Recent Federal legislation passed has allowed the sale and growth of hemp that has opened doors for an already booming CBD market. CBD is available almost in every corner store or dispensary near you. Most have heard about CBD, and many of them have even tried some of its products, but it is rare for a layperson to know how CBD oil starts from raw hemp plants and the different CBD extraction methods used to produce it.
Let's see check out the different CBD extraction methods present in the market today and their specific pros and cons.
Cannabidiol or CBD comes from the Cannabis plant. Although it’s derived from the Cannabis plant, it cannot produce a sedative effect on the user, unlike its fellow cannabinoid THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. CBD has caught the attention of the whole world because of the therapeutic benefits it provides. Research studies also support its medicinal value and healing properties. Scientists believe that CBD can manage health concerns such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems, inflammation, and pain. You can find CBD in different forms like gummies, tinctures, oils, balms, and creams.
CBD Extraction Methods
Companies and manufacturers use a variety of methods to extract CBD. The quality and taste of CBD depending on the type of extraction technique used.
Extraction by Solvent
Extraction by solvent utilizes ethanol or some other hydrocarbon to wash and soak plant trimmings. The extract obtained is refined, so that majority of the solvent is removed. If ethanol is used as a solvent, the distillation process separates ethanol from the oil mixture to obtain pure concentrated CBD. This method is desirable as it is not very expensive.
Olive oil Extraction Method
This process is similar to solvent extraction but utilizes natural solvent such as olive oil. The decarboxylation method is performed on the raw hemp by heating it. After that, it is placed in the olive oil and heated again. The olive oil extraction method is very inexpensive and straight forward, but the CBD obtained is not pure because olive oil cannot be separated from the CBD oil.
Steam Distillation Method
This simple and popular method extracts cannabinoids by exposing raw hemp plants to steam. The vapors obtained is condensed and cooled to create a water/ oil mixture. Water and oil are separated, and pure CBD is the result. A disadvantage of this method is that it requires a large quantity of plant material, but output CBD is very low. The heat of steam can also destroy the chemical nature of cannabinoids.
CO2 Extraction Method
The CO2 extraction method is a very advanced method that uses CO2 to extract CBD from the hemp plant. In the first phase, the temperature is decreased, and pressure is increased to convert CO2 gas into liquid form. When both temperature and pressure are gradually increased, CO2 is converted into a state that is neither gas nor liquid. Carbon dioxide in this state is pumped into the chamber that contains the hemp plant. CO2 separate oil-rich cannabinoids from the plant mass. In the end, residual CO2 and oil are separated to get concentrated CBD. The only drawback is that it requires expensive equipment as it is a scientific method that is highly advanced.