Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Weed Ed | 'Epic’ cannabis oil

Published:Monday | January 14, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Extraction technician at Epican Rajiv Thompson holds a batch of freshly extracted cannabis oil.

One of the most important jobs in the emerging medical ganja industry is that of processing manager - the person who supervises the intricate task of extracting the ganja oil from the plant. A mix of science and art, the process includes using one of several extraction methods to lift the chemical compounds from the marijuana plant and transform it to a gooey mixture, where it is then used in various forms for direct consumption or to supplement food and beauty products. The concentrated oil is rich in cannabinoids, and its most popular end product is CBD oil, which is used to treat a host of ailments.

Rajiv Thompson is the extraction technician at Kingston's first medical herb house, Epican, and he gave Weed Ed some insight into his job.

Weed Ed: What's your number-one priority during the extraction process?

Rajiv Thompson: Number-one priority is ensuring safe and thorough extraction of the plant material. We want to give our customers the peace of mind that their medicine is of the highest quality.

WE: There are several extraction methods, why does Epican use CO2 (carbon dioxide) extraction?

RT: C02 is known for its purity and safety as a solvent. It is uniquely selective and provides a very high-quality oil safe for consumption immediately after extraction.

WE: How many flowers does it take to get 1 gram of oil?

RT: It takes about 10 grams of flowers.

WE: On average, what is the THC and CBD concentration of the oil?

RT: This depends on the marijuana strain, but using the C02 extraction process, the concentration of oil can range from 50 to 80 per cent.

WE: What are some of the most common ailments for which patients are using both the CBD and THC oil?

RT: Primarily pain management, and they can either vape it or use the sublingual drops.

WE: Many industry analysts consider ganja oil the future of the industry, explain why this is.

RT: It is much easier to measure and accurately dose when using oil. It also has a longer shelf life, and when you do full spectrum extraction, like we do, you get the full complement of cannabinoids and terpenes, which has been proven to be more effective than isolated extraction in treating ailments.

WE: What are some of the product innovations Epican is working on with its oil?

RT: We are always experimenting with new ways to improve the finished product. In the future, we are going to be developing oil that has a higher potency and a more robust flavour as well as offering more variety of delivery methods.