What Is Emulsification and How Is It Used in Cannabis Production?

Posted by Deb Shechter on Aug 26, 2020 9:15:00 AM

Bee International helps cannabis producers with emulsification to create a superior productThe legal cannabis industry is a multibillion dollar enterprise that rests largely on the quality of the cannabis plant’s active components. Called cannabinoids, these chemical compounds — when effectively harvested and processed — are capable of bonding with receptors in our bodies and have the potential to produce anti-inflammatory, analgesic, euphoric and/or calming effects. Indeed, cannabinoids have been used by humans, both clinically and recreationally, for thousands of years, suggesting they are safe to consume with many beneficial properties.

But just because humans have a history of safely using cannabis products, it doesn’t mean that all cannabis products are created equal. Changes to federal and state laws have decriminalized cannabis use and relaxed criminal mandates in many areas of the country, allowing more and more players to enter the CBD and cannabis market. The result: a plethora of products but few standards. Yes, most states regulate the manufacture of cannabis products, but many lack even minimum requirements for potency, safety and/or testing; consumers are simply at the mercy of manufacturers, hoping they actually get what they pay for.

To better guarantee the quality and effectiveness of their products, reputable manufacturers work to create their own production processes that both sustain and maximize cannabinoid stability and bioavailability and deliver reliable results — in this case, medicines and products that are capable of provoking specific physiological effect(s) — each and every time. They do that by emulsifying the cannabis during production. Here’s how it works:

What Is Emulsification?

Emulsification is the mixing together of two or more substances that wouldn’t normally be able to combine. A chef vigorously whisking oil into vinegar to make a dressing is an example momentarily of a mix, but within seconds separation occurs. Emulsification adds an emulsifying agent, something that successfully binds the oil and water phase together without separation.

Cannabis manufacturers also use emulsification to ensure that the cannabinoids they extract from cannabis plants are able to be incorporated into viable products — drinks, creams, edibles and more that taste, look and/or smell good and that deliver the same results with each production run. The stability of these products, part of which is determined by the length of time the components do not separate, extends shelf life and expiration date.

How Are Homogenizers Used in Cannabis Production?

The process starts with the harvesting of the cannabis plant. From there, a manufacturer must extract the cannabinoids, basically a sticky syrup that is then refined, purified and distilled (or separated) from compounds that aren’t needed, such as terpenes, flavonoids and other contaminants. It is this resulting substance — an oily, bitter isolate that naturally repels water — that necessitates the emulsification process. At this point, the cannabinoid isolate is exposed to mixing equipment that uses one or more forces to break apart the chemical bonds of the cannabinoids and reduce the size of their particles.

Homogenization is the ideal mixing method. It is an in-line process, which means that all particles undergo the same mixing forces and there is less variation in the results. This eliminates “hot spots “in the end product. Homogenization is also an efficient mixing process, which means less time to produce a better effect.

Why BEE International Homogenizers Are the Best at Emulsifying

Typical emulsifiers use only one type of force, but a BEE International homogenizer uses multiple forces (turbulence, cavitation, shear and impact) to break apart and reduce particles. This creates smaller particles, maximizing the surface area of the cannabinoids.

BEE International homogenizers are versatile, with the ability to deliver a gentle mix to the most intense mixing process with up to 45,000 PSI. The intensity breaks product particles into the smallest size, down to nanometers. Smaller particles make it easier for their particles to completely mix, stay mixed with the aid of an emulsifier and deliver a product that is shelf stable and ready to be used. Smaller particles also increase potency and bioavailability up to 75%.

Only BEE International homogenizers have an option to eliminate the need for pre-mixing. This increases the efficiency and ease of the manufacturing process with less equipment and fewer manufacturing phases.

To learn more about the benefits of our patented Emulsifying Cell (EC) technology, as well as our proprietary systems, please contact us. We can help you choose equipment that guarantees safe and effective products, enabling you to stand superior to the competition and offer the most benefits to consumers.

 

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