Terpene Extraction Methods: A Comprehensive Guide to Unlocking Nature’s Aromatic Wonders


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on terpene extraction methods! If you’re passionate about delving into the fascinating world of terpenes and unlocking their aromatic wonders, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore various terpene extraction techniques and shed light on the benefits and applications of each method.

The Essence of Terpenes

Before diving into the extraction methods, let’s briefly understand what terpenes are. Terpenes are organic compounds found in plants, responsible for their distinct aromas and flavors. From pine forests to citrus orchards, terpenes create an array of scents that captivate our senses. However, terpenes have gained recognition beyond their olfactory delights, with many industries harnessing their potential in products such as cosmetics, food, and even therapeutic applications.

Traditional Extraction Methods

Innovation in the extraction and processing segment is often driven by organizations looking for a competitive edge or ways to reduce operating and production costs. 2021 was the year tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) isomers surfaced on the mainstream hemp market. 2022 was the year of THC isomer regulations, oversupply of hemp and cannabis biomass, and the solventless sweep (Friesen 2023)

Steam Distillation: Steam distillation is a time-tested method used to extract terpenes from plant material. It involves passing steam through the botanicals, capturing volatile compounds, and then condensing the steam to obtain an aromatic oil. This technique is widely used for essential oil production.

Solvent Extraction: Solvent extraction involves using a solvent, such as ethanol or butane, to dissolve terpenes from the plant material. After the solvent absorbs the desired compounds, it is evaporated, leaving behind a concentrated terpene extract. This method is popular due to its efficiency, but proper safety precautions should always be followed.

PURE5TM Extraction is introducing the state of art unique process of Pure Botanical Extraction (PBXTM) that creates pure terpene-rich oils called Hash ResinTM. The so-called Hash ResinTM is rich in terpenes and cannabinoids extracted in its natural state. The extracts maintain a high strain-specific terpene profile native to the original strain. Terpenes are extracted utilizing a gentle and non-destructive botanical extraction process that concentrates them and, if needed, suspends them in other natural oils from plants (Stantchev 2023)

Modern Extraction Techniques

Supercritical CO2 Extraction: Supercritical CO2 extraction employs carbon dioxide under high pressure and temperature to extract terpenes. This method is known for its ability to produce high-quality and pure extracts. It also allows for precise control over the extraction process, resulting in a wide range of terpenes being extracted.

Hydrocarbon Extraction: Using hydrocarbon solvents, such as propane or butane, this method efficiently extracts terpenes. The solvent is passed through the plant material, dissolving terpenes, and then it is purged to remove any remaining solvents. Hydrocarbon extraction is valued for its ability to preserve the full spectrum of terpenes.

Factors to Consider

When choosing a terpene extraction method, several factors should be considered. These include the intended use of the terpenes, the desired quality and purity, safety concerns, and the equipment and expertise required. Each method has its advantages and limitations, so it’s crucial to align the chosen technique with your specific needs and resources.


In the last few years, there has been an increasing interest worldwide in cannabis-derived phytochemicals, mainly due to their medical potential, as well as their merit/role in the production of industrially valuable products (Martinez et al 2023)

Terpene extraction methods play a vital role in unlocking the aromatic wonders of nature. From traditional techniques like steam distillation to modern methods like supercritical CO2 extraction, each method offers unique advantages. By understanding these methods and their applications, you can harness the power of terpenes to create a wide range of products that delight the senses and benefit various industries.

References & Citations

Lo Friesen

February 1, 2023

Extraction 2022 Highlights and 2023 Predictions, Cannabis Science and Technology, January/February 2023, Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages: 14-19


George Stantchev, PhD

May 22nd, 2023

Pure Botanical Extraction: Creating pure terpene-rich oils

Sainz Martinez, Aitor, Lanaridi, Olga, Stagel, Kristof, Halbwirth, Heidi, Schnürch, Michael &  Katharina Bica-Schröder


Extraction techniques for bioactive compounds of cannabis, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Natural Product Reports, volume 40, issue 3,