As demand for products containing cannabis oil continues to rise, strict quality control standards are becoming increasingly important to consumers. Coupled with investment in new product development and new companies entering the market, producing an exceptional product is key to remaining competitive.
Key challenges in cannabis oil manufacturing and production
Manufacturing processes need to be effective for small batches and larger product demand, while keeping product losses to a minimum.
Focusing on quality and consistency
Overcoming technological limitations
Putting streamlined processes and systems in place
Ensuring efficient production and improving product quality
Finding economic processing and production solutions to expedite extraction
Additional issues arise in ensuring marketability and quality. A Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) will ensure your products are consistently controlled and produced to the highest quality. Mandated by local Governments, GMP is a set of standards to ensure safe, effective products for distribution. Processes like identification, separation, extraction and filtration need to be carefully selected and managed within GMP.
Cannabis Oil Extraction and Filtration Steps
For over 70 years, we’ve been delivering exceptional filtration solutions across food and beverage industries, with our food contact compliant product portfolio. Our experience means we can provide a complete portfolio of solutions and expertise to suit your cannabis oil filtration needs.
As products containing various types of cannabis oil are projected to grow in popularity, small-scale extraction processing laboratories won’t be equipped to meet product demand. Removal of carbohydrates, fats, waxes, proteins and chlorophyll while refining the oil, has traditionally been accomplished using filtration methods such as Buchner funnels, bag filters and flat sheets. The challenges arising from these methods are:
Small batch production (20L) and not scalable
Large bottlenecks caused from step to step, for example flask, ethanol or filter paper changeouts
Potential contamination risk with open air processing
Unable to integrate into in-line processes with production or packaging lines
Low yields resulting from drip loss
Slow flowrates resulting in a temperature increase requiring multiple filtration passes
Labor intensive installation and assembly
To meet the extract requirements and overcome the pitfalls of traditional methods, Pall worked with cannabis oil producers on an innovative solution utilizing SUPRA technology. Learn more about cannabis oil clarification.
Removing color resulting from chlorophyll whilst still preserving cannabinoids remains a challenge. Traditionally, this process includes adding activated carbon to extract, then manually filtering through a coarse filter. There are different methods available for activated carbon treatment including manual addition of carbon powder or granules and carbon packed columns. While manual carbon addition is inexpensive and effective, it does have its drawbacks. In addition to requiring special attention to operator’s health and safety, the process of manual carbon addition can be labor intensive and messy.
Carbon columns, while easier to use, often bleed carbon downstream. This can be resolved with two options: recirculation through the filter train, and carbon trap cartridge technology placed directly after the carbon filter. Our carbon impregnated SUPRAdisc™ AKS Series Filter Modules are an effective solution for these issues.
Learn more about our solutions for cannabis oil color removal
Sterile Air Filtration for Packaging
As with many other Food and Beverage markets, downstream processing is an essential step for companies using cannabis oil in their finished products. Regulations are becoming more stringent for products containing cannabis oil, and it is imperative that finished products are completely safe for consumption. One challenge experienced during the processing and packaging steps of production is protecting the final product from bacteria. One of the proven ways to produce bacteria free products is using sterile air.
As the number of cannabis products available on the market increases, so does the need to control untested products to protect consumer safety. For cannabis oil that’s used as an ingredient in edibles, local regulations may require pathogen testing for release criteria. Incorrect or falsified results can be costly to businesses, and can lead to fines, lawsuits or suspensions. Despite recent warning letters from the FDA to manufacturers of untested products, effective testing can be very challenging.
The most popular method within the industry is culture testing. This is the process of placing a sample into an enriched broth that is kept in a temperature-controlled environment for optimal microbial growth. There are several issues with this method. Culture methods are only able to detect a small subset of microorganisms causing a false negative test result. In addition, the turnaround time to confirm presence or absence of different microbes vary dramatically, extending the time required to clear the products as safe. For example, bacteria generally take 24 hours, yeast two days to a week, and molds can take several days to as much as four weeks. With the requirement to produce safe products paramount, the need for an alternative method that can overcome these challenges. Learn more about our solutions for cannabis pathogen detection.
Pall is constantly evolving and adapting to change within the industry and can provide cost-effective filtration solutions to meet high industry standards. To find our more, or for a free 30-minute filtration consultation, get in touch using the form provided.
Cannabis Sample Preparation Solutions from Pall Laboratory
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Pall Corporation does not support, encourage or promote the use of its products or services in connection with any illegal use, cultivation or trade of cannabis or cannabis products. Pall products are intended to be used for cannabis related purposes only in compliance with all applicable laws in a manner that promotes public safety and/or in connection with any lawful and approved scientific or research activities.