Using Aligned Tec RYO-MINI machine for hemp cigarettes

I’m a long-time lurker of this forum and just finally made an account. Thanks to everyone in here for the awesome information I’ve been able to absorb thus far.

I am working with a company that desires to produce hemp cigarettes in straight/cylindrical tubes so that they look just like tobacco cigarettes. Before I was brought in by this company, they purchased one of these RYO-MINI machines from a Chinese company Aligned Tec. This link shows the machine: https://www.aligned-tec.com/product/ryo/

They invested a decent amount on this machine and are trying to make it work. I have read the other threads here with some detailed descriptions as to why these spoon injection machines shouldn’t be expected to work, but I wanted to start a thread about this machine specifically just to ensure no stone was left unturned.

I was fascinated by the idea posited here by another member of changing the curing process to result in a much drier, less resinous product. This isn’t an option for these folks as they aren’t yet producing their own hemp flower. We have tried various humidity levels and tried different methods/courseness of ground product.

I’ve found that bringing the fill volume down very low helps to a point, but it doesn’t do the trick. The machine can spit out a few good cigs and then it errors out for the filling being jammed, and then requires a full cleanout before the system allows it to run again. Does anyone else have any other words of wisdom for someone trying to get one of these machines to work with hemp?

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rumor has it hempettes have settled on post extraction biomass to solve the “it’s too sticky” issue.

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Lol gross :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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I can second this. Hempettes, and multiple other national brands of hemp cigarettes are all using post-ethanol extraction material. If you know what that smells like, you know what it smells like. Gross shit.

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It doesn’t gum up the machine because there isn’t any resin on the material to begin with lol

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Post CO2-extraction material also doesn’t work because unless you run it at 4000-5000 psi you will be leaving resin content behind. The 2-3% cannabinoid content left behind in it is still too much for RYO machines.

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I know you want tips on this specific machine, but this might help in general. This is something I really want to pursue but candidly don’t have the capital for, so what I’ve found:

For the dryness issue, I think a cylindrical roaster (usually used for seeds/coffee/cocoa nibs) would probably work (see: https://jafinox-rdw.com/product/compact-cylindrical-roaster/).

Also, legitimate tobacco cigarette manufacturers don’t use tubes. They use rolls of paper and filters so you can fine tune the paper tightness, fill density, etc which is critical for cannabis/hemp. Check out a company like https://www.swmintl.com/products/products-list/all-tobacco-papers-and-recon-tobacco for papers and then search for the relevant equipment.

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LOL dear gawd. The post-extraction material sounds gross. There’s no way they’re doing that…is there? It would seem to me that they wouldn’t have much medicinal value nor good taste left. Is that an accurate statement?

@SISU I am more than happy to look at more generalized advice - I assume it would apply to all similar spoon-injection machines. I will definitely look into your research and appreciate you being willing to pass it along. Since you’ve researched this process, what is your viewpoint on adding a low percentage of something dry and fluffy such as marshmallow leaf as a manufacturing aid? I’m thinking sort of like magnesium stearate and similar additives are used to ensure that pills don’t stick to manufacturing equipment. I know it’s not ideal, but I feel like it’s better than using extracted biomass.

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Using fillers won’t prevent the machine from gumming up and jamming, it will just slow down the rate at which it does so. Assuming you want to have any notable amount of actual ground hemp flower in the final product, there isn’t much you can do to treat it for rolling without removing most of the desired active ingredients.

Anecdotally, the hemp cigarettes I have tried all smelled like dried, post extraction biomass. There was little noticeable effect besides the slight oxygen deprivation rush you get when you inhale any kind of smoke. They are marketed more as a “safer” alternative to cigarettes so idk if delivering cbd is the real goal with that product line, I think it’s more to provide a non-tobacco smoking alternative that has a public perception of being “healthy” or good for you and satisfies an oral fixation. Also there is a ton of post extraction biomass available that can be acquired for little to nothing.

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So gross

I would rather smoke a tobacco Rollie lol

(And I don’t smoke cigs)

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Maybe a little bit of mullein finely ground and pre mixed to help stick to the resin would help. I have no idea how it tastes, but hear that smoking it can actually be beneficial for the lungs. I’ve also heard that the natives uses to mix willow, I think it was red willow, leaves in with their tobacco to make a sweeter smoke. Never heard about mashmallow leaf.

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I played this cigarette machine game about 3 years ago now. Ask me anything. I learned the hard way with just about everything on that ryo machine I bought. I was able to get it to work with one flower material out of about 20 farms. I got the machine to do 12 a minute. Problem is that material that was just right ran out and anything after was too sticky or too dense or too airy. Industrial process for this or use spent material. We even tried the spent material but as you know even adding terps to that stuff it still tastes and smells like pickles.

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@SauceBossNW I had wondered about that as soon as you all had said that these were more of an oral fixation product as a smoking alternative (a la the old Ecstasy herbal cigs). They have some production hemp cigs on the shelf at their stores - I am curious to have them cost some out and tear a few open. I bet I find that gross PE biomass in there. That may be an appropriate demonstration to show them what other people have had to do to make it work.

As for slowing down the buildup of material - that’s exactly what I’d expect it to do. Nothing in this situation will be a silver bullet. At this point, they’re basically looking at it as not letting an expensive piece of equipment going to waste. At ~$15k, they have about $45k to invest and would still be short of the least expensive solution I found that would be turnkey for hemp.

I personally would have just done more research before buying equipment, but we are already past that point. :laughing:

@Aka No joke. I will definitely not be smoking any of these production ones that I take a look at! I’d rather just not smoke anything if given those choices - I quit tobacco almost 10 years ago and I’m not going back.

@BigM The mullein looks intriguing due to it’s purported ability to smooth out/make smoke more enjoyable.

Marshmallow leaf is something of which I have knowledge from back in the “herbal incense” days. It’s extremely dry and fluffy. I envisioned it somewhat mitigating the directly opposite properties of the hemp.

@CBDWorks I totally agree that there wouldn’t be any way to make the spent material enjoyable to smoke. It also isn’t medicinal, which is the goal here. They’re looking to make a convenient pack of medicinal CBD cigs, not a smoking cessation aid.

Your story about the one material that was “just right” is very interesting. There’s another thread on this site in which someone stated that the trick would be in developing a cure process that, similar to tobacco processing, was able to reduce the resin left on the material without compromising the desired compounds in the plant.

Thank you again to everyone in this thread who is taking serious time to give input on this half-baked idea. Even if this project doesn’t pan out, y’all are making it such a lot less.

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I know this thread is about the RYO-Mini machine, but a good ol’ knock box seems easier to clean and operate with fresh non-PE flower. Just sayin’.

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I fully agree with you. They’re more difficult to do with the cylindrical tubes versus the cones, but I still feel like it would be a better solution.

Some other folks have reported luck with smaller, less automated machines as well. If it were my business I’d get a few guys (or gals), supply them with TV, snacks, Bang drinks, and knock boxes with the dental plate vibrators or perhaps the less automated (and cheaper) machines, and let them go town.

EDIT: I forgot my beloved Oxford comma.

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I like your approach with the marshmallow leaf - I played around with lavender and some other plants, but didn’t find a combination that I liked. Was so focused on the effects that I didn’t even realize they’d be used to improve the structure of the cigarette itself. Also make sure any other plant you include is organically produced certified by legitimate bodies - pesticides commonly used on plants like red roses, etc are extremely poisonous to inhale.

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Thank you! I will report back here on how it works once I get the chance to try. An associate of the company unaffiliated with myself managed to bend up both injection rods they sent with the machine, so now comes the wait for replacement parts from China.

If anyone was curious, just the injection rods for this machine run $30 a pop - FOB from China. I almost fell off my chair.

And yes, always organic! If I wouldn’t want my daughter to light it up, I wouldn’t be involved with it. More people need to do business that way.

Cure and solidity of buds I suspect was the case. Everything after was too dry, too wet, too sticky. I didn’t even need to grind it. I just mulched the larger budded in my hand into pea or larger chunks and ran it through the hopper on the ryo. I think the pistons for these machines need to be higher pressure and pneumatic instead of air pistols. I could be wrong.

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Did you ever try damiana leaf? Good idea if the source I had purchased was of fresh quality. Mint leaf was really nice. Gave it a menthol kind of taste, improved the structure and pack of the cigarettes but overall wasn’t what I was hoping for.

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All the pistons and so forth on this machine appear to essentially be actuators with large electric motors. It doesn’t take any compressed air or hydraulic system. Perhaps hydraulic would be the way to go.

I feel like they would be able to make it a lot more turnkey for hemp if they used some sort of follower to make sure that the chamber into which the rod is pressed is fully cleared before the machine dumps in more material.