CBD or Cannabidiol is a compound found in the cannabis plant which has proven to be very beneficial for curing and suppressing the symptoms of various diseases. From relieving pain to anxiety, this compound has significant medicinal benefits. Now the question is how to extract it?
There are various CBD extraction methods used by manufacturers all around the world. While the methods are different, the purpose is one: oil extraction. The extracted CBD oil is used in different products or sold in its pure form. Although the type of method used may not seem significant, it is important to note that different methods used for extracting CBD from the hemp plant produce highly different products. Each product may have a different effect on your health and your body. Thus, it is highly recommended that you check the extraction method used by a particular company before purchasing their CBD products.
Methods Used to Extract CBD Oil
There are three methods that are commonly used to extract CBD Oil. These methods differ based on their health profiles and impact on the environment.
This extraction process involves the use of ethanol, propane, butane or alcohol to extract CBD. It is one of the least expensive ways to extract cannabis oil and is fast compared to all the other methods. However, one of the drawbacks is that due to the high flammability of contents used, this method can be very dangerous unless performed by a professional.
The process dissolves the plant waxes which results not only in the extraction of CBD but also chlorophyll; hence the bitter taste. To begin the liquid solvent process, plant trimmings along with the flowers are placed in a container. Next, the solvent is run through the plant to extract the cannabinoids. Once that is done, with the help of evaporation a concentrated form of CBD Oil is left at the bottom of the container.
Besides the problem of flammability, the downside of this process is that the solvent residue can be toxic unless it is not completely eliminated during evaporation. Some studies have found petroleum or hydrocarbon residue in CBD products extracted this way.
This is one of the oldest methods used to extract CBD Oil and many attest it to be the best as well. The olive oil extraction process is the safest, easiest and least costly method used by many manufacturers all around the world.
The process begins with the raw materials being decarboxylated or in other words heated. A certain temperature is maintained for a specific amount of time until the chemicals in the hemp plant are activated. Next, olive oil is added, combined with the raw materials and heated again. This is when the cannabinoids can be extracted. Since olive oil cannot be evaporated, the end product is not as concentrated as that of other methods.
The major issue that arises with olive oil extraction is the fact that it is highly perishable in nature. It must be kept in cool and dark places at all times thus, it doesn’t work well for the needs of many CBD consumers.
The Carbon Dioxide Extraction Method has become the most widely used and advanced ways of completing the extraction procedure. It is quite an investment because it involves the use some expensive equipment and is highly complex .However, if done properly it produces safe, potent and chlorophyll free CBD Oil.
Many CBD manufacturers are ready to use this process because it is much safer and helps in the generation of some high quality products. Moreover, unlike other methods, it does not reduce the nutritional content of CBD. Lastly, the chances of containments in the end product are much lower.
The Carbon Dioxide Extraction process is carried out using a “closed loop extractor”. This machine contains three chambers. The first one is used to hold solid, pressurized, CO2 or dry ice. The second chamber contains dried plant material and the last chamber is used to separate the end product.
The first chamber pumps CO2 into the second chamber which then takes on the form of supercritical CO2- a state between liquid and gas. The super-critical CO2 then helps in the extraction of cannabinoids. In the last chamber, the CO2 rises from the top leaving the extract at the bottom.
What Happens After Extraction?
Once the process of extraction is complete, the end product is further refined through a process known as “Winterization”. This step helps remove any sort of solvents, waxes or unwanted fats present in the extract. This results is a clean hemp oil with 70-90% CBD, terpenes and minor cannabinoids.
The process of winterization is only required when the oil is extracted at a very high temperature or pressure. This is because the extraction draws out all the materials out of the plant, even the ones you don’t need. Thus, the extracted oil needs further refining.
Once the extraction is complete, the end product is fused with a 200 proof alcohol then mixed vigorously until the two are completely mixed. Then mixture is placed in a freezer overnight, this results in the creation of a cloudy mixture which needs to be filtered next. One way to remove the excessive fats is using filter paper and an extraction jar. Once filtered properly, the alcohol must be removed. The extract is heated until the alcohol is evaporated and we are left with a pure form of CBD Oil.
Every method of extraction has its pros or cons. What you need to do is to find out the extraction method that suits your medical needs the best. If you are looking for something cheap, it is best to go for CBD Oil extracted using the solvent or olive oil method. However, if budget is not an issue, it is highly recommended that you use CBD oil extracted using the CO2 extraction. This is because this method produces the best quality CBD Oil. In other words, the health benefits of oil extracted through this method are much greater than the other two.