The number of people buying CBD around the world has exponentially increased in recent years and continues to face tremendous growth. Millions of users have contributed to the growth of this industry, and as with any huge industry, it’s important to think about the environmental impact this expansion has.
One of the main areas for concern with the CBD industry, as with most other large industries, is extraction. CBD oil must be extracted from Cannabis sativa plants in order for it to be used in other products like tinctures, inhalers, and personal care items. CBD can be extracted from hemp plants through many different methods, but the most common are CO2 extraction and solvent extraction.
What is CO2 Extraction?
CO2 extraction is extremely common because it provides a very pure end product, and the process itself is pretty safe. Put simply, this method of extraction takes pressurized CO2 and a hemp plant to pull CBD out of the plant. Although it is safe and quite effective, this method of CBD extraction is rather costly.
The first step of CO2 extraction is to convert CO2 gas into a liquid. An industrial chamber filled with CO2 and hemp is pressurized and the temperature is dropped well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Converting the CO2 to a liquid allows it to absorb compounds from the hemp plant without denaturing or damaging them. After compounds are absorbed, the CO2 is turned back into a gas, leaving pure CBD oil behind.
What is Solvent Extraction?
Solvent extraction is a much simpler and cheaper way to go about CBD extraction. Solvent extraction typically involves butane or ethanol, both of which produce very pure products.
First, a hemp plant is soaked in the solvent of choice, stripping the cannabinoid compounds from the plant. The compounds end up in the solvent, which is then evaporated so that only CBD oil remains.
Are These Methods Sustainable?
The short answer: yes! CO2 extraction uses no harmful solvents and produces minimal waste, making it an excellent option for environmentally safe CBD extraction. Solvent extraction, on the other hand, does use solvents and produces waste, but overall fewer resources are used for solvent extraction than for CO2 extraction, and most solvents are recyclable. Overall, the CBD industry does not pose a significant threat to the environment and practices sustainable extraction methods.
Need to Extract CBD?
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