Cannabidiol is too wise to be hanging with its sibling components in hemp plants. No one wants them to be sitting around with these “not so useful” brethren. That’s why companies pull it out.
Pulling out? Yeah! The industry likes to call it extraction. But it’s no less than pulling the best component out of the hemp plant.
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But what makes these industries drool over CBD and not other compounds? Why are they hell-bent in extracting it?
Well, CBD brings the gift of evolution on the table. It’s a student who turned smarter over a span of time, umm, maybe a million years or more— who knows?
All the companies (teachers) love him. Some want to make oil out of it. Some turn it into edibles and gummies. That’s the USP of CBD. You extract it out to give any form you like— each will have specific medicinal values.
But the growing awareness has made people curious about how CBD is extracted out of the weed plant.
Moreso, because not all extractions are equal. Some processes help extract the purest form of CBD known to humankind, while others leave a bit of impurity.
But that’s what makes CBD the most sought-after product. It’s pure bliss to have CBD bottles make our kitchen’s rack in multiple ways. If a company doesn’t have access to one extraction method, they have another. If they don’t have the second method, they have the third. Either way, we’re never running short of the CBD supplements that have seeped in our lives.
And if it happens in our wildest dream, CBD has the magic of DIY extraction. That’s right. You can pull out these tiny-components by yourself. You just need to set up a small ‘Heisenberg-kinda’ lab in your caravan, kitchen, or garage basement.
CBD is not like its over-enthusiastic, mad cousin— THC. Don’t let political propaganda ruin its medicinal brilliance.
Political parties assume that CBD behaves like its cousin THC. It might be an absolute truth in Shrodinger’s world, but not in this one, though.
While the nihilistic THC triggers the psychoactive part of your brain, making you a bummer of the lot— CBD is a sweet-little daddy’s princess that calms your personality. Only a peripheral route thinker would interchangeably use CBD and THC without making any central route research on it.
Oh my! Look at you. The couch potato is jumping already, waiting to be couch-locked! But you got to hold your horses. The bill comes with specific clauses.
You’re free to extract CBD as long as it has low THC impurity (<0.3%). And you can’t possess it over a set amount. Anything above that would mean wrong-doing or felony. You don’t want to be seeing the world through the bars.
Nah, who’ll bother to learn how to extract CBD. Too long a process. I’m gonna eat the strain directly.
We understand that you can’t wait to chomp your favorite herb, and you’re indeed entitled to eat it raw. However, we can assure you a guilt-trip when you’ll find wasting your last strain bite with no effect on your body.
You’ll not only yell eww with the raw cannabis, but you’ll curse yourself for having the last piece of expensive strain butchered under your teeth for nothing. And we mean it.
Who cares? I am still not going for the illogical route! I will burn it down and have the best puff of my life.
That’s one step smarter. Burning your raw cannabis will decarboxylate the strain and have you enjoy the desirable effect. Too cool of you to think the unthinkable, the unimaginable! No kidding! Many cannabis lovers have the best of their CBDs through smoking.
But here’s the most meaningful two-word copy in the history of advertisement— SMOKING KILLS! Smoking cannabis is no different. With each wrinkled formed by pulling a puff, you shorten your life. And this is why we need safe ways to administer CBD in our bodies. That’s where we pull out CBD from the plant.
Extracting CBD oils and turning them into concentrated forms make them consumable for humans and extraterrestrial-aliens, alike.
That’s not all. Raw herbs have a variety of microbes that could mute the medicinal benefits of the strain.
Having a raw herb is like having a drug that kills cancer cells. Great in the first look! But would you rather have it if it caused you AIDS? No. You would not want to trade-off one problem for another. Trust us; it’s the worst business deal you could do with your body.
But you can rely on extracted CBD. The extraction process eliminates all the microbes, plant lipids, and waxes; and delivers CBD in its best form— the form devoid of any side effects, the type that could help you win intergalactic glory if you were in the movie Star Trek. Too much exaggeration, but we can’t help. That’s the power of the euphoric trips with CBD.
The quality of the bridge depends on the quality of cement and tar. The quality of your recipe depends on the quality of ingredients.
CBD is no exception. The grade of CBD extract depends on the standard of hemp source. The entire extraction process starts with picking ‘well-to-do’ organic hemp plants that are not spoiled by toxic chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals.
My, My, My! We’re finally extracting CBD.
CBD companies prefer extraction methods based on health profile, the end result, and the impact of the process on the environment. Now that we know the XYZ of CBD extraction let’s learn the ABC of it.
So, without further ado, let’s extract the concentrated stuff.
Three common methods to extract CBD
Method #1: Solvent Extraction— The Rick Simpson Method
You’ll love the solvent extraction method for three reasons— it’s the least expensive method, straightforward to prepare, and most important of all— it’s quite fast if you can’t wait to have the best concentrated CBD real quick.
But not everything is roses and rainbows with this method. It brings a lot of compounding dangers just as your interests. The liquids that we use to extract CBD are highly flammable, and your kitchen-cum-lab may turn into ash-tray if you don’t pay attention to safety-measures.
The best part is— it’s a DIY method. Worst of all— it’s the worst way to isolate CBD.
The process involves the use of butane, ethanol, isopropyl, or alcohol to extract cannabidiol from hemp.
The flowering plant is trimmed and put into a container.
The plant material is submerged into the solvent. As the herb soaks the liquid, the compounds are stripped naked from the plant material. The hydrocarbons have a low boiling point in comparison to the liquid compounds of hemp.
What to expect…
Besides that, the process doesn’t guarantee the purest form. It can leave behind harmful contaminant residues if they’re not entirely eliminated during the evaporation process. Traces of naphtha hydrocarbons and petroleum residue downgrade the quality of CBD concentrate.
Method #2: Olive Oil Extraction— Carrier Oil Method
Is it simple to process? Yes! Is it cost-friendly? Yes! Is it quick to prepare? Hell, yes! But what sets it apart from the solvent extraction? Well, you wouldn’t need to call the fire police. It’s that safe.
With risks come results. But safety trades-off something very valuable. Unfortunately, it’s the strength of CBD concentrate itself. The olive oil extract is not as concentrated as any other extraction means.
That said, consumers will not have to consume contaminants, but the ineffective concentration and low yield of the active cannabinoids kill the purpose of all the hard work. Also, the oil extracted by this method perishes if you don’t add preservatives. Go for this method if you don’t mind having a very low potency CBD oil.
Remember how you were adamant about puffing the hemp strain? And how a CBD punch hit your head immediately after that. Well, lightening up the pipe decarboxylates the cannabis and activates the essential compounds that give you high.
Similarly, in this method— we have to begin with heating weed strain at a specific temperature for decarbo..what? Decarboxylating it! This way— we’ll activate these dead zombies from their graves and have their benefits on our bodies.
Once the components go active, we will add these strains in olive oil and heat the mixture for several hours. Burning it for hours would pull out CBD compounds from the plant and push them into the carrier oil.
What to expect…
Carrier oils like Olive don’t dissipate into the air like solvents. The lazy-introvert oil molecules decide to celebrate with CBD extract in the container rather than moving out in the air. Result? The extract is not considered very effective at all.
Method #3: CO2 Extraction— Advanced Extraction Method
If other extraction methods are small-scale businesses, Co2 extraction is the daddy-corp in itself! It’s an advanced and advised form of an extraction method that is used at a large-scale industrial level.
The industrial standard extraction procedure easily beats all other methods in terms of producing pure, safe, and yummy CBD concentrates. The anti-chlorophyll concentrates have the best taste, and you’ll have a very lower chance of consuming contaminants.
You got to dig deeper into your pockets— like real deep! CO2 extraction needs space, safety measures, a substantial investment, and the worst of all— experts to operate the process. The complexity of Co2 extraction will rip off your DIY dream. Don’t worry— not when you’re setting up the extraction plant.
The setup includes Co2 as a solvent, specialized equipment to liquify Co2, & the separator. We’ll be using a closed-loop extractor that has three chambers.
In this method, Co2 behaves as a solvent at a specific temperature and pressure. Here’s the cherry on the cake— Co2 possesses no dangers as carried by other solvents. Since co2, as a solvent, is not inflammable— the method is quite safe.
In the closed-loop extractor, the first-chamber holds solid Co2 or dry ice, and the second chamber has dried hemp stalks, flowers, and buds. The fun begins here. We liquify co2 at supercritical temperature and pump it into the second chamber.
The co2 stampedes over hemp strain and stalk and pulls out all the good stuff from the bad stuff. Then, the cannabidiol and co2 are passed to the third chamber— also termed as the separator. The chamber forces co2 to bubble up, leaving all the CBD residue behind.
Co2 is selfless. You can keep reusing it until you’ve it fully-consumed.
What to expect…
The delicious extract with very little waste. No harsh chemicals. No contaminants. No beating behind the bush. Simply pure. Crystal pure.
Which CBD extraction method is the best? We say it depends on the situation.
- No CBD to party with your friends? Need it immediately? Solvent extraction.
- Looking for the most potent oil? Co2 extraction.
- Less investment? Good returns? Solvent or carrier oil.
- Want to flaunt the purest form of CBD? Co2 extraction.
- Setting a personal CBD industry? Co2 extraction.
- Don’t want to put your life and bank balance in line? Carrier oil extraction.
- Is safety the only concern? Co2 extraction method.
- Want to satisfy your taste buds? Co2 extraction.
Let’s quickly recap what we covered. Key takeaways from the blog piece
- Research! Research! Research! Who knows? The CBD everyone hates, including you, might become your lifeline.
- We know you’ve got teeth or even wisdom teeth. But don’t chew raw hemp buds. They’ll have no effect.
- It feels happy to save buying cheap hemp strains. But it wouldn’t give the desired concentrate. Select rich-organic hemp raw for a high-quality CBD-extract.
- You smoke CBD to destress yourself? Cut the crap. You can have better alternatives from CBD extracts to ward off your stress.
- Why have graphite when you can have a diamond? Solvent extraction is efficient and easy on pockets, but can potentially contaminate your body.
- Less risk, less profit. Olive oil extraction is safe and economically-respectable but will have low yields.
- Quality and quantity, mixed. CO2 extraction is the most expensive and complicated method but yields the highest quality CBD end product.
- Last but not the least, it’s important how you proceed with the process. Having looped-chambers doesn’t guarantee the purest form of extraction if you’re doing it wrong.