Residual solvents are the chemicals that are left over from the manufacturing process of cannabis concentrates. Depending on the process, varying amounts can remain and impact the quality of the end product. These solvents include familiar household products like rubbing alcohol (iso-alcohol/2-propanol) to less familiar ones like heptane. Obviously, less solvent and more cannabis is better.
Cannabis concentrates require skill to produce.
Due to the regulatory restrictions and a lack of commercial producers, smaller operations have become very resourceful in producing concentrates such as butane hash oil (BHO), crumbles, waxes, etc. The downside to this is that not all “dabs” are of the same quality.
As an example in spite of common opinion, butane is very well-suited to producing high purity hash oil, but will contaminate the final product if not properly purged. Other solvents can be even more difficult to remove or produce a less desirable concentrate. Testing lets you know what you’re consuming besides medicine. Even commercial pharmaceutical operations have this need.
We test for the following solvents by headspace GC-FID:
- Ethyl Acetate
- Diethyl Ether
- Isopropyl Alcohol