Consistency is the path to success for Eybna Technologies Ltd., a developer of custom cannabis extraction methods.
The research and development company, founded in 2014 in Israel, specializes in developing what can be considered terpene technology, which is sold to companies in the US, Canada and Europe, mostly through CDB distillates and oils.
Its ultimate goal is to find the best way to maintain a consistent product. Eybna takes an ethnobotanical research approach to cannabis. By collecting information on the use of medical cannabis chemovars – the chemically distinct entities in the plant – the company identifies a pattern between chemically distinct profiles of cannabis strains and medical conditions.
Eybna and Berkeley, California-based Steep Hill Labs in April launched Delta, a service offering customized terpene batches to restore original whole-flower qualities that can be added to oil-based products to achieve consistency.
Big data helps the company understand these chemovar entities found in strains frequently preferred by patients for specific medical illnesses.
The idea of this approach is to try and take a step toward “personalized cannabis consumption,” so when a cannabis strain fits a need for someone to whom it’s prescribed, that person can expect to consistently be provided the same relief after each use, Nadav Eyal, Eybna’s co-founder and CEO, told Marijuana.com.
“Our goal is to build a cannabis whole-plant experience,” he said.
He considers what Eybna is doing the “science behind cannabis.” And the scientific efforts like those they are undertaking are just beginning.
“I like to compare it to the age of computers,” he said, referring to the early days of the computer revolution, when computers filled entire rooms and required sophisticated training to operate. “I think cannabis is currently in a position that it needs to go through a process of development in order to make it more suitable to people. We believe that in the work we are doing we will be able to continue a lot to personalized cannabis medicine that’s building its way into the market in the next five to 10 years.”
The strength and effects of cannabis do not rely only on the THC and CBD ratios. Instead they rely on more than a dozen groups of compounds that work synergistically to achieve the effect and aroma of cannabis.
Among these compounds are terpenes, a large group of organic compounds produced by a variety of plants. The complex structure of cannabis is designed from the cooperation of over 200 different terpenes.
Eyal explained that terpenes compose less than 5 percent of a dried cannabis flower’s total weight, and that each cannabis phenotype has its own terpene profile that helps determine its smell, taste, and effect.
Terpenes in concentrations above 0.05 percent are considered of pharmacological interest because they believed to be able to be able to protect the body against diseases. Most cannabis concentrates lack the “whole-plant full therapeutic effect” of the original flower they were extracted from, and no matter how sophisticated the extraction method is, significant loss of terpene and other volatile molecules occur in the extraction process, according to Eyal.
The medical importance of the whole plant compared to isolated cannabinoids has become apparent in recent years, so the presence and consistency of those compounds are critical factors in the quality of cannabis concentrates, he said.
The technologies being developed by Eybna enables producers to restore the “whole flower” terpene profile in their extracts, while maintaining consistency and assuring a “whole flower” consumer experience in each and every batch of oil, according to him.
Distillates, a type of extract containing high levels of cannabinoids, experience the loss and evaporation of almost all the terpenes from the original flower, he explained.
Distillation involves boiling followed by condensation of the vapors, leaving impurities and other substances behind. In cannabis distillation, the plant’s raw material is subject to high temperature and pressure, causing volatile molecules like terpenes to evaporate.
The boiling point of THC, for example, is 314 degrees Fahrenheit, or 156.67 degrees Celsius. Terpenes have a much lower boiling point, at around 246 degrees Fahrenheit, or 118.89 degrees Celsius, so they evaporates long before THC.
“Therefore, the distillation process produces a highly pure cannabis distillate with barely to no terpenes,” Eyal said.
This is why the company has confidence in its focused pursuit of consistency, according to Eyal.
Eybna recently opened a subsidiary in the US, and in the next few months the company also has plans to enter the market in Canada, where national legalization was scheduled for Oct. 17, 2018..
The ultimate plan is to eventually have representatives “wherever cannabis is legal,” Eyal said.
“We see a big mission of ours to bring the knowledge and the science that we have gathered in Israel into consumer products and not just keeping that in the laboratory,” he said.