The Most Popular CBD Extraction Methods

In one of our previous articles, we briefly mentioned the process of CBD extraction. Today, we’re going to tell you in greater detail about the methods producers use to create the best CBD products. Let’s find out more below.

What is CBD extraction?

Generally speaking, CBD extraction is a process used to obtain cannabidiol from hemp. Since there are many different CBD end products, the extraction process can vary from one to the other. In the following section, we will explain the most popular extraction methods that use different substances (solvent, olive oil, steam and carbon dioxide) to get the expected results.

Solvent extraction

The first method we’ll be looking at is the one that uses solvents. For this method, the plant clippings are soaked or rinsed with food-grade ethanol or a hydrocarbon, which extracts the expected compounds. There are differences in the following actions depending on the solvent used for the process:

  • In the case of using a hydrocarbon, the mixture containing cannabinoids and other compounds is purified and most of the solvent is removed. Then, the remaining material is cleaned up leaving a concentrated CBD oil behind.
  • If ethanol is used, the resulting liquid is distilled in order to separate the hemp oil from the ethanol and then isolate the compounds.

Extraction with olive oil

Another ingredient that can be used to obtain cannabidiol is olive oil. Using this method, raw hemp is heated to a certain temperature, then mixed with the oil and heated again in order to get the cannabinoids. In the end, the product will more closely resemble a CBD oil than a concentrated extract because olive oil does not evaporate like the solvents used in the previous method.

Steam distillation

The next method is distillation using steam. It is applied to remove cannabinoids from plant material. The resulting vapor, full of the sought-after compounds, is then cooled and condensed. The final step of the process is to separate the acquired oil from the water.

CO2 extraction

Last but not least is extraction using CO2 or carbon dioxide. Usually, this process involves three chambers. Inside the first one, carbon dioxide is changed into the state of a liquid by an increase in pressure and a significant decrease in temperature. Then, both are slowly raised until the liquid carbon dioxide reaches the point at which it is half liquid and half vapor. Next, this substance is pumped into a second chamber that contains the hemp plant material. The carbon dioxide passes through the hemp, separating the oil enriched with cannabinoids and the other compounds inside the plant material. Finally, the oil and carbon dioxide enter the last chamber, where they are separated and the residual carbon dioxide evaporates. What remains is a CBD oil extract with a high concentration.

Final thoughts

We have taken an in-depth look at the most popular ways to extract cannabidiol. As you can see, different substances may be used to get the desired result. Please remember that this is not a DIY article. We would strongly remind you that extracting cannabidiol is a process that is strictly controlled by the law, so it is only allowed under the relevant license. If you have any questions about the subject of this article, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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