Let’s take a look at just how the short path wiped film Rotary Evaporators works. Where other methods employ solvents to assist the extract material move or flow with the process, these systems make use of the melting points of cannabinoids instead.
These compact systems are set with a feed vessel sending extract material into a heated evaporation vessel. Inside this evaporation vessel is actually a rotating wiper blade that evenly distributes the extract material on the vessel walls. The extract material only spends a brief amount of time on the wall to limit heat exposure as well as any degradation for the material.
The close proximity in the condenser to the heated vessel wall offers a short path for that extract to travel to. Hence the name, short path distillation process. Because the wiper system moves the extraction material down through the vessel, it evaporates to the condenser which converts it back to your liquid. This liquid will be collected towards the bottom and it is now a distillate.
Heavier material like the chlorophyll, sugars, salts, and wax fractions are not able to evaporate from the top of the evaporation vessel wall and they also travel, via the wiper blades, in to a separate container which is in the bottom. A separate and chilled evaporator captures the terpenes in their own individual flask.
The Short Path Distillation Process – The Short Path Distillation employs a setup that uses exactly the same principles, just minus the wiper system to distribute the extraction material.
Instead, a heated flask is when the extraction material is fed. Gradually, increased heat is used to the extract material in the feed flask. A vacuum is also applied to assist in drawing the vapors up to the fractionating tubing. From your fractionating tubing the contents then hit the condensing tube, where fractions take separate paths.
Similar to the wiped film process, the body weight of every fraction determines the collection flask.
To further improve product refinement, each process can have the extract material run through them multiple times. Just like the wiped film process, this setup is additionally relatively compact and lends well to multiple devices working simultaneously in a smaller space.
Benefits associated with Short Path Distillation – Flavor and “experience” are clearly more consumer-centered advantages, however for producers, there are lots of more that come with employing either a brief path distillation process or short path wiped film distillation process.
One particular production advantage is a thing called “continuous feed” which is ideal for making large volumes of product for extended time periods with greater consistency.
Where other extraction processes use heated beakers, continuous feed also allows for a greater amount of scalability in your production which just isn’t much of a choice with batch mode stills.
High evaporation rates allow for more distillates to become captured whilst the relatively low processing temperatures (130-180°C) bring about the fact that there aren’t any solvents required to move the extract material with the process.
Most significantly, this technique will separate cannabis into high concentrations of THC and CBD distillates. In reality, short path distillation can lead to cannabis distillates which are 99% pure. If you are attempting to make a pure CBD product, for example, going with the short path distillation process is one of the best methods you can use.
The compact form of short path distillation systems ensures they are an ideal choice to use in operations where large volumes of multiple strains must be extracted. Lastly, these machines are simple to use and therefore are largely automated in their function.
Isolate versus Full-Spectrum – Making use of the short path distillation or wiped film distillation process leads to pure isolates – whether that be THC, CBD, or some other cannabinoid or terpene you may be deciding to distill.
Isolates are the purest and most potent type of the compound, plus they get some benefits like being completely odorless and tasteless. This is great if you are using these compounds in foods or beverages, for instance, as it does not modify the taste in any way.
However, a growing body of scientific reports have found that full-spectrum extracts have numerous benefits over isolates. The myriad of compounds found in cannabis work together to form what’s known as the entourage effect, which enhances the potency of the medicinal properties.
As a result, you may want to take the pure isolates created from the short path distillation process and make use of reverse chromatography methods that will result in a full-spectrum extract. This can be especially useful uuubfc creating highly effective CBD products, for example, since the end product can continue to have no traces of THC, but will continue to have lots of the other beneficial compounds found in cannabis.
The wonder with using Molecular Distillation is that you simply can isolate each specific compound, then combine them together in unique blends that will yield highly specific results. The possibilities are endless when you use technology as precise as short path distillation.