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  • POSTED DECEMBER 03, 2018
There are few industries driving innovation forward at more furious pace than cannabis. As medical cannabis therapy has become an acceptable treatment option, and as more people have turned to cannabis as a recreational outlet, commercial interest in nearly every aspect of the once-beguiled cannabis plant has heated up.

While advancement and innovation have characterized nearly every category in the cannabis space, the area that has perhaps grown the most in recent years is how the product is cultivated, used and consumed. Across these three categories – cultivation, extraction and consumption – there have been dozen, sometimes hundreds of significant technological advancements. 

Cultivation

Grown by humans for its medicinal properties for thousands of years, cannabis cultivation has been greeted by advancements of nearly every type in the last two decades. Where cannabis was traditionally grown outdoors, in greenhouses or under novice lighting set-ups, the plant can now be grown indoors until high pressure sodium lights that mimic almost identically the sun’s patters. In addition to revolutionary advancements in lighting technology, cannabis can now grow in a number of different substrates and grow mediums, and be fed with a range of nutrients that have mainstream status in the cannabis community.1



Extraction

One of the most exciting categories in the cannabis space, extraction technologies have become incredibly robust. Where concentrates were once produced using rudimentary extraction techniques, cannabinoids and terpenoids are now removed from cannabis plant matter using advanced technology. The most popular among these new methods is supercritical extraction, which produces any number of concentrates that can be mixed with carrier oils, made into dabs and waxes, or added to pre-loaded vape cartridges. Rosin presses should also be mentioned. As a recent development in the extraction category, rosin presses allow cannabinoids to be extracted under heat and pressure, without the use of a solvent.2 

Consumption 

As more patients have started using cannabis for therapeutic and recreational purposes, so too has the rolodex of products available to consumers expanded. Vaporizers constitute probably the most popular cannabis product purchased by patients and consumers. Because these devices come in a range of styles – from desktop to handheld, and flower to oil models – vaporizers are a utility tool for many new cannabis consumers. This category also includes oil pens and pre-loaded oil pens, which have gained momentum in markets where cannabis is recreationally available. The list of technologies in this category, which includes devices like dab rigs for consuming concentrates, is growing with each passing year.



Of course, technological advancements in the cannabis have not been limited exclusively to  cultivation, extraction and consumption. Across the existent medical and budding recreational cannabis landscape, there are commercial and industrial innovations made continually. As the space expands, there is unquestionably going to be a wealth of new technological advancements pushing the bounds of possibility in the cannabis industry. 

References:
1. “Advanced Nutrients.”https://www.advancednutrients.com/
2. “Know your cannabis concentrates: live resin, rosin & CO2 oil.”https://kayacollective.org/cannabis-concentrates-live-resin-rosin-co2-oil/
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