Decriminalized Possession of Hard Drugs Takes Effect in Oregon
by Kat Helgeson
Will the growing demand for cannabis concentrates create more jobs and need in the propane and solvent industry? It wasn’t long ago that many people were clueless about what cannabis concentrates were. If you were to ask them about wax, shatter, batter, butter, or crumble, they would stare at you with a confused look on their face. That is starting to change. Many people have at least heard of cannabis concentrates and are aware of what they are.
The popularity of cannabis concentrates has increased and continues to do so steadily. In 2018 it was estimated that the total global cannabis concentrate market was valued to be worth around 3.73 billion dollars. By 2026 that number is expected to grow to an estimated 13.78 billion US dollars. Cannabis concentrates have increased in popularity due to their potent strength.
Cannabis in the flower form has an average THC level ranging between 11-30%. The average cannabis concentrate has a THC percentage ranging from 50-99%. Concentrates are not only smoked, but they can also be used in making cannabis-infused edibles. Edibles made from cannabis concentrates are much stronger than those produced from flowers.
It would only make sense that the increase in demand for cannabis concentrates would lead to an increase in jobs for the propane and solvent industry. While using a solvent such as propane, butane, or even CO2 are the most common methods for cannabis extraction, they are not the only ones. Cannabis concentrates can be produced using cold water extraction as well as utilizing heat and pressure extraction. Bubble hash and live resin are two extremely popular forms of cannabis concentrate that do not use any chemical solvent. However, these products do not make up the majority of the concentrate market.
These extractions typically cost more to purchase than BHO (butane honey oil), PHO (propane honey oil), or CO2 extractions. Some people outright prefer the flavor of PHO, BHO, and CO2 over live resin. Live resin, of course, is produced using heat and pressure. Cannabis is placed between two pressure plates that are heated to precise temperatures and then squashed until the gooey insides begin to drip out.
The United States has an increasing demand for cannabis concentrates. Other countries around the world are starting to see the same trend. Concentrates made from CBD are extremely popular as well as the ones made from THC. In fact, CBD concentrates are available in many places that THC is still prohibited.
When people think about cannabis and the business that it creates many people think about growers and budtenders. These are both very vital aspects of cannabis businesses today and definitely play a pivotal role in the industry. However, they are not the only ones employed in the cannabis sector. Countless ancillary services that cater to the legal cannabis industry are growing substantially. Companies working with avenues such as marketing, packaging, electrical plumbing, and yes, even businesses such as propane and butane companies. As cannabis legalization happens in more places across the United States, the demand will steadily increase for cannabis concentrates. This not only means that those with the skill to produce these concentrates will be needed and in demand, but the products required to make them will also become in higher demand.
Old methods of cannabis extraction using butane and propane allowed for large quantities of these gases to escape unfiltered into the air. Modern technology utilizes closed-loop extraction systems that not only keep all solvent in the system they also recycle what was not used. These systems are very pricey at first but pay for themselves in the long run as well as help reduce the environmental footprint that the concentrate market leaves behind.
When you hear about cannabis-infused health and beauty products, they are not talking about sprinkling dried cannabis flowers inside of a bar of soap or some lotion. What is being referenced is cannabis extraction that produces oil that is then added to these products. The discovery of cannabis concentrates led to something much greater than just dabbing. It led to infusing a world full of food, beverages, and health and beauty products with all kinds of awesome cannabinoids.
It will always be a high demand for mass-produced quantities of cannabis concentrates. Much like there was a demand for mass-produced budget beer. As time goes on and people become more acquainted with cannabis concentrates, it is expected the market will shift towards small craft batches of cannabis concentrates such as bubble hash and live rosin. However, the need for solvents such as butane and propane is only expected to grow in the coming years. Thus, in return, it is natural to assume that this will create an increase in demand for services from propane and butane based companies.
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