What the Hemp is CBD? - Extraction Methods
by Pricila Rodriguez
You’ve heard it in the news, you’ve seen it at your favorite coffee shop, and you may have heard a coworker share their experience in the employee break room. You’ve heard all the rave on CBD, from pain relief to anti-anxiety properties everyone and their momma is taking CBD! Hemp derived CBD has been getting all the spotlight lately that its infamous cousin marijuana (cannabis sativa) has always wanted. From CBD tinctures and gummies to CBD burgers and soda! How do you know these products are the best product for you? Where does convenience and quality meet? Do you go with the well marketed CBD brand made by your favorite country hippie celebrity? Or do you go with your best friend’s brother’s girlfriend recommendation? Here we break down all the facts about CBD, what questions to ask and the difference between all your favorite CBD junk food.
First thing first we break down the difference between all the extraction methods and let you know which ones we trust, and which are plain old pseudoscience.
Co2 extraction uses expensive specialized machinery to extract specific compounds from the hemp plant using varied temperatures and pressure. Using this extraction method ensures that only the specific compound needed is being extracted without the use of any toxic solvents that may compromise the product. Co2 extraction also acts as a sanitizing agent that helps prolong shelf life and yields medical grade oils. This method of extraction is by far one of the most popular methods of extraction and offers the highest purity of over 90% pure CBD. This extraction method is what most companies use in their CBD products called CBD Isolate. CBD isolate in its purest form is a white powdery substance that usually is mixed in with a carrier oil such as MCT oil, hemp oil, vegetable glycerin and even honey! Be aware of what carrier oil or liquid is being used in your CBD products!
Distillation has also become a sought-after extraction method since more whole plant components such as the hemp oil and terpenes can be extracted along with the CBD compound. This is a big one for people who may have heard of “the entourage effect”. In this process a distillation tank and condenser are used to separate the oil from the hemp plant using steam. This process can yield some of the cleanest and potent oil available but if too much heat is applied during the distillation process the chemical properties of the cannabinoids and terpenes can begin to decompose. Which is why 3rd party lab reports are something that you should request when purchasing CBD products, some states have even required CBD companies to label their products with QR codes for their customers convenience. When shopping for a distillate look for a product green or golden in color and taste should be floral, piney or earthy.
This process is like steam distillation except solvents replace water in this extraction. Two different kinds of solvents can be used in this process Hydrocarbons or Natural Solvents. Hydrocarbons used could be naphtha, petroleum and butane, these solvents usually evaporate out of the CBD oil but that’s not always the case, studies have found trace amount of these chemicals in CBD products using solvent distillation, these solvents are not only toxic but can have serious side effects such as increasing one’s risk for cancer. Toxicity from these solvents can be prevented using natural solvents such as olive oil or ethanol. However, using natural solvents does not evaporate very well which leaves a low levels of CBD oil compared to other extraction methods.
So, one of the first questions you should ask when you are purchasing a CBD product is, what extraction method was used. Ask for 3rd party lab reports and quiz the person behind the counter! If the person selling you CBD products is knowledgeable and willing to educate you chances are, they know their stuff! In future articles I will cover other important topics such as nanoparticle technology, sourcing and isolate vs broad spectrum vs complete spectrum CBD. If you have questions about CBD that you’d like me to cover, you can email me at email@example.com
Pricila Rodriguez is the owner of Sacred Leaf Zero CBD-The Heights.
Sacred Leaf Zero CBD-The Heights
4721 N Main St #G
Houston, TX 77009