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Challenges in Cannabis Oil Filtration – Media Bros to the Rescue

Challenges in Cannabis Oil Filtration – Media Bros to the Rescue

Cannabis oil filtration removes unwanted compounds, such as chlorophyll, lipids, waxes, fats, and other impurities, to improve the oil’s aroma, taste, and appearance. However, using traditional filter media and hardware can come with several challenges, from equipment clogs to labor-intensive prep. We show you a new and better way to filter cannabis coil.

Not All Filter Media Is Created Equal

Activated carbon granules

Cannabis extraction has come a long way from dangerous and inefficient open-blasting methods that increase the risk of fires and explosions to modern, automated systems that remove technicians from the extraction room and out of harm’s way.

Regarding cannabis oil filtration, cutting-edge hardware and innovative filter media can turn the lowest-quality trim into liquid gold by removing non-target compounds with a negligible effect on yield. The result is a clearer and better quality oil. Plain and simple.

However, not all filter media is created equal. Some filter types can actually be more trouble than they’re worth. In addition, plenty can go wrong due to equipment malfunctions and human error, costing you time and money.

Filter media for cannabis oil filtration is available as a powder, bead, or other adsorbent forms, ideally featuring a high porosity and surface area. And you don’t have to use just one. Using various filter media types can amplify the purification effect.

Common types of filter media used in THC and CBD oil filtration include:

  • Activated carbon
  • Activated alumina
  • Activated bentonite clay
  • Activated magnesium silicate
  • Activated bleaching earth
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Silica gel
  • Degumming enzyme

Each type of filter media has unique properties, making it good for some things but not as good for others. Finding the right one for your THC or CBD oil extraction process works wonders for your oil's look, flavor, and aroma.

Common challenges in cannabis oil filtration include using traditional, loose powders, which can clog machines or require time-intensive baking beforehand. And those are just a couple of the many issues processors face when dealing with the filtration stage.

Here at Media Bros, we set out to produce the most efficient filter media that overcome these common challenges in crude extract filtration, helping processors get the most out of their oil using granular media instead of powders. Granular filtration technology is a game-changer.

Messy

In an extraction lab, organization and cleanliness are some of the most important factors in creating clean and clear cannabis oil. When you’re using powdered filter media, the loading and unloading process can cause fine particles of powder to disperse throughout the lab.

All that powder gets on surfaces such as sensitive and high-tech equipment, requiring additional person-hours to clean up instead of keeping the filtration process going. Working with powders can lower your throughput and efficiency.

Labor and Time-Intensive Prep

One drawback of traditional filter media is the need to bake it before use because powdered media is absorbent. So, removing excess moisture from it is a necessity for maximum filtration efficiency.

Baking the filter media only adds an extra step to the complex process and adds to the logistics bottlenecks that can add up over time in labor, time, and money lost. Media Bros’ filter media does not require extensive prep. You just scoop, fill, and filter. It’s that easy.

Slow and Inefficient Filtration

High flow rates enable processors to quickly and efficiently saturate the filter media with the crude oil. Giving the oil the right contact time with the media allows the stationary phase to hold onto the unwanted pigments more efficiently.

Processors that use bentonite clays, diatomaceous earth, silica, or similar media usually use high pressures to push the oil through the media and into the recovery vessel.

With Media Bros, you don’t need to run high pressures used with powders. Granular media allows solvent and oil to flow easily through the media (2-3 PSI). Low PSI means lower risk and a more efficient filtration process.

High Cannabinoid Loss

Closeup of cannabis trichomes

Some degree of cannabinoid loss is expected in return for higher product quality, but some filter media can actually go too far and remove too many of the plant’s active compounds, reducing yield and overall potency. You don’t want to sacrifice color and clarity for yield.

For example, some processors have experienced cannabinoid retention and isomerization when removing color using activated carbon. Cannabinoid loss is believed to be caused by leftover oil in the equipment or filter media after a filtration run.

Media Bros’ innovative filter media offers a balanced approach that’s not overly aggressive on pigments to the point it affects the yield but is strong enough to clarify the oil and retain nearly all of its cannabinoids.

Clogging

Granular filter media by Media Bros does not create the blockages experienced with traditional powder media. Our media does not build any back pressure, allowing you to run your process as you usually do without significant changes.

With other media, you have to pre-wet it first by running some clean solvent, so there’s no chance of clogging. Channeling is only a problem with Media Bros if you’re running high pressures; otherwise, it won’t channel

Limited System Compatibility

Some old-school filter media require high-pressure systems to remove the non-target compounds efficiently. One of the benefits of granular media is that it has good flow, allowing you to use different filtration systems, such as Buchner funnel filtration, with or without a vacuum.

Lack of Vendor Support

Many filter media vendors are notoriously hard to reach when you’re troubleshooting an issue or just need some clarification. Waiting hours, weeks, or days for help from a vendor isn’t an option. You need timely help to keep the filtration processes running.

We’re proud to be one of the only filter media companies available by phone. If you have a question about using the proprietary filter media, you can ring us up and work through your issue with one of our guys. You can also shoot us an email if you prefer.

Altered Flavor

Man smoking vape

Color remediation has received criticism from consumers for many reasons, including the unappetizing taste it can produce in many extracts. We’ve heard people complain about extracts made with color remediation tasting like plastic.

Traditional powder media can be too aggressive and strip too many active compounds, including terpenes, making many CRC-derived extracts taste the same. In comparison, Media Bros offers a more targeted approach for removing color pigments.

Media Bros is the least aggressive filter media option focusing only on color remediation, thereby preserving the strain’s unique flavors and aromas. The lighter terpene compounds can pass through the adsorbent media without getting stuck.

Health and Safety Risks

Dry filter media forms require personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect against inhalation and harmful exposure to the powder. PPE includes safety glasses, lab clothing, respiratory masks, and protective glasses.

With Media Bros’ granular filter media, the media is not a powder, ensuring extraction technicians do not inhale dust. Although our filter media is comparatively safer than most, we recommend using the PPE listed in the safety data sheet (SDS).

Hard to Handle

Dry and loose powder, such as the ones used in activated carbon filtration, can be more difficult to handle because of the additional PPE requirements and techniques for loading and unloading the powder. Preventing dust from escaping throughout the facility is critical.

Media Bros’ granular form is much easier to handle. It only requires a scooper and a scale to get the job done. No risk of releasing powder onto the equipment, potentially causing malfunctions down the line. This granular form significantly reduces the risk of operator error.

Leaching

Low-quality filter media can leach fine particles into the cannabis oil, requiring additional filtration. With high-quality filter media, there is no risk of leaching the material into the extract or extensive loss of the filter media.

Shop Media Bros’ Granular Filter Media

Our granular filter media overcomes the common challenges faced by traditional powders. What does this mean for you? Faster flow rates, no clogging, and increased filtration efficiency.

Media Bros’ line of filter media boosts your extraction process, creating a better product.

Are you interested in learning more about our products? Contact us at (503) 308-7138 or info@mediabros.store. We offer free samples minus the shipping costs to elevate your cannabis products.

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