Clinical Study Praises Olive Oil-Based Extractions

By David Jenison on February 9, 2018

Chefs like Pot Pie host Brandin LaShea might speak highly of infused olive oil, but it's more surprising to see scientists get in on the high praise. Four Italian researchers did just that in a clinical study published last November in the Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

The researchers—most of whom hail from the six-century-old, Nobel Prize-stockpiling University of Pavia—examined the use of olive oil in cannabinoid extraction. For the science-minded readers, "The olive oil was simply diluted three consecutive times, using organic solvents with increasing polarity index (n-hexane → isopropanol → methanol)." The result? Culinary gold!

"The developed method was simple and fast," the study concluded. "The extraction procedure proved to be highly reproducible and applicable routinely to cannabis preparations."

Cannabis-infused olive oil is a natural fit for the edibles marketplace, but the findings did include several important notes about storage and production. Extractors need to pay close attention to temperatures as "a difference of 2 °C (from 94.5°C to 96.5°C, the highest temperature reached in the experiments) of the heating phase increases the percentage of extraction from 54.2% to 64.0% for THC and from 58.2% to 67.0% for CBD." 

Furthermore, when stored in darkness at room temperature, "THC concentration in oil is stable up to two months at room temperature," and "CBD provided a degradation of 30% within ten weeks."

The Italian researchers claimed the infused olive oil study was all about therapeutic applications, but don't be surprised if terpene-enriched meatballs and hemp pasta follow closely behind. After all, Italians were early advocates for the health benefits of red wine. 

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