Concentrates make up approximately 10 percent of the overall cannabis market—and the future looks bright, with that percentage steadily growing. But for some consumers, concentrates represent new terrain significantly more complex than traditional consumption methods.
In fact, many have only a vague idea about how the products are produced. Butane, ethanol, and other hydrocarbon solvents commonly are used to extract oils containing cannabinoids and terpenes from raw plant material. As consumers discover more about the process, they begin to wonder whether there are more natural processing alternatives for the concentrate products they put into their bodies.
Enter PurePressure, which is on a mission to cover the world with solventless extracts—a cleaner, purer way to meet the needs of the growing consumer segment that currently embraces or soon will embrace concentrates.
“PurePressure specializes in solutions for solventless extraction, starting with either ice-water hash or sift and then finishing with a rosin press,” said Creative Manager Alex Carpenter. “We use mechanical means of extraction to express and filter the oils while minimizing exposure to heat, therefore maximizing the terpene profile and capturing the true essence of a particular strain. In most cases, this means better preservation of flavor and more true-to-nature contents pulled from a chemical-free extraction process.”
The company’s goal is to provide top-quality processing equipment to manufacturers interested in adopting a solventless production system—or extending the one they already have. To that end, PurePressure offers a wide range of hash-washing solutions, freeze dryers, rosin presses, and all the auxiliary components and accessories needed for a start-to-finish operation.
Setting up a solventless extraction business isn’t as easy as opening a lemonade stand, so the company launched PureCannalabs to provide professional consulting services that can help clients establish profitable, high-end concentrate production facilities.
“We specialize in fully custom lab designs, equipment sourcing, and both online and in-person training led by top solventless extraction specialists,” Carpenter said. “PureCannalabs also has written standard operating procedures and offers a pro forma financial planner tool.
“Whether clients currently operate a processing lab or are looking to start a new one, PureCannalabs experts can help processors succeed,” he added.
PurePressure also wants to lead the way in providing education for both consumers and industry professionals. The team believes education can empower consumers to make more informed purchasing decisions, enable dispensary staff to guide customers more effectively, and help processors provide safer products.
“For their own health and well-being, everyone is educating themselves about where things are coming from; how and why certain things are being made,” Carpenter said. “I think it is extremely important for the cannabis industry to be responsive to this demand, especially for an industry that is heavily stigmatized and unknown to some.
“Providing education to consumers, dispensary workers, and fellow producers on topics such as safe methods of consumption, the different processes of extraction from soil to end product, and the cannabinoid and chemical makeup of the plant and concentrate products ultimately will encourage the evolution of the concentrate market, its safety, and its efficacy,” he added.
In many industries, fairly well-defined lines separate producers, retailers, consumers, and culture drivers. But in cannabis, all of those elements routinely interact. That’s actually a good thing, according to Carpenter, because the permeable borders in the system encourage and support education.
“We like to think the cannabis industry has a lot of parallels to the wine and spirits industries,” he said. “Tours of wineries and distilleries are very popular. Consumers are highly interested in the processes and ingredients used in the production of their favorite libations because they know these processes and ingredients dictate the quality and experience of the end product. As the cannabis industry matures, we believe consumers will have the same interest level in cannabis production, and solventless production produces the top tier of cannabis products.”
The culture, commerce, and science of cannabis concentrates seem to be converging on the same point, leading Carpenter to believe the demand for solventless concentrates will only increase. For dispensaries, harnessing that future could impact the bottom line in a big way.
“As a market matures, consumers tend to increase the demand for concentrates and infused products,” said PurePressure founder Ben Britton. “Adding solventless extraction to your lineup can be a great way to increase throughput, broaden your product offerings, and capture a new market at a higher price point.”