Extraction and Manufacturing


In this self-paced course we demystify the complex process of extracting the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from cannabis, and how to transform them into profitable manufactured consumer products. We explore the modern methods of extraction being used at a commercial scale, and the market trends that are driving the evolution of the sector. We cover the equipment and methods needed to run labs for light hydrocarbon, ethanol, and CO2 extraction and operate them safely, as well as perform solventless extraction techniques.

Course Overview

The emergence of intensely flavorful and highly potent cannabis extracts has precipitated a widespread cultural shift towards non-combustion methods of consumption, like dabbing, vaping, topicals, and new types of edibles. Today, consumer demand for these next-generation extract products is rising rapidly in most mature cannabis markets, and in some cases, coming close to overtaking them in total market share.

Extractions are one of the most challenging and rewarding sectors of cannabis. They allow you to monetize crops that may otherwise have been non-viable and create the opportunity to turn prize-winning cannabis flower into a truly exceptional flavor experience. The downside is that cannabis extractions have a seemingly high barrier of entry. With the wide range of equipment available and the knowledge required to operate it — it is hard to even know where to begin.

In this course, we demystify the complex process of extracting the prized essences of the plant — cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids — and how to transform them into profitable manufactured consumer products. This course explores the modern methods being used at a commercial scale and the market trends that are driving the evolution of the sector.

*During the COVID-19 pandemic, Oaksterdam University is offering a 43% discount from the normal $1,695 tuition for this program.


We begin by reviewing some of the foundations of cannabis, including the history of humans’ interaction with the plant and the policies which govern its production and use. We also review the efforts of the advocacy pioneers who came before us and fought for the right to access medical cannabis, and learn more about how we can continue that tradition in our personal and professional lives.

From there, we provide an overview of cannabis extraction — how the process works, the history of the practice, the most common methods in use today, and the types of products that can be manufactured from cannabis extracts. We also discuss how to select the extraction method that is best for the type of product you want to make.

Then, we highlight the defining characteristic of a scientific laboratory — control — and explore why this principle is so important to the safe and effective operation of a cannabis extraction lab. We look at the role of control in the scientific method, which can be used to design experiments that can help you improve the processes in your lab and the quality of your products.

We explore manufacturing concepts that can be applied in the extraction lab to help you achieve safe products that have a consistent effect, and do so in a cost-effective manner — standard operating procedures, traceability, supply chain management, and production strategies.

We dive into the day-to-day operation of a cannabis extraction lab, identify the roles and responsibilities of the extraction team, and learn how to properly maintain the tools and equipment you will use on a regular basis. We then explore strategies for sourcing the primary inputs you will need to produce your extracts — cannabis biomass and extraction solvents.

From there, we go into great detail about the three methods of solvent-based extraction — light hydocarbon, ethanol, and CO2. For each, we cover equipment set-up, post-processing techniques, and safety considerations. We walk through each method step-by-step, and discuss the pros and cons.

We finish with a discussion of solventless extractions. Unlike solvent-based extraction, which is a scientific endeavor that follows a controlled process, solventless extraction is more like an esoteric art form. We discuss the two solventless methods in common use at a commercial scale — ice water extraction and rosin pressing — and explore the types of products you can create with each.


Module 1 : Cannabis History & Policies

  • Origins of Cannabis
  • Early Prohibition
  • Counterculture
  • Revolution Reaction: Nixon’s War On Drugs
  • Medical Legalization: Shifting Attitudes & State Laws
  • Post-215 Era: Adult Use & Beyond

Module 2 : Federal vs. State Law

  • Overview of U.S. Government & Legal System
  • Federal “Marihuana” Laws and Policies
  • Federal Risks & Penalties
  • Federal Laws and the Business of Cannabis
  • State & Local Cannabis Laws
  • Civics

Module 3 : Introduction to Cannabis Extraction

  • What Is Extraction?
  • Traditional Extraction Methods
  • Modern Extraction Methods
  • Post-Extraction Processing
  • Designing Your Lab Based on End Product Goals

Module 4 : Basic Laboratory Operations

  • Controlling Hazards in the Lab
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Controlling the Lab Environment
  • Measurement and Control: Operating a Balance
  • Performing an Experiment in the Lab

Module 5 : Principles of Manufacturing

  • Standard Operating Procedures and Batch Records
  • Traceability
  • Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)
  • Supply Chain Management: Inputs, Outputs, and Production Costs
  • Production Strategies: What Kind, How Many, and When

Module 6 : Basic Cannabis Extraction Operations

  • Meet the Team: Roles and Responsibilities
  • Equipment & Tools in the Lab
  • Equipment Preventative Maintenance
  • Sourcing Biomass
  • Sourcing Solvents

Module 7 : Light Hydrocarbon Extractions

  • Light Hydrocarbon Gas (LHG) Safety
  • LHG Extraction Systems
  • LHG Extraction Process Flow
  • Preparing Your Inputs: Biomass and Solvents
  • Post Processing
  • LHG Products and Pricing

Module 8 : Ethanol Extractions

  • Ethanol Safety (Environmental and Personal)
  • Ethanol as an Extraction Solvent
  • Basic Ethanol Extraction Process & Systems
  • Ethanol Extraction Process Flow
  • Preparing Your Inputs: Biomass & Solvent Ratios
  • Ethanol Crude Oil Post Processing
  • Products and Pricing

Module 9 : CO2 Extractions

  • CO2 Safety (Environmental and Personal)
  • Using CO2 as a Solvent
  • CO2 System Components
  • CO2 Extraction Process
  • Extracting Terpenes
  • CO2 Extract Post Processing
  • Products and Pricing

Module 10 : Solventless Extractions

  • The Difference of Microns
  • Basics of Ice Water Hash
  • Basics of Rosin Pressing
  • Solventless Hash Star Rating

Module 11 : Advocacy

  • The Importance of Advocacy
  • Federal Drug Policy and the Supremacy Clause
  • Value of Engagement and Effective Advocacy Strategy
  • The Fight Against Legalization
  • Looking Forward to the Future of Cannabis Advocacy

Final Exam

  • required for certification

Certification Program

certificate of completion may be printed upon successfully passing the final exam and capstone project.