CBD has become very popular in the last few years. Most people have heard about this term (CBD) and probably went ahead to sample different CBD-containing products. However, the common consumer rarely understands the nitty-gritty of the process used to create CBD.
We believe that it is very important to comprehend how CBD oil is made. Doing this will be interesting and help the user make the right decision when choosing the right CBD products. Therefore, in this article, we lay everything bare in understanding the most popular CBD extraction methods.
What is CBD Oil Extraction?
You are wondering what CBD oil extraction is? Well, this is the process through which CBD extract is removed from hemp plants. After that, the extract is turned into usable forms of CBD oil. Every CBD extraction method offers slightly different results, but raw CBD will possess a thinner or thicker oily texture with a dark tinge based on the extraction method. There are several extraction methods, each of them having its pros and cons. We shall be looking at the different ways of extracting CBD from hemp in this article.
Why So Many Different Methods of Extraction?
If you didn’t know, the cannabis plant is a complex one and produces more than 120 cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. To target each of these compounds, you can use different extraction methods. This explains why there are so many extraction methods.
From this, you expect that the extraction methods will vary depending on the kind of derivative that you are targeting. Other factors that determine the extraction method include the scale you are working at and the quality of the end-products.
For instance, if you are a large multi-state operator, it is wise to use the solvent-based extraction method to favor large-scale extraction. Common solvents used in this case include CO2, ethanol, and hydrocarbons. On the other hand, smaller brands can consider professional rosin press setups.
How to Choose your Extraction and Refinement Method
You are probably asking yourself which extraction method to use for your business. This will depend on so many things. In the CBD manufacturing industry, one cannot conclude that a particular solvent or an extraction method will work better than the other.
This is because it will all depend on what you are trying to make (end-product). You might be targeting to get CBD isolate, Full-spectrum CBD oil, or strain-specific vape oil. Narrowing it down to an extraction method is not an easy task considering the cost of the equipment used in extraction.
Therefore, it is advisable to perform market research to understand the products that are in demand or will soon be in demand in the market. After knowing the various end-products that you should make, the choice of extraction method becomes simpler. As stated earlier, different extraction methods are best for specific end-products.
Popular CBD Extraction Methods
To help you decide on the best extraction and refinement method, we explore the different extracting CBD from hemp.
For CO2 extraction, you will come across terms like supercritical, mid-critical, and subcritical CO2 extraction. These are terms that explain the conditions of CO2 when CBD is being extracted. Of the three, we are going to focus on supercritical CO2 extraction. The reason for that is that this is the method that is known to produce the highest CBD concentration and a pure end-product.
During this extraction method, temperature and pressure increase to the point where the CO2 turns supercritical. It simply means a state where CO2 takes both gas and liquid properties. In this process of extracting CBD, the supercritical CO2 is normally passed through the hemp plants in a chamber/extractor. Doing this makes CO2 pull trichomes and terpene oils from the hemp plant.
This solution will then be sent via a separator to break it into individual parts. The trichomes and terpenes will be collected elsewhere while the supercritical CO2 is reverted to a liquid via a condenser. As a result, you will get pure CBD. Despite being an expensive extraction method, it guarantees the best quality CBD.
This process requires a huge water tank set up, a hemp plant tank, a condenser, and a collection flask. In the setup, the tank for the hemp plan has an intake that gets steam from the water tank. It also has an outlet connecting to the condenser tube. Setting the water to boil, steam will go upwards and get in the hemp plant tank. Here, oil vapors with CB will be separated from the hemp plant.
These are the vapors collected in the condenser tube, where they condense into water and oil. To separate the CBD oil from the water, you will distill to get your final product. This method is not much reliable as the concentration of CBD is likely to be altered.
Extraction by Solvent
This process uses a liquid to pull out the cannabinoids from your hemp plants. Once you have enough cannabinoids in the liquid form, you heat the solution to evaporate the solvent material and remain with your oil. You can use natural solvents or hydrocarbons for this process. Natural solvents could include ethanol or olive oil and are the most preferred hydrocarbons for safety.
You will realize that hydrocarbons such as butane are highly-flammable and could also leave behind toxic residues. This does not mean that natural solvents do not have their downsides. For instance, using a solvent like ethanol for extraction could make CBD edibles like gummies have an off-taste.
Cold Pressure Extraction
This process is considered the most environmentally-friendly and natural way of extracting CBD. Even better, the final product will have more compounds and cannabinoids for a good entourage effect. The process is very basic: the hemp plant matter will be cooled and crushed under pressure to extract your desired products.
You, therefore, understand why the hemp plant will retain all cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes when cold pressing. One problem with this method is that the yield of the final product is very small. For that reason, it cannot be used for large-scale CBD production.
There you go! These are the commonly used CBD extraction methods. Without a doubt, everyone has their preferences, but when it is about our health, wellness, and beauty, there are standards to be followed. This is the same case when it comes to selecting CBD products.
Please remember that CBD extraction is not a DIY ask. Extracting cannabidiol is one process that is strictly regulated by the law. With that in mind, it is only permitted under the required licenses. With the different CBD extraction methods, the best method is the minimally processed and meticulously manufactured product sourced from quality raw materials.
We hope that you have a comfortable understanding of the different CBD extraction methods available. Getting a CBD product that works well for you is not easy. Feel free to try various CBD products and use these at different times. This will help you to determine the products that fit you best.