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CBD Oil Extraction Methods

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There are several factors that people tend to consider when comparing CBD oils and choosing the best option.

Factors such as the strength of the oil, the flavor options, and the price are all easy to find out when comparing CBD oil for sale. These factors are high on consumers’ lists.

Things such as where the CBD was sourced and how it has been processed are less frequently considered by shoppers.

Despite the lack of attention given to these topics, the source of CBD and the extraction methods are critical to the product’s quality and effectiveness.

So, what are the different ways to extract CBD, and which methods offer the best quality?

What Is CBD, and Where Does It Come from?

CBD is derived from hemp plants; it’s just one of over a hundred different cannabinoids found within the plant.

There are many different hemp plant strains, and each one has its own unique combination and ratio of cannabinoids. Certain strains have a high proportion of CBD and are considered to offer the best quality for CBD manufacturers. Other strains have a higher percentage of psychoactive cannabinoids, like THC, and are generally avoided within the CBD supplement industry.

CBD and THC are the two main cannabinoids that people associate with hemp and cannabis plants. While these two cannabinoids tend to occur in the highest portions, there are many other cannabinoids also found within hemp plants.

Cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN are two other examples of cannabinoids that are often found in hemp plants and used in full-spectrum CBD products. It is thought that different non-psychoactive cannabinoids can work together within the body and trigger the entourage effect and, as a result, more noticeable results.

For CBD oils and other products to be made, the manufacturer must first extract the cannabinoids from the plant matter. Several extraction methods can be used, and each one has its pros and cons.

Here are the most common extraction methods and how they differ.

Cold Pressure Extraction

Many CBD brands that focus on being eco-friendly brand use the cold pressure extraction method. Cold pressure extraction is considered an environmentally friendly way of removing CBD from hemp plants.

Another significant benefit of cold pressing is that the end result retains almost all of the cannabinoids within the plant matter with minor damage. Cold pressure extraction is beneficial and effective when making full-spectrum CBD products for this reason.

It works by cooling hemp plants and then using extreme force to crush them. The sudden pressure applied to the hemp plants releases all of the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant.

CBD products that are made using cold pressure extraction can sometimes be a little more expensive. It has a much lower yield than other extraction methods, meaning that more hemp plants are required during the manufacturing process.

Carbon Dioxide Extraction (CO2)

Carbon dioxide extraction is a method that is common within not just the CBD industry but other areas, including the manufacturing of essential oils and the process involved in making decaffeinated coffee.

One of the reasons why carbon dioxide is used within so many different industries is that it is considered highly safe and non-volatile. The process also has a relatively low impact on the environment.

While CO2 is used during the extraction process, it can be used multiple times and therefore does not go to waste. Once the extraction process is complete, the CO2 is stored, recycled, and used again.

Carbon dioxide is used to dissolve the phytocannabinoids within hemp plants. The cannabinoids are then collected in a chamber.

Once this first step is complete, the manufacturer can separate the plant matter from the solution. The cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plants are then accessible and can be used to make CBD products.

Carbon dioxide extraction produces a solution containing all the terpenes and cannabinoids naturally occurring within hemp plants. As a result, the method is much more widely used for full-spectrum products as opposed to CBD isolates.

To make CBD isolate products using the carbon dioxide method of extraction, further filtration is required in order to remove all compounds other than CBD.

Solvent CBD Extraction

Using solvents to extract CBD and other cannabinoids from hemp plants is one of the older methods within the industry.

Using solvents to extract CBD is relatively easy and produces a higher yield than many other modern methods (other than CO2), making it highly cost-effective.

Many different solvents can be used during the extraction of CBD. Today, most companies will either use hexane, ethanol, or butane. These solvents extract the cannabinoids from the plant and pull chlorophyll, which can lower CBD potency.

The downside to this high-yield and low-cost method is that it does not generally result in the best quality CBD. Products made using solvent extraction are thought to have a slightly higher chance of causing adverse effects when used regularly.

The solvent extraction method was once the most widely used method when making CBD products. However, today most brands will opt for a more eco-friendly method, resulting in solvent extraction mainly being reserved for the manufacturing of cheaper, budget CBD products.