CBD or cannabidiol is one of the cannabinoids found in the common cannabis plants like hemp and marijuana plants. CBD is fast emerging as the preferred way to treat swelling, pain, and inflammation in the body. With its proven medicinal benefits, it is no wonder that more and more businesses are entering the field to provide CBD oil. The companies usually take two approaches to extract CBD oil from hemp – CO2 extraction and ethanol extraction.
In the US, 14 states are allowed to commercially grow hemp or marijuana plants. These plants can be used to derive CBD products (with an almost negligible amount of the ‘high’ inducing compound THC). Since hemp, in general, is not USFDA certified, you need to ensure that the hemp used to produce the CBD product is good quality. Non-GMO, industrial hemp that is pesticide free can be a preferred option to produce CBD from hemp extraction which can be safe for consumption.
Once the plant is ready, it is taken off from the ground surface and brought to the extraction facility to extract CBD out of it. The 2 green and clean methods for CBD extraction are discussed as below .
- Ethanol Extraction
In this method, the solvent ethanol is introduced in the distillery to extract cannabinoids. In this method, almost 98.5% of the CBD can be extracted without the need for any post-processing. This single stream hemp extraction process can be carried out under cold or warm conditions. The FDA classifies ethanol as a class 3 solvent carrying a low risk for toxicity in the medical manufacturing process. Hence it can be used for large scale CBD extraction. The best part about ethanol extraction is the time saving it provides with the reduction in steps needed to extract the CBD and the low solvent- to- feed ratio.
- CO2 Extraction
The CO2 used in the extraction process has the density of a liquid, diffusivity of a gas and a low viscosity. This ensures that CO2 can hold a lot of material and can penetrate into the smallest spaces and possess negligible flow resistance. With varying density, temperature, and pressure in the extraction process, different products like CBD, terpene oils, and other extracts are collected, separated, and stored. This method too requires very little post-processing.
Getting the CBD product from hemp needs to be fully compliant with laws from various bodies like FDA and OSHA (for worker protection during the extraction process). Both these methods comply well with these stipulations needed to extract CBD oil from hemp.