Hello Future Folks,
I wanted to share my current train of thought regarding metals found in hemp extracts.
I hope somebody with more knowledge than I can chime in and help take this discussion somewhere.
Issue: Heavy metals found in concentrated oils (ie. Pb, Hg, Cd, and others). These bioaccumulate to toxic levels.
note I hear that cannabis is a good candidate for cleaning up radioactive areas like Fukushima. Cannabis is great at sucking up heavy metals from its environment, even Uranium, apparently.
For this case, let’s assume the metals in the extract are coming from the plant, NOT the equipment used to extract and process…
If metals are originating from the plants, then it makes biological sense that these metals are on the INSIDE of the cells.
Since our target compounds (cannabinoids, terpenes, etc) are located on the OUTSIDE of the cells (trichomes), then it makes logical sense to not open up those cells in the first place…
It is also suggested (with results shown all over this site), that cryo-temp solvent will limit the amount of undesirables.
SO it is clear that if you extract properly in the first place… this is likely not a major issue for you.
BUT, what if you don’t extract properly…
and you use say… warm RT ethanol…
…on hammer-milled material…
You will end up with an oil that is closer to pitch tar than a useable concentrate, due to all of the chlorophyll, lipids, sugars, and proteins.
***a “usable” concentrate should be closer to the consistency/viscosity of honey, at least when warm…
Typically, this tar oil is then winterized and filtered.
SOMEtimes the oil is then “color-remediated” with the aid of magic dirt
These steps together remove lipids, chlorophyll, proteins, and sugars.
But metals can stay in solution. (although some types of magic dirt will help here)
Metals are a normal and expected thing to find in plant cells. Mg2+ is the stabilizing ion in the chlorins of chlorophyll for example. Many other metals such as K+ are used as energy gradients throughout the plant. Metals are a vital part of cell function, and are therefore everywhere.
By nature, “heavy” metals such as Pb, Hg, and Cd will “bump/replace” metals such as Mg from their locations at the center of proteins and structures. This replacement follows periodic table trends of electron shells and transition metal tendencies… So where Mg was in chlorophyll (or hundreds of other locations), Cd will now be in its place.
Therefore, most heavy metals prior to extraction should be PROTEIN bound.
phew… a lot of words to say, metals should be protein bound…
My question is… HOW do we take advantage of the fact that they are protein bound?
Do we completely denature everything and seek out those ions and organometallic compounds?
Can we target those Nitrgen-Metal bonds? What do these denature ligands look like in this case?
Perhaps… We should not fully denature them, and focus on removing the proteins instead of the metal…
MAYBE… we could take advantage of these organometallic compounds and try to link some undesirable molecules together, making it easier to use size exclusion…
I have recently seen certain buffers used in SPD to hold back more waste in the boiling flask. Maybe this would help with metals too… idk. But what if you don’t want to go to distillate?
I don’t really know the answer… but I feel like the fact that these metals are protein bound has been ignored/overlooked