What is the PBX-StandardTM?
PBX is the acronym for ‘Pure Botanical Extraction’ which proudly represents the PURE5™ liquified gas extraction (LGE) technology that has been successfully deployed in support of commercial cannabis and hemp extraction. PBX was created for the purpose of providing the Industry with a true full spectrum product that best represents what nature created; the flower. In order to provide the purest extract capable of this representation, an extraction methodology was created that harnesses the strengths of each current extraction methodology, but without the associated deficiencies.
PBX mimics CO2 extraction in that our final product presents no residue and/or resulting flavor tint. PBX is performed within a closed-loop system at room temperature that yields the highest terpene concentration whilst denying access to in-processing contamination. Moreover, PBX does not chemically react with extraction constituents. PBX employs a non-polar, non-flammable extraction media that behaves like a hydrocarbon and only extracts oil-soluble components without altering the remaining plant components. All remaining components (alcohol and water soluble) can be used in a sequential process as an additive or supplement, or post-processed further to create a more niche extract derivative.
PBX is gentle to the botanical while performing at room temperature and preserves all natural enzymes and does not degrade the components extracted or left behind. It is so selective that it extracts only the resin compounds and does not need post processing for example winterization or filtration. That makes this extraction more superior than the known 3 major methods: by non selective gases like CO2, chilled alcohols and variances of hydrocarbons. The technology has been promoted by PURE5™ for over a decade and is known as a high-terpene, strain-specific, low pressure, liquified gas extraction process that is safe, automated and precise.
The technology has been utilized for botanical extraction of food, fragrance and flavors as well as for essential oils for decades. The PURE5™ Extraction Technology is guarded by at least 4 international patents protecting equipment and process. The process is registered for food extraction and is GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the FDA. PBX is a gentle process at room temperature separating the cannabinoid and terpene constituents from the raw plant material, without burning or freezing while still obtaining the most out of the plants. The PBX-Standard process is a Game Changer in the industry of simplicity, safety and quality.
How does PBX work?
The PBX-StandardTM eXtraction technology has been developed to overcome all the disadvantages from using lower density liquified gases like CO2 for resin extraction. While maintaining all the benefits of liquified gas extraction being solventless resulting in no residuals in the extract. It is known that the polar nature and the low density of CO2 can only extract constituents in the supercritical phase when the density allows, although in the supercritical phase it does not extract terpenes. Dropping the pressure to high sub critical pressures exploits the polar nature of CO2 allowing for limited terpene extraction. Recently the fight for the solventless nature of CO2 was lost as most of the CO2 manufacturers officially adopted ethanol as a cosolvent.
Professionals working with CO2 know, CO2 extraction does not perform well with fresh material as the water gas connection brings undesired acidity levels in the resulting extract. Unlike CO2, PBX is inert, odorless, nontoxic, nonflammable, non-corrosive and does not form acids in the presence of moisture. This broadens the scope of applications to include many pharmaceutical products that are pH sensitive. PBX-Standard extraction is performed at room temperature overcoming thermal degradation or loss of volatile compounds during isolation. The inherently low boiling point of the gas eliminates the need for complex and slow recovery.
PBX has been designed to exploit the natural properties of R134a (tetrafluoroethane) gas creating the perfect process where we perform similar to the way CO2 gas behaves in the low sub critical mode. The small non polar molecule size and the inert nature of the R134a gas efficiently penetrates the plant tissue thoroughly extracting the oil soluble fractions. PBX extraction is performed at room temperature and low pressure conditions with resulting oils being seamless to the full spectrum resin delivered from the plant. Full spectrum terpene profiles are collected without degradation of molecules and are easily separated from the gas. PBX is the perfect choice to extract fresh cured botanicals leaving solids (lipids and waxes) behind. R134a is hydrophobic resisting all water phase components and in most instances winterization may not be required.
Our machinery performs a very simple three step process that is fully automated to the operator and guarantees consistency of the product output. Load the biomass, gently soak and wash the vital oils at room temperature – low pressure then gently evaporate the gas so you can collect your precious oil directly usable in your finished products. The entire process for extraction and separation takes approximately two hours. We added a second input column to our systems significantly increasing throughput by minimizing recovery time. Any trapped gas in the output is 100% removable from final oils without imparting flavor or tint. Traditional solvents oxidize when exposed to air, imparting flavor that is impossible to remove from your final oils.
What is the science behind PBX?
The science of extraction is very simple. Similar components extract similar components and knowing the target group of compounds to be extracted is very important. In the cannabis flower we will be looking at quite wide group of ingredients starting from the hydrocarbons which are all mono-, sesqu-, di- terpenes, saturated and non saturated alcohols, saturated, unsaturated and aromatic ketones, saturated and unsaturated aldehydes and ending with some saturated and unsaturated acids. In brief the terpenes, ketones, aldehydes and acids are building the composition of the full spectrum cannabis oil.
As one can imagine to extract the combination of those a solvent needs to be properly selected. The botanical ingredient diagram below shows those target ingredients in red in the entire range of plant ingredients and various solvents that can extract those. There are 3 main groups of solvents by the target group of plant components. There are oils called oil solubles, the flavones, alcohols and acids are known as alcohol soluble and tannins, minerals and pectins that are known as water soluble. That puts our solvents in 3 major groups mainly differentiated by their polarity.
So how the polarity works. The solvents are complex organic chemicals that consist of molecules. The molecules have various shapes and special configurations which, depending on their bonding groups may be more symmetrical or disproportional. In general if the distribution of the electrons between bonded atoms is even the molecule is nonpolar or if it is uneven it is polar. Polarity is a description of how different the electrical poles of a molecule are, therefore the electrical potential of the molecule is different. So polarity forms a scale depending on the electronegativity of each bonded atom in the molecule.
For example the molecule of water has a large oxygen atom with atomic weight of 16 and two small hydrogen atoms with a weight of 1 and the water will have extremely polar performance as a solvent. As we see it from the chart the water extracts polar plant ingredients located on the right side of the table. Then a hydrocarbon will have a very small inert and symmetrical bond between carbon and hydrogen and it is a nonpolar molecule that will extract the ingredients on the left side also called oils and oil soluble.
Usually those nonpolar ingredients are very volatile and have a boiling point below 20C. Also unfortunately due to volatility the majority of those chemicals are extremely flammable. So when used as a solvent strict precautions of safety has to be considered. The next group of solvents are the alcohols and their molecule is much more polar but still their boiling point is below 100C.
As we have discussed above the electrical potential of the molecule of a solvent allows that solvent to extract different parts of the botanical ingredient table. The electrical potential of the molecule is easily characterized and measured by the dielectric constant of the chemical. In order to simplify the solubility of each solvent it is enough to know its dielectric constant and then we will have a pretty good idea what botanical ingredients it will dissolve. For example, the dielectric constant of ethanol is 24, water 80, hexane 2, hydrocarbons 7.
How does the PBX Compare?
Since we now know everything we need to know about the solvents, let's discuss the application of those and one more very important parameter – the recovery. Since the simplest extraction was making tea, the separation of the ingredients in its pure form is also very important. Once the extracted ingredients are mixed with the solvent the easiest way is to separate the solvent by evaporating it. Although evaporating the solvent very often will evaporate most of our target ingredients all together and first we will have low yield of partial extract and second a contaminated solvent. What happens very often with ethanol since the ethanol evaporation point is around 80C and the oils we target start evaporating at around that temperature to around 195C, so we'll always have a problem with yield, contamination and solvent residue in the final product.
That is why gas solvents as CO2 are preferred instead of liquid solvents as ethanol and highly desired in order to provide much cleaner extraction. Although a solvent extract is in contact with the plant material when in it is a liquid phase. That is why a class of extraction techniques called liquified gas extraction was developed. The idea is to pressurize or chill the gas solvent to a point it becomes liquid and start to behave as a solvent, then when the mixture of oil and solvent leaves the plant it is easier to separate by quickly returning the gas in its natural state and the extract is drained purely without a solvent residue. That is why very often the CO2 extraction is called solventless.
The problem with the CO2 is that its boiling point is below -100C and it becomes liquid at -56C then it becomes a more efficient solvent when its aggregate condition is beyond liquid at 31C. That condition is called supercritical fluid, when the CO2 behaves as liquid and solid at the same time. That requires extreme pressure during the process in order to enter that supercritical phase. The extra energy and hardware usually makes the systems built with CO2 very expensive. In order to simplify the extraction systems a gas with better thermodynamics needs to be selected.
For example the hydrocarbon R134a has boiling at -30C and being liquid at 25C is a very sweet spot for an extraction efficiency. The R134a has the selectivity of a hydrocarbon being non flammable, extraction behaviour on a solventless process as CO2 and overcomes the disadvantages of ethanol by being separated very easily and not extracting the extra components from the right side of the chart commonly called waxes and lipids, etc.
|Methodologies||PROS & CONS||CAPEX||POLAR||GAS||YIELD||SAFE||SPEED||OPEX|
|PBX by PURE5™||R134a is a modified hydrocarbon that is Non-toxic, Non-flammable & Noncombustible. This Non-Polar liquified gas has strict selectivity and does not capture plant elements in the water-phase. Extraction conducted at room temperature allows for the gentle collection of terpenes providing a pristine collection in the plant's oil output. Easy gas recovery within the automated, closed-loop system. No winterization required.||1x||nonpolar||at -30C||95%||UN3159: nonflammable, noncombustible, non-toxic||0.45 hours||$1.07|
|ETHANOL||Ethanol acts as R134a but when operating in a cold state at -40C limiting terpene recovery. (8) (9) The polarity of ethanol offers decreased selectivity over PBX. Post-extract sugars are present. Winterization is required.||1.2x||polar||n/a||70%||UN1170 ll/lll EXPLOSIVE||1 hour @ cold-state (7)||$5.00|
|C02||C02 is a liquified, polar gas that requires subcritical and supercritical phases of the gas for plant extraction. (10) This requires high-pressure ~8800 psi+. Winterization required. Post-processing removes unwanted plant matter resulting from decreased selectivity.||2-4x||polar||at -200C||90%||UN1058 High-Pressure, Poisonous||3-5 hours||$10|
|HYDRO-CARBONS||Hydrocarbons are highly flammable/combustible mediums that operate at approximately (-40C) to perform extraction. Low selectivity of terpenes due to extreme operating conditions. Winterization is required post-process. Compliance is the most costly component of this process.||1.5x||nonpolar||n/a||75%||HCDOT1 @ 6% the solvent is explosive||0.5-1 hours||$7|
|ROSIN PRESS||Rosin Press is a manual operation that is non-precise. Due to the mechanical nature of this process, there is no selectivity in what is being extracted. Extract is oil rich components and other plant matter in the alcohol and water-soluble ranges of the spectrum. The remaining 50% post yield can be extracted via another process.||0.5x||n/a||n/a||50%||MANUAL||0.5 hours||unk|
Using ethanol you will not need the C1D1 facility rating but it is a class IB flammable liquid and requires to meet certain 29 CFT OSHA, NFPA 30 and IBC guidelines in order to implement it safely. Also a handling registration from your local state liquor commission will be required. And last of the 4 used extraction technologies developed by PURE5™ in cannabis is the modified hydrocarbon or R134a. Non flammable, non pressurized and non toxic solvent that does not require any of the above registrations and provides ready to use in products live resin and concentrate that are ready to market in 24 hours even in their distilled form as isolated cannabis terpenes and distillates.
What is a sustainable product?
Utilization of any part of the plant for the benefit of the consumer while processed with minimal energy footprint, time and resources while all components can return back to nature is the future of sustainability. Any business owner and processor, when considering the best extraction technology for his processing plant has to consider a few factors that save time, effort and money spent to create a quality product that will put his brand on the top shelf. The raw materials are fully recyclable and do not change color or appearance.
|Flower:Grow and harvest with minimal costs||First to consider, selecting the right flower for extraction is critical. While dried or cured flowers can be extracted, we target a full bloom when all the oils are in their maturity, then harvest the flower with the best known technique capable of preserving the flower's natural appearance. In order to capture the best terpene profile, fresh (cured) flowers offer the most terpenes, as any excessive drying will damage the completeness of their terpene profile|
|Process:Extract desired terpenes and oils as one||Once flower selection has been completed, selecting the right solvent that does not react with any of the plant components or add tint to the oil during cured flower extraction is hyper critical. Extraction with PBX equipment can be performed at room temperature on either fresh (cured) or dry (decarbed) flowers, gently extracting the oil-based components without creating any undesired byproducts.|
|Material:Produce natural products. Create separate fractions||The terpene profile strictly follows the flower profile, providing a complete representation of the plant's genetics. The terpenes are gently extracted along with the full spectrum of cannabinoids thereby preserving all-natural values in a natural pristine oil extraction. Now all strain expressions can be uniquely represented in an oil format. No strain left behind.|
|Formulations:Formulate natural, pure consumer products||The extraction technology offered by PURE5™ produces superior extracts and preserves all plant active components in their natural proportions. The PBX Standard process provides a gentle extraction which is conducted at room temperature without any harsh chemicals or post-processing. Our natural extracts can be used for dabbing and vaping right off our machinery with the correct hardware|
|SustainableEnjoy the benefits of a sustainable operation||As a result of our safe, non-destructive process that does not employ any harsh chemicals – extracted materials require minimal post-processing. Moreover, spent biomass can be disposed of via normal waste measures or sold off as all-natural compost.|
How to make the best PBX products?
Before starting to make infused products we have to have a good plan in order to avoid any further problems we run into the future. As always happens most often we will have to start on a stringent budget and select the quickest time to market on a tight budget is to make a kitchen with limited processing. One cannot do everything in the beginning well, so let's focus on a few core products. For sure to make MIPs products you do not have to be an extraction expert. All that we need is to purchase raw flower biomass and make an extract.
Starting an extraction lab is a strategic business that can bring you to the market very quickly. For which is also very important to select the right extraction methods you will use and how that will impact your plan of action. Put all against the wall and see what are your chances. You can always start with kief and take a chance, then secure a lab to make the concentrates but the real infused product will like versatility. Presence of the strain specific terpenes (not botanicals), full spectrum oil, live resin or a distillate when no flavor is required are must to have starting ingredients. What extraction method will give you all those ingredients with at least time and energy into the process is the right question.
There are many types of concentrates used in making infused products and every one of them is unique to the method of extraction. In its early days the cannabis industry started with the so-called Rick Simpson oil later known as ethanol crude, then evolved to distillates, isolates, resins and terpenes. But even 2 crudes extracted from 2 extraction solvents are not alike. We already explained why since the solvent will draw different plant ingredients. It is the same with distillates, distillates, isolates, resins and terpenes.
Dabs are concentrated doses of cannabis that are made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids using a solvent like butane or carbon dioxide, resulting in sticky oils. The dabs are made mostly from the acidic cannabinoids while maintaining the wac content high. Depending on their consistency, these marijuana concentrates are also commonly referred to as wax, shatter, budder, and butane hash oil. Marijuana wax and other dabs are typically heated on a hot surface, usually a nail, and then inhaled through a dab rig. Smoking dabs as a method of consumption has been around for at least a decade, but the advent of more advanced extraction methods have led to a flood of cannabis concentrates that have boosted dabbing’s popularity.
Vaping devices, also known as e-cigarettes, e-vaporizers, or electronic vapour delivery systems, are battery-operated devices that people use to inhale an aerosol, which typically contain cannabis oil, terpene oils, flavorings, and other chemicals. They can resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes (cig-a-likes), cigars, or pipes, or even everyday items like pens or USB memory sticks. Other devices, such as those with refillable tanks, may look different. Regardless of their design and appearance, these devices generally operate in a similar manner and are made of similar components. More than 460 different e-cigarette brands are currently on the market.
Tinctures are concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking the bark, berries, leaves (dried or fresh), or roots from one or more plants in alcohol or vinegar. The alcohol or vinegar pulls out the active ingredients in the plant parts, concentrating them as a liquid. There’s some research and anecdotal reports that suggest some plants have medicinal properties and health benefits. Tinctures have been around for millennia and are a key component of traditional herbal medicine.
Hash comes from Hashish and is nothing more than the cannabis trichomes separated mechanically from a plant, most of the time pressed together to make a brick. The trichomes are the richest part of cannabis in plants, they are filled with the cannabinoids. The trichomes contain the most natural cannabis oil that has a wide variety of ingredients. Extracted hash is primarily used for dabbing since the oil will maintain the original plant terpenes and waxes and will bring the most natural experience.
Rosin refers to an extraction process that utilizes a combination of heat and pressure to nearly instantaneously squeeze resinous sap from your initial starting material. The term “rosin” originated as a method of making a product used to create friction with violin bows.Depending on how it’s extracted, rosin (especially flower rosin) can be considered full-spectrum. Hash rosin, however, is more commonly a select-spectrum extract.
Rosin vs. Resin
Broadly speaking, resin refers to a viscous substance derived from plants. Live resin can be made from cannabis concentrate by taking fresh cannabis and freezing it to subcritical temperatures both before and during the extraction process. This allows the live resin to retain the plant’s terpene profile, whereas with rosin, certain extraction processes may result in a loss of some terpenes. Another option of extracting high terpene resins is by using solvent hydrocarbon or R134a extraction where the terpenes are pulled from the plant with around 20-30% concentration and the cannabinoids with around 60-70%.
How to set baseline PBX production?
Baseline production you can start with PBX in 3 days. The PURE5™ machines are full turnkey and delivered to spec with full SOP package as part of the PBX. One machine can slice down your plant resin in various consistencies. You can do a first slice of the Live Resin and second with the Full Spec Properties. You can further isolate the terpenes and make the broad spectrum oil for hemp or distillate for cannabis.
How to scale PBX production?
When you build a lab, always be ready to scale. Here are a few things you may consider when you build a lab. The hydrocarbon process due its flammability requires special C1D1 construction, licensing and permits and it is difficult to scale due the same reasons but it produces nice waxes and resins that are very much established on the market. The CO2 has been voted as a solventless method due the fact that nobody tests for the presence of CO2 in the end products and verifies the acidity level of the extracts. You will not need C1D1 rooms but you have to provide heavy ventilation and CO2 testing since the CO2 is dangerous over 8% concentration. Although the extracts obtained have high wax content and need to go through ethanol dewaxing so both pressurized, ventilated and controlled environments for both solvents must be met.
So the first rule of scaling is scale safe, then scale lean, i.e. each process with minimum supporting and post process activities, then scale smart, i.e. expenses can always rich twice the planned amounts if not considering all details in the processing, and lastly scale with consistency, i.e. be sure everything you are manufacturing will be able to control and repeatable.
Certainly layoun ut the entire process chart, stations and people needed to support them per shift is essential. It is always best to use fully automated processes that load it once it will take care of the day's production so your stuff can complete other tasks such as packaging and QC. The chart below shows a typical PBX production flow ensuring you have proper output for the products you expect as Live Resin, Full/Broad spectrum oil, terpenes, distillate and biomass.
What are the PBX production costs?
Any seasoned cannabis and hemp professional have seen all forms of extraction. The smallest and most dangerous, to the largest and high-grade pharmaceutical and everything in between. One has to make a clear choice to hitch best values into extraction technology developed to perform and save money. In that regards PBX is an easy choice, it literally speaks for itself.
Below is a layout on the expected production costs including the gas, energy and labor. The hard cost of operating the equipment is well below a dollar/lb. In the case of the smallest machine it is around 80 cent which makes it around $16/kg final extract. For operating the next 200L size equipment the cost drops down more than a half. It is around a quarter a lb or around a dollar including the labor or around 20/kg of finished product which is 20 cent a gram which ensures around 10,000 times margin in the cannabis wholesale.
The PURE5™ technology originates from the raw flower processing for flavor, fragrance and food markets. We have the experience of processing over 150 herbs in various fields even for production of triglyceride oil. One can process its own bases and flavors from any botanical out there which will additionally offset the risks following the industry around the world. As part of the PBX we also offer unique recipes for end products that can be applied for multi ingredient supplements.
What is the PBX ROI?
We can share a number of examples why PBX by PURE5™ technology is so superior across a wide spectrum of metrics where the ROI is exceptional. Let not forget that PBX is high terpene, strain specific, liquified gas extraction that is safe, automated and repeatable that creates high value products. The PURE5™ extraction machines are the easiest systems to operate, cleaning is easy and maintenance is not required in a long time. PBX offers a product that is a complete flower representation in the form of full spectrum oil and resin from which one can create superior finished products as vapes, edibles, topicals, etc.
The degree of terpene presentations is extremely high while delivering a repeatable quality and output consistency every time. The laboratory start-up investment is a fraction of the cost of its competitors and one can be in revenue in a very short period of time. Starting a full turnkey lab with 2 or 3 machines is unprecedented and really that is what you need to make a full range of cannabis or hemp products.
Let's look at some monthly estimates utilizing the smallest 2 machines in Cannabis with indoor and outdoor flowers in one shift. As one can see the 20L unit used in the cannabis industry is easily paid off in 30 days and the 200L unit in half of the time. The bottom line is that with lean operation and use of high quality flowers (indoor) the ROI is less than 30 days. For the hemp industry where the sales price is around 3 times less it will be around 60-90 days for the payoff.
Can you White Label with PBX?
As a grower/processor/owner, you have to ask yourself: Do I want to be like everyone else in the marketplace?
Why to be like every other product on the market with one more new brand across the shelf? Want to be different? The answer is PBX! Come and join the community where you have unlimited access to our internal resources and support that assures your success.
We provide you with the entire process design, SOP of extraction, product recipes and guidance that it can always happen the way you want it. Label design and marketing is part of the process to assure best performance on your brand. Check the below chart for 3 examples on 3 businesses involved in cosmetics, eatables and vapes.
Here’s your golden PBX opportunity!
Extracting the same old Cannabis Oil that saturates the market or are you ready for super power?
Welcome to PURE5™ Extraction, your customers I will love you for being:
- Differentiator Cannabis Extraction, market disruptor.
- Proven over the past 6 years of recipe, formulation & analytical testing data.
- Over 4 patents & 3 trademarks outline the uniqueness of the process.
- Pure botanical extraction gives consumers an authentically effective experience.
- Immediate market demand due to growth of innovatively safe cannabis.
- Environmentally and consumer safe, FDA Gras.
- Test the machine and products today, choose location Colorado, Oregon, Arizona or California.
- Join the growing community of the PBX Standard, give yourself an industry advantage.
How do you become a PBX player in your market?
Invest in the best extraction technology on the market!
Join the PBX community and start the amazing ride together!
Come visit one of our laboratories and see how your botanical dreams will come alive!
George Stantchev, PhD