Steam Distilled Hemp Terpenes

Hi - We did a test run of steam distillation on fresh cut, ripe Electra hemp. The resulting essential oil or terpenes is water clear and has an amazing nose. Any insight as to the usefulness / marketability?OctoElectraTerps.pdf (132.6 KB)


It can be used to flavor tinctures, vape pens, make topical formulations, candles, and the list goes on! Does it smell grassy?


maybe you should ask the all knowing one about the prices on cannabis derived terpenes?

last I heard they were in the $20k/liter range, but it looks like you might could ask $60k

or you could just poke around here…


No, I wouldn’t say grassy. Smells floral with a little funk.


Should be a nice addition to any formulation!


Hey we did this too! Here’s a profile from Suver Haze: RoseCity_1811120-03RE1.pdf (143.2 KB)


What equipment did you use to distill the terpenes? I’ve been looking at the Lab Society and Summit kits for our lab, but haven’t found many user reviews for them.


Jeeeezus, thats fricken cool


So selling a liter or two at $60k would pretty much cover R&D?

Or did you just have that beast lying around?


Collaboration Project :slight_smile:


You can buy good Canadian, steam-still hemp essential oils for less than $10/g. French stuff is even cheaper. That’s gonna be roughly $9/ml or $9000/L. They’re the lowest grade of cannabis essential oils. If you find naive users, sell whatever price you can get. I don’t see why you couldn’t label them with the particular chemovar you use and let the market decide. The levels limonene and pinene levels of those materials give it away to a non-naive vape user.

I say go for it, they may be great in tinctures and salves maybe hair products. I’d love to smell some to compare to the commercial stuff coming from Europe and Canada.

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What size. We may have one for sale soon. Make sure you have a lab that can test them for pesticides and potency. Make sure they’re used to higher percent terpenes. The major labs don’t do this well because the dilution is not the same as their usual terp tests.

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Good luck importing marijuana terps from the EU. They are federally illegal because they were made from drug containing plant. I’m 100% sure on this. So these are most likely botanical essential oils.

You can get these oils on a state to state based treatment of the products of marijuana plants.

I think the federal illegality of non-hemp essential oils needs to be challenged. I’m not sure what penalties one risks tho…

“They are federally illegal because they were made from drug containing plant”, you are talking in the US or EU? I have been importing canna terp since 2016 from the US to Canada. I also send some in France. I agree it is a bit painful sometimes, I have already spoken with US and Canadian Customs (also Health Canada) and wait like 15 days at most (FedEx and UPS are the worst for that), but I always got my terpenes. Maybe I am just lucky.

Non cannabis, plant (or industrial plant as I like to say) derived terpenes, that are blended to fake cannabis essential oils are legal.

My lawyer just confirmed the opinion shared in this older post. Made from marijuana = violates CSA. The lower-quality hemp essential oils pulled from cannabis sativa hemp (as defined by the farm bill) seem now to be legal. Prior to the farm bill it was illegal (on the federal level) to produce them in the US. But it appears that imported hemp essential oils were in a legally gray area.

Now, I’m not sure of anyone ever being prosecuted, but marijuana essential oils have been seized in the mail. I’m not sure what happens after they’re seized. I’ve never been foolish enough to think about shipping outside of state. Anyone know? Do they send the shipper a letter?

I have some that been “seized” before. I call customs, both US and Canada. After 2 days and 2 or 3 call they give my terps to the Canadian customs. Health Canada call me (I am my own broker) I explain what it was and send a lab test and they clear my package. It take 15 days. My worst experience.

I’m happy to get you a sample.

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My understanding is that all hemp is cannabis. I think the common understanding is that cannabis derived terpenes are more sought after than non-cannabis derived blends. One exception is ‘flavorless’ terpenes which are used to adjust viscosity. Within the cannabis derived terpene sphere there are multiple subcategories. Cultivar (aka strain) specific terpenes are most desired, with ‘marijauana’ strain specific terpenes being the most rare. Hemp derived, cultivar specific terps offer a similar profile, though marijauana derived terms are more rare and cultivar specific ones are typically from a smaller, more homogeneous batch. This is due to the fact that cultivars are more stable in the marijauana realm because cloning is so commonplace. Most hemp derived terpenes, even cultivar specific, have more variability due to phenotypic variation. This is pretty standard in hemp because it is mostly from seed & the seed is overall not super stable. This is changing rapidly, but I think that the vast majority of hemp grown for the 2018 crop had some substantial characteristic variation. Overall,only the hemp from clones had perfectly stable characteristics. Marijauana derived terpenes fetch a premium due to smaller crops and more phenotypic stability. Steam distilled hemp terpenes can be of high quality as well, though fetch a lower price due to crop size & cultivar variation.

Terpene quality is directly related to processing style. My experience is that steam distillation of fresh flowers gives the highest quality terpenes. This is the industry standard for botanical essential oil extraction across the board (lavender, mint etc.) It is possible to distill fresh cannabis material & then dry it and extract the cannabinoids. This presents the obvious challenge of drying it first, but totally possible. My limited research shows that steam distillation seems to degrade the cannabinoids, somewhere around 25%. Distillation of dried flower appears to most commonly be done by fractionating cryo-ethanol crude during the process of post-processing distillation. My limited expirrence with this style of terpene collection has shown it’s totally possible and requires a skilled extractor to pull off well. It’s also worth considering the volatility of terpenes and the changes that typically happen during the drying process. The lightest terps often transform when exposed to the atmospheric conditions, especially heat.


Microwave terpene extraction seems to leave cannabinoids alone. We extracted biomass after MW distillation, then distilled the cannabinoids. The cannabinoid yield was equivalent to what was expected without terp removal, clarity was way better, color was improved as well. @OctoArm