CBD otherwise known as cannabidiol is a compound found in the cannabis plant. The richest source of CBD is the flowers of the hemp plant. There are so many products that contain CBD including oils, topicals like balms, lotions, gums and so much more.
In this article, we will take a look at the different types of CBD extraction methods. Some of these methods we will look at are supercritical CO2 extraction, steam distillation, and olive oil CBD extraction.
If you are interested in the details of CBD extraction as well as why CBD extraction is important, keep reading to learn more.
Why is CBD extraction important?
Before we get into the different types of CBD extraction you may be wondering why CBD extraction is important in the first place. In order to produce CBD products like oils, supplements, lotions, etc you must first extract cannabinoids from raw plant material. Hemp is the richest source of CBD and can not only be used to extract CBD but also in a variety of commercial industries,
There are many different ways to extract CBD from hemp and some methods are safer or more efficient than others. It’s important to know the difference as the way you extract CBD has an effect on the efficacy, purity of the final product.
Let’s take a look at a few different methods and how they are done.
Supercritical Co2 Extraction
This method allows for a safe and clean extraction without the use of additional additives or contaminants. It ensures a clean, pure, and high-quality product. It also allows for efficient yields to get the most out of the hemp plant, as well as being sustainable and environmentally friendly.
This method was first discovered in 1822 by French engineer Charles Cagniard de La Tour. It allows for greater control over the separation of components during the extraction process.
In this method temperature and pressure are used to create a series of changes in carbon dioxide (CO2). The series of changes that occur during this process creates a climate that allows plant compounds of different weights to be separated and filtered during a single extraction. It is a process that requires expertise to perform and is expensive.
Steam distillation is a centuries-old process. It is commonly used to distill alcohol as well as extract essential oils from organics. It is less complicated than CO2 CBD extraction. The plant matter is first introduced to a distillation tank, and then with the use of water and heat the steam that is produced carries oils to the top of the tank. It then passes through a condenser. This results in a mix of water and oil. After this more distillation is done to separate water and oil, thus resulting in full-spectrum oil.
This CBD extraction process is much simpler than supercritical CO2 extraction but it is more prone to error. It also is less efficient and potentially can damage part of the essential oil profile of the plant. For these reasons, steam distillation is not used very often to extract CBD.
Olive Oil CBD Extraction
Olive oil extraction can be performed at home but you need to make sure your plant material is decarboxylated. This means that it undergoes the process of acidic cannabinoids being activated via heat. This can be done when you smoke or vape it but also if it is put in the oven.
Once the plant matter is decarboxylated you can mix the plant matter with olive oil and heat it on the stove for several hours. The CBD as well as other essential terpenes will bind to the fat in the oil making an infused product. Once the mixture is cooled you can filter the oil and remove any leftover plant material.
This is a great method if you are looking to produce CBD oil at home and is relatively safe. However, there is not much control over the final product and the CBD content can be weak and unreliable compared to other professional methods.
These are just a few of the extraction methods that can be used, however, there are also others such as solvent extraction. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Supercritical CO2 extraction is definitely the cleanest and most efficient method and makes the most sense for any lab that can afford it.