CBD has been in the spotlight for the last couple of years as its popularity has exploded due to the benefits it offers. Most of us may be familiar with the term and may have used some products containing CBD, but may not know the details of the steps used to make CBD. Understanding the various CBD extraction methods will help you make an educated decision while choosing the right CBD product for you. There are many extraction methods used to get CBD from hemp plants. Here, we look at some of the most popular and common CBD extraction methods.
CBD Extraction Methods
To have effective products, CBD should be extracted from the hemp plants and preserved properly. It is imperative to maintain and preserve the quality of CBD to make a CBD product of high quality. Many methods are used to extract CBD from the hemp plant and some of them are:
In this method, a solvent is used to wash the hemp plant trimmings to get the necessary compounds from the plant. Usually, hydrocarbons like propane or butane, or food-grade ethanol are used as solvents. When hydrocarbons are used, the resulting mixture is refined further to remove all the hydrocarbons. After that, the final refining is done to remove all the remaining solvents to get CBD oil. In the case of ethanol extraction, the resulting liquid is distilled to remove the oil and desired compounds from ethanol. il.
Solvent extraction is an efficient method and is not much expensive. Moreover, it does not require any specialized equipment to remove CBD oil from hemp plants. The solvents used in this method can easily lock on to desirable compounds like CBD and draw them out. Additionally, hydrocarbons can preserve the aroma and flavor of the plant.
This is a very popular method used to extract essential oils and can be used to extract cannabinoids as well. Steam can be efficiently used to remove the volatile compounds from the hemp plants. The resulting vapor, after steam exposure of hemp plant materials, will be full of desirable compounds, which are cooled and condensed. The condensation of the vapors will give oil and water which can be separated easily.
Steam distillation is a straightforward, inexpensive method that is free of any solvents. However, the method is inefficient and will need more plant material to make a considerable amount of CBD oil. Moreover, this CBD extraction method produces inconsistent CBD concentrations in the end product. Steam distillation might also damage the chemical properties of some of the compounds present in hemp plants that are sensitive to heat.
Olive Oil Extraction
Olive oil is a natural solvent and can be used for the extraction of CBD. This is not used commercially but is used by many CBD aficionados. In this method of extraction, the raw hemp is heated and then added to the olive oil. The mixture is then heated again to remove the cannabinoids. The olive oil is not volatile as the hydrocarbon solvents or ethanol, so the final product after extraction will not be as concentrated as that obtained from solvent extraction. The product obtained by this extraction method will be more of a CBD infused oil, rather than being a concentrated extract of CBD.
Olive oil extraction is an inexpensive method of CBD extraction and can be easily done in your home. Moreover, this method can help eliminate concerns about residual solvents and expensive equipment. However, the final product that is obtained from this method is perishable when compared to the commercially available CBD products and might not taste pleasant.
Carbon dioxide Extraction
Carbon dioxide is used in this method to extract the cannabinoids from the hemp plant. This extraction method involves three chambers and is a much-advanced process. In the first chamber, carbon dioxide is converted to liquid form by reducing the temperature and increasing the pressure inside the chamber. The temperature and pressure are then increased further to make the carbon dioxide reach a supercritical stage. This carbon dioxide in a supercritical stage is then pumped into the second chamber containing the hemp material.
The supercritical carbon dioxide will pass through the hemp material, separating the oil from the plant parts, which then moves to the third compartment. In this compartment, the mixture separates and the carbon dioxide evaporates, leaving back concentrated CBD oil. This is the most precise and safe CBD extraction method used commercially. This is also an environmentally friendly method that uses very less plant material. However, the method is very costly as it uses an advanced and sophisticated process to extract CBD out of hemp plant materials.
We believe that you have got a clear idea of the various extraction methods to get CBD from hemp plant materials.