Definition - What does Solvent-Free mean?
In general, a solvent is a liquid that is used to dissolve a substance in order to form a solution. In terms of marijuana extraction, a solvent is a liquid that is used to separate the psychoactive compound THC from the cannabis flower.
A solvent-free product refers to a cannabis concentrate that contains no residual solvents in the end product. The product is considered safer and superior to products that contain residual solvents, which may or may not be harmful when ingested, depending on the solvent in question.
Hydrolife explains Solvent-Free
Solvent-free cannabis concentrates occur when a concentrate is distillate, having a 0 ppm residual solvent content. To achieve this, the hydrocarbon-based solvent is extracted from the substance, ensuring it is fully cleansed of all residual solvents. The term 'distillate’ refers to distilling the cannabis product to separate the molecules and contaminants. With solvent-free cannabis concentrates, the main goal is to extract the cannabinoids (like THC, CBD, and terpenes) and to re-infuse them into the concentrates to produce a pure and potent product.
To obtain solvent-free products, the processing of such products require the extraction of the plant materials with a hydrocarbon (such as CO2 or butane). Later, the product is heated up and vaporized, then it's a matter of consolidating the vapor through a cooling system and separating the components (the solvent and the concentrate) into beakers. These steps would be repeated to ensure that pure cannabinoids are refined and distilled.
The consistency of the products increases in viscosity with increased heat. There is also a “raw” option, where cannabis terpenes are re-introduced into the distillate, giving the taste of pure, activated THC, while other added flavors—such as in strains like Lemon Haze, OG Kush, and Granddaddy Purps—give the taste of these strains to the distillate.