Extraction Methods

Halo’s extraction methods are a crucial part of our path to become the leading multi-country cannabis operator. Halo has developed expert knowledge in multiple methods of extraction and manufacturing to ensure that we stay at the forefront of cannabis production.

Our current manufacturing processes consist of existing practices that we’ve refined alongside Halo’s proprietary techniques. We mainly operate using solvent extraction methods such as both butane (BHO), propane (PHO), ethanol, and even a proprietary chemical solvent developed by Halo to distill isolates. We also have the capability to conduct supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction, one of the most popular methods for edibles and vape cartridges. Being able to take advantage of multiple distillation methods means that we’re able to create cannabis extracts for a variety of different purposes and consumer bases.

You may ask: “Why bother developing multiple techniques for cannabis processing? Isn’t it all the same?” As you learn more about the cannabis plant and the compounds it contains, you’ll see why Halo has dedicated itself to perfecting multiple extraction methods. Researchers have identified over 500 chemical compounds in cannabis, and each different extraction process can have different effects on these chemical compounds. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are a few of the 100+ cannabinoids that are both highly desired and sought after during cannabis processing, alongside flavor profiles from terpenes. The amount of cannabinoids and other cannabis compounds that are targeted depends on the end product.read more

Cannabis products often come in three different distillations, distinguished by the number of compounds from the plant that remain in the product. The categories most often seen are full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate. Unfortunately, there is no consensus or regulation on the definition of these categories. Which compounds remain in a product labeled “full-spectrum” may not be the same in a product labeled “full-spectrum” from another producer. When the entire range of cannabinoids are present in the final product, the full flavor and aroma of cannabis are intact and the “entourage effect” is present. The benefits of the chemicals found in cannabis are useful when on their own but interact with each other to increase potency, leading to the “entourage effect”.

Butane and Propane Extraction

Halo’s two hydrocarbon solvent extraction methods have similar mechanics but use different chemicals: butane and propane. Propane is commonly found in the flavoring and fragrance industries because it can be used as a solvent without affecting flavor or odor. When used for cannabis extraction, butane and propane act similarly. The solvent gases are kept at low temperatures to keep them in liquid form and are then passed through the cannabis material to extract the desired compounds. Because of their very low boiling points, the liquid quickly returns to a gas form, leaving behind the plant extracts. Butane solvent extraction is Halo’s most efficient process and also produces our most potent yields. Using propane requires a much higher-pressure environment due to propane’s lower boiling point, but the sub-zero temperatures allow for a purer end product. Halo’s cannabis solvent extraction processes are most commonly used in the creation of shatter, wax, and vape cartridges.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

One of the most popular cannabis extraction methods on the market today is carbon dioxide extraction, commonly known as “supercritical CO2 extraction.” Supercritical is a term that refers to when a substance acts as both a liquid and a gas when it reaches a specific temperature and pressure. Carbon dioxide is the preferred chemical for this type of extraction because of its versatility, safety, and neutrality. You may not know it, but carbon dioxide is used in the food and drink you may already be consuming! This method of extraction is used to remove caffeine from coffee beans to make decaf coffee and is often used in the production of essential oils. Carbon dioxide extraction begins with manipulation of the CO2 gas. The gas is then routed through a chamber that increases pressure and lowers the temperature down to around -70 degrees Fahrenheit. This process forces the CO2 into its supercritical state, allowing it to act as both a liquid and a gas. This altered CO2 then passes through the plant material, dissolving, and capturing the active compounds. The CO2 is then returned to average temperature and pressure, where it evaporates into a gas and leaves behind the desired material. Due to the purity of CO2, the material left after evaporation contains very little residue and is very pure even before further processing. This is why CO2 extraction produces some of Halo’s top-quality extracts for edibles and cartridges that are smooth, mild, and free of undesired odors and flavors.

Proprietary Chemical Solvent

One of Halo’s most promising extraction methods is a recently developed process that uses a proprietary chemical solvent. This process is unique to Halo and produces some of our purest results that are perfect for those seeking THC-A and CBD crystals. Isolates can also be used for precise formulations of other cannabis infused products.