e.g. 120L drums.

Materials and Equipment for Cannabis Extraction

  • Cannabis leaves (hemp or marijuana)
  • Aqueous ethanol (80% or higher)
  • Blender or grinder
  • Probe-type sonicator UIP2000hdT
  • Mechanical stirrer
  • Chiller or cooling system for the extraction vessel
  • Food-grade container or batch (e.g. stainless steel, plastic)
  • Mesh filter or a vacuum filtration setup
  • Rotary evaporator
  • Storage containers
The UIP2000hdT (2kW) is a high-performance extractor for large scale batch extraction of hemp oil and CBD extracts. Ultrasonic extraction can be performed in batch and continuous flow-through mode. The UIP2000hdT can be used for large batch etraction (e.g. 120L barrels) or in continuous flow mode (e.g. 4L/min.). This makes the UIP2000hdT a powerful industrial hemp oil extractor for commercial production of high-quality CBD drugs and supplements.

Sonicator UIP2000hdT with agitator in a barrel for large-scale cannabis extraction

Sonication-Assisted Cannabis Extraction Protocol

Preparation:
Ensure that all equipment is clean and sterilized.
Measure and prepare the desired amount of cannabis plant material for extraction.
Mount the stirrer and sonicator over the extraction vessel.
 
Optional: Chill the aqueous ethanol as low as possible. (When you want to extract at cryogenic temperatures, chill to -150 degrees Celsius (-238 degrees Fahrenheit) Cryogenic extraction helps to reduce the release of chlorophyll).
 
Step-by-Step Instructions:
 

  1. Grind or crush the dried cannabis leaves into a coarse particles of approx. 2 to 4 millimeters. For our example, we use 10kg of dried cannabis plant particles.
  2. Then add the cannabis particles to the extraction vessel.
  3. Next, add 100L of aqueous ethanol to the beaker containing the cannabis material to be extracted. We use here a 1:10 ratio of cannabis to solvent. The cannabis-to-solvent ratio may vary depending on the specific cannabis strain, your target compounds and particle size.
  4. Turn the stirrer on in order to mix the slurry. After 2-3 minutes, the slurry is pre-mixed.
  5. Keep the stirrer running. Switch the sonicator on and sonicate the cannabis slurry. Sonicate for approx. 5 to 10 minutes when using the UIP2000hdT. Please note that the temperature and extraction time can vary depending of the ultrasonic power used. If you process larger volumes, longer sonication times are required respectively.
  6. After the sonication process, filter the sonicated mixture through filter cloth or use vacuum filtration to separate the aqueous ethanol containing the extracted cannabinoids and other bioactive compounds from the solid cannabis residue.
  7. Optional: Winterization is a process that involves chilling the extract to precipitate waxes and lipids, which are then removed through filtration. After winterization, the extract is subjected to further evaporation or other purification steps to isolate cannabinoids.
  8. Then use distillation, evaporation or rotary-evaporation to isolate the cannabinoids and bioactive compounds from the solvent.
  9. After that, you can purify the extract further to obtain specific compounds or fill your extract into storage containers.

 

Ultrasonic botanical extraction gives higher yields. The Hielscher UIP2000hdT, 2000 watts homogenizer is powerful enough to extract batches from 10 liters to 120 liters easily.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Botanicals - 30 Liter / 8 Gallon Batch

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Cryogenic Ethanol Extraction

Cryogenic temperatures are used in ethanol extraction processes to enhance the extraction efficiency and to minimize the extraction of undesired compounds, such as chlorophyll and waxes. Lower temperatures can also help to preserve volatile compounds like terpenes.

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Hielscher UP400St(400W, 24kHz) is the top-seller for mid-size cannabis extraction. The UP400St can process easily 2-4L batches and produces high-quality CBD oils and hemp extracts.

The UP400St probe-type sonicator is a popular ultrasound extractor used for the isolation of CBD, THC, CBG, CBN, other canabinoids as well as terpenes from hemp and marijuana.

Scale-Up: From Ultrasonic Batch to Inline Extraction

If you plan to scale up your cannabis extraction method from batch processing to continuous inline extraction, we recommend installing an ultrasonic flow cell to your sonicator. You could keep the solid-to-liquid ratios and all other parameters constant. Extracting larger quantities of cannabinoids from hemp or marijuana using an ultrasonic flow-through system is a sophisticated method to produce large extraction volumes. Hielscher Ultrasonics offers flow cell reactors designed for botanical material extraction.
If you are interested in processing large cannabis streams, we encourage you to ask us directly for more information. Our technical team will be glad to assist in determining the most suitable setup for your specific needs. We offer various industrial extraction setups for food- and pharma-grade extraction of botanical compounds.

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Please use the form below to request additional information about probe-type sonicators for cannabis extraction, application tips and pricing. We will be glad to discuss your extraction process with you and to offer you an ultrasonic extractor fulfilling your process requirements!









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Ultrasonic extraction setup with probe-ultrasonicator UIP1000hdT and stirrer for botanical extraction

Probe-type ultrasonicator UIP1000hdT with stirrer for the production of botanical extracts such as cannabinoids (e.g., CBD, THC, CBG)

 



Literature / References

Ultrasonic extraction of bioactive phytochemicals gives higher yields and a more complete extraction within a rapid process

Ultrasonic extraction of hemp oils and CBD extracts

High performance ultrasonics! The Hielscher product range covers the full spectrum from the compact lab ultrasonicator over bench-top units to full-industrial ultrasonic systems.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers from lab to industrial size.


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