Actual vs Potential Yield expectations

Would like to discuss peoples experiences with regards to what an acceptable yield is.

for example

1000g of 25% THCA flower = 250g THCA x 0.877= ~220g THC potential yield

from extraction to distillation what should one expect to recover?

I generally get a 6% yield from trim to distillate. YMMV. Very dependent upon starting material.


At least you’re looking at the problem correctly…I had a hell of a time getting the concept across to investors that yield is directly related to potency of input material.

How do they end up with pockets full of cash with such rudimentary logic skills?

I’m guessing 70% is the high bar…but my distillation tek is a work in progress so I don’t have solid numbers for crude to distillate yet. It looks pretty lossy to me…


Our starting material is around 12-15% THC

Our goal is always a 10% yield and we typically achieve a 10% yield in total cannabinoid, not just THC.

Assuming that’s 10% starting weight, and 90% purity on the end product, I make that 60-75% total cannabinoid recovery, but I might be misinterpreting you final yield. (67%-83%)

Are your input potencies solid enough to make that inference?

I don’t always check the potency on my input, but I have that ability, and it’s been really helpful when looking at process efficiency.

Trim to distillate: I’ve seen anything from 2-7% overall yield. I prefer to work with 5% as a minimum. Anything less and you’re starting to lose money.

I actually calculated the profits from selling crude vs. distillate at less than 5% overall yield and the numbers come out about the same if you just sell the crude.

This is why I always perform a microextraction on 25-100g of material to crude before accepting a batch. The small batch won’t be totally accurate (esp if its not purged from the roto properly) Also a good time to get pest/potency tested.


Is that 5% cannabinoid to biomass or, 5% distillate (at 90% cannabinoids) to biomass?

What are you calling trim?

2% overall yield suggests ~3% starting concentration . Which sounds like “leaf”.

7% overall sounds more like 10% starting potency. Which is beginning to sound more like the 12-15% “trim” I’m used to.

Your micro-extraction is a great, and very standard response. I doubt many performing such pilot extractions don’t then send out for pesticide testing. The exception being folks who have more sophisticated in-house testing (why “ask a stranger”, when you’ve got the tools in hand?)

In house potency testing should get you a solid estimate of final yield. whether it’s worth $15k for an SRI GC or a Lightlab is probably going to depend on the scale you’re playing at (among other things).

Trim in my example: low potency trim acquired at a low cost.

Yes the 2% overall yield is usually kiefed trim or it has a bunch of stem and leaf in it.

7% overall is great in my opinion. We are on the same page here dude.

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OP is trying to get a percentage relating total cannabinoids in to total cannabinoids out…

If they have to guess the potency of both ends of the equation (biomass & distillate) it’s not going to be a particularly accurate number. I don’t understand why folks are stating their yields based on weight of biomass rather than total input cannabinoids.

Except that they don’t actually have input potency…which is obviously a valid reason :slight_smile:

ie: I guessed the potency of your input. based on my guess of overall process efficiency. using those numbers to then calculate process efficiency is a non-starter. right?

I used 70% as my guess at process efficiency to wrap my head around how much biomass @JohnLong’s 53kg distillate in 24hrs represented. Literally a ton! Assuming whole plant field grown “hemp” at 6-7% total CBD & 90% final potency on the distillate.


Thanks for all the replies.

Cyclopath is correct.

I come from an analytical testing background and do have a mindset around analytes in and out.

Extraction seems very close to analytical testing in that we are essentially performing an extraction/sample prep/ analysis…

In the lab one should be able to support that one was able to extract all of a particular analyte by extracting a known spiked quantity of another chemical in a matched matrix and then based on the recover of that known amount, correct for what might have been left behind.

My current job has used the logic described by others. Historically, they have also fallen in this range of 7- 15% overall. However, we do use some > 20% flower for select distillate products. I imagine that accounts for the increased yield.

I hear '“why was this yield so low” from bosses because they are comparing each run to a generated historical mean. However, my argument comes to wanting to know how much we could have gotten in any particular run, and from their knowing not what our historical yields are, but how well we got what we could have.

I have some data to look over and should have some answers to report about what our own levels are. I do think its important for me to hear what other people are experiencing and how they are thinking about situations.

I hope this adds positively to this discussion.


The distribution of wealth has nothing to do with logic or technical prowess my friend. The accumulation of wealth within capitalism is directly related to an individuals willingness to exploit others. For some this means they are experts at manipulation of emotions and for others it may be a charming knack to endear others around you leadership wise to do for you more than you do for them. The key to wealth is an understanding of exploitation and how to achieve it. The very best folks I have known who pull off great wealth from no starting stake like inheritance understand fully what P.T. Barnum understood.

He was quoted as saying “A sucker is born every minute.” What he referred to was not that folks believed the outlandish exhibits of bizarre people or animals at all. What he was referring to was that knowing full well that an exhibit was bullshit a young man was more than willing anyway to pay a fee to participate in hopes he would impress others with uncovering the truth of the farce.

One other glaring example of how very much unrelated logic is to how wealth is distributed is known as the stock market. If the stock market was a person and behaved in the same general manner they would be institutionalized as paranoid psychotic folks with severe bi polar disorder, PTSD, grandiose ideation, major depressive disorder, and … :sunglasses: Trying to make sense of it is sort of like paying PT Barnum one dollar to see a three headed goat just to prove it is not real… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::money_mouth_face::money_mouth_face::money_mouth_face:


Hey Everyone,

Correct me if I’m wrong but it would depend on your starting material.
100lbs of ‘Grade A’ flower @ 20%thc

100*448 = 44800 grams

44800*20%(original flower potency)bho extraction = 8960 grams, using a cryo ethanol extraction, we should extract 95%.

8960grams*.95 = 8512grams ‘crude’

8512grams*.7(we lose 30% through winterization and filtration) = 5958grams

5958grams*.7(wiped film distillation) = 4170grams of final product.

Im sure these numbers will differ a bit depending on winterization time, scrubbing(medium used), and filtration.

I would love any and all feed back!