When talking about marijuana extraction, it refers to everything involved in the plant’s processing. The term is not just about the extraction itself but all the processes that involved cultivation, product development and creation (research and development). Marijuana processing companies need to implement the four pillars that are critical to making sure that the best cannabis processes in place in their business. The pillars are Cultivation, Analytics, Extraction and Biochemistry.

When looking at each pillar on its own, it is easy to see why they are valuable to marijuana processing. However, when they are combined, each one can extend their full capabilities into the process. Learning about each pillar and then how to use them together is important when looking at marijuana processing.


The first pillar of quality marijuana processing is cultivation. This is the core of the horticultural process and certainly central to marijuana production. No matter what the end processing goal is, whether its flavor, color or turning compounds into new forms for use, marijuana processing should be clean and natural.

Cultivation is the backbone of the marijuana process as it provides the natural material for whatever products are being produced. Marijuana plants are central to the process so a look at mass yield should be done. When dealing with marijuana processing, the mass yield can be calculated by per light or per square feet. It can also be assessed by mass or by the cannabinoid content of the plants that are grown. This would mean assessing CBD or THC yield per light, plant or square feet. These latter measurements may be more helpful in defining what a successful crop is vs simply weight by light or foot.

Cultivation is more than just the critical role of growing, it is also about marijuana processing once the crop is harvested. As scientists continue to study and understand how particular cannabinoids interact with the body, those who are cultivating are going to be focused on how to grow so the plants give specific ratios of cannabinoids and other compounds during each grow session. There will also be more research studying the interactions between terpenes and cannabinoids that will need to be studied by those who are cultivating the plants.

Cultivation continues to be critical in quality control as well. Those cultivating have to offer clean and safe marijuana products. The plant must be contaminant-free so no mold, heavy metals, pesticides, or other things that can be harmful to the end-user.


Using data and information is crucial in all parts of the marijuana process and production. The use of liquid or gas chromatography to check terpene content is one example. The analytic methods used should be clear, accurate, and very detailed. They should be able to identify compounds and their concentration levels in cannabis products. Analytics help to ensure marijuana products are of high quality and reliable. Analytics are the most useful when combined with the other 3 pillars.



Without extraction, a marijuana product is simply a plant. The pillar of extraction is needed to covert the plant parts or raw material into a usable form. Whether the extraction is a bud that is to be dried, extracts that are pure CBD or other extracts that focus on multiple cannabinoids and terpenes, it all is done through different methods of extraction. There are many options for extraction, and it is up to the company to decide which works best to acquire their end product. The pillars of extraction and cultivation should be intrinsically linked to the best results.


There are two parts to the biochemistry pillar of marijuana processing. There is the plant biochemistry and the human biochemistry. Once looks at cultivation and how to work with the pathways of bioactive molecules found in the plant and the other finds its focus to be on how those plant molecules interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. It also looks at how cannabis is administered and the effects a certain type of administration has. It is about the delivery of the molecules into the human body.

The Four Pillars of Marijuana Processing

The pillars can be explained in a stand-alone format each with their own area of expertise needed. Each can be a source of innovation that is constantly being researched and evolving. Each pillar can be used in combination with the others to make sure some platforms can work to drive innovation on all levels working towards great products.

An example of this is found in using analytics to quality check a product. By using data and information on raw materials and finished products, there is an ability to make sure that the company is producing both quality and consistent items for the consumer. Analytics can offer feedback when cultivation is tweaked in a particular way or if there is a variable that is changed in extraction.

Another example would be to use biochemistry when working on cultivation. A cultivator could look for certain compounds that will help to increase various cannabinoids. Once this is done then analytics and biochemistry could be used to understand the changes and the effect on the product’s end-user. It is a way to look at pharmacology and target areas where therapies may be enhanced with the cultivated and adjusted product.

Final Thoughts

Using these four pillars to their upmost potential means that raw cannabis material can have a targeted cannabinoid and terpene ratio that works for a particular process and end product. It optimizes whatever extraction process is needed and used and reduces the loss of the bioactive components that need to be retained. It allows the safe and consistent production and delivery of the product.

Using the 4 pillars is the best way to process safe, reliable, and notable marijuana extracts so a company is not only offering a quality product, they are doing it in a way that is good for the company and the consumer. Repeat business is what you want, and it can be attained by using the 4 pillars of quality marijuana processing. The 4 pillars along with smart business planning allow for the production of a high end, safe product.

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