Let’s have a look at just how the short path wiped film Rotary Evaporators works. Where other methods employ solvents to assist the extract material move or flow through the process, these systems make use of the melting points of cannabinoids instead.
These compact systems are set up with 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 on the vessel walls. The extract material only spends a brief length of time on the wall to limit heat exposure and any degradation for the material.
The close proximity in the condenser to the heated vessel wall supplies a short path for that extract to travel to. Hence the name, short path distillation process. Since the wiper system moves the extraction material down from the vessel, it evaporates to the condenser which converts it back to some liquid. This liquid will be collected towards the bottom and is now a distillate.
Heavier material like the chlorophyll, sugars, salts, and wax fractions are not able to evaporate from the surface of the evaporation vessel wall and in addition they travel, via the wiper blades, into a separate container that is also in the bottom. Another and chilled evaporator captures the terpenes in their flask.
The Short Path Distillation Process – The Short Path Distillation employs a setup that uses the same principles, just without the wiper system to distribute the extraction material.
Instead, a heated flask is where the extraction material is fed. Gradually, increased heat is used for the extract material inside the feed flask. A vacuum is also applied to assist in drawing the vapors up in to the fractionating tubing. From the fractionating tubing the contents then hit the condensing tube, in which the fractions take separate paths.
Just like the wiped film process, the body weight of each fraction determines the collection flask.
To improve product refinement, each process can hold the extract material run through them several times. Similar to the wiped film process, this setup is also 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, but also for producers, there are many more that are included with employing either a short path distillation process or short path wiped film distillation process.
One such production advantage is something called “continuous feed” which is perfect for making large quantities of product for prolonged periods of time with greater consistency.
Where other extraction processes use heated beakers, continuous feed also allows for a greater degree of scalability to your production which just isn’t most of a choice with batch mode stills.
High evaporation rates allow for more distillates to be captured as the relatively low processing temperatures (130-180°C) play a role in the truth that there aren’t any solvents necessary to move the extract material with the process.
Above all, this system will separate cannabis into high concentrations of THC and CBD distillates. Actually, short path distillation can bring about cannabis distillates that are 99% pure. So when you want to make a pure CBD product, for instance, working with the short path distillation process is probably the best methods you can use.
The compact form of short path distillation systems makes them an excellent option to use in operations where large amounts of multiple strains have to be extracted. Lastly, these machines are user friendly and they are largely automated within their function.
Isolate versus Full-Spectrum – Making use of the short path distillation or wiped film distillation process leads to pure isolates – whether that be THC, CBD, or other cannabinoid or terpene you may be choosing to distill.
Isolates are the purest and many potent kind of the compound, and they also get some benefits like being completely odorless and tasteless. This really is great if you work with these compounds in foods or beverages, for instance, as it will not alter the taste in any way.
However, a developing body of scientific research has found that full-spectrum extracts have several benefits over isolates. The number of compounds found in cannabis work together to make what’s referred to as entourage effect, which enhances the potency of the medicinal properties.
Because of this, you may want to accept the pure isolates produced from the short path distillation process and make use of reverse chromatography methods which will result in a full-spectrum extract. This can be especially useful uuubfc creating very effective CBD products, for instance, as the end product can still have no traces of THC, but will have many of the other beneficial compounds found in cannabis.
The wonder with using Molecular Distillation is you can isolate each specific compound, then combine them together in unique blends which will yield highly specific results. The possibilities are endless if you use technology as precise as short path distillation.