‘Epic’ cannabis oil

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE - LeVaughn Flynn is a com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sul­tant and cannabis en­thu­si­ast. He can be reached at lev­augh­n­[email protected]

ONE OF the most im­por­tant jobs in the emerg­ing med­i­cal ganja in­dus­try is that of pro­cess­ing man­ager – the per­son who su­per­vises the in­tri­cate task of ex­tract­ing the ganja oil from the plant. A mix of sci­ence and art, the process in­cludes us­ing one of sev­eral ex­trac­tion meth­ods to lift the chem­i­cal com­pounds from the mar­i­juana plant and trans­form it to a gooey mix­ture, where it is then used in var­i­ous forms for di­rect con­sump­tion or to sup­ple­ment food and beauty prod­ucts. The con­cen­trated oil is rich in cannabi­noids, and its most pop­u­lar end prod­uct is CBD oil, which is used to treat a host of ail­ments.

Ra­jiv Thomp­son is the ex­trac­tion tech­ni­cian at Kingston’s first med­i­cal herb house, Epi­can, and he gave Weed Ed some in­sight into his job.

Weed Ed: What’s your num­ber-one pri­or­ity dur­ing the ex­trac­tion process?

Ra­jiv Thomp­son: Num­ber-one pri­or­ity is en­sur­ing safe and thor­ough ex­trac­tion of the plant ma­te­rial. We want to give our cus­tomers the peace of mind that their medicine is of the high­est qual­ity.

WE: There are sev­eral ex­trac­tion meth­ods, why does Epi­can use CO2 (car­bon diox­ide) ex­trac­tion?

RT: C02 is known for its pu­rity and safety as a sol­vent. It is uniquely se­lec­tive and pro­vides a very high-qual­ity oil safe for con­sump­tion im­me­di­ately af­ter ex­trac­tion.

WE: How many flow­ers does it take to get 1 gram of oil?

RT: It takes about 10 grams of flow­ers.

WE: On av­er­age, what is the THC and CBD con­cen­tra­tion of the oil?

RT: This de­pends on the mar­i­juana strain, but us­ing the C02 ex­trac­tion process, the con­cen­tra­tion of oil can range from 50 to 80 per cent.

WE: What are some of the most com­mon ail­ments for which pa­tients are us­ing both the CBD and THC oil?

RT: Pri­mar­ily pain man­age­ment, and they can ei­ther vape it or use the sub­lin­gual drops.

WE: Many in­dus­try an­a­lysts con­sider ganja oil the fu­ture of the in­dus­try, ex­plain why this is.

RT: It is much eas­ier to mea­sure and ac­cu­rately dose when us­ing oil. It also has a longer shelf life, and when you do full spec­trum ex­trac­tion, like we do, you get the full com­ple­ment of cannabi­noids and ter­penes, which has been proven to be more ef­fec­tive than iso­lated ex­trac­tion in treat­ing ail­ments.

WE: What are some of the prod­uct in­no­va­tions Epi­can is work­ing on with its oil?

RT: We are al­ways ex­per­i­ment­ing with new ways to im­prove the fin­ished prod­uct. In the fu­ture, we are go­ing to be de­vel­op­ing oil that has a higher po­tency and a more ro­bust flavour as well as of­fer­ing more va­ri­ety of de­liv­ery meth­ods.

Ex­trac­tion tech­ni­cian at Epi­can Ra­jiv Thomp­son holds a batch of freshly ex­tracted cannabis oil.

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