CBD Extraction Methods - The Basics
If you have started looking into CBD products for your health and wellness, you may have come across the topic of extraction method. The extraction method is one of the critical differences between the many different products on the market today. Do you know the differences between the many different cannabis extraction methods?
There are many different types of hemp extraction used today. The most common methods are:
- CO2 Extraction
- Butane Extraction
- Ethanol Extraction
- Olive Oil Extraction
Each method comes with pros and cons. Some techniques require more technical equipment than others (CO2 versus olive oil extraction). Some options make more sense for making CBD oil at home (Olive oil extraction), and others make much more sense in a professional setting (solvent extraction). They also produce different qualities and potencies of CBD extract.
As you explore the big wide world of CBD, it’s worth getting to know the various types of extraction methods. The extraction method should be a factor in your decision before making a purchase.
How Does CO2 Extraction Work?
One of the most common methods of CBD extraction is with CO2. Many companies rely on this method because the production process is safe, and the final product is pure. It requires a high level of technical expertise and investment in costly equipment. This investment pays off with a very high-quality final product.
There are technically three different types of CO2 extraction: supercritical, subcritical and mid-critical. The differences between the three models come down to varying combinations of heat and pressure applied to the CO2. Most CBD companies rely on supercritical, as it produces the highest quality CBD extraction.
During the process, CO2 is pressured and the temperature reduced so that the gaseous compound liquifies. Under pressure within the canister, the extraction equipment slowly raises the temperature, and the liquified CO2 enters into a state somewhere between a liquid and a gas. Once in this supercritical state, the machine pushes the CO2 through the cannabis product.
As the CO2 passes through the cannabis, it pulls out the valuable compounds including cannabinoids and terpenes. The equipment then filters the plant material out of the CO2. Once the solids have been removed, the cannabinoid extraction goes into one collection tank and the CO2 into another.
CO2 extraction has a long history of use in food production. It’s responsible for the bubbles in your soft drink, and the decaf coffee you drink in the afternoon. It’s one of the most popular methods in hemp extraction because it produces such a clean final product.
How Does Solvent (Butane) Extraction Work?
The second most popular extraction in the cannabis industry is a solvent extraction: butane. Cannabis producers have long used butane because it is quick, easy, and relatively safe (with the right equipment).
The process is quite simple: combine the cannabis with the butane. The solvent naturally pulls out the cannabinoids and terpenes from the organic plant material.
Once thoroughly combined, the next step is to filters out the solid plant material. Under carefully controlled conditions, the producer then evaporates the petrochemical by slowly raising the temperature. Gradually the butane evaporates. This process is dangerous to perform at home, as butane is flammable if not handled with care.
If done correctly, the final CBD concentrate is pure, with no petrochemical contamination. Many companies use butane extraction because it produces a potent end product. Unlike other types of petrochemical extraction (ethanol is one example), it also doesn’t pull out chlorophyll during the process. Chlorophyll is an unwanted compound in CBD extractions because it clouds and discolors the concentrate. Butane extractions also have a higher potency than other methods.
Other Cannabis Extraction Methods
While butane and CO2 are the most popular extraction methods in the industry today - there are other CBD extraction methods worth touching on:
Another solvent extraction method is the ethanol method. Ethanol extraction works in much the same way as the butane method but usually produces a less pure final CBD extraction. Ethanol pulls out chlorophyll as well as the cannabinoids and terpenes, producers must put it through a secondary filtration process. This step often lowers the end potency.
The Olive oil extraction is an excellent option for making CBD concentrate at home, but it’s very much a do-it-yourself solution. If you want to make CBD extraction at home, olive oil is relatively cheap and arguably the safest out of all your options. The final product might not be as potent as a professional CO2 or butane extraction, but it also doesn’t require much technical skill or expensive equipment.
As you can see, there is more than one way to pull CBD out of the raw material. It's handy to know the different types of extraction methods when shopping for a high-quality CBD product. Some extraction methods are suitable for making CBD oils at home (olive oil extraction), while other extractions should be left solely in the hands of professionals (butane and CO2). Every kind of extraction has pros and cons, which influence the potency and quality of the final product.
Canzon is focused on high-quality CBD extraction methods. Through solvent and CO2 extraction methods, the final product preserves the highest level of beneficial compounds from the original plant material. It’s this dedication to quality during the production process which shines through in the final CBD tinctures, isolates, and oils.