Novel Solventless Extraction Technique to Preserve Cannabinoid and Terpenoid Profiles of Fresh Cannabis Inflorescence

Molecules. 2021 Sep 10;26(18):5496. doi: 10.3390/molecules26185496.


Despite its use by humans for thousands of years, the technology of cannabis usage and extraction is still evolving. Given that the primary pharmacological compounds of interest are cannabinoid and terpenoids found in greatest abundance in capitate glandular trichomes of unfertilized female inflorescences, it is surprising that older techniques of hashish making have received less technological advancement. The purpose of this study was to employ organically grown cannabis and to isolate pure trichomes from freshly picked flowers via exposure to vapor from solid CO2, commonly known as "dry ice", followed by their isolation via sifting through a 150 µ screens while maintaining the cold chain. Biochemical analysis was undertaken on fresh flower, frozen-sifted flower by-products, treated trichomes (Kryo-Kief™), dried flower, dried sifted flower by-product and dried kief. The dry ice process successfully concentrated cannabinoid content as high as 60.7%, with corresponding concentration and preservation of monoterpenoids encountered in fresh flower that are usually lost during the conventional cannabis drying and curing process. The resulting dried sifted flower by-product after dry ice processing remains a usable commodity. This approach may be of interest to pharmaceutical companies and supplement producers pursuing cannabis-based medicine development with an eye toward full synergy of ingredients harnessing the entourage effect.

Keywords: botanical medicine; cannabinoid; cannabis; essential oil; extraction; hashish; hemp; pharmaceutical; terpene; terpenoid.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabis*
  • Flowers
  • Inflorescence
  • Terpenes*


  • Cannabinoids
  • Terpenes