Types of CBD Extraction: Which One Is the Best?

There are many ways to use CBD effectively. Whether you’re interested in prescription pill-form medication, gummy bears, or oil, CBD can play a crucial role in pain relief. For those who are interested in the physical, medicinal properties of marijuana without the potentially anxiety-producing effects of THC, CBD products can prove quite helpful.

The Benefits of Ingesting CBD

CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Because of its ability to reduce the level of chronic inflammation in joints, it is often thought of as a natural treatment for conditions like arthritis. Neurological issues such as fibromyalgia and those suffering from multiple sclerosis also benefit from a potent dose of CBD.

By using the prescription drug, Epidiolex, seizures that stem from two specific types of epilepsy (Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome) can be treated. If using CBD for the purpose of taming serious seizures caused by these syndromes, talking to your doctor can be a turning point.

Since using CBD can have significant medical benefits, finding the right extraction is imperative to its function. While the actual plant itself matters most, the extraction process is a close second. By using the right extraction method, you can find the purest and most potent CBD available regardless of the milligrams.

What Is CBD Extraction?

CBD extraction involves separating the hemp plant from the cannabidiol. By creating a concentrated form of CBD, it can then be consumed by humans. By applying extreme heat to cannabinoids, CBD can be effectively used for different forms of ingestion. Once raw oil has been successfully extracted, all solvents should be removed – this includes chlorophyll, lipids, and waxes. What is considered “clean” CBD oil should have approximately 70%-90% CBD. This type of oil is generally considered stronger and more pure.

Depending on where the process is manufactured, hemp plants that are used for extraction are usually found in the United States. The method of extraction used for CBD oil can impact the environment.

CBD Extraction

In order to create non-toxic, CBD products, the CBD must first be removed from the actual cannabis plant. Once the oil extraction from hemp has occurred, CBD can then be manufactured into oils, topical creams, and even the exact prescription medication for seizure patients.

What Is the Alcohol Extraction Method?

Originally, CBD was extracted through alcohol. By soaking the plant in alcohol for an extended period of time, cannabinoids are drawn out from the high-proof grain alcohol. A liquid solvent extraction usually involves ethanol. Although no specialized equipment is necessary for liquid solvent extraction, plant matter should be placed in a container that the solvent is then run through.

The alcohol extraction method can be done at home, but businesses also use it. Depending on the solvent used, outcomes can vary.

What Is the Oil Extraction Method?

The oil extraction method is best for producing CBD from hemp. Like the liquid solvent extraction using alcohol, this can also be performed at home. There are two basic steps to using the oil extraction method.

  1. Heat olive oil to 248 degrees F for one hour
  2. Add plant matter to the oil at 212 degrees F for one hour

After this process, the CBD is effectively released into the oil. Although olive oil is primarily used as the main oil, coconut or palm oil can also be used. If the oil extraction method is used for business purposes, substituting one oil for another may be beneficial for those with allergies. Olive oil is easy to work with, but coconut and palm oil are also just as safe to use.

What Is the Supercritical CO2 Extraction Method?

This method requires the use of carbon dioxide to separate CBD from hemp. Unlike the oil and alcohol extraction methods, Supercritical CO2 Extraction requires specialized equipment. First, carbon dioxide must be transformed into a liquid. This is done in temperatures below -69 degrees F. In addition to lowering the liquid temperature, the pressure must be raised to over 75 pounds per square inch. This is where a compressor is needed to then pass the liquid through the plant matter.

Carbon monoxide extraction is a safe way to produce high concentrations of CBD. When looking to create exact amounts of concentration, this is by far the most precise method of extraction. By tweaking the solvent and pressure ratios, the concentration can be easily measured.

Through this process, trichomes and terpenes are removed from the plant. Once both the temperature and pressure are increased, the carbon monoxide converts into half gas and half liquid. This type of extraction must be done in a lab.

What Is the Steam Distillation Method?

Using steam to separate plant matter and CBD oil can be done in a glass flask. The inlet of the glass flask then attaches to another glass container that contains boiling water. Once the water is boiled, steam can then travel up into the plant flask. Once the vapors are condensed into oil and water, the CBD oil can be extracted.

This method is over a century old. Although it may not be as precise as the carbon monoxide method, it can be used for a large amount of plant matter. Technically, this process could be done at home, but the equipment needed is much better suited for a lab environment.

Which Extraction Is Best?

Just like there is no right or wrong way to use CBD, there is also no correct way to extract it. Depending on the individual’s priorities, any of the above-listed extraction methods can work well. For those who want a more “pure” product with less toxicity, carbon monoxide is often used. Some of the more expensive and potent brands advertise a carbon monoxide extraction method. If extraction from home is a necessity for small business owners, using the alcohol or oil extraction method works better. For large quantities of hemp, the steam method has withstood the test of time for centuries. Ultimately, regardless of how the CBD is extracted, it is the quality of the plant that will make the biggest difference.

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