The process for creating vape cartridges involves several steps, first extracting oil from the plant and then refining the oil to a safe inhalable product.
Initially, cannabis matter (bio mass) is placed in an extraction system where a solvent, usually CO2 is used to separate out chemical compounds from the plant matter. The compounds come out of the system as “crude oil”.
The following steps filter the crude oil, to increase purity. The process removes unwanted materials such as chlorophyll and plant lipids – plant wax and fats. To remove chlorophyll and plant lipids, Summit uses a proprietary process similar to those used in a variety of medical, cosmetic, perfume applications, food additives, and food packaging.
Once the oil has been cleaned, the temperature of the oil is increased. This is known as decarboxylation. The oil is now referred to as Refined Cannabis Oil, or RCO. The RCO can go two separate directions depending on which cartridges are being produced.
First, the refined cannabis oil goes through a distillation step that produces a high concentration of THC, over 900mg. Potency may vary with each batch. Botanically sourced terpenes and Medium Chained Triglycerides (MCT oil from the coconut) are added to the distilled oil to make some vape cartridges.
Terpenes are aromatic essential oils that give each vape product its flavor. Terpenes exist in every plant on Earth and are known to have many therapeutic effects, including anti-inflammatory, uplifting, or sedating effects. Terpenes are abundant in cannabis. That’s one of the reasons cannabis has so many health benefits.
Secondly, RCO is used to produce “full spectrum” or “whole plant” products. These interchangeable terms mean that all of the plant’s 500 plus compounds are available in the product and provide therapeutic benefit. These products have a lower concentration of THC because the oil does not go through distillation.
Just as important as what goes into a high quality vape oil is what is NOT added to the oil. Summit’s vape cartridges do not contain petroleum based polyethylene glycol, polyethylene 400, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerine, or vitamin E acetate.
Feel free to ask a Member Liaison about vape cartridges the next time you visit Summit!