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The Colors of Cannabis Extracts Aren’t Always Clear: Color Remediation Explained

November 16, 2021 08:30 am ET
The Colors of Cannabis Extracts Aren’t Always Clear: Color Remediation Explained

Cannabis color remediation—a process that removes impurities from cannabis extracts—is becoming very common these days as more consumers explore the world of cannabis concentrates, which are extracted from cannabis flower and come in the form of wax, shatter, budder, crumble, and more.

As the name of the process suggests, color remediation affects the hue of concentrates. Unfortunately, there’s no one “good” color for a concentrate and color does not always reflect the quality of the product. It is widely believed that concentrates with a light or clear color are cleaner, while those with darker colors contain impurities—either can be right or wrong. All in all, the effectiveness of the product is not determined by the color; it’s determined by the quality of the cannabis used to make it.

What Is Cannabis Color Remediation? 

So, what exactly is cannabis concentrate color remediation? Aside from purifying a cannabis concentrate, color remediation offers cannabis extractors the ability to create consistently colored products. For products to undergo this filtration process, they must be combined with pressure, heat, and a special extraction solution. The concentrates are first mixed with a solution and placed in a special cylinder before being exposed to heat and pressure.

They are then filtered through different materials, such as clay, charcoal, or silica, before passing through a paper micron filter. The end product is a remediated oil that can range in color from dark to clear. The process is said to be beneficial by removing unwanted contaminants and pesticides, plant sugars, lipids, and chlorophyll.

Color remediation is not a new process—it is commonly used in food and wine production. Because color remediation helps create consistent products, the process’ benefits can apply to a variety of products. The process not only affects appearance but also affects taste and performance. However, color remediation has only recently started to be used in the cannabis extraction process.

Does Color Remediation Just Cover Up Bad Cannabis?

Not everyone is a fan of cannabis concentrate color remediation. Some believe that the need for color remediation technology signals the use of low-quality cannabis flower. Though not always the case, there are companies that put out cheap cannabis products processed with bad chemicals and solvents—this is an all-too-common problem in both the CBD and THC sides of the cannabis industry.

Anyone in the business of cannabis extracts will tell you that the better the original cannabis product, the better the results of the extraction process used to form concentrates from the cannabis. Think about it for a minute: Would you want a cannabis product that had to be bleached to appear clean, or would you rather have a product that was actually clean?

To make a cannabis product look clean, the color remediation process removes excess pesticides, chlorophyll, and chemicals that should not be in cannabis in the first place. In contrast to much mass-produced cannabis, I grow cannabis at home without the use of any pesticides and chemicals. While the use of color remediation does not necessarily mean the concentrate was made from poor cannabis, it’s always a good idea to pay attention to the origins of products.

To Remediate or Not To Remediate

How do you know if a concentrate has gone through a color remediation process? Many of these products have a light, golden color, but the only way to know for sure is to ask the company directly via email or social media. While color remediation is not in itself bad or dangerous, the increasing popularity of the process has made it difficult for consumers to tell if a concentrate was made from high-quality cannabis by sight alone, according to Where’s Weed. Essentially, color remediation has made it possible to make concentrates made from bottom-of-the-barrel cannabis look just like those made from the good stuff.

So, should we be praising or knocking color remediation? On one hand, it removes impurities and creates a more visually appealing concentrate. On the other hand, it can easily cover up low-quality products. If you’re concerned about ingesting low-quality concentrates—or unknowingly paying top dollar for low-quality concentrates that have been covered up with color remediation—your best bet is to buy your concentrates from a trusted company that can easily reveal its cultivation and extraction processes and sources.

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