This class is a one day, hand-on laboratory class with a little advanced lecture to tie it all together. The class is an introduction to liquid/liquid partitions, fractional distillation, chromatography and recrystallizations. We cover basic separation technologies and go into detail about the chemistry of separations and the different ways we can separate cannabis products during processing. Significant time is spent discussing short-path distillation conditions and strategies, particularly as a clean-up method for other downstream processes.
We start out in the laboratory with a CBD recrystallization excercise because it takes the longest. We then go into the classroom for a refresher on the concept of polarity and the impact upon extraction and separation decisions. Following lecture we perform several liquid-liquid partition experiments where we make the worlds simplest, and possibly safest, hash oil. We then do multiple small-scale chromatography experiments with alumina to drive home the concepts of strong and weak solvents. We finish up with a review of rotary evaporation and the similarities to short path distillation. Short-path distillation can take hours, so we cover the basics, including operating conditions and pitfalls, of short-path distillation and compare it to a hands-on flashing over that can happen in a rotary evaporator.