CBD oil: what are the types of extraction?
CBD is a very popular molecule found in the cannabis plant. It is non-psychoactive and provides highly prized therapeutic benefits.
Cannabis is a natural plant that has been used for many years.
To get all the benefits of this natural plant, it is important to consume good quality products that meet certain criteria. CBD oil is the most popular product of the molecule and must be manufactured following a precise extraction process.
The type of extraction is the same as that of CBD oil.
The type of extraction of CBD oil is an important criterion that will guarantee the quality of your CBD. In the CBD community, it is well known that CO2 extraction is the most efficient and safe of all the other possible CBD extraction methods. But what are these other extraction methods?
In this article, we will review all the different types of CBD extraction and determine which processes are the most reliable and preferred and those that are less so.
What Is CBD Oil Extraction?
CBD oil extraction is the process of removing the CBD extract from the hemp plant, turning it into a usable form of CBD such as oil or creams for skin use. Each extraction method gives a slightly different result but depending on how it is extracted, the raw CBD will have a thicker or thinner oily texture, with a dark or almost black tinge.
There are different extraction methods, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at a list of the main CBD extraction methods available.
Four Types of CBD Oil Extraction to Know
Cold press CBD extraction
It is possible to extract CBD from CBD flowers without solvents or other materials. How? It’s simple, you just freeze the CBD flowers and then crush the material under pressure to extract all the cannabinoids, terpenes and other beneficial components during the cold pressing process.
This method is by far the most respectful of the plant but also of the environment. The only problem is that this method has a rather low yield. It requires a lot of material to produce little oil. For this reason, this method is very little used on a large scale.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction of CBD oil
CO2 extraction involves using controlled temperature and pressure to create phase (or state of matter) changes in CO2 (carbon dioxide). The aim is to extract the cannabis plant material while maintaining the integrity and quantities of terpenes found in the plant material. This ensures the production of a cleaner, purer, tastier, safer and overall higher quality cannabis concentrate.
The carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction method is considered the safest because CO2 is a non-volatile element. Used for decades in a multitude of industries, such as coffee or essential oils.
The extract obtained with CO2 is a very safe method of extraction.
The extract obtained with this method is free of any trace of solvent and therefore considered exceptionally pure. Cold separation allows the preservation of terpenes that require special care. It is also environmentally friendly as the CO2 is then condensed and turned back into liquid for reuse, virtually eliminating emissions. Once the process is complete, the CO2 is separated from the organic compounds, leaving only the full-spectrum CBD oil.
Of course, this method also has some drawbacks, the most important being its high price and the need for trained personnel to carry out these crucial steps.
CBD solvent extraction
The solvent extraction method of CBD oil is one of the oldest methods used to extract CBD and many other compounds from plants. It is also the cheapest and easiest method to use, yet it comes with a risk.
Synthetic solvents are generally considered the most likely to damage the final product, as it leaves significant residues, hindering healthy consumption. Indeed, the main drawback is that the solvent extracts not only the natural cannabinoids and terpenes but also the chlorophyll, which can lead to undesirable side effects. In addition, after extraction, the compounds may be denatured or degraded.
Popular solvents include ethanol, butane, hexane etc.
This method is cost-effective and provides a higher yield of CBD oil compared to other extraction methods.
CBD extraction by natural solvent
To perform natural solvent extraction, one can use oil found in the cupboards at home (coconut oil, olive oil etc.) However, one must ensure that the plant material is decarboxylated.
To put this method into practice, simply heat the plant in the carrier oil by putting it in an oven for several hours. The CBD and other cannabinoids will naturally bind with the fats in the carrier oil, creating an infused product. The final step is to cool the mixture before filtering it to remove any remaining plant material.
What Happens After CBD Extraction?
After the CBD oil is extracted from hemp or cannabis, the process of “winterization” begins. This process removes impurities and unwanted elements that have made it through the extraction process, such as fats, lipids and waxes.
Winterization turns raw CBD oil into purified CBD oil. The process gets its name from a step that involves mixing the extracted oil with ethanol and freezing the solution. Impurities and unwanted compounds solidify and fall out of the solution, passing through a filter, separating the wax, lipids and fats from the oil. The final step is to remove the ethanol from the solution.
The CBD can undergo further refining after winterization to create the purest CBD product possible.
What Is the Best Method for Extracting CBD?
Many cannabis experts agree that the CO2 extraction method is the best for producing a high-quality oil that stays potent longer.
For example, full-spectrum CBD oil, prized for its potency and purity, is made by CO2 extraction.
On the other hand, the solvent method often fails to remove these impurities and cannot claim to have similar efficiency to C02 extraction.
Can CBD Be Extracted at Home?
Yes, it is definitely possible. Check out our article on making your own CBD oil at home.
For more useful information or quality CBD oils, check out our 321 CBD shop and get free shipping with no minimum purchase now!
What does CBD oil contain? What is its composition?
CBD oil is known for its healing as well as nourishing potential for the skin, but what does it really contain?
How Many Drops of CBD Oil Should I Consume?
How many drops of CBD oil should you consume in each administration? We will see this together, in this article
Best extraction methid for cbd oil
CBD has exploded in popularity over the last couple of years and, while most people are familiar with the term and may have even sampled a few CBD-containing products, it’s rare that the average consumer knows the intricate details of the process used to create them. At Pharmstrong™, the entire process from seed to final product fascinates us – especially the extraction methods, as the various techniques used greatly affect the quality, taste, and potency of the final product. We believe it’s worth sharing tidbits about the most popular extraction methods on the market today because knowing this information is not only interesting, but helps the consumer make an educated decision when it comes to selecting the right CBD provider for their needs. Therefore, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular extraction methods and a few advantages and disadvantages of each.
Quick Review of the Basics
Before diving into the specific extraction methods, it’s helpful to review a few simple, yet important, frequently asked questions about CBD in general:
What is it and where does it come from?
CBD is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound extracted from hemp plants.
Is it legal?
Yes! However it must be hemp-derived and contain .3% or less THC to be legal according to the 2018 Farm Bill. If you purchase a hemp-derived CBD product from a reputable company, who is transparent about the source of their products and provides lab results verifying the levels (or in many cases, the complete absence) of THC, you have nothing to worry about.
What are some common uses of CBD?
This unique and powerful compound is very versatile, making it the perfect addition to many products. CBD is commonly added to carrier oils – such as organic olive oil or MCT oil – to create fast-acting oral drops (which go under the tongue), mixed with beeswax and essential oils for soothing topical balms, or broken down into tiny nanoparticles for incorporation into easy-to-swallow, highly bioavailable softgel capsules. CBD is also commonly used in vaping products and added to gummy candies and energy drink mixes.
Popular CBD Extraction Methods
In order to make beneficial and highly-effective products, the CBD must first be carefully extracted and preserved from the hemp plant. Maintaining the quality and purity of the main ingredient is essential to creating a premium CBD product.
There are several methods for extracting CBD from the hemp plant, and even a few DIY versions (which we don’t recommend). But let’s take a look at several of the most common extraction methods:
Extraction by Solvent:
With this method, a solvent – commonly food grade ethanol, or a hydrocarbon like butane or propane – is soaked or washed over plant trimmings, drawing out the desirable compounds. In the case of hydrocarbon extraction, the resulting mixture, which now contains the cannabinoids and other useful compounds such as terpenes, is then further refined (the refinement method depends on the desired end product) and the majority of the solvent is removed. From there, a final purging of any remaining solvent is done, leaving a concentrated CBD oil. With ethanol extraction, the resulting liquid is then distilled to separate the hemp oil from the food grade ethanol and further isolate the desired compounds.
Pros: The process is efficient, fairly inexpensive, and does not require as specialized equipment as other methods. Solvents are superior at locking onto and drawing out the desirable compounds. Hydrocarbons, in particular, are known for preserving the plant’s flavor and aroma well.
Olive Oil Extraction:
“Natural solvents”, like olive oil, are used as well for the extraction of CBD – not commercially, but rather by CBD/cannabis aficionados. The raw hemp is heated to a specific temperature (decarboxylated) and then added to the oil and heated again to extract the cannabinoids. The olive oil does not evaporate like ethanol or hydrocarbon solvents, so the final product will not be as concentrated and is more of a CBD-infused oil instead of a concentrated extract.
Pros: Inexpensive and easy to do in your own home and eliminates concerns over residual solvents, expensive equipment, and safety.
This popular, tried and true method for extracting essential oils can be used to extract cannabinoids as well. Steam is used to free the volatile compounds (cannabinoids in this instance) from the raw plant material. The resulting vapor, full of the desirable compounds, is then cooled and condensed. The resulting oil and water are then separated.
Pros: Inexpensive, straightforward, and a solvent-free method.
In this method, CO2 (which stands for carbon dioxide) is used to pull cannabinoids and other desirable compounds from the harvested hemp plants. This scientifically advanced, yet fascinating process generally involves three chambers. In the first chamber, CO2 – which is in a gaseous state under normal circumstances – is converted to a liquid state by increasing the pressure and significantly decreasing the temperature. Next, the temperature and pressure are slowly increased until the liquid CO2 reaches a “supercritical” point. This is the neat part. At this point, the CO2 is somewhere between a liquid state and a gaseous state and retains some of the properties of each; it expands like a gas, but is more concentrated like a liquid. Once in this optimal state, the CO2 is pumped into the second chamber, which holds the hemp plant material. The CO2 then passes through the hemp, separating the oil (rich in cannabinoids and other beneficial compounds) from the plant material. The oil and CO2 then make their way to the third and final chamber where the two separate and the residual CO2 simply evaporates. What’s left is a highly concentrated CBD oil extract.
Pros: An extremely precise, solvent free method that is safe (no flammable solvents) and environmentally-friendly (uses less energy and plant material).
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to the products they use and the methods used to create them. But, we can probably all agree on one thing: a minimally processed and expertly crafted product, sourced from simple, quality ingredients is the best choice when it comes to products in the health and wellness category – CBD included. At Pharmstrong™, we create all of our scientifically-formulated Pure + Potent products with that commitment to quality and purity in mind, and we can promise that our safe, proprietary, and precisely executed extraction and purification process isolates all of the desirable compounds our customers want, and excludes those that they don’t. We would be honored to chat with you more in person in our Breckenridge, CO store, over the phone, or via email at any time to answer any remaining questions you may have about the extraction method we use, CBD in general, or one of our premium grade products.