Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound that is found in cannabis plants—more specifically the flowers, leaves, and stems of the plant. CBD is one of the cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The two main cannabinoids in cannabis plants are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the compound responsible for the euphoric high that many people associate with marijuana use, and it is the most active compound in cannabis plants. CBD, however, does not cause a high and gives its user a more relaxed, not-intoxicated feeling.
CBD Oil Extraction Process
CBD oil is found in drinks, edibles, vaporizers, lotions/creams, and many more products. Before it can get to that point, though, it must be extracted from the plant. There are two main methods of CBD extraction: Solvent extraction and CO2 extraction. Each of these two procedures creates a high-quality, concentrated CBD product.
Solvent-based extraction is the cheaper and faster option of the two. There are a few different solvents that can be used in this process:
A closed-loop system is used in which the liquid solvent is used to wash the cannabinoids and terpenes from the cannabis plant—including the CBD. A careful process of heating and cooling then commences ensuring that the solvent is separated as much as possible from the cannabidiol without causing damage to the compound. The only real downside to this method of extraction is that some solvents might remove undesired compounds from the plant material, resulting in an unpleasant taste in the final product.
Like solvent extraction, CO2 extraction involves a closed-loop system. Instead of using a solvent, though, CO2 extraction utilizes a pressurized chamber that compresses carbon dioxide gas into its liquid form. Again, like solvent extraction, the liquid is then used to wash the cannabis plant material to strip it of cannabinoids and terpenes, isolating the desired CBD. From this point, the entire liquid solution is brought to a temperature that allows the CO2 to revert to its gas form and evaporate, leaving pure CBD oil.
Which Extraction Method is Best?
Although the carbon dioxide method guarantees the production of a chemical-free product, solvent extraction is much more feasible for most people. The technology and equipment needed to properly conduct a CO2 extraction are not readily available to those trying to create CBD oil at home. CO2 extraction also takes more time, as the carbon dioxide needs to be switched from its gas to liquid state and back again at the end of the process. Thus, solvent extraction is the best option for home-based cannabis connoisseurs.
Looking to Extract Your Own CBD?
Our team of experts here at EGS can help you choose the appropriate solvent for your cannabis plant extraction. Contact us today to get answers to any questions you may have about the process or what chemicals to use, or to purchase your solvent!