How to Prepare Material for Extraction
Material preparation is key to not only maximizing your yield but also to increase your terpene profile. Terpenes are the aromatic compounds that give the extract its flavor and effect. Some extractors choose to add cold traps or buy terpenes and add them back in.
When preparing any type of material there are several factors one should consider to ensure optimal extraction:
The most critical of which is the particle size of the material. The greater the amount of surface area, the greater amount of compounds that can be extracted due to the increased availability to interact with the solvent.
Several styles of material processing machines are available such as grinding, cutting, maceration, pulverizing, and shredding. The main difference between these are the types of action used to break up the material into smaller particles.
Although water is negligibly soluble in supercritical carbon dioxide it is important to remove moisture from your material prior to extraction. Water can interact and interfere with extraction depending upon the the type of material and compounds involved. This can be accomplished by using a simple kitchen oven for a given amount of time.
Heat is a primary source for organic molecules to suffer decomposition. When grinding material it is important to keep the machine as cool as possible to minimize loss of volatile compounds and avoid excessive degradation.