Cannabis oil or CBD oil is becoming a valuable commodity nowadays. This compound is showing great promise in a wide variety of medical applications, it is also used as a dietary or health supplement and for topical and cosmetic use. Even though the source plants of CBD and marijuana are considered as botanical cousins, CBD (cannabidiol) is now able to clearly differentiate itself from marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Thus, it has gained a legal boost in its status as a substance for medical use in nearly all US states. With the production of CBD oil seen to exponentially grow in the coming years, it would be fitting for us to know ahead on how CBD-rich Cannabis oil is best produced.
There are many ways of extracting CBD oil to choose from. Also, the extraction can be done on a commercial or home-use level. With the right materials, equipment, and ingredients, CBD oil can be produced at home, but manufacturers can best meet these requirements. Reputable producers and manufacturers are open about their processes and you can visit their link here to view their state-of-the-art extraction methods and products. When it comes to the safety and quality of the extraction of CBD oil, there are several considerations that should be followed. Different manufacturers and production plants may have varying extraction methods and processes, but most if not all can concur to the following general considerations:
- Extraction Equipment Design – the basic premise here is that the equipment should be specifically designed for the purpose of extracting CBD and handling the solvent that will be used for the extraction.
- Equipment Quality – the golden standard is to use stainless steel materials for the metallic parts of the equipment. It’s not just for ensuring durability, but also for ensuring that there are no impurities added to the extracted product. Also, some chemicals used in the extraction process may cause corrosion or oxidation, which can severely affect the operation of the equipment in the long run.
- Electrical systems – this is of high priority when it comes to the extraction safety of CBD products. The electrical systems can come in two specific designs, depending on the solvent used: flammable and non-flammable solvents.
For flammable solvents, the electrical equipment and installation should follow Class 1, Division 1 electrical requirements for compressed flammable gases and Class 1, Division 2 for ethanol or alcohol solvents.
For non-flammable solvents, the NEMA 4X standard installation should be used to have a water-resistant and corrosion-proof electrical system.
- Pressure rating – depending on the solvent used, your pressure rating can be 300 psi for hydrocarbon solvents (butane, propane) or at least 2000 psi for CO2 (high pressure is needed to create a supercritical or fluid CO2 solvent)
- Facility considerations – the facility where the extraction process is going to be conducted should undergo quality and safety checks to ensure that it meets the required environment for the process and the storing of extraction solvent.
- Human consumption consideration – the products of the extraction process should be safe for human consumption, and this should be traced back to the solvent used.
The different extraction methods for CBD oil
There are different extraction methods available for CBD oil. When it comes to the subject of producing CBD-rich oil, it is currently a subjective topic due to a current lack of accepted standards for CBD oil quality. So when we say CBD-rich oil, it could mean varying percentages of CBD volume (e.g. 40%, 70%, 90%), it could be referring to the pure form of CBD, its predecessor CBD-A or some other combination with hemp extracts. Thus, when it comes to the extraction methods we will be discussing, we’ll tackle them as objectively as we can and cite their benefits and drawbacks.
CO2 extraction method
This is a safe and non-toxic way of extracting CBD oil. Also, the product high-quality oils with high purity levels and preserved terpenes for added potency. This method is clean and leaves no residues, which makes it great for making CBD products for human consumption, such as tinctures, oils, and vape juice. Its drawbacks include expensive equipment, system operation needs significant expertise and extraction rates can vary with the price and quality of equipment used.
Hydrocarbon extraction method
Ethanol extraction method
Compared with the other two methods, this can be considered as the most cost-effective option. The equipment needed is the least expensive among the three methods. While it does also have facility safety requirements, it is less expensive than a hydrocarbon facility. It is considered an environment-friendly solvent and safe for human consumption by the FDA. It also creates high-purity and full-spectrum CBD products. The flammability of ethanol makes it a drawback when it comes to safety concerns. A fume hood or similar fume-dispersing facility is needed. The method easily removes chlorophyll, which removes the natural flavor of the extract.