Marijuana Extraction and Concentrates Trends: Q&A With Matt Gaboury

By John Schroyer

Marijuana extracts and concentrates are perhaps the most cutting-edge niche of the entire cannabis industry, with technology, practices and products that are constantly evolving.

Matt Gaboury worked in cannabis extraction for several years before starting a concentrates company, Cultivar, along with another firm, Calyx King Consulting, that helps businesses in this field.

Marijuana Business Daily sat down with Gaboury to ask about some of the newer developments on the extraction and concentrates scene and how he sees this part of the industry developing.

Tell me about the direction the concentrates market it going. Are you working with any new technologies these days to maximize potency?

Distillate is a secondary extraction process. Basically what we do is we take the CO2, and we’re able to get much higher concentrations. We can take an oil that is, say, 70% THC, and then through this secondary process we’re able to refine it and get upwards of 95-97% THC.

People are making it with various different garden compounds, but you have to go through a first extraction process, whether that’s with butane making BHO, or with ethanol, or if you do just a raw plant extract.

What we do with a CO2 extractor is you get your primary extraction, and then a secondary extraction on top of that, to get a more refined, pure compound.

Are you coming up with new products based on new technology?

The rosin is really popular; it’s one of the newer extraction techniques that’s hit the market. It’s really popular because it’s solvent-free.

Rosin was developed over the last 18 months, and it’s still not really up to an industrial standard. So people are producing it, but they’re producing on a really small scale, just because it has yet to be unlocked in terms of how you scale it up.

It’s more of a connoisseur product. But it’s solvent-less, meaning that (rosin doesn’t have any) CO2 or butane or any of these solvents that have been getting a negative stigma in the media.

Rosin is simply taking the raw plant material, and through heat and pressure, just extracting the trichromes and the cannabinoids out of it.

What we have is a press system, like a large press, with two heated plates that make contact with each other, and we basically press (plant material) down with this 25-ton press, and it applies all this pressure and heat at the same time.

The rosin or the extract just goos out of the plant, and you’re able to capture it. And that’s a pure extract.

Is “rosin” the name of the process or the final product?

Right now, kind of both.

Give the benefits of avoiding solvents, do you think this particular process is really going to take off in popularity?

Absolutely, for multiple different reasons. There’s the health implications of having heavy amounts of residual solvents in extracts. People aren’t purging properly, and there aren’t testing protocols in place in some states. There are negative health consequences with that.

The other thing is, there’s been a huge trend as of late for the regulation of extraction facilities. There’s been a lot of attention to the safety of these facilities, and several municipalities… are shutting down extraction facilities until they can get up to standard.

However, with rosin, because you’re not using any sort of solvents or explosive process, you don’t have to go through the same regulations. So it’s something that in the states where we see this panic about (butane) labs, rosin is really going to come in and take its place, because rosin is really closest, in dabbable form, to butane hash oil.

Are there any other benefits of the rosin process or product?

The quality of rosin is so much better than any other concentrate.

You have to be very talented to be a (butane hash oil) artist, to create something that retains terpenes. Terpenes give it the flavor, the nose, the smell, a lot of the entourage effect. But the rosin is much more terpenes.

A good BHO artist can keep those terpenes in there, but most of it on the market has almost all the terpenes removed, so it’s devoid of its original flavor or taste profile.

Whereas with rosin, since you’re literally just pressing that bud, it retains so much more of that, and the flavor and the smell is just exceptional. That’s why it’s currently a connoisseur product, because very few people are doing it, and it’s very high quality.

When you squeeze a sour diesel bud, it still smells and tastes like sour diesel. When you squeeze a raspberry bud, it still smells and tastes like raspberry. Whereas most other concentrates, you start to lose a lot of that, unless the producer is very, very good.

Correction: The original version of this article misidentified Gaboury’s extract company as Cultibar. The name of the company is Cultivar.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

John Schroyer can be reached at [email protected]

16 comments on “Marijuana Extraction and Concentrates Trends: Q&A With Matt Gaboury
  1. Gregory P. Miller on

    There is no free lunch in chemistry, and “best” is all on perspective. While rosin products are higher in terpenes than CO2 or BHO products that have been through post processing, the fact is you are still smoking or vaping wax (and I mean long chain hydrocarbon wax, like in a candle) if your cannabis concentrate hasn’t been winterized. Period. End of story. So from the perspective of product quality, rosin is better than oil, if you like smoking wax. There are actually worker protection standards for how much wax you should inhale, and if you vape a lot of was, that’s the reason you cough all the time.
    I work on the medical side. From that perspective, rosin can be suspect because it hasn’t seen any sterilization processes. Whatever organism that was on that bud, is in your rosin. But as the author states, its aficionado perspective that is driving chemistry like rosin and holy water, not chemistry.
    “The quality of rosin is so much better than any other concentrate.” That is completely subjective. I would stack up wax free, sterile, short path distilled concentrates back-titered for THC/CBD ratio with back addition of terpenes to meet chemotype criteria against anything anybody has for safety, potency, and effect. Against anything, anybody has; because Cannabis is Chemistry – and there is no free lunch in chemistry. However, I won’t win over the aficionados that smoke rosin, because process is more important than quality to people that smoke squished bugs.

    Reply
    • Murry Page on

      Gregory,

      Can you explain what in means and takes to “winterize” a cannabis concentrate?

      Thanks,
      A Novice in Learning

      Reply
      • Gregory P. Miller on

        This is terminology adapted from the oil chemistry industry. To “winterize” is to remove compounds that form solids in oil when cooled. Commonly used on soybean oils. Put some olive oil in the refrigerator and you will see what I mean.

        Winterization is performed on CO2, alcohol and butane extracts by freezing (in the case of butane and CO2 with added alcohol) and filtration. The solids formed do not contain compounds that are medically or rec significant (as of this date). Jars and coffee filters on YouTube. Better filters, -45C freezers, and refrigerated centrifuges for labs.

        Reply
    • Ernest David Chasse on

      Thank you for providing a scientifically objective perspective to our rapidly changing cannabis market. This article and your take of it are appreciated.

      Reply
        • Verne hebert on

          What San Diego Meeting were you referring to?

          Why is that? There is a difference in the caryophyllene in OG Kush and that in black pepper? When we look at say 5000 samples of “OG Kush” sold in Colorado and see the terpene profile is all over the map, some with no caryophyllene at all, who is better served when they need the effects of OG Cush terps? That was just presented at the San Diego meeting.

          Reply
    • Matteo on

      Great post Gregory P. Miller! The “expert” in this article is naive thinking that extraction is an art form and referring to those people as “artists”. This is CHEMISTRY, not Art. Additionally, Butane Extractions are illegal in the state of California and could never be considered medicine from an FDA perspective. Not to mention that in the very near future, all labs will fall under the FDA/DEA regulatory guidelines and must maintain compliance. Furthermore, the more “organic” your cultivation method is, there will be an increase in the amount bio-burden on the cannabis (ie..Salmonella, E.Coli, Molds, etc.). Think like a scientist not a like some dabbed-out fucktard in a hoodie pushing cans of butane through a tube and thinking you’re in the business. Words like Fire and Dank buds have no place in the real cannabis business and should never be used to describe medicine…that’s the culture talking.

      Reply
  2. Anon on

    Expert? Does this indvidal have a Ph.D. in botanical extraction or supercritical fluid extraction with 30 years experience? I find it quite amusing thst only in this industry are there so many self proclaimed experts while this industry is in its infancy.

    Reply
  3. Pinecloud Wilson on

    Grow organic ,pesticide free marijuana.Wash your bud once you harvest.Fresh freeze your bud.Make ice hash using the Nikka T method.Infuse this clean ice hash into coconut oil. AVOID solvents .Now your terpenes are intact and the natural entourage effect is present.These fools who think they can add terpenes to the end product to attempt to equal this natural effect are quite daft and very disingenuous.

    Reply
    • Gregory P. Miller on

      Why is that? There is a difference in the caryophyllene in OG Kush and that in black pepper? When we look at say 5000 samples of “OG Kush” sold in Colorado and see the terpene profile is all over the map, some with no caryophyllene at all, who is better served when they need the effects of OG Cush terps? That was just presented at the San Diego meeting.
      Patients will always be better served by known chemistry. Be it known bud chemistry, or known titered compounds, or terps from black pepper, mangos, or cloves.
      Did you stop and think that you might not be able to grow plants with the proper entourage effect for a patient? That we know that certain terps just don’t occur with others? That experimentation with the entourage is just beginning in clinical settings. Daft, foolish and disingenuous is thinking that all of the benefits of cannabis have to be limited to raw cannabis. Do you wear corrective lenses or take your eyes as they are? Same question. Technology is not inherently evil.

      Reply
    • Ed Gunter on

      There is a problem that a few people in the industry are starting to notice. If you smoke the resin with all the wax in it, you are exposing yourself to lipid pneumonia. Just because a product is “natural” is not a reason to think that it is a good idea to put it in your mouth and set it on fire. I have a press and made some rosin. I agree that is looks and smells great. I feel it would be a poor business decision to sell it to the public, because of long term problems that could be lurking in lawyer land. Maybe in the not so distant future.

      Reply
  4. Joshua on

    “But it’s solvent-less, meaning that (rosin doesn’t have any) CO2 or butane or any of these solvents that have been getting a negative stigma in the media.”

    CO2 is a harmless solvent, come on where is the negative stigma?

    Reply
  5. Al on

    This is interesting, as the general plant oil industry does this extensively and I can take the what they call cake which is the raw product after it is pressed and obtain as much or more oil out of the cake as they got out of the press. I do this by using CO2 which by the way is inert and what the plant need to live and breath. Why does the plant industry do this because it is cheep but not very effective. With a quality CO2 extraction system you can remove 98% of the oil with all of the terpenes and or actually remove the terpenes by themselves and add them back if desired. But an important point to make is that not all CO2 systems can do this effectively, and to my knowledge there is only one in the market place at the moment. That is the PIC-SFC SFE systems which are fast quiet and robust if cleaned on a regular basis. What ever you do, do not take this backward step as you will be wasting a lot of product by leaving it behind the crushed material. Plus like mentioned above have a lot of wax in your product as well.

    Reply
  6. N on

    Can someone explain to me the expected output from extracting oil from flower following by a second separating process to isolate THC specifically. I am hearing in the microliter range which would make it economically useless from a profit perspective. Thanks.

    Reply

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