Five grad students from the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina designed a machine that can extract medicinal oil at home. The product, still in its prototype stages, will allow lay people to retrieve high-quality cannabis oil with minimum effort and at low costs.
Just enter the flower buds in the metal cylinder, set the pressure and temperature on the screen and hit play. The process can take from 5 minutes up to a few hours, depending on the herbs inserted, since Nectar also has the ability to extract essential oils from other plants like lavender, peppermint and sage.
Defining a Market for Nectar to ‘Extract its Juice’
The five students, who are all under 25, developed Nectar as their Master’s Thesis for their final course in Industrial Design. On a conversation with Green Rush Daily, team member Franco Di Paolo told us:
“We’re wrapping up our business model, because, although the product is finished, the final version could change depending on the opportunities we find from investors, which will determine the size of production, which affects the final product itself”.
Nectar was conceived for markets like Argentina, where although production of cannabis for medicinal purposes was officially legalized, patients have to go through hell to get an authorization from the government, and once they do, families need to import the medicine at ridiculously high prices (like $400 dollars for a month’s supply). Other options include using house-made chemistry sets that by no means guarantee a safe and reliable result, or rely on black market products, that extract the oil using toxic solvents, without any type of control or health regulation.
“This product will have a greater impact in the many places where good quality oil cannot be yet found” -Said Di Paolo. While the final price for the machine has not been defined, the group is estimating that for a normal family, Nectar will cost as much as a big-screen TV.
The student group is still searching for investors to develop mass production, so those looking to jump in the Green Rush should keep an eye on the bunch.
Possibilities Outside of the Medical Cannabis Business
As an oil extraction device for different types of herbal plants, Nectar has many capabilities that are still to be explored. Since the students are still looking for investors, they remain open to the many markets that could benefit from the device:
Di Paolo: “Nectar has a lot of other possible uses as a research tool for labs. In that context, its price will be a lot more accessible, when compared to other extraction equipment out there.”
When discussing the extraction method used by Nectar, the grad student told us: “The extraction technology we use leaves no residue and is completely harmless. we’re gathering up the last bits of data together, making some final tests we colleagues from the University’s Biochemistry Department.”
By using solid Carbon Dioxide (also known to regular folks as dry ice), the machine takes advantage of CO2’s ability to extract different cannabinoids like THC or CBD, depending to the decided pressure and temperature.
Other uses include rapid quality control for grains in the agricultural sector and the extraction of essential oils for cosmetics.