Let’s take a look at just how the short path wiped film Rotary Evaporators works. Where other methods employ solvents to aid the extract material move or flow with the process, these systems benefit from the melting points of cannabinoids instead.
These compact systems are set on top of 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 onto the vessel walls. The extract material only spends a brief length of time on the wall to limit heat exposure and any degradation towards the material.
The close proximity from the condenser to the heated vessel wall supplies a short path for that extract to go to. Hence the name, short path distillation process. Because the wiper system moves the extraction material down through the vessel, it evaporates for the condenser which converts it back to a liquid. This liquid will then be collected at the bottom and is now a distillate.
Heavier material like the chlorophyll, sugars, salts, and wax fractions are unable to evaporate off the surface of the evaporation vessel wall and they also travel, via the wiper blades, right into a separate container that is also in the bottom. A separate and chilled evaporator captures the terpenes in their own flask.
The Short Path Distillation Process – The Short Path Distillation employs a setup that utilizes the identical principles, just with no wiper system to distribute the extraction material.
Instead, a heated flask is the place where the extraction material is fed. Gradually, increased heat is applied for the extract material inside the feed flask. A vacuum can also be applied to help in drawing the vapors up in to the fractionating tubing. From your fractionating tubing the contents then hit the condensing tube, in which the fractions take separate paths.
Just like the wiped film process, the load of each fraction determines the collection flask.
To boost product refinement, each process can possess the extract material run through them multiple times. Like the wiped film process, this setup can also be relatively compact and lends well to multiple devices working simultaneously in a smaller space.
Benefits of Short Path Distillation – Flavor and “experience” are clearly more consumer-centered advantages, however for producers, there are numerous more which come with employing either a brief path distillation process or short path wiped film distillation process.
One such production advantage is one thing called “continuous feed” which is ideal for making large quantities of product for extended periods of time with greater consistency.
Where other extraction processes use heated beakers, continuous feed also allows for a greater level of scalability to your production which just isn’t most of an alternative with batch mode stills.
High evaporation rates enable more distillates to become captured while the relatively low processing temperatures (130-180°C) contribute to the reality that there aren’t any solvents required to move the extract material from the process.
Above all, this system will separate cannabis into high concentrations of THC and CBD distillates. In fact, short path distillation can result in cannabis distillates which are 99% pure. So when 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 a perfect choice to use within operations where large quantities of multiple strains have to be extracted. Lastly, this equipment is easy to use and they are largely automated in their function.
Isolate versus Full-Spectrum – Using 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 opting to distill.
Isolates would be the purest and a lot potent type of the compound, and they also get some benefits like being completely odorless and tasteless. This really is great if you are using these compounds in foods or beverages, as an example, as it does not change the taste in any respect.
However, a growing body of scientific studies have found that full-spectrum extracts have several benefits over isolates. The multitude of compounds found in cannabis work together to create what’s called the entourage effect, which enhances the potency of the medicinal properties.
As a result, you may want to take the pure isolates made out of the short path distillation process and use reverse chromatography methods which will result in a full-spectrum extract. This can be especially useful uuubfc creating highly effective CBD products, for instance, because the end product can still have no traces of THC, and can have lots of the other beneficial compounds found in cannabis.
The beauty with using Molecular Distillation is that you can isolate each specific compound, then combine them together in unique blends that can yield highly specific results. The number of choices are endless when you use technology as precise as short path distillation.