A Study of Strategies for the Removal of THC

A Study of Strategies for the Removal of THC

The commercial CBD market has experienced immense growth in the past few years, and as a result, THC remediation has become a popular field for processors and CBD product manufacturers to explore. THC remediation is vital because hemp and marijuana plants are both of the same Cannabis sativa species, but hemp must contain less than 0.3 percent THC by weight to comply with federal law under the 2018 farm bill.

Unfortunately, cultivators sometimes discover that their hemp crops have exceeded this limit, making it impossible to create legal products from the resulting oil. THC remediation services offer a solution to hot hemp, ensuring that the oil contains low THC levels and remains compliant with local and federal laws.

Chromatography-based remediation is one of the most common techniques used to reduce the level of THC present in cannabis or hemp products. Chromatography is an effective method for THC remediation since it can remove almost 100 percent of the THC present in a starting product. The process works by taking advantage of the difference in polarity between CBD and THC, with chromatography column media separating these cannabinoids based on their polarity differences.

There are several chromatography-based methods available today, including standard column chromatography, flash chromatography (chromatography assisted by applying a positive pressure differential), and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). These methods differ in terms of cost and effectiveness, but they all work on the basic principle of separating cannabinoids based on their polarity differences.

Centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC) is another THC remediation technique gaining popularity. CPC is a liquid-liquid chromatography technique that uses two immiscible liquids acting as stationary and mobile phases in the chromatography process. The compounds are eluted according to their partition coefficients rather than polarity, eliminating the need for costly solid-phase chromatography columns.

While chromatography-based methods are effective in reducing THC levels in hemp products, they involve using significant amounts of harsh chemical solvents and expensive stationary phase consumables, making them costly for processors to maintain. Some alternative THC remediation techniques include chemical conversion using solvent techniques, UV light degradation, and heat oxidation to speed up the natural degradation of THC into CBN.

Efficiency in THC remediation goes beyond selecting a remediation method. Proper testing of the hot hemp sample before, after, and sometimes during remediation treatment is crucial to personalize the remediation process for each sample to minimize potential losses. The acidic cannabinoids present in raw hemp material, such as CBDA, pose a challenge for THC remediation as they are sensitive to high temperatures and readily convert into their neutral forms. Maintaining high levels of these acidic cannabinoids in finished remediated hemp oils is one of the most exciting challenges facing the cannabis processing sector today.

Dr. Paul Miller, MD

Dr. Miller is committed to finding new and innovative ways to help his patients manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life. He has a particular interest in the therapeutic potential of medical cannabis and is passionate about educating both his colleagues and patients on its safe and effective use. He is also committed to continuing his education and staying up-to-date on the latest advances in neurology and cannabis research.

Leave a Comment