Extraction can be defined as the removal of soluble material from an insoluble residue, either liquid or solid, by treatment with a liquid solvent. There are several extraction techniques used to separate the components of cannabis and remove them from the plant matrix. Scientists have identified more than 550 chemicals in cannabis, including the most desirable compounds including cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and terpenes. Extraction techniques are used to either isolate specific compounds of interest or create a single extract with many of the desirable cannabis compounds while removing waxes, fatty acids, chlorophyll and other unwanted components.
Following are scientific references to the most commonly used cannabis extraction, decarboxylation and winterization techniques: