Millions of people around the world are waking up to the many benefits of CBD. However, not all CBD oil is manufactured equally. How CBD oil is extracted makes a significant difference in the quality of the product. Let’s discuss why CO2 extraction is the ideal method for producing high-quality CBD oil.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is 1 of 100+ phytocannabinoids present in cannabis plants. Certain phytocannabinoids, such as CBD in hemp and THC in marijuana, are present in low quantities in freshly harvested plants. Therefore, they must be activated and extracted from within the plant’s flowers.
When you smoke marijuana, that activation happens when you pack your rolling papers with marijuana and light up. This pressure causes a chemical reaction with the phytocannabinoid THCA. THCA gets altered into the psychoactive THC that causes a psychoactive experience.
Similarly, CBD is derived from an activated CBDA. While you can light hemp flowers in a bowl, the most common method of CBD consumption is through CBD oil. CBD gets activated during the extraction process. The method of this extraction will heavily dictate the quality of the CBD oil.
Types of CBD Extraction
Chemical reactions can alter the potency of CBD oil. Anything that is introduced to phytocannabinoids can cause this change. So, it’s essential to be selective with what materials will come into contact with phytocannabinoids. Caution should especially be considered when it comes to how the CBD is extracted.
The most common extraction method is with a chemical solvent. These chemicals can include natural solvents, such as alcohol. It may also contain potentially harmful chemicals, like hexane.
Hemp flowers get immersed in the solvent. Its abrasive vapors cause tiny hairs on the hemp, known as trichomes, to burst open. This reaction activates and releases phytocannabinoids into the solvent.
The solvent is then filtered and distilled to create hemp extract. This process usually involves heating off the solvent from the mixture. Adding heat to CBD oil can cause phytocannabinoids to deplete.
Chemical solvents aren’t the preferred method for CBD extraction. Alcohol vapors can cause the degradation of CBD particles. Meanwhile, hexane is an unnatural substance with unknown effects on the body.
Steam distillation is a cleaner method of CBD extraction. This method is how most essential oils are extracted. Steam opens up the trichomes and activates the phytocannabinoids.
Then, the extract gets cool pressed. Finally, manufacturers separate the oil from water. What’s left is a good-quality CBD oil.
Again, this process involves a little heat, followed by cooling. Such a change in temperatures may shock plant matter and influence the phytocannabinoids.
That’s why we recommend using CBD oil that has undergone C02 extraction.
What Is CBD CO2 Extraction?
CO2 extraction is the cleanest way to collect phytocannabinoids. In addition, it is a highly sustainable way to extract oil and maintains the integrity of plant-based compounds.
This method involves introducing hemp flowers to supercritical CO2. This subzero extraction method is essentially dry ice. Much like dry ice would cause our skin to burn; it also damages hemp trichomes.
Since the temperature is so cold, the phytocannabinoids immediately freeze in place. They don’t have the opportunity to degrade.
Manufacturers slowly raise the temperature within the extraction chamber. This process loosens up the frozen carbon and phytocannabinoid particles. When this happens, the compounds are able to bind together. This reaction allows laboratory specialists to separate the phytocannabinoids from all other plant matter.
The CO2 gets filtered out of the chamber and recycled for future use. Meanwhile, the phytocannabinoids get distilled and then used in high-quality CBD oil products.
Why Doesn’t Everyone Use CO2 Extraction?
Extracting CBD oil is a laborious process that costs a lot of time and money. Chemical solvents, especially hexane, are very cost-effective for businesses to use. Plus, these harsh chemicals expedite the extraction process, which saves a business money in human power.
CO2 extraction requires a costly investment in state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. This method requires extra warehouse space, trained professionals to operate, and continuous upkeep.
This method does create higher-quality CBD oil that will promote a return customer. Plus, supercritical CO2 is reusable. So, upgrading to CO2 extraction becomes a long-term investment that inevitably pays dividends for manufacturers.
How to Know If a Company Uses CO2 Extraction
Extraction methods aren’t typically displayed on product labels. You should do in-depth research on any CBD brand before purchasing their products.
Look through their website to learn about their process. If you can’t determine the extraction method, it’s safe to assume that they used a chemical solvent.
Of course, you can always contact the brand yourself to ask. However, reputable brands usually offer this type of information upfront. If they’re going to go through the trouble of upgrading to state-of-the-art equipment, they’re going to advertise it. Shopping smart and learning about extraction methods will ensure that you experience the maximum benefits of CBD.