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Few people know cannabis extracts and distillates as well as David Hyde, ExtraktLab’s1 social media manager, who got his job after debunking spurious claims by companies selling cannabis concentrates.

According to a Marijuana Venture magazine article, extraction is defined as: “the stripping of cannabinoids and terpenes from the less desirable plant matter. This creates an extract that can then be refined into oil, shatter and wax and infused into seemingly limitless products. This is done by a variety of methods which involve solvents. Ethanol, hexane, supercritical CO2, butane and propane are most commonly used.”2

Wisconsin-based ExtraktLab is best known for manufacturing and selling plant oil extractors using supercritical CO2 extraction (regarded as the most effective way to squeeze extracts, botanical oils and waxes).

We spoke to Hyde about what attracted him to extracts, the challenges concentrate enthusiasts face and where this cannabis trend is headed.

What inspired you to get into fact-checking the many claims a company will make about its cannabis products?

I’ve always been interested in cannabis and the hemp plant and it was something on my mind for a bit. There is so much misinformation in this field and many companies use superlatives like, “...this is the fastest and most efficient tech to make cannabis extracts.” So I broke down exactly what these firms offer, looking at their hourly ROI and other X factors, to verify their claims.

What are some of the challenges for concentrates customers when trying to discern what’s right, and what’s a bogus claim?

Any time there is a new product that is poised to launch it requires years of R&D and trial-and-error testing until the result is solid enough to sustain as a business model. So many things are over hyped initially and I get it, that’s how things sell. But concentrates have more marketing puffery than any other industry. Concentrates are also a lot younger as an industry than dried bud so a company will display more showmanship. In a way customers are holding that bill and vendors have trouble getting reliable products. 

With Canada legalizing recreational cannabis, where do you see the concentrates market fitting with the other lineup of products?

I can see the potential use of concentrates being much higher than dried cannabis because so many people don’t like inhaling cannabis smoke. Thing is, legalization hasn’t offered concentrates in the same way it’s made available bud. Many people, including medical patients, are missing their concentrates and the black market for distillates is thriving still. If LPs can scale up, you could see a big concentrates boom in Canada. I can also see cannabis farmers being scarcer down the road as companies, and customers, see the ROI in making more concentrates and moving from growing to extracting cannabis.

How do you see the future of concentrates and extracts shifting in the next few years?

The industry will go towards the cheapest means of production while still getting the best consistency of cannabis products across the board, so I expect the technologies to improve. And researchers will nail down how to ensure a strain has high CBD, say, or certain strains could be used for different conditions. If you have back pain, you take Advil, not Pepto Bismol, right? It’ll be like that for cannabis, where strains will be better tailored to help with alleviating a condition’s symptoms. 

  1. "ExtraktLab." https://extraktlab.com/
  2. "An Education in Extraction." https://www.marijuanaventure.com/an-education-in-extraction/

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