Hemp oil production
There are a lot of websites that tell you how to make your own hemp seed oil at home. Consumers need to be made aware of the drawbacks of attempting this – as well as the dangers. Unfortunately, trying to do things ‘on the cheap’ is never going to give you the best method of hemp oil production.
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The plant material you choose
Industrial hemp is not normally grown in the same way one would grow a food crop. Strong pesticides can be used, and because the farmer isn’t expecting the hemp to be concentrated into oil, he isn’t worried about pesticide residues. You should be. After all, pesticide contaminated hemp oil will do you more harm than good.
This problem doesn’t only affect consumers who try hemp oil production at home, it also affects many of the commercial brands on the market today. If you don’t control the whole supply chain, beginning with the way the plants are grown, you can’t be sure that you are getting a healthful supplement or a poison-laced cocktail.
The other problem with using industrial hemp is that it hasn’t been selected for its high CBD content. Fiber is the most important product for the commercial hemp producer, and CBD content is not a focus area. Ideally, a medicinal strain should be chosen for its CBD content, but without proper analysis, you really have no idea what the cannabinoid concentration of your hemp oil will be.
Hemp oil production using solvents
Butane and other solvents are often recommended for hemp oil production, but many people don’t understand just how risky this is. Of course, there is the possibility of an explosion happening, but that’s the least of your worries! It’s just about impossible to get pure butane – and since it was never meant for human consumption anyway, nobody has been too worried about toxic contaminants in this and other solvents.
But now, irresponsible websites are promoting the use of solvents for home hemp oil production, opening up a range of health risks that should never be associated with a pure, natural product. Of course, the health risks are all associated with the solvents themselves, rather than the hemp itself, but as we have seen, this element cannot be overlooked.
Cold pressing and olive oil extraction
This hemp oil production method is much more healthful and is a great way to obtain culinary grade hemp seed oil – provided the plant material has been grown organically. Cold pressing is done without additives and ensures that most of the nutrients in the hemp seed will be found in the oil.
A version of hemp seed oil can also be made by heating hemp seeds in olive oil, once again, a great way to obtain culinary grade hemp oil for those who want to explore its nutritional benefits.
However, the cold pressed oil or olive oil extract oil is not highly concentrated, so while they are a great addition to salads and cooking, these methods may not suit you if you are looking for a good concentration of CBD. If you are using hemp oil for its CBD content, you also need to know just how much CBD there is in your oil so that you can determine how much you need to take. Even supposing you could determine that, you’ll probably find that you have to consume far too much of these oils to get the dose you are aiming for.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do this at home. It requires expensive laboratory equipment as well as a whole lot of know-how. However, hemp oil production using this method ensures that the resulting product contains all the natural ingredients found in hemp seed at highly concentrated levels and does not leave behind any residues provided that the plant material used has been grown using organic farming methods.
There are several reassuring features of oil produced in this way. Because it is lab-produced, it is also lab tested. You can tell how much CBD it contains. It can also be tested for pesticide residues to ensure that there are no harmful compounds. But a truly professional lab chooses organically grown hemp.
Hemp oil production: bottom line
No matter what anyone tells you about home hemp oil production, it is best not to try it at home. Even if you avoid solvents, you still don’t really know where your hemp came form and how it was grown. If you want a culinary grade hemp oil, get a cold-pressed oil that has organic certification.
If you want to try CBD for health reasons, you should look for hemp oil that was obtained through CO2 extraction. Ensure that any claims (e.g. organic, percentage of CBD) are verified through third party certification.
Unfortunately, US pharmaceutical companies do not practice hemp oil production, so finding a local source that is reputable is not always easy. However, there are reputable firms in the EU who produce hemp oil to pharmaceutical standards and who have certifications indicating that their products are safe, correctly labelled and manufactured according to best practices.
Author: Andrea Durrheim