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THC Extraction: The Best Way To Extract THC

Have you always wondered how THC is extracted? With the rise of cannabis-based products like CBD oil exploding onto the market in recent years, many companies are looking for the best possible THC and CBD extraction equipment to make high-quality products for their customers.


Extracting the THC from cannabis-based products is a vital part of the process, but how exactly is it done and what is the best way to extract THC?

What is THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive substance found in cannabis and marijuana products. When marijuana is smoked, THC produces the feeling of getting high.


THC affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and mimics the chemical anandamide by interrupting messages and causing the user’s brain to change the way it might ordinarily react to stimuli. 


While THC has had a mixed reaction from anti-drugs campaigners, the medical uses for THC products have received more research over the last few years, along with its counterpart CBD.

What is THC Extraction?

With the cannabis plant, there are different compounds that could be useful to the manufacturer for a final product. In fact, cannabis itself contains 113 cannabinoid compounds including the two most popular: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).


Extracting THC from the cannabis plant commonly serves two different purposes, which are to remove the psychoactive component and thus render the plant “safe” for further use,  and to use THC in medical products under controlled circumstances.


THC extraction comes in different forms depending on the final usage of the extracted product. Each producer will need to pick the best option for their usage, which include options such as edibles/foods, vape liquids, and tinctures. However, there are many additional ways to use extracted THC.

How to Extract THC

There are several ways to extract THC from the cannabis plant. Below are the most popular methods:


  • Alcohol Extraction - Sometimes called a tincture, alcohol (usually ethanol) is used as a solvent to extract the compounds from the plant. This is a less expensive method and usually yields a high, but not always controllable, result.


  • Supercritical CO2 Extraction - A costly process, the manufacturer heats CO2 to a level where it is both a gas and a liquid (known as ‘supercritical’) and the cannabis is passed through it, removing the required compounds.  While CO2 extraction is considered by many to be a “clean” process, the end product has usually been stripped of many of the lighter, less-dense compounds many users enjoy.


  • Hydrocarbon Extraction - Hydrocarbon extraction has been one of the most popular methods due to the ability to finely craft the end result, it is becoming more popular in the industry and is certainly seen as one of the cleanest methods of extraction. Cannabis plants are placed in a pressurized container with butane, propane or a blend of the two  which extracts the desired compounds.

Best way to Extract THC

With varying ways to extract THC, such as with the use or non-use of a solvent, the method you choose will be based on your requirements for the end product.

For most products, we recommend the hydrocarbon extraction method. This is especially true for THC extraction because the hydrocarbon method is able to preserve more of the cannabinoid acids and terpenes such as THC-a, which are not psychoactive.  This is important as many consumers prefer an experience that provides the “feel” of the source material in addition to the base THC experience.


Although the hydrocarbon method does need to be performed under strict safety regulations due to the solvent being highly flammable, the environmental benefits for this method are numerous, and it is one of the few solvent-based extraction methods that is registered as safe for ingestion by the FDA.

THC/CBD Extraction Equipment

We supply a wide range of THC / CBD extraction equipment, including:


  • Vapor Recovery Systems

  • Filter Dryer

  • Distillation, Vacuum Ovens, and Pumps

  • Rotary Evaporators

THC Uses

For many users, the psychoactive compound of cannabis, THC, is the wonder product that may help to alleviate the symptoms of their ailments, which may include:


  • Inflammation - Studies have shown that THC works as an anti-inflammatory agent.

  • Cancer – Research suggests that THC can be effective at lessening the side effects of chemotherapy treatment.

  • Anxiety and Mood Disorders - THC extract promotes relaxation.

  • Additional THC uses also include the following,

    • Pain

    • Muscle spasticity

    • Glaucoma

    • Insomnia

    • Low appetite

    • Nausea

    • Anxiety

You can also check-out these additional resources that talk more about THC uses and benefits from WebMD and Healthline.

THC Safety Concerns

There are some safety concerns around the use of THC due to the psychoactive nature and potency of the final extraction. If you’re considering using THC, it would be beneficial to speak with your primary care physician about any possible side effects or interference with any medication you are currently taking.


THC and CBD compounds can be a great help for many symptoms and is proving to be beneficial in a wide range of medical settings. If you’re interested in THC / CBD extraction methods, the team at PDX Gold is happy to answer any questions you may have. Please give our  team a call at (503) 783-6550 or email us at

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