CBD Extraction Process
The CBD extraction process is one that’s undergone a significant amount of refinement and optimization over the last few years. When properly followed, CBD extraction technology allows for a highly reliable and predictable process that creates a stable and reproducible product.
Typically, the cultivated hemp is milled down to a dry, coarse powder. This powder is then subjected to an extraction process involving one or more of the following: CO2, ethanol, dry ice, or hydrocarbons.
The extraction process usually extracts not only CBD, but other cannabinoids, including THC (if it’s present in any significant quantities in the plant). For that reason, and if the desired product is pure CBD, the resulting extract must undergo further purification and isolation.
Types of CBD Extraction
There are several different kinds of CBD extraction systems, ranging from natural CBD extraction to more advanced CBD extraction technologies:
- CO2 extraction: In CO2 extraction, super-cold (sub -69F) liquid carbon dioxide stored at a pressure of over 75 pounds per square inch (PSI) is used to break down the trichomes in the plant and extract CBD, terpenes, and cannabinoids
- Ethanol extraction: In ethanol extraction, the milled hemp plant is soaked in room-temperature ethanol, which acts as a solvent and extracts CBD, terpenes, and cannabinoids. This is one of the least expensive CBD extraction methods, as it doesn’t require the solvent be extremely cold or stored at a high pressure
- Dry ice extraction: Sometimes referred to as solventless extraction or the CBD thermal extraction process, using dry ice to extract CBD can be labor-intensive. However, some people prefer this all-natural and solvent-free solution
- Hydrocarbon extraction: Various hydrocarbons, including propane, butane, and hexane, can be used as effective solvents. The difficulty inherent in using these products is that they can leave a toxic residue in the resulting extract that is difficult to completely remove
CBD extraction technology depends heavily on the form of extraction you’re relying on. CO2 extraction, for example, will require the use of special containers and refrigerators that allow for the use of super-cold and pressurized liquid CO2. The CBD thermal extraction process will require equipment that allows you to agitate the milled hemp material with dry ice in order to extract the CBD resin.
In all cases, it’s important to use a reputable and trustworthy CBD extraction equipment provider. This will not only improve the quality of your finished product, but make a critical health or safety incident less likely.