Nowadays, a lot of countries allow the selling and purchasing of CBD extracts. These CBD extracts are medical marijuana in its purest form; instead of hassling with various substances that you don’t need, you can simply take a hemp extract and get the full power of the cannabis plant.
This is especially important for patients who want to focus on their recovery, and don’t want any additives or THC in their therapy.
Most companies use CBD extract for various medical cannabis products. Once they extract the hemp substance, they will add it to items such as hemp oil capsules, topicals, tinctures, CBD oil, and so on.
Before we analyze the most common CBD extraction methods, let’s talk a bit about CBD and all its potential benefits.
What is CBD, and how does it work?
CBD-based products are relatively new.
They are slowly making their mark on the drug market, and for a good reason, the substance can help with various medical conditions and symptoms such as chronic pain, various inflammations, and muscle spasms, stress, depression, etc.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it works by activating cannabidiol receptors in our body. With it, the human body is able to optimize various internal processes regulating overall metabolism, sleep, digestion, brain functions, etc.
Besides CBD, the marijuana plant has another popular substance known as THC. This substance has a psychedelic effect, which is why there is very little of it in medical marijuana products.
Many governments of the world prevent usage of THC, or at least, they try to minimize it. For example, it is common for medical marijuana products to have less than 1% THC.
The whole CBD market is very interesting and unexplored. We are still learning about this substance through numerous studies that are performed all over the world.
At this point, it seems that cannabidiol will become one of the prominent pharmaceutical substances for years to come. It has seemingly unlimited potential, which is why the whole market is booming in the last decade or so.
4 most common CBD hemp extraction methods
Today, there are 4 main methods that can help you make CBD extract from the cannabis plant:
- CO2 extraction
- Steam distillation
- Hydrocarbon solvent extraction
- Natural solvent extraction
Each one of them has its pros and cons, and if you’re a medical marijuana company, choosing the right method will be one of the most important business decisions that you can make. If you have the proper equipment and the know-how, you can make a CBD extract at your own home (as long as you take the precautionary measures).
1) CO2 extraction
Let’s start with CO2 extraction. It is probably the most expensive of these 4 methods, but it provides awesome results. It is highly efficient, it will get you the best concentration of the substance, you can adjust it at a whim, and lastly, there is no toxic residue or chlorophyll.
As the name implies, CO2 is used to extract hemp oil from the plant. A company will use pressurize chambers that enable the pressurization of CO2. The substance will also be exposed to extremely low temperatures, which is how we will get oil with lots of cannabidiol.
The main issue with the method is its costs. You will need a lot of special equipment in order to do it. But, the majority of cannabis companies are using precisely this approach for extracting CBD. Although expensive, it is quite safe, and it might even prove lucrative in the long run.
2) Steam distillation
If you’re looking for a cheap method to make a CBD extract, keep in mind there aren’t many things better than steam distillation. It is quite inexpensive, and more importantly, it doesn’t leave any residue.
The experts claim that it is quite safe. Unfortunately, it provides subpar results. The heat that steam provides can easily damage the oil. It is also really hard to determine what kind of concentration you’ll get.
Basically, you will use heat to extract oil from the hemp plant. Before you do so, it is necessary to place the plant in a glass flask with an entrance and an exit. On one side, you will have a glass container with water. That water will be heated to boil, thus creating steam.
At this moment in time, steam extraction is a bit obsolete method. It has been used for various purposes throughout the centuries, but today, we have much better methods of extracting CBD oil (as well as other substances). If you do decide to implement this method, you need to be prepared to lose a lot of plant material during the hemp extraction.
3) Solvent extraction
There are a lot of similarities between the solvent extraction and steam method. In fact, the main difference is that a person will use a solvent instead of steam. You will mix solvent and plant together; then, you will wait for the solvent to evaporate. As a result, you will get CBD oil.
Although the process is similar to steam distillation, it is much more efficient. You won’t have to worry about losing the majority of your crop yield. In fact, you will be able to predict CBD concentration with high precision. It is also inexpensive, which is why smaller cannabis start-ups can easily implement it.
The biggest issue of this method is that there is a chance for toxic solvent residue. This is the last thing you need, especially if you’re determined to extract CBD for a longer period of time. Perhaps the best way to avoid this risk is by using natural solvents.
4) Natural solvent extraction
Everything that has been said about solvent extraction can be said for natural solvent extraction.
The main reason why people use this method instead of solvent extraction is that it eliminates any chance that a toxic residue will be formed. Unfortunately, it does have its drawbacks.
Given that a natural solvent will be used, it will have a noticeable smell and taste. This is because the extraction method cannot eliminate chlorophyll. The amount of CBD you get will also be much lower compared to some other methods on this list.
As you can see, each one of these methods has its ups and downs.
If you wish to make CBD extract professionally, with maximum efficiency, it is best if you go with CO2 extraction. Getting all the equipment can be a big investment, but if you wish to do it professionally, you will see the returns sooner than later.
The hemp extraction method is also important for consumers. If you’re using CBD products on a regular basis, we suggest that you read the label before giving a certain item a chance.
The company should mention the hemp extraction method on their label; based on the it; you can tell whether the product is of lower or higher quality. You should be especially wary of solvent extraction as it can create toxic residue.
Another sign that a company is doing a good job is if they’re using a third-party lab. The lab will perform all the testing regarding the CBD product. The cannabis companies which are using third-party labs usually showcase findings on their site. So, this will also provide more transparency.
Although the CBD extraction method doesn’t seem important to consumers, it can provide some valuable insights as to how the product was made.
As already mentioned, you should stick with companies that use the most advanced production and extraction processes. This will ensure that you get a product of a high-quality with minimal drawbacks.
If you’re looking for CBD products, make sure to browse our site. We have a great assortment of high-quality items that can help you with various medical conditions. Also, if you have any questions, be sure to contact our web team!