Building Out Commercial Extraction Lab

Hello Everyone,

I have been extracting and distilling since 2015. I came up using two - 4lbs closed loop systems to blast and started with a 1L short path from Salem Labs(uggh I know) and moved to a 10L from AI.

I have used my experience(it falls short from a lot of users on here) to secure a position and equity in Canada with a licensed producer and have been tasked to build out a commercial lab that will house our extractions division.

I have never used commercial equipment before and would like some guidance if possible. Health Canada mandate only will allow us to produce distillate(that will be diluted for ‘cannabis oil’,vapes and edibles) for now and I wanted to know what my best route would be.

I just want to say that when all cylinders are firing I would like to encompass all 3(co2,hydrocarbon,ethanol) extraction methods but initially I’m looking to mass produce distillate in the fastest and most economical(not cheaping out on equipment but making sure the process is streamlined and efficient) as possible. Price tag is essentially on me but initially looking for something that can handle and produce large volumes of crude and distillate. I would also like to extract terps but I don’t know if that’s asking for too much as this initial stage.

I was originally thinking about going co2 and then using a wiped film system as both are continuous flow if Im not mistaken. Why I hesitate is because I have read that supercritical co2 will pick up more terps than anything else. Is that true? Can I set a co2 system to not run at supercritical temps and or pressure and efficiently and effectively extract cannabinoids.

I have also looked at ethanol extraction from evolved extraction(EV-MASS Centrifugal Separator) and Delta Separations(CUP Series). My concern with ethanol is actual solvent recovery rates and picking up chlorophyll. I also thought about using the Automated Terpene Extraction system from Tandem Technology to extract terps and then run a -40C ethanol wash.

I am also torn between wiped film and short path systems as my experience lies with short paths. I was looking at the Thin Film Distillation System, Stainless Steel, 2-Stage, 0.2m2 from Lab Society as my wiped film option.

Any ideas or guidance would help. I will be hiring a consultant near the end of the year to become more proficient in the production of other extracts derivatives(Yay!)

Thank you!

P.S. I do have a system built out and I am just waiting for a quote but I thought this would be the best place to go to find a little guidance

1 Like


Subcritical then supercritical with CO2. I’d stick with what you know distillation wise. Hydrocarbons are cheap and efficient. Ethanol is a personal preference based on it’s generally regarded as safe status, but incredibly capable as evidenced all over.

My 2¢. I will probably be the least helpful post.

1 Like

These aren’t the droids you’re looking for :upside_down_face:

Canada’s about to legalize extraction. Good luck it’s like a race to the death on the east coast too. We got hemp migrant workers pouring in fr Washington state, Oregon, and Colorado. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:


Personally, I would go with a WFE and Etoh. I currently run etoh extractions on a 12L spd and the color and clarity proves imo

and maybe it’s from a lack of looking, but i haven’t seen CO2 disti look that good


Hey everyone,

Thanks for the comments… lol for a bit I thought no one was commenting.

To clarify this lab is going to be for primarily for cannabis extraction and processing not so much cbd in the initial few months.

@greenergrasslabs sorry to clarify WFE & Etoh? your colour is amazing though… big ups on that!!

1 Like

Wiped Film Evaporator and Ethanol! Thank you! We have really been honing in on the runs.
After some downtime we are finally getting back up and running.

The biggest difference between the short path and wiped film is that wiped film is continuous feed whereas a short path would be batches require breakdown/clean time in between runs

so it’s important to consider scale, biomass availability/processing frequency, electrical usage, etc


If you’re running thc dominant varieties then you may want to think about terpenes. Trying to decide on a solvent isn’t an easy decision. Think about your market demographic and go fr there.

1 Like

Does anyone here have contact information for a mechanical contractor in colorado who can install MAUs for new commercial hoods being installed in our labs? I have two 10x10x10 hoods being installed in my facility and most HVAC/Mechanical Contractors i have approached about doing the makeup air install have told me that just isnt a service they are equipped to provide. The company installing the hoods themselves also told us that they dont have the technical knowledge on staff to install them. If anyone has a reliable mechanical contractor that has some experience with explosion proof equipment and HVAC in a lab setting it would be greatly appreciated.