The Cannabis Laboratory newsletter is focused on medicinal cannabis compound purification, potency testing, and quality control – specifically, technologies and equipment essential for these applications. The therapeutic development sector of the industry is very active, with several drugs approved and a host of key candidates in the pipeline. A goal of ours is to keep those involved at the processing or laboratory testing levels – as well as the casual observer or investor – abreast of developments in the industry. Especially as the relate to the vendors, products, and services that are essential in driving growth and success in the business.
Once an emerging trend, the cannabis concentrates side of the industry has gained significant momentum and is now seeing great success as a preferred method for medicinal applications. The purification of discrete cannabinoids is one arm of the extraction sector, the other being the production of enriched cannabis concentrates. Both have preferred techniques and methods, although no doubt each will rise in importance as further legalization and usage take hold. More clearly defined extraction processes will assist in more efficient methods and equipment designed to handle the stringent guidelines and unified regulations on the horizon.
A few developments in the regulatory realm include: the issuing of medical dispensary licenses and the advent of distribution resources in Pennsylvania, the approval of medical marijuana legislation by Virginia, and others. Of course, state legalization advances are not without the occasional setback.
Larger factors are at play in the industry as well, such as the bipartisan group of senators who are pushing to allow marijuana businesses to store their assets and profits in banks. Easily the most important development (in this writer’s opinion) is the recent World Health Organization (WHO) report which finds no public health risks or abuse potential for cannabidiol (CBD). This latest victory for the industry will undoubted assist the journey of this promising therapeutic through the final stages of FDA approval – which will be a bellwether for large-scale CBD production and testing at many levels and for many applications.
What does all this mean for the cannabis extraction technology and equipment side of the industry? Conventional extraction techniques will likely see advances in efficiency to conform to strengthening regulations. Innovations in equipment will likely address precision, reliability, and ease of use and monitoring to meet increasing stringent validation guidelines. These methods and instruments will also see the ability to scale as important factors, as production and testing facilities growth in scale and complexity.
Emerging technologies, some novel and others adopted from the materials, foods, and petroleum processing and testing industries, will likely see greater penetration into the industry. Areas such as supercritical fluid extraction will continue to undergo advances in instrumentation, designed to minimize or automate sample preparation and optimize extraction precision. Other areas such as high performance liquid chromatography will continue to benefit from advances in sample preparation and column chemistries, designed to suit emerging cannabis material processing techniques and specific purification targets. Novel technologies such as those involving centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) are likely to gain significant ground as efficient, versatile, and scalable solutions to existing challenges.
Read on to the articles that accompany this month's newsletter to gather insight on advances in cannabis extraction methods and equipment.
The cannabis extraction realm will continue to be exciting in 2018 and beyond. As such we will continue discussions of new methods and technologies as they emerge.
Be sure to peruse our growing resource library of cannabis related articles for further information and insight.
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