The Extraction Issue
Extracts are quietly taking over the cannabis industry. While flower remains the top-selling product category at retail, products made from extracts — including edibles, vapes, concentrates and topicals — now account for almost 60% of legal cannabis sales in the United States. It’s a sector of the market that is only getting bigger, particularly as the scientific understanding of cannabis and extraction grows.
From the various methods of extraction and refinement to the latest innovations in products, Marijuana Venture takes an in-depth look at the market trends, best practices, equipment manufacturers, leading minds and scientific process of extraction.
In the highly competitive Washington market, it takes a lot to stand out and even more to garner any significant brand loyalty. Leafwerx aims to do both with its Full Spec brand, a full line of terpene-rich concentrates that represent one of the hottest trends in cannabis today.
“We feel like this is the technological edge of cannabis, just with everything that went into it,” says Marcus Naramore, the company’s director of business development. “The product experience is really kind of paradigm-shifting for a cartridge. I know it’s a bit hyperbolic, but it really is.”
Claim to Fame: Live resin is one of the fastest growing product categories in the industry, but Naramore says one of the drawbacks is that they tend to be expensive. Full Spec took an affordable approach designed to reach a broader audience.
“We believe live resin customers are in Washington, even if they don’t know it yet,” Naramore says. “By giving it to them at a really accessible price, we feel like we’re exposing this great new experience to a wide range of customers.”
Methodology: Full Spec is emblematic of not just a shift in consumer preferences as more people embrace the complexity of products beyond their THC levels, but also a shift for its parent company, Leafwerx, which had traditionally used CO2 extraction, before investing in a hydrocarbon system in 2019.
And the extraction method was just one piece of the transition to create Full Spec. Because live resin has to be frozen from the moment the plant is harvested to the time it’s extracted, the company had to install a large-scale refrigeration unit at its facility. And while many large-scale processors buy plant material from third-party farms, Full Spec is a single-source product, meaning everything that goes into the extraction machine is grown on the Leafwerx farm, so genetics are selected not just for yield, but for their terpene profiles and percentages.
Philosophy: “We think about this extraction from the time we’re putting plants in the ground.”