How Is CBD Extracted from Cannabis?

The manufacturing of CBD products is a complex process that requires excellence at every single stage. And today, we will be covering the extraction process. In this article, you will gain some basic knowledge of what extraction is, the main CBD extraction methods and which of them are used at Marry Jane to create high-quality products.

1. Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD or cannabidiol is an ingredient in the natural products industry and is the focus of several new fields of cannabis research. CBD is one of the many cannabinoids or compounds produced exclusively by the cannabis family. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not have a strong effect on cognitive activity in the brain and does not induce highs.

All varieties of the cannabis family produce cannabinoids, including hemp. While CBD and THC are the most well-known cannabinoids, there are many different types, and only recently have significant resources been invested in researching them. There are specific receptors in our brains responsible for the intake of cannabinoids, known as CB1 and CB2. These receptors are responsible for assimilating cannabinoid molecules, which results in psychoactive and immune responses associated with cannabis consumption.

2. Why is CBD extraction important?

The extraction of CBD involves isolating a chemical compound from the surrounding plant material and distilling it into high concentrations. Research has shown that cannabinoids can have beneficial effects on physical and mental health, and by using a variety of extraction processes, more of these cannabinoids can be consumed with less effort.

Although there are various methods for extracting CBD from hemp, some are much more efficient and safer than others. It’s important to be familiar with the different processes, as each one affects the efficacy and purity of the end product differently.

3. How to extract CBD from cannabis?

In this section, we will give you an overview of the differences between the various CBD extraction methods and highlight some of their positive and negative features.

3.1 Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction method

Three chambers are used for the application of this method. In the first chamber, CO2 turns into a liquid state due to changes in pressure and temperature (the former increases and the latter significantly decreases). The pressure and temperature both increase slowly until the liquid CO2 reaches the point where it is half liquid half vapour. This mixture is pumped into a second chamber containing the hemp plant material. The CO2 passes through the hemp, which is rich in cannabinoids and other compounds. The oil and carbon dioxide then enters the third chamber where they are separated and the residual CO2 evaporates. The final product is a highly concentrated CBD oil extract.

Pros:

  • CO2 does not pose the same danger associated with the use of other solvents.
  • This method produces a higher yield of CBD oil compared to other extraction methods.
  • Carbon dioxide can be reused with this method.

Cons:

  • This method requires expensive equipment.
  • It takes longer than other methods.
  • Using this method requires highly skilled professional staff.

3.2 Solvent extraction methods

Things are constantly developing, and solvent extraction is no exception. From a basic, almost homemade method with low efficiency, it has evolved into one of the safest ways to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. This class of methods uses several different solvents, including ethanol, butane hash oil and hydrocarbon.

3.2.1 Ethanol extraction method

This method also involves the use of different chambers, and here’s how it works. CBD-rich plant leaves are loaded into a basket and placed in the extraction chamber. The ethanol is cooled to -40 °C, then injected into the extraction chamber, soaking the plant material. The solute is extracted with ethanol flowing through the plant material. Next, the ethanol extract solution is pumped from the extraction chamber into a collection vessel for further processing. The solvent is evaporated by a rotary evaporator or falling film evaporation. The extract can then be used to prepare finished products or further distilled to increase the purity of the cannabinoids.

Pros:

  • According to the FDA, CBD extraction using ethanol is safe.
  • It’s easy to perform.
  • It significantly increases the quality of the end product.

Cons:

  • It can require more steps to obtain a pure CBD product.
  • It requires expensive equipment (for cold ethanol extraction).
  • Ethanol is limited in terms of the products it can produce.

3.2.2 Butane hash oil extraction method

BHO or butane hash oil is a cannabis product that is available in a range of textures and consistencies. BHO contains between 60 and 90 per cent THC, so it cannot be used as an end product. However, it can be used to create another high-quality product. The process is the same as with CBD ethanol extraction, except that BHO doesn’t undergo a decrease in temperature. The pros and cons are also slightly different.

Pros:

  • It produces a wide variety of products with different tastes and effects.
  • This method allows for a more pronounced expression of terpenes.
  • It’s easy to perform.

Cons:

  • BHO is explosive.
  • It can be less environmentally friendly.
  • It is not as safe as the CBD ethanol extraction method.

3.3 Olive oil extraction method

Olive oil is another ingredient that can be used to extract cannabidiol. Although almost any oil can be used in this process, olive oil is preferred for its masking taste and versatility. First, the raw hemp is heated to a set temperature. Then, the raw material is mixed with olive oil and heated again to yield the cannabinoids. The final product more closely resembles CBD oil than a concentrated extract because the olive oil does not evaporate.

Pros:

  • This method is considered safe and effective.
  • It’s easy to implement.
  • It doesn’t require large financial investments or expensive equipment.

Cons:

  • Oil extracted with this method is perishable.
  • It produces low yields of active cannabinoids.
  • CBD oil obtained this way is not concentrated.

4. How long does CBD extraction take?

CBD extraction processes vary considerably from one method to another. Nevertheless, our specialists say that it can take about an hour to process up to 160 kilograms of the hemp plant.

5. What happens after the CBD oil is extracted?

Once the CBD oil has been extracted, the winterisation process begins. During this process, impurities and unwanted elements (for example, fats, lipids and waxes) that have entered the extraction process are removed, and the raw oil is transformed into a more refined one. This process is named after the step where the extracted oil is mixed with ethanol and the solution is frozen. Impurities and unwanted compounds solidify and fall out of the solution, which then passes through a filter that separates the waxes, lipids and fats from the oil. The last step involves removing the ethanol from the solution.

CBD can be further processed after winterisation to create the purest CBD product possible. The post-processing phase is known as short distillation. This process is similar but uses reduced pressure to keep the boiling point below normal. The solution heats up just enough for the impurities to boil away and leave the system within a short time, leaving behind the pure CBD oil for distillation in the collection chamber.

6. Which is the best CBD extraction method?

Among the different CBD extraction methods, CO2 extraction is considered to be the best one. It is completely safe and creates very little waste for the company using it to produce CBD products. With everything from safety to purity, CO2 CBD extraction makes it easy for producers to extract CBD from cannabis flowers and create high-quality products with excellent yields.

7. Extraction methods used for Marry Jane’s CBD products

At Marry Jane, we use several extraction methods to produce high-quality CBD and related products. These methods include CO2, BHO (butane hash oil) and ethanol extractions. All of our extraction processes are carried out according to the latest safety standards, which ensures we provide our clients with only the highest quality products.

8. Final thoughts

This concludes our basic guide on the different CBD extraction methods. As you can see, there are a variety of ways of how is CBD extracted from the cannabis plant. But the extraction process is just one link in the manufacturing chain of a high-quality CBD product. At Marry Jane, our third-party tested products are subject to rigorous quality control measures at every step of the manufacturing process, so you don’t have to worry about the quality of goods produced under the Marry Jane brand.

9. Sources

1. Does CBD Oil Get You High? (https://cfah.org/does-cbd-oil-get-you-high/)

2. Endocannabinoid Binding to the Cannabinoid Receptors: What Is Known and What Remains Unknown (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120766/)

3. Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425767/)

4. WHY AODD PUMPS ARE PERFECT FOR CBD PRODUCTION (https://www.versamatic.com/blog/why-aodd-pumps-are-perfect-for-cbd-production)

 

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Future of the European Hemp Industry
The Endocannabinoid System
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