Lets get through this without too much jargon and over complication.
CBD oil is oil extracted from cannabis plants and buds, now, cannabis or marijuana as many of us have always been bombarded with is wrong, illegal, drugs, naughty. But, before people started producing large amounts of cannabis to get high and it got outlawed, it was used for many medicinal purposes. Noting also that hemp was used for paper, trees, clothes etc etc.
There are many different strands and strains of cannabis, each with different compounds. It is thought there are over 113 cannabinoids within a hemp plant, What stands out to us are two specifically, the most abundant are THC ( tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol)
THC is the compound in marijuana or cannabis which produce the high, the psychoactive stimulant.
CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties but has a whole host of potential health benefits
CBD works by interacting with cannabinoid receptors and other neurotransmitters in the body, skin , digestive tract , reproductive organs and the brain.
There is already CBD in my body?
Well, in everybody there is what we call an endocannabinoid system, which is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain – sensation, mood, and memory.
When we ingest or inhale cannabis, marijuana or CBD we are supplying our body with an external form of CBD which binds with receptors in our own system. Now the full effects to how this works is still in its infantile stages of study, but there are breakthroughs being made all the time, especially now that Marijuana, or cannabis and CBD is being made legal for medical purposes (and some for recreational) in many states in the US and all over the world.
How is CBD oil made
CBD is extracted from the plant and buds typically in one of three ways :
- CO2 Pros
- Selective and tunable for different molecular weights
- No residual solvents – great for vape pens
- Cold extractions and separations are good for temperature sensitive extractions (i.e. terpene preservation)
- Minimal facility safety requirements/costs – just signs and CO2 monitor
- Automation is easy and available
- CO2 Cons
- Equipment is expensive
- Manually operated systems are complex to learn
- Extraction rates are slow on less expensive equipment (competitive rates for more expensive equipment)
- Hydrocarbon Pros
- Less expensive equipment than CO2
- Fast extraction rates
- Great for dabble products like shatter, honeycomb, crumble
- High potency levels
- Hydrocarbon Cons
- Facility is very expensive – Class 1, Division 1 requirements
- Automation is difficult and expensive due to C1D1 requirement
- Heavily scrutinized by local regulators and inspectors
- Not selective or tunable
- Scaling challenges from limits on amount of hydrocarbon that can be on site (150#)
- Residual solvent testing required (adds additional time and expense)
- Ethanol Pros
- Very inexpensive equipment
- Facility is less expensive than hydrocarbons
- Less power intensive than CO2
- Very fast extractions – great for distillate products
- Easily scalable
- Ethanol Cons
- Not selective or tunable
- Will freely extract chlorophyll
- Requires significant levels of secondary processing
- Flammable – requires fume hood or equivalent
What we often find is that C02 extraction is the most expensive method, but it seems to be the best. It doesn’t need any external oils or alcohols. It can be done with temperature selection meaning no heat damage will occur, and it is typically done first time without needing a second extraction.
Lab techs use state of the art equipment to create phase changes in carbon dioxide by utilizing temperature and pressure. The carbon dioxide is cooled and compressed to upwards of 10,000 psi – by comparison your car tire is pressurized to about 300 psi. When compressed to these extremes, CO2 becomes ‘supercritical’, which simply means that it converts to liquid when placed under extreme pressure.
In this supercritical state, the CO2 possesses the properties of a liquid and gas at the same time. The CO2 is then heated up and passed through the hemp in a closed loop extractor, without causing harm to any heat-sensitive nutrients like enzymes or vitamins.
The result of this process is a released and recycled CO2 that leaves a highly concentrated, totally pure extract that is more easily digested by the body. The CBD oil that comes through supercritical extraction is a full spectrum cannabinoid product that is transparent with a light amber color.
The different types of CBD products on the market?
New CBD products are coming out all the time, there are many gimmicks out there but there are also some stand out high quality products including CBD oils, CBD edibles , CBD vape pens, CBD buds and also balms which can be used for topical applications.
Check out our other articles for how to look out for the best CBD products, how to avoid the shit products which actually contain no CBD and check our company page for companies which sell good, high quality CBD products with great customer service.