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Cannabidiol (CBD) Extraction and how it becomes CBD

The cannabis plants hemp and marijuana are two of the most misunderstood plants, but today, efforts are being made in the medical and pharmaceutical industries to assess and discover the real medicinal value of both plants. This effort has been met with not only a growing body of evidence supporting the medicinal valuable properties of both hem and marijuana, but the cannabis plant continues to be the center of legalization battles in states across the United States. One fact about cannabis that has been a constant is the revelation that the potency of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant, is most effective as an extraction. It is essential that the proper method is employed during the CBD extraction process in order to derive any medicinal benefits from hemp. There are several methods that can be used to extract cannabidiol, but the potency or the quality of the concentrate is highly dependent on the extraction process.

CBD Oil and how it is Produced

Cannabidiol (CBD) is largely sought after in hemp because of its non-psychoactive properties, and as such, the most effective approach to producing CBD-rich oil is to begin with a strain of the hemp plant that was grown as a high-CBD plant. The right strain selection is the first step in the process, followed by the appropriate manufacturing method. Within the cannabis industry, there is some conflict regarding the “right” extraction method, but one thing that is agreed upon is that each method is accompanied by its own advantages and disadvantages. Commercial producers seemingly employ a different method from those with an interest in deriving the purest form of CBD oil, usually for medicinal purposes. Typically, the matter of cost, potency, and safety, determines the method of CBD extraction that will be employed.

Different Methods of CBD Oil Extraction

Carrier Oil Extraction: Growing in popularity is the manufacturing of CBD oil products via oil-based extraction. A carrier-oil such as olive oil is used to carry out the extraction of the CBD oil. This is considered one of the safest methods of  CBD oil extraction that minimizes the potential for explosions, but it also a great way of providing a healthy dose of Omega 3 and Omega 6, essential fatty acids that the body needs but does not produce naturally. Since the oil-filled trichomes are fat- or solvent-soluble, natural plant oils are an effective way to extract the cannabinoid-laden resin. Extracting CBD with olive oil is very simple technique and only requires to heat up the oil up to 200°F and filtering the extract. Another advantage of this method is the emphasis on the lack of unwanted and potentially harmful chemical residues that can makes its way into the CBD oil during the extraction. A disadvantage of oil-based CBD extractions is the shelf life of the CBD product is limited, and as such, proper storage, as well as smaller batches would appear to be the best way to handle oil-based CBD extractions.

Super- or Sub-Critical CO2 Extraction: This method of CBD extraction involves pushing C02 through the cannabis plant at high pressures and low temperatures. This method provides a protective environment in which the cannabinoids are preserved and isolated, allowing CBD to be extracted in its purest form. Substances such as chlorophyll are removed from the end product during the process and cleanly extract CBD without any residue. The maintenance of the integrity of the cannabinoids leads to a clean-tasting CBD product that may be more expensive than other alternatives.

Solvent Extraction: The solvent method of CBD extraction is typically employed by producers who looking for a cost-effective way to produce their CBD oil-based product. This approach typically employs the solvents butane, grain alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, hexane or ethanol. Extracting CBD with a high-grain alcohol is not the method to employ because it does not produce a highly clean product, since chlorophyll is also extracted during the same process. The end result is typically a CBD product has an unpleasant taste and an unappealing green color. While the chlorophyll could be removed from the extract through filtration, it destroys some of the beneficial natural oils and leads o less potent oil.

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