Matthias Crandall is the innovator behind Paradigm Supercritical Innovations, creators of the PSICO2 extraction systems.
We caught up with Matthias recently to talk about his entrepreneurial journey and experience serving the cannabis industry. You can read his responses below, wherein he explains the reasons, science, and strategies behind using CO2 as an extraction solvent. Matthias also explains the planning and early creation stages for the PSICO2 systems, the moment he identified how his hard work would fulfill a special cannabis industry niche, as well as some of the operating specifics of the PSICO2 extractors.
Read the full interview below:
What was your career before founding Paradigm Supercritical?
The journey that led to founding Paradigm Supercritical was within the Cannabis industry. I started working in cultivation around 2010 and seasonally as an assistant oenologist for Eugene Wine Cellars. While working within the cannabis industry, it was suggested that I look into CO2 to see if I could develop something that would work for cannabis. That is when I began researching and developing my first systems. It was a side project at the time but, when I finally had a working model I realized I had developed something special. I then applied for a patent and started taking steps to make the system available to the industry.
How does CO2 work as a solvent for extracting oils?
Normally we experience CO2 as a gas such as when we exhale or as emissions from our vehicles. When CO2 is pressurized it becomes a liquid. Then, if pressure increases enough and heat is added, the CO2 wants to boil and turn back into a gas but cannot because of the pressure. This allows the CO2 to act as a liquid solvent that permeates plant material like a gas.
How are most CO2 extracts consumed?
A typical CO2 system produces low-quality extracts that contain impurities (when compared with PSICO2 extraction methods). These extracts are most often used in vape pens or edible concentrates. The impure extracts require additional processing with ethanol, then emulsifiers must be added to prepare them for vape pens. Unfortunately, this purification method is often undocumented and not mentioned on labeling. Unknowing consumers reading labels proclaiming, ”solvent-less”, “solvent-free”, or “pure CO2 oil” assume that only CO2 was used in the process. Paradigm Supercritical Innovations’ PSICO2 extraction systems are the first systems to produce highly pure extracts that are ready to use without an ethanol post process.
What can you produce with a PSICO2 extraction system?
Our systems provide a range of flavorful, brilliantly colored, truly solvent-free extracts. When using a PSICO2 extractor there is no need to refine the extract. The most common and easily produced product is CO2 shatter. To perform this method, simply place the pure PSICO2 extract into a vacuum oven and let it melt into form. PSICO2 extracts are great for use in edibles, tinctures, and vape pens. Rather than extracts starting with a concentration of 35% from other systems, PSICO2 extracts have concentrations as high as 80% cannabinoids.
How long does it take to complete an extraction on a PSICO2 system?
Paradigm Supercritical Innovations’ dual chamber design allows for continuous operation. While one chamber is being emptied and reloaded, the next chamber is introduced into the process. There is no need to shut down the system to change from processing one chamber to the next. We have two basic designs; THE BANDIT is a 3 liter(L) system and THE REBEL is a 5L system. On the Rebel, each pound of trim takes around an hour to process. Each of the 2.5L chambers takes about 1.5-2 hours depending on the quality of the source material. On the Bandit each pound of material takes about two hours to process. Each of the 1.5L chambers takes about 1.5 hours to complete. We also offer multi-unit systems that will allow for double, triple, or quadruple the processing capacity without added labor costs.
How many people do you have on your team?
We are a small but growing company. To be honest I would have to include all the local businesses that help our company get the materials we need. We have a sales team of three, and assembly team of three and three administrators. For all of our other needs we rely on the expertise within our community. Whenever possible we support our local economy. Our machinists, parts and equipment suppliers, HVAC and refrigeration suppliers, and a whole range of independent contractors for other technical needs are locally sourced. We hope that those businesses realize they’re a part of the community we’re trying to build.
Can you speak more about CO2 extracts needing to be winterized or purified with ethanol in order to remove the impurities?
Purification by way of ethanol winterization is the most common method for refining extracts made on other systems. This method takes over 72 hours to complete, leaving you with a costly 30-40% loss of product. Additionally, equipment used for ethanol winterization can have costs starting as high as $30,000.00. On extracts from a PSICO2 system, there are no additional purification or winterization processes needed. With a PSICO2 system, the only time ethanol is used is for the purpose of minimizing waste and maximizing returns. There are three basic ways: To use ethanol as a rinse to capture cannabinoids still left in the CO2 processed trim. To clean the equipment, recouping residual cannabinoids left inside the system. Finally, to polish extracts that are made from compromised or damaged trim.
What are the benefits of extracting with one of your systems?
With a PSICO2 system, you get the benefits of using a safe solvent while still producing the highest quality CO2 extracts on the market. PSICO2 processing is considered a green process. CO2 used in a PSICO2 extraction system is captured from industrial processes, which would normally be released into the atmosphere. This means that extracting cannabinoids with CO2 as a solvent minimizes your business’ carbon footprint. The CO2 that you use for extraction processing can be emptied into grow room tanks and then fed to your plants, completing the CO2 cycle. CO2 is cheap, therefore, your overall cost of operation is lower than with other solvent choices. It’s one of the greenest choices among the solvents that are available. PSICO2 systems are developed for the demands of the industry and our family of customers has helped to shape the design. PSICO2 systems save time and money by reducing downtime with continuous operation, obtaining the maximum concentrations of cannabinoids for extracts, and eliminating large additional expenses and labor of winterization.
Can anyone use the PSICO2 systems?
We can train anyone. When you purchase a PSICO2 system from Paradigm Supercritical Innovations, training is included. We take our customers through a comprehensive two-day training process where they learn how to run the system, how to set the best parameters for the ideal extraction, and system maintenance and cleaning to ensure optimal performance. We have a growing community of customers that share and offer feedback, and the trade secrets they share with us are an advantage for PSICO2 family members. We also offer more in-depth consultation for any lab set-up or post process production needs. We teach techniques that allow our customers to have the information they need in order to produce the best extracts.
What kind of customer service do you offer?
When you purchase a PSICO2 system from Paradigm Supercritical Innovations you are gaining new friends and family. We believe that the network of caring people and their families appreciate sharing advice and opinions with others in the industry. We feel that this is one of the things that has made the industry so great. We take this to heart and treat you like family. We provide 24-hour tech support. If our phone rings, someone is there to answer. We offer equipment maintenance packages to ensure minimal downtime and provide initial lab setup advice, as well as individualized consultation packages.
Where do you see Paradigm Supercritical ten years from now?
I want all of the industry to know us as the company that kept CO2 affordable to those that built the industry. We want to provide systems that allow them to continue to grow with the industry. While big business entering the industry to make a buck spend exorbitant amounts of money for technology that doesn’t work well, our customers will have a system that cost less, extracts better and eliminates the need for post-processing time and equipment. Our technology allows for such a superior extraction that it is my dream that people began to look specifically for PSICO2 extracted products.
How do you order a PSICO2 extraction system?
Give us a call at 1-866-CO2-5678 (262-5678), or use the Contact Us form on our website. PSICO2 systems can take 4-6 weeks to build. After completing a purchase agreement, our team will be with you every step of the way. We offer turn-key options, can source all of your ancillary equipment needs, and offer consultation for post processing programs. Financing is available. For more information visit psico2extractors.com
If you could offer one piece of advice to someone starting a career ancillary to cannabis, what would it be?
There is still a negative stigma surrounding cannabis, you have to be careful when marketing to the industry. You have to be prepared for what that brings. From banks, property leasing, to shipping, it is scrutinized more when it is related to cannabis. Even though you may be an ancillary company you will be treated as if you are directly involved with the production, manufacturing, and distribution of cannabis, that can be hard to deal with. Aside from getting tax relief for your business, many organizations will be unwilling to do business with you, and you are best to just consider yourself a cannabis business and implement the appropriate precautions.
Thanks again, Matthias, for answering our questions and sharing your experience with our audience! To learn more about Paradigm Supercritical Innovations, visit the company’s website psico2extractor.com or call 1-866-262-5678.