Frequently Asked Questions

Extraction Technology

What are the benefits if using Carbon Dioxide 「CO2」 as a solvent?

When it comes to solvent extraction, carbon dioxide is so far the cleanest, safest and effective solvent to be used in the botanical extraction industry. First of all, at supercritical phase, the solubility of CO2 can be controlled to certain range so it can dissolve desired components from the plant, which later becomes a toxic and solvent-free end product. Such healthier and purer end products are favored by the consumers since the consumer marketer is leaning towards high living quality. Secondly, CO2 is a natural component of air and therefore environmentally friendly. CO2 extraction is safer to operate indoor and require much less paperwork and compliance inspection since CO2 is neither volatile nor flammable. Last but not least, major cosmetic companies and nutraceutical industries are using CO2 extraction as an effective marketing tool to promote their end product due to its benefits in producing safe and healthy end products.

How to prepare the mateiral for extraction?

Material preparation is simple for CO2 extraction. Major steps are drying, grinding and packing. Depends on the purpose of your end products, drying procedure can varies. For more detailed drying guide, please refer to The Ultimate Cannabis Drying Guide for Extraction. When drying is done, simply use a grinder or botanical milling machine to grind the plant to certain particle size. HumBay recommend to 0.18mm sieve for major cannabis strains. If you need help with finding a handy grinder/milling machine, please refer to HumBay Drying Machine. When the plants are grind down to particles size of 0.18mm, collect the materials and pour them into the extraction vessel. Pack evenly to avoid any channeling and please do not squeeze the material during packing as that might decrease the extraction efficiency.

Do I need GMP certification and what do I need to know?

It is very important for extraction facility to acquire a GMP certification in order to demonstrate the professionalism as well as to qualify for entering bigger markets. Food GMP Compliance and Pharmaceutical GMP Compliance are the two major GMP Compliance standards that followed by majority of extraction operations. Facility and equipment construction are as important during the certification. Currently there is no clear guideline for GMP compliance in the cannabis industry since FDA is a federal agency. To prepare for GMP certification in the future, customer can check the following GMP guidance for food processing. HumBay has the capability and experience of manufacturing GMP compliant equipment to fit customer requirement. However, please check with your local authority having jurisdiction to learn the local requirement of GMP certification since the level of separation required in the facility is highly dependent on the location and personnel that is going to perform the certification.

Is HumBay CO2 extraction system capable to perform fractional extraction?

Yes, HumBay CO2 extraction system is capable to perform both subcritical and supercritical extraction. The key concept behind fractional extraction is the controllable solubility of CO2 molecule during extraction process under different combination of pressure and temperature. Selective extraction can be performed to extract light molecules such as terpenes and other volatile components in subcritical setting, while the heavier molecules such as cannabinoids can be extracted through supercritical extraction settings. All these can be done within one machine.

Does your system pump gas phase or liquid phase CO2?

Majority of HumBay extraction system pump gas phase CO2 in order to achieve better separation result at lower temperature. Expose to high temperature will not only cause the loss of volatiles like terpenes but also cause thermal degradation of the organic components. Liquid pump is more ideal for high pressure operation and HumBay has the capability to manufacture and delivery dual-phase pumping system that works for our high pressure systems, which maximum pressure load rating at 70 Mpa or 10,000 Psi.

What is the difference between supercritical and subcritical CO2 extraction?

CO2 is a unique molecule that reveals a wide range of physical properties across multiple phases under different temperature and pressure. At temperature higher than 31.1 °C (87.98°F) with pressure greater than 7.4 MPa (1073.28 psi), CO2 will enter the supercritical phase, which it would have the physical properties of both liquid and gas. When the temperature is dropped below 31.1 °C (87.98°F), CO2 switches to liquid phase and thus referred as subcritical. Supercritical CO2 is a very powerful solvent that produce high yielding in short amount of time. In contrast, subcritical CO2 is relatively weaker solvent and it is ideal for producing lighter weight molecule such as terpenes, but it will require more time to process.

Do you have automated system?

Yes, HumBay offers a wide range of systems depends on customer need and financial standing. Manual system requires certain level of understanding towards the system and theory behind it, and it is cheaper and more interactive. In comparison, automated system is easy to operate and very consistent in production regardless who the operator is, and it is relatively more expensive than the manual system. Contact us today to find out the price difference.

What safety control do you have on your system?

All of our systems are using UL 508A listed control system. All systems are equipped with two sets of safety control, electrical and mechanical to ensure your safety is well protected. The electrical fusing mechanism checks the system pressure continuously during operation, when the operating pressure is higher than the pressure limit preset by operator, the fusing mechanism will activate and stop the power supply of the pump. In an extreme condition when electrical fuse is not working properly, the mechanical safe valve will be activated and release the CO2 which lead to pressure drop in the system. Thus, no damage to the system nor operating personnel. HumBay always put safety as the first priority.

Distillation Technology

What can I achieve with distillation?

Extraction can only dissolve out compounds from the plant regardless composition contents. Extraction method such as CO2 extraction can perform supercritical and subcritical to differentiate lighter molecules from heavier molecules, but so far that’s the limit. If you need purer and isolated materials, distillation is the solution. Distillation in general is a separation technology that utilize the principle of difference in material boiling points. In conclusion, distillation is the solution if you want to increase the purity of extracted materials.  

What are the differences between extraction and distillation?

Extraction dissolves out majority of the components such as cannabinoids, terpenoids, flavonoids, plant wax and many others. To separate desired result components from the extracts, distillation needs to be performed. After distillation, highly pure and isolated distillate can be obtained.

Does molecular distillation require addition of solvents?

Not necessarily, even though some people are adding solvent to “thinning” the extract because they want flow faster smoother, we typically do not recommend that route. Cannabis extracts are viscous and thick by natural; however, it still maintains some degree of flow characteristics especially when precisely controlled heat is adding. When cannabis extract is warm, it flows no problem. Therefore, we do not recommend to use any thinning agents to complicate the process which could also bring possible contaminations.

What is the difference between the Molecular distillation, short path distillation, and wiped film distillation?

To get a thorough understanding, please refer to our post “The definitive guide to cannabis distillation”.

In short, we simplified the answer as following:

  1. Molecular distillation and short-path distillation is the same thing, both utilize the principle of pressure(vacuum), heat , evaporation and condensation to separate material with different thermodynamic properties, typically boiling point in this case for cannabis plant materials.
  2. Short Path is generally referring to the distance between the condensate of lower boiling point material and higher boiling point components when they evaporate and get separated in the separation column. The distance needs to be controlled precisely in order to perform distillation process. Since the distance is often very close, it got called short path distillation. Wipe film distillation is one kind of short path distillation with improved efficiency contributed by the “wiping blade”.
  3. Molecular stills/columns are not fractional stills. Fractional still equipment utilize a different mechanism to complete material separation. Common fractional still are spinning band distillation and packed column distillation. Fractional stills forces vapors to go thru the fractional column and pass thru a couple of “theoretical plates” for material separation. HumBay also manufactures fractional still if you are interested. However, we high recommend to perform molecular distillation for cannabis plant materials.
How is the distillation carried out?

In the wiped film/thin film distillation systems, there are normally two and more passes. The first pass is to remove residual mixture of air, gas, water, solvents and lighter molecules like terpenes remain in the crude. Next the second pass is performed under greater vacuum and temperature to separate cannabinoids from heavier residues like chlorophyll, plant waxes, sugars, pesticides and many other unwanted subjects. Two and more passes are necessary to ensure better separation between desired end products and unwanted matters.

Does distillation process requires high vacuum level and high capacity vacuum pump?

It is not necessary to have a ultra-high vacuum level during distillation process because the thermodynamic properties of cannabinoids physically do not require high vacuum level to be separated. Lots of the distillation system on the market claims that their distillation process is performed at a higher vacuum level and therefore differentiate their products as better equipment. Actually, it all depends on where the vacuum sensor is placed. A sensor placed near the inlet of vacuum pump will obviously display a higher number compare to the ones like HumBay TruDistillate MDS system which is placed near the column body. Sensor placed closer to the actual reaction process will produce a more accurate reading about the proces. Typical separation happens when the column body pressure is around 13 ~ 30 Pa at temperature from 130 ~ 180 °C.

If I am going to do crystallization or chromatography, can I skip distillation process?

Distillation is a must have process before isolation and crystallization. The heavier components in the crude such as chlorophyll, water, waxes is going to contaminate the isolation process or foul the chromatography system. Either way is really bad for the final products and increase the processing duration.

Why my hemp is less than 0.3% THC level but my distillate has more than 0.3% detected after distillation process?

Distillation is a process of purification, which means it will eliminate the impurities and unwanted residues in the mixture. When distillating for greater concentration of CBD content, the THC content in the mixture is actually concentrated as well. Therefore, it is often seen that plant materials with less than 0.3% THC can resulted in a 10% THC concentration distillate. In such case, remediation is required if you want to lower the amount of THC concentrate in your distillate.

Can I use the same procedure to processing my cannabis materials and hemp materials?

Yes, technically you could. Distillation is all about removing the impurities from the crude oil. However, still be aware of your composition of starting feed materials and the goal of distillate you want to achieve. Other than that, if the crude is extracted from stems and whole plants, not just buds and trim, the plant wax content in the crude might be higher than the normal crude extracted from buds and trim. In such case, winterization is highly recommended before distillation. Otherwise, operator probably would encounter clogging quite often, which requires the effort to maintain and clean.

Does quality of the crude extract matter?

Definitely. Distillation is simply a purification process, which means it could not compensate the compositional defects that was caused by:

  1. poor growing/harvesting technique
  2. bad extraction
  3. insufficient winterization
  4. post extraction treatment mistakes
Will distillation induce thermal degradation?

Thermal degradation during distillation process is actually a myth that many people perceived wrong. Even though decarboxylation might be involved if the material is not decarbed thoroughly, no evidence has shown that distillation will induce thermal degradation to cannabinoids.

Why my hemp is less than 0.3% THC level but my distillate has more than 0.3% detected after distillation process?

Distillation is a process of purification, which means it will eliminate the impurities and unwanted residues in the mixture. When distillating for greater concentration of CBD content, the THC content in the mixture is actually concentrated as well. Therefore, it is often seen that plant materials with less than 0.3% THC can resulted in a 10% THC concentration distillate. In such case, remediation is required if you want to lower the amount of THC concentrate in your distillate.

Equipment Related

How do I know if HumBay Equipment will extract from the herb I want to use?

Our lab services department will work with you to develop proof of concept of your unique idea. Basically, we can help you develop the process for your botanical based on your final product goals.

Please note that HumBay Technology only works with legal substances and the statements provided herein are provided for general purposes and for companies extracting botanical products within the laws in effect in the jurisdictions where the company resides.

How will I learn to use my extraction equipment once I have decided which one to purchase?

HumBay makes it simple for you. Upon scheduled delivery of your equipment, HumBay will make an appointment with you to do on-site installation and operation training. Our technician and representatives will come over to your facility for three days and give you a hands on operation trainning. A standard operation procedure of the system and user manual will be handed over to you during the on-site training.

What kind of routine maintenance do supercritical systems require?

Our systems can run continuously with little maintenance. The materials which run through the vessel are soluble, so almost no cleaning is required. For example, when using the system to extract new materials, the only maintenance required is to run the system while it is empty in order to clean it out. If you need to be certain there are no residuals, you flush the system with ethanol. The minimal maintenance required consists of cleaning the filter behind the pump, testing the relief valves, monitoring compressor oil levels, and occasionally replacing gaskets and O-rings. To keep you and your business consistently running, routine maintenance will be taught during your training, and you can also purchase our maintenance packages to have our technician to do their due diligence for you.

What’s the ideal environment to operate the system?

HumBay technology system has been examine to perform well in multiple regions including hot deserts and icy lands. Let us know your special operation environment and we will provide the technical adjustment on the system to better fit your operation requirements.

What types of customers do you serve?

Customers who value cost-efficiency and build quality will align with HumBay’s progression. Our manufacturing and design capability enable us to serve customer size from small to big enterprise scale. We have the capability to fulfill our orders. HumBay is always here to help and want to be your long term partner and friend.  

Do you offer size of the extraction and post-processing equipment other than the ones shown on the website?

Yes, HumBay technology offers customize design, R&D, customer service and manufacturing services. Contact us today and let us know what exactly that you are looking for and we will make it happen!

Is there a way to keep tracking of extraction run?

Yes, all HumBay extraction systems are equipped with data logging function. Customer can view and download extraction data from the system.

How long does it take to deliver the product I ordered?

Depends on what exact equipment or accessories you have ordered. If you ordered a customized system, normally the manufacturing lead time will be around three months and plus one and half month freight time. If you are ordering some glasswares for replacement and we have that in stock, we will ship it to you the the same day if order is placed before 3pm that day. 

What potency level of THC/CBD distillate can I expect from HumBay distillation equipment?

It all depends on the distillation method, crude quality, crude composition and other factors prior to the distillation process such as extraction process and post-extraction handling. It is often seen that extracted plant material prior to distillation in a range of 55-70% total cannabinoids. From here, distillation can further purity the distillate to a range of 85-97%+ total cannabinoids depend on the operational parameters. Higher percentage of purity will increase the potency of the end product as well as the clarity in general.

What’s the advantages of Wiped Film Molecular Distillation system?
  1. Wipe film operates continously. Operator can feed mateiral continously without pulling off the feeding unit and restart the machine and achieve high quality and consistent output.
  2. Wiped film is easy to scale. Majority parts of the wiped film distillation are interchangeable for upgrade.
  3. Wiped film distillation method provides less thermal degradation and greater product purity and yield since the heat exposure time is short while wiped film activity increase the overall processing efficiency and the turbulence creates a mixing effects to better separate the mixture vapor.

High quality distillation system like the ones in HumBay TruDistill series provides a great customer experience because our equipment is carefully design and thorougly examined.

Does the operator needs deep technical background in order to operate TruDistill equipment?

Not really. Once the equipment is delivered and installed properly, you can follow our User Manual step by step to tune up your equipment. Any questions raised during set-up process, you can call us or shoot us an email anytime. However, it is key to understand your feed material composition and the goal of your final products before doing distillation.

Does your distillation only works well with the extracted materials from your extraction system?

No, distillation is a process to further separate and purify components in the feed materials, and it has nothing to do with the extraction method performed before. The feed material composition is very essential and needs to be understand thoroughly before distillation. However, keep in mind that any processes that before distillation process will impact the feed material quality. Distillation process can only improve the purity of what’s existed in the extract.

Is there anything special about HumBay MDS system?

HumBay MDS system uses the wiper that are diagonally slotted instead of normal rollers. These slots creates better thin film turbulence that propel the materials in both centrifugal and downward directions around the inner cylindrical surface, which greatly improve the distillation efficiency and result in shorter and controllable residence time.

Do you have automatic distillation control system?

Yes, HumBay have automated solution for majority of our distillation set-ups. Contact us today to learn more about the automated solution. Additionally, if automated system is out of your price range, manual system is available at a more affordable price. Manual system requires more operational attention. Don’t worry, we will provide training and SOP manual.

Does HumBay manufacture its own glassware?

Yes, all glassware is made in-house by crafty glassblowing master with more than 20 years of experience. All glassware will undergo multi-stage processes and heat treatment before entering quality assurance stage to ensure best quality.

Can your distillation system collect terpene?

Yes. Terpene is a highly volatile components that will be collected on the first pass of the distillation process. It can be later refined and collected to use in synthesize end products.

About HumBay

How does HumBay Technology customer service compare to its competitors?

With over 25 years of experience in the extraction and separation technologies, HumBay technology has built the most efficient, the most reliable and safest extraction system on the market. We take pride in what we do. HumBay has been dedicated in providing the most comprehensive service in the extraction industry globally. Our integrated service starts from consultation and all the way to post-installation troubleshooting. HumBay is always aiming to provide the best user experience and service to our customers and it will stay the same going forward. Our flexible and dedicated supply chain is always ready to at your service. All of our systems come with 3-year warranty.  

Is your system the most efficient on the market?

When it comes to extraction rate and efficiency, several factors need to be consider in order to figure out the extraction efficiency. Extraction efficiency is highly correlated with pressure, temperature, solvent flow rate, extraction run time and material preparation. Even decarboxylation plays a big role in determining extraction rate and efficiency as decarboxylated material are easier and faster to be extracted.

Do you take custom order?

Absolutely. We understand that each customer is different. HumBay technology is highly specialized in building custom equipment that fit customers’ specific needs. Contact us today and we will coordinate the design and R&D team to work out the best solution to fit your requirements.

I want to extract a wide range of Botanicals. Can you help me figure out my process?

Definitely. HumBay Technology would love to hear your need and give you the best technical solution that is tailor fit to your business model. We value your satisfaction and want to be your long term partner.

What does HumBay Technology Specialize in?

HumBay Technology has been top-tier extraction and processing equipment supplier and extraction solution provider to major Traditional Chinese Medicine companies and  nutraceutical companies globally. Our technical team has over 30 years of experience in extraction and separation technology as well as manufacturing.

What will Delta want to know about my company during the discovery process?

HumBay Technology has been top-tier extraction and processing equipment supplier and extraction solution provider to major Traditional Chinese Medicine companies and  nutraceutical companies globally. Our technical team has over 30 years of experience in extraction and separation technology as well as manufacturing.

What do I need to provide about my company during the discovery process?

Feel free to give us a call and see if our solution are the right fit for you. Normally we would like to know about the followings:

  1. What is your anticipated daily processing amount?
  2. Do you have technical background regarding the extraction technology
  3. What is your current business status?
  4. Are you in a compliant facility?
  5. Do you need any certifications on your equipment?
  6. How are you going to do your post-extraction processing?
  7. Do you need lab-grade freezer and storage tank?
  8. How are you funding your facility?
  9. What is the facility’s permitting status?
  10. What is your product strategy?
  11. What end products do you want to produce?
Where are you based at and where are my products being manufactured at ?

HumBay head quarter locates in the eastern silicon valley, the city of Shenzhen, China. We have multiple manufacturing facilities in China in multiple locations. Your products will be carefully manufactured and quality controlled in house according to the specifications and requirements stated in the Sales & Purchase Agreement. We will make sure that all equipment are up to standard and we are proud of what we are doing!

How is training and installation handled?

Training is going to be held in our demo room in Medford, Oregon. Each training session is private with no surcharges. Customer will receive an instruction video and user manual which clearly points out the process of equipment installation and operation. Additionally, customers are always welcomed to send us emails or video conference call by appointment.

What other equipment does HumBay offer?

HumBay provides fully integrated cannabis processing solutions to customers. Our TruDistill series equipment is just one category of the family of HumBay Equipment. HumBay takes one step ahead and helped customer to figure out the entire process from Plant to final products. Please check out our equipment page or contact us for the latest updates on our equipment and news.

Do you have automated system?

Yes, HumBay offers all distillation systems in both manual and automatic control version. Automated system costs a big more but is definitely going to be more user-friendly and require less attention during operation.

Financial & Transaction

What is included in the cost?

Each quote includes the cost of equipment as listed on your quote document, complimentary 3-day on-site installation and delivery, three year warranty, and remote technical support by appointment. Additional options such as maintenance packages and additional on-site training on top of the complementary three-day training will be charged for a nominal cost.

How is my tax being calculated?

Tax is calculated based on the location where the product is finally shipped. 

What payment methods do you accept?

For parts and accessories, we can accept Visa, Master, Paypal, Money Order, and Tele-transfer.

For equipment that has a value over USD50,000, please contact us for detail. 

What is the cost of shipping?

To answer this question, we will need to know exactly where you are shipping. We offer a flat rate of $3,500 Delivery and Installation Service. If you would like to arrange the transportation on your own that will be totally up to you. However, the liability of product will transfer to you at the instant moment we hand over the equipment to your designated delivery service and this term will reflect on the Sales and Purchase Contract. 

If you are ordering supplemental parts and accessories, we will give you a quote and proforma base on the products you want to order. We will provide at least two logistics solution, standard and expedited, and we will notify you both and let you choose which one you want to go with. 

Be noted, parts and accessories are eligible for in-store pick up.

Did not find the answer of your questions above?

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