🇺🇸 Retired veteran, father, rock-climbing expert & rosin connoisseur.
A centrifuge is a device that spins around an axis at high speeds in order to apply constant force on an object. This force, known as centrifugal force, is directed radially away from the axis of rotation, meaning that it moves outward from the center. Centrifuges, which are specialty pieces of equipment commonly used in scientific labs, work by spinning an object at high speeds within a container, causing fluids of different densities to separate out from the object. Less dense components are displaced and move to the center, while more dense components are spun to the outside. For example, centrifugal force will separate cream from milk, and solids from liquids.
Any ideas how hash makers can use a centrifuge in their labs?
Hash rosin contains lots of terpenes, which are very volatile compounds that naturally separate out from the rosin as a liquid. Various components of various consistencies and densities comprise a high quality hash rosin, which all stem from the cannabis trichomes from which it’s made.
The centrifuge technique provides hash makers with a way to separate these various components of hash rosin, all without the use of chemical solvents. This technique is in line with the ethos of solventless production, keeping the integrity of the cannabis resin completely intact and unadulterated.
The centrifuge technique is an additional layer of solventless processing, and it enhances the product in several key ways. One of the main advantages is the reduced levels of oxidation that occurs compared to other methods of post-production processing. It also enables extractors to preserve terpenes that would otherwise be lost during the THCa decarboxylation process. Finally, it serves as an efficient means of mechanical separation.
Decarboxylation of THCA
Processing hash rosin with the centrifuge technique gives extractors the distinct ability to separate the components of this solventless concentrate based on density. Cannabinoids like THCa, the non-psychoactive, acid form of THC have a different density than terpenes, making the centrifuge method an ideal approach to separating these two components of hash rosin.
After separation, extractors can decarboxylate the THCa in order to convert it into the psychoactive THC.
This is better than traditional approaches to decarboxylation, in which the entire concentrate, including its terpenes, undergoes exposure to heat in order to convert the THCa to THC. Heat destroys terpenes, making traditional decarboxylation a two steps forward one step back type of process.
The centrifuge technique enables extractors to separate the terpenes, decarboxylate the THCa, then reintegrate the terpenes into the hash rosin as needed. This minimizes terpene degradation due to the heat exposure of decarboxylation.
Efficiency in Mechanical Separation
An increasingly popular form of hash rosin is THCa mold covered in sauce, in which extractors press THCa crystals into a variety of shapes and cover them in a sauce of terpenes. To date, the most common approach to separating THCa crystals from hash rosin is with the cold pressing approach. This involves pressing hash rosin multiple times at lower temperatures, causing the THCa to “crash out” as crystals in a white, almost chalky form.
The problem is, this method mechanically separating THCa crystals is labor intensive and not very efficient. It’s difficult to scale at a commercial level of production. The centrifuge technique offers the solution, as it makes mechanical separation more scalable and efficient for commercial extractors.
The centrifuge technique allows extractors to streamline mechanical separation in their labs.
The centrifuge technique exposes the hash rosin to less oxidation than the mechanical separation process. The intense forces exerted within the centrifuge ensures that only the outermost layer of the hash rosin is exposed to oxygen, while other molecules below this layer are protected from oxygen exposure. In traditional mechanical separation, terpenes are spread in a thin, wide layer across parchment, which actually increases the surface area with which oxygen will interact during the process.
Extractors can go one step further with the centrifuge technique, by backfilling the sealed containers with inert gasses, which all but completely eliminates oxidation.
Less oxidation means greater terpene preservation and a fresher, more vibrant concentrate for consumers.
What Tools and Supplies Do You Need?
- A centrifuge
- Cold cured hash rosin
- 25 micron rosin bags
- Tubes or glass jars
A centrifuge is the main piece of equipment that extractors need in their lab in order to pull off this technique. Centrifuges are specialty pieces of lab equipment, but they cost significantly less than freeze dryers. They are readily available for purchase from several lab supply retailers and therefore widely accessible to even the hobbyist dabbling in innovative approaches to hash rosin processing.
Regarding which type of hash rosin to use for the centrifuge technique, cold cured hash rosin will yield better results than fresh press rosin. THCa matures into crystalline structures during the cold cure process, which enables a more abundant terpene fraction when separated.
How To Process Hash Rosin Using The Centrifuge Technique
1. Load the hash rosin into the centrifuge. Distribute the cold cured hash rosin into the centrifuge’s filter basket container. Be sure to spread the rosin evenly inside the container to ensure a balanced and effective spin.
For processing small amounts, a 25 micron rosin bag and tube or jar is effective. At a larger, commercial scale, however, containers built for this purpose which include filter mesh baskets or a filter layer between two compartments are a better solution. Metal mesh baskets are the most sanitary and reliable option for production at scale.
2. Properly balance the centrifuge tubes. An unbalanced centrifuge can be extremely dangerous.
3. Similar to the approach with ice water extraction, be careful not to overload the vessel. Start small while you get familiar with the limits of your set up.
4. If using a 25 micron bag, insert the cold cure into the bag and suspend it inside the jar by flipping it over the jar and putting on the lid.
5. Run the centrifuge. Experiment to find the optimal speed and time to cleanly separate the THCA from the sauce. Avoid temperatures that cause the hash rosin to decarboxylate in the centrifuge, while also creating an environment warm enough to allow the sauce components to flow through the filter. The radius of the rotor and the speed of the centrifuge correlates to the force exerted at the filter screen. Be sure to use the correct centrifuge for the process.
6. Recover the terpenes by applying light heat to the metal container to aid in the recovery of the terpene layer. Invert the container to allow the terpenes to drip out, which minimizes loss of terpenes that would otherwise stick to the sides of the container.
7. Collect the THCa, which should be compacted within the filter basket or bag as a compressed puck after the centrifugation process. A liquid terpene layer will collect at the bottom of the vessel outside of the filter basket.
8. As with many processes involved in solventless extraction, it’s helpful to constantly experiment, as each cultivar and batch of hash rosin may require slight adjustments.
In conclusion, the centrifuge technique offers a solventless method to separate components in hash rosin. This process aligns with the ethos of solventless production, preserving the integrity of cannabis resin without the use of chemical solvents. The technique facilitates mechanical separation, minimizing oxidation and preserving terpenes that would otherwise be lost during traditional decarboxylation methods. By allowing extractors to separate terpenes, decarboxylate THCa, and reintegrate terpenes into the hash rosin, the centrifuge technique provides a more efficient and controlled approach to hash rosin processing.
Traditional methods of mechanical separation are labor-intensive and not scalable for commercial production, whereas the centrifuge technique offers a more efficient and scalable solution. With minimized oxidation and enhanced terpene preservation, this technique results in a fresher and more vibrant concentrate for consumers. The necessary tools and supplies, including a centrifuge, cold-cured hash rosin, rosin bags, and containers, make this technique accessible to both hobbyists and commercial extractors, marking a significant advancement in the solventless extraction process.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a centrifuge technique in hash rosin processing?
The centrifuge technique involves using a specialized device called a centrifuge to spin hash rosin at high speeds, allowing for the mechanical separation of its components based on density. This solventless method is particularly valued for preserving the integrity of cannabis resin without the use of chemical solvents.
How does the centrifuge technique benefit hash makers?
The centrifuge technique offers several advantages, including reduced oxidation levels compared to traditional mechanical separation methods. It enables hash makers to preserve terpenes during THCa decarboxylation, enhancing the overall quality of the concentrate. Additionally, the technique provides an efficient means of mechanical separation, addressing scalability issues faced in the industry.
What tools and supplies are needed for the centrifuge technique?
The main equipment required is a centrifuge, along with cold-cured hash rosin, 25-micron rosin bags, and tubes or glass jars. Centrifuges are readily available from lab supply retailers, making this technique accessible to both hobbyists and commercial extractors. The choice of hash rosin, specifically cold-cured, influences the results by yielding a more abundant terpene fraction when separated.
How is the centrifuge technique performed step by step?
The process involves loading cold-cured hash rosin into the centrifuge, distributing it evenly in the filter basket container. Proper balancing of the centrifuge tubes is crucial for safety. The centrifuge is run at an optimal speed and time to separate THCa from the sauce without causing decarboxylation. Terpenes are recovered by applying light heat, and the THCa is collected as a compressed puck in the filter basket.
What makes the centrifuge technique a preferable method for hash rosin processing?
The centrifuge technique stands out for its solventless approach, aligning with the ethos of preserving cannabis resin integrity. It provides greater control over the separation process, minimizes oxidation, and allows for the recovery and reintegration of terpenes, resulting in a fresher and more vibrant concentrate. Its efficiency in mechanical separation also addresses scalability issues faced in the industry.