Extracting Terpenes - What's the Best Method? Blog from Fritz Chess

edited August 2017 in General

Hey everyone! Fritz Chess wrote a great blog about extracting terpenes, different methods, and application to natural health remedies. I thought I'd share some highlights from the blog and post the link (below).

"The traditional methods of terpene extraction is steam distilling and hydrodistillation. Steam distilling involves suspending a basket of herb above a vessel of boiling water. The steam passes through the perforated basket and penetrates the plant material. Only lighter oils such as monoterpenes are soluble in the steam. As the terpene-entrained steam passes out of the top of the distiller it comes in contact with a cooled condenser which liquefies the water and oils. The lighter oils float on the surface of the water and are easily collected. There is usually a water soluble fraction of oil that stays dissolved and gives the water a milky look. This is called hydrosol and is generally the type of herbal extract used in shampoos and cosmetics when an herb is listed on the ingredients. Hydrodistillation is similar to steam distilling except that the herb is placed directly in the boiling water."

Read more here: http://blog.edenlabs.com/extracting-terpenes-for-natural-health-remedies


  • edited October 1

    Wow, I didn't know about some of these, thanks!

  • Very simple
  • Steam distillation is a great method of obtaining Cannabis terpenes. Better methods that will lead to less degradation will be preformed under vacuum at lower temperatures to retain a much more true to the flower terpene profile.

  • Sub-critical CO2 does a great job. It's how you recover the extract that's the key.

  • Subcritical CO2 with a final cleanup in a short-path distiller does a great job.
  • Sorry for the shameless plug: a company called Eybna based in Israel began (serious) scientific research almost 10 years ago on everything except primary cannabinoids in marijuana. They'll be featured on a panel at Extraxx Expo in Los Angeles in January. https://extraxx.com/

  • Microwave extraction is a method that is now being used to pull terps as well

  • @field10s said:
    Microwave extraction is a method that is now being used to pull terps as well

    This is actually just another form of steam distillation

  • Subcritical and cold as can be. Run it low and slow, keep the extractor cold and the separators just under the liquid/gas line. If you overflow just wait and vent out the bottom of the accumulator for the lighter terpenes.

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