Cannabidiol or CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It is a compound that has shown promise in several medical applications. It helps with the relieving of pain and anxiety. Hemp and marijuana both contain CBD but most CBD-derived products use CBD from hemp. One of the main reasons is that marijuana contains high amounts of THC. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis. People consider it a mind-altering ingredient because it produces the high sensation. Hemp only contains a trace amount of THC, not enough to cause the feeling of euphoria one can get from marijuana. This makes CBD an ideal product even for children.
Tinctures and capsules are the most common way to consume the beneficial phytocompounds. The compounds are first extracted into an oil and used as the main ingredient. There are several methods of extraction and processing of a hemp extract. The purity, contents, and quality of a given product depend on the method used.
The hemp plant needs to undergo an extraction process to make a crude extract. A solvent passes through plant material to separate the active compounds in the bulk plant materials. The result is an oil made of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds. The oil is further processed to become various products.
Supercritical CO2 extraction
This fantastic method creates CBD-rich extracts. This puts carbon dioxide under high pressure while keeping a low temperature. Pressure transforms the gas into a liquid. It then passes through the plant material. The extraction efficiency is up to 90%. The result is a highly-concentrated pure oil extract. The equipment needed for this is expensive and operators should have proper experience. The resulting oil enables the production of the highest quality products.
This method has lower cost of operation than CO2 extraction. Although the cost is lower, this method also produces high-quality extracts. The difference is that it needs more expertise and post-extraction processing. This method uses ethanol, which is Generally-Regarded as Safe by the FDA. It means it is safe for human consumption. Ethanol is a polar solvent that mixes with water. It dissolves water-soluble molecules to the desired cannabis compounds. The result is a dark-colored oil whose flavor is bitter and grassy caused by chlorophyll. Post-extraction filtering methods can remove the chlorophyll. The process can also remove some of the cannabinoids. The CBD oil product becomes of lower quality because of this. The result of this method can produce items comparable to CO2 extraction in quality. That is if there is an experienced operator for the extraction.
This is one of the lesser-used extraction methods. It uses the fats or lipids to absorb and encapsulate the hemp-produced compounds. Organic coconut oil is often used in this process. The extraction does not need any harsh solvents or CO2. Although it is not a popular method, there are boutique companies that use it.
There are several resources you can use if you want to know more about the extraction. The internet is the best resource at your disposal.