How is your CBD processed?
Due to it’s growing popularity there are a lot of CBD brands on the market today. With all these different brands and limited knowledge, it can get overwhelming trying to pick which one to purchase from. It’s very important to know which CBD extraction methods a company uses.
What is CBD extraction?
CBD extraction is how the CBD is removed from the plant. Similar to how vanilla has been removed from the bean to get vanilla extract. CBD oil has to be removed, or extracted. You extract CBD from cannabis or hemp. Hemp has high levels of CBD and low levels of CBD.
In order for CBD products to be legal in the US it must contain no more than 0.03% THC. So most legit companies like No Borders Naturals will use hemp to help ensure they have little to no THC in their products.
You should always check the certificate of analysis before buying any products.
The two most popular extraction methods are C02 and ethanol.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction:
The first process we will look at is the Carbon Dioxide Extraction process. The CO2 method uses a type of Carbon Dioxide that contains properties of both a liquid and a gas state. Called supercritical carbon dioxide.
During the extraction CO2 gets exposed to high pressure and low temperature via pressurized chambers and pumps to extract the oil.
The CO2 method is preferred because it yields a higher concentration of CBD in the oil, about 92%. It is also safer and more efficient. However the equipment is more expensive so some companies choose not to use this.
The higher the concentration of CBD the more potent and effective the products will be. Items like CBD infused edibles will be more effective
For more detailed step by step of the extraction process you can learn more here.
For more pros and cons of the CO2 process check out this article.
This method uses a solvent to separate the CBD from the plant. This method is less expensive than CO2. The most commonly used substances in the solvent method are low-grade alcohol, ethanol, and butane.
During the extraction process solvent is added to the plant material. The solvent strips away the cannabinoids and flavor from the plant. Once enough cannabinoids have been stripped away the liquid is heated. This evaporates it down to the CBD oil base.
One of the cons to this is that the solvent is not always completely evaporated out. This means that trace amounts of the solvent can be found in the products and this can be harmful. So if you are choosing a brand that uses the solvent method make sure you look at the COA for all products being purchased.
Other methods of extraction
The CO2 and solvent method are the more popular methods. However, there are a few other ways CBD is extracted. Olive-oil and dry ice are some other ways to extract CBD. These are not generally used by CBD brands, mostly they are used at home.
To use the olive-oil method you heat the plant to a certain temperature for a specific length of time to activate the plants chemical properties.
The dry-ice method is a little bit more complicated, and takes more time. But essentially the dry-ice freezes trichome resins.
For more information and steps on these two methods you can go here
So while CBD is made into a variety of products such as gummies, oils, muscle and joint balms, and roll on gels. The efficacy of these products is going to be related to the extraction process and the amount of CBD that resulted from it. Before picking a brand, check into what method is used and how safe it is.