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!
Guide to CBD Extraction Methods: The Best Way To Extract CBD
Cannabis is an incredibly versatile plant. There are an incredible amount of medicinal properties to it, and these are present because of the various different compounds of the plant, known as cannabinoids. Some sources boast that there are dozens of compounds whereas other sources will say there are hundreds or even thousands; it is hard to pin down exactly how many compounds can be found in the plant, but there are a lot of them.
Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD, is one of these cannabinoids or chemical compounds. The great thing about CBD, in particular, is that it is not psychoactive in nature and has no side effects associated with its use, but it also boasts a lot of health benefits. In fact, CBD encompasses a lot of the health benefits that other compounds offer, and more. In this guide, you will learn how CBD is extracted from the plant, which is the process that separates it from the other compounds. CBD extraction methods affect the quality and purity of the final product as well as what other compounds may be present.
Where Does CBD Come From?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is one of the chemical compounds or cannabinoids that is present in the cannabis plant. CBD is known for having a range of profound medical benefits that range from fighting chronic ailments such as pain and anxiety, to promoting wellness through protecting brain health and aiding in weight loss. The way that this cannabinoid can do so much for our bodies is by interacting with our Endocannabinoid System. This is part of our central nervous system that is responsible for maintaining balance in the body.
The majority of CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, which is a term used to describe strains of the cannabis plant that contains .3% or less of THC. THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid in the plant, which causes the high or euphoria associated with other methods of consumption.
What is CBD Extraction?
CBD extraction is the method used to isolate CBD from the plant and separate it from the other cannabinoids present. There are a variety of ways that this is done, some of which are better than others. The manner in which the CBD is extracted will impact the quality and purity of the final product, which is then used in a variety of different ways for consumers to reap the benefits. Some methods of extracting CBD can leave trace amounts of other cannabinoids or harmful residues that can compromise its effects, so it is essential to consider when you’re searching for the best product for your needs.
These are the main ways that CBD is extracted:
- The Rick Simpson Method
- Carrier Oil Extraction
- Alcohol Extraction
- CO2 Extraction
The Rick Simpson Method
This method is named after the man who initially used it. This is the cheapest and most straightforward method of extraction; however, this is the worst possible means of isolating CBD. A hydrocarbon such as butane, pentane, propane, hexane, or acetone is used. The plant material is submerged in the solvent, and as it steeps, the compounds are stripped from the plant material and are left in a liquid form. Because these hydrocarbons have a low boiling point, they are then boiled to evaporate them, leaving behind the CBD oil. The solvents are highly flammable, which makes this dangerous right off the bat. Additionally, this method destroys certain plant waxes and can leave behind very harmful residues. So, this method of extraction leads to more harmful contaminants than any other and is not recommended.
Carrier Oil Extraction
This method has a very straightforward name. An oil, most commonly olive, but also coconut, hemp seed, or some other oil, is used in this method. First, the plant material is decarboxylated. Decarboxylation is the process of heating the plant to a specific temperature for a specific length of time, cooking it in such a way that it activates the chemicals inside the plant material. Next, the plant material is added to the carrier oil and heated again for several hours. This draws the cannabinoids out of the plant and into the carrier oil. This is an affordable method that does not put consumers at risk of consuming any contaminants; however, it is not considered very effective at all. Oil extracted this way is perishable unless preservatives are added, and it produces low yields of the active cannabinoids. Any CBD oil extracted this way can’t be concentrated, either, which leads to very low potency oil.
Ethanol or ethyl alcohol extraction is another method that can be used but has lost its popularity in favor of a more efficient and effective method. Ethanol is considered safe by the FDA, and it is in a range of products, from paint to personal care items that you probably have in your house right now. This method works similarly to other solvent methods, but better for a few reasons. Most notably, ethanol is safe for consumption and doesn’t create the same residues or contaminants as other solvents might, so you get a more pure CBD. Ethanol also is a polar solvent, which allows it to pull more water-soluble molecules. This can also pose problems though because it can pull more chlorophyll from the plant matter. In this method, plant matter is decarboxylated and then packed tightly into a container.
Ethanol is then dripped through that container, stripping the cannabinoids with it as it drips through into the collection reservoir. This can be done in hot or cold conditions. Another way to use ethanol is to soak the plant matter in the liquid until the CBD, and other cannabinoids have been drawn out of the hemp, and then ethanol is boiled away. But, due to the way the ethanol pulls out plant waxes and other components, as well as its high boiling temperature, there is a lengthy purification process, and certain CBD products can’t be made this way.
CO2 is carbon dioxide. This is the most widely-used and best method for extracting CBD. Because of its efficacy and purity, it is quickly becoming an industry standard. There are three types of this process, which are supercritical, subcritical and ‘mid-critical.’ Supercritical is the most widely used so, for the sake of simplicity, that’s what we’ll be covering here.
In the simplest possible terms, CO2 acts as a solvent when used at the proper temperature and pressure. However, it poses none of the dangers that come with using other solvents. That makes this method incredibly safe and effective for CBD extraction. Specialized equipment is used to convert the CO2 into a liquid that is at supercritical cold temperatures. When the CO2 is in this state, it is perfect for extracting the cannabinoids because it isn’t going to cause any damage to the plant matter or compounds therein. The supercritical carbon dioxide is passed through the plant matter and pulls all of the good stuff out so that it can be further filtered and used. The resulting solution passes through a separator that draws out at all of the cannabinoids and terpenes and the best part of this method for companies, is that the CO2 can be reused for this method. The ability to reuse it makes this a very economically sound extraction method for companies who create CBD products on a large scale.
Subcritical and mid critical extraction is gentler and won’t pull out some of the larger molecules that companies may not want to use. Either of these methods can be used to create full-spectrum CBD oils that contain other cannabinoids as well. Supercritical extraction is best for pure CBD products.
Which method is the best?
For the company and consumer alike, CO2 extraction is the best possible method of extracting CBD. It is completely safe and creates very little waste for the company producing it. CBD extracted this way is going to be the purest it can possibly be and contain no harsh chemicals or contaminants. When you’re looking for CBD products for yourself, you should look for companies that extract their CBD in this method. Reputable companies all list their extraction method on their site so you can be sure you’re getting the best possible products.