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CBD crystalline isolate


this is a question directed to understanding to why a certain reduction in quantity happens when making an isolate.

given 100kg of flowers with 20% cbd content the average crystalline/isolate yield would be 10kg.
why not 20kg?
is it impurities? is it due to different cbd molecules?


Justin with @4CornersCannabis would be a good person to ask!

I’ll tag in some of our other identified processors on the site as well! @ProcessorOwners @ProcessorEmployee


I’d like to here more. We are getting a crazy amount of inquiries for CBD isolate. I’d be interested to know what others have been experiencing in the market. Additionally, I’d love to connect with any direct processors of CBD isolate.


A few possible reasons:

  • As a general chemistry rule, you never get a reaction or extraction process with 100% efficiency. There will always be losses. The best chemists I’ve met can get about 95-98% efficiency, but they have many decades of experience and proper equipment.
  • Decarboxylation removes weight from the end product. See Digamma’s article on this. They estimate around a 12% mass loss after decarboxylation.
  • How was the 20% CBD/CBDA determined? The lab doing the testing may have used protocols that accidentally increased the percentage.

yeah but the rule of thumb is 50% loss.

the reasons you listed are 20% loss max.

decarboxylation is it a must in a crystalline production?


Yes, de-carboxylation is a must if you want CBD or THC. I have worked on CO2, Butane and ethanol, and in all the processes I have ever worked on, there is at least a 20% loss of the available CBD or THC, 12.3% of this loss is accounted for by the loss of the carboxyl group as you convert from CBD-A and THC-A to CBD and THC. Also no extraction is perfect there will be some CBD or THC in the spent trim, typically 1-2%, but 1% of 1000 g of raw plant material is = 10 g, if you start with 20% CBD then 1000g *.20= 200 grams max CBD-A-24.6 g for CBD-A to CBD loss- 10 g left in spent trim =165.4 g which means 82.7% of the CBD-A in the original plant material made it to CBD in the oil. This is for raw oil, when you are making isolate you do further processing with heat and solvents, which results in further losses due to thermal degradation and loss as you move from container to container. I am not sure how much CBD is left in the bottom of the short path distillation rig, but at least some.


thank you for this explanation :metal:

according to that ill still have approx. 30 +% of loss due to heat and residues on containers?
seems a bit much ?!


Great explanation. Thank you @VaporDistilled