The acceptance of cannabinoids like CBD as a legitimate healthful product is growing. Many of us are now aware that CBD is the part of the cannabis plant that has various positive effects on health. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another beneficial compound of marijuana, CBD has no psychoactive properties. As more research is conducted on the subject after the ground-breaking legalization of cannabis in Canada, we will continue to extract cannabinoids and turn them into useful products.
That said, CBD must first be extracted from the cannabis plant matter before it can be commercialized into products such as CBD capsules or cosmetics. The flowers of the hemp are said to be the most abundant source of CBD. There are many ways to extract CBD from hemp. Some methods are deemed more efficient and safer than other ones. Are you interested in how exactly CBD is extracted? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Below are four common ways to extract CBD from a hemp plant.
Hydrocarbon CBD Extraction
One way to extract CBD is the basic hydrocarbon based solvent CBD extraction. This involves taking decarboxylated plant matter and running a liquid solvent through the hemp. This then removes and carries the cannabinoid and terpene content. Once extracted, the liquid needs to be evaporated away in order to leave the CBD oil behind. A few common solvents used are butane, ethanol, and hexane.
This is said to be the cheapest form of extraction as it requires relatively little equipment. However, this method can be rather dangerous when not executed correctly. Thus, proper caution should be employed. Proper purging is also required to remove the solvent from the remaining hemp extract. Some say this is the most pure of extraction methods when done properly, as it extracts without damaging terpenes and other vital plant compounds.
Olive Oil CBD Extraction
Olive oil CBD extraction is another viable option. Just about anyone who has basic kitchen skills can do this at home as it is relatively easy and safe. How do you go about extracting CBD with olive oil? First, the plant matter used is decarboxylated - a process of activating the compounds via heat. After that, the plant matter is then heated in oil for a few hours, resulting in the fusion on CBD and fats in the olive oil. The fused oil can then be left to cool off, leaving a CBD infused oil. This is a fun home experiment; however, it can be weak and unreliable as a professional method for extracting CBD from hemp.
Solventless CBD Extraction (by hand)
Next on the list is the solventless CBD extraction. Applying heat, pressure, or friction are the basic steps in this method using the hands. For instance, CBD kief makes use of friction. The plant matter is frozen and shaken off to produce a concentrated CBD powder, and should mostly comprise of trichome glands when done carefully. Another method is applying heat and pressure directly to the hemp flower to extract a natural oil such as making CBD rosin. Although it can be simple and more or less equipment-free, this method yields a low CBD content and can be quite impractical.
Supercritical CO₂ CBD Extraction
Finally, the most popular method in comparison with the first three extracting options is the supercritical CO₂ CBD extraction. The supercritical CO₂ is an advanced, highly customizable way to extract CBD from the hemp plant. This particular method involves manipulating the gas CO₂ allowing it to enter a supercritical state - the state of both a liquid and a gas. It is then pumped through the cannabis flower at multiple temperatures and angles. The process is aptly called fractionation that dissolves terpenes and cannabinoids at their various solubilities. This method is a clean and safe concentration method without the use of additional additives. It also yields high content as it is the extraction method that will get the most out of the hemp plant.
What are your favorite methods of extraction? Why do you think so? Comment below and let's start a conversation about that!