What's the Best Solution to Purify or Extract Cannabis?

The continued deregulation of cannabis in different countries worldwide led to a variety of new purification and extraction methods. Traditional methods developed before the biomedical boom of the last ten years provided low-quality products, and the older technologies proved challenging to adapt to industrial operations.

Selecting the Best Cannabis Extraction and Purification Process and Technology

By 2027, the global legal cannabis market will reach $73.6 billion at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.1%. The demand for increased purity and more precise workflows will only increase in the future. Many organizations are still in the R&D stage, analyzing and quantifying the effects of more than 500 potentially active compounds in the cannabis Sativa plant.

During the research, development, and production stages of purification and extraction processes, organizations need to ensure they can maintain the same product quality and system efficiency at higher scales. To achieve a cost-effective production level, your method and facility equipment must perform optimally during the method development and the production stages.

Below, we cover the best solutions available currently to purify high-quality cannabis concentrates. These technologies can help teams refine their methods, scale operations, and maintain product quality during every step of the process.

By 2027, the global legal cannabis market will reach $73.6 billion at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.1%. The demand for increased purity and more precise workflows will only increase in the future.
Extraction and Purification for the Medical/Legal Cannabis Industry

Due to the current classification of the cannabis (or hemp) plant in most countries and states, regulations surrounding the production techniques of medical-grade cannabinol (CBD) have to comply with strict quality standards. Ensuring the final product's integrity starts with a crude extraction technique and usually follows a standard purification workflow.

After the solid/liquid extraction step and filtration completion, using a High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) or Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC) system provides the best results. The levels of purity available from these methods make them commercially attractive, although not equal in performance. The limitations of HPLC can be overcome with a CPC system, which also reduces costs and enables effective scaling of the extraction and purification process.

CPC versus HPLC Cannabis Purification

Both HPLC and CPC are suitable for compound identification or sample purification.

Preparative HPLC methods can isolate specific compounds but depend on silica-resin packed columns, increasing the operational costs and volumes of reagents required during the process. Mobilization and collection require large volumes of solvents, making it difficult to scale to industrial preparation levels. Considering the reagent consumption and longer run times required, HPLC often fails to outperform CPC solutions.

CPC uses hydrodynamics and mass transfer (liquid-liquid) chromatography to separate compounds based on their partition coefficient. A silica-free and customizable column configuration provide superior operational characteristics with fewer costs and reduced maintenance requirements. The selective purification of cannabinoids is possible when you vary the composition between the two phases, providing a rapid and reproducible purification method. CPC columns are reusable, require fewer reagents during the process, and scale effectively to industrial production levels.

What CPC Purification Applications are Available?

Our case study for the purification of cannabidiol used the Gilson VERITY® CPC 250 column to produce 205 milligrams of 99% pure CBD from 5 grams of crude extract. The results showed that CPC technology can support batch or continuous operations, require a single-step method, and achieve the desired purity levels for medical-grade production and certification. Depending on the specific application or requirements, teams can use CPC technology to produce THC-free compounds, isolate pure cannabinoids, or sample other active compounds contained in cannabis.

Whether it's moving to commercial production, the CPC purification process outperforms HPLC with improved efficiency and higher purity. Gilson can assist any size team or operation with different models suitable for any process stage or commercial application.

Gilson's VERITY® Range of CPC Solutions

Gilson developed a range of VERITY CPC systems to support teams of any size who need superior equipment and a streamlined purification workflow. From lab to process scaled operations, the VERITY CPC delivers the performance expected by specialized teams who need a high-performance, accurate, and reliable platform.

The VERITY range of CPC solutions include:

  • Lab-scale platforms - Easy-to-use and flexible for fast method development or gram production of standard molecules
  • Pilot and mid-scale solutions - Enables teams to refine their methods by processing more than 1 ton of samples per year.
  • Process and large-scale production systems – Capable of producing several tons of material per year with the ability to customize the platform for maximum efficiency.

Cannabis Purification using CPC Solutions from Gilson

We remain committed to helping teams achieve their research and development goals and can assist when you have to move to large-scale production. With a superior purification system that doesn't increase the cost of maintenance or require large volumes of reagents, our CPC technologies can help teams of any size establish a repeatable, verifiable, and compliant process.

With regulations and new applications continuing to disrupt the pharmaceutical industries, ensuring a quality and scalable process is vital for companies looking to capitalize on the biomedical boom of cannabis products. The benefits that CPC offers can ensure your teams produce quality products for lesser costs and shorter turnaround times.

Gilson Purification Solutions

If you want to find out more about how Gilson's VERITY CPC solutions can help purify your cannabis products, get in touch for a quote or demo today.

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