Decarboxylation: Choosing the Right Evaporator

After decades of prohibition, cannabis and hemp legislation is gradually relaxing around the world. Wholesale legislative changes in Canada and the US have transformed an illicit market into a legitimate, multi-billion dollar industry in just a few short years. Products based on cannabinoid extractions have become high-value commodities, particularly cannabidiol (CBD) oils which are marketed as medicinal and therapeutic.

The rate of change in the cannabis and hemp industry is extremely rapid, with growers and retailers alike vying for a competitive edge in an already over-saturated market. One of the key dichotomies in the sale of CBD products is that of raw versus decarb CBD oil.

Decarboxylation is an inherent process in cannabis consumption. In laboratory settings, it describes specific methods of extracting desired natural compounds from the plant. This article aims to explore the process of decarbing cannabis in more depth, while offering some insights into choosing the right system for decarboxylation.

What is Decarboxylation?

In cannabis extraction process, decarboxylation, often shortened to decarb, refers to the transformation of the THCA (Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid) or CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid) into THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or CBD (cannabidiol), respectively via heating and drying. Decarboxylation in scientific terms is a type of chemical reaction removing a carboxyl group either with heat and/or chemicals.

Conventional Decarboxylation Instruments

Traditional solvent recovery and decarboxylation systems are complex, modular setups comprising several interconnected instruments. Decarboxylation alone requires a bulky reactor with a chiller, an additional chiller for the condenser, and a vacuum pump, to decarb cannabis over extended periods (8 – 10 hours). Other decarb equipment such as vacuum ovens take significantly longer (14-24 hours) with limited capacity.  These expensive setups have large workplace footprints and demand consistent operator intervention to get the greatest value results. Why do reactor/chiller decarb systems take a long time to decarb? It is because using thermal fluid to heat the extract to optimal decarb temperature (250oF or 121oC) takes a long time due to inefficient heat transfer and heat lose.

Leading-Edge Decarb Evaporators

At Ecodyst®, we have leveraged our expertise in organic chemistry in the development of a unique evaporation system for solvent recovery and decarboxylation. Using pioneering direct-cooling technology and continuous feeds to maintain vacuum conditions throughout extraction processes. The EcoChyll® range exceeds traditional decarb systems on virtually every front.

Available at a lower up-front price point with consistently greater returns on investment in virtually every respect, the EcoChyll® line can decarb comparable volumes of cannabis oils in just under 2 hours. This is possible through our efficient heating mantle design that reaches optimal decarb temps in matter of minutes and maintain heat. With efficient heating mantle, our actual volume evaporators and the world’s most efficient EcoChyll® intelligent self-cooling technology require just a single action to initiate continuous decarboxylation of high volumes of sample materials at unprecedented scales.

From the 200L capacity EcoChyll® X9 to the medium-scale 12L EcoChyll® X3, Ecodyst provides evaporation systems suitable for every level of cannabis decarboxylation. Sovlent recovery with in situ decarb that saves significant extraction process time is a desirable feature most extraction processors desire. Contact us today for more information.