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08.16.2021 | Knowledge Share

Dropper dripping into bottle with scientist in background

Cannabidiol, widely recognized as CBD, is one of 140 identified cannabinoids, or compounds found in cannabis plant species, namely Cannabis Sativa (hemp) and Cannabis Indica (marijuana). Numerous medical studies have found that cannabinoids CBD, provide a wealth of health and wellness benefits through its interaction with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex network of cell receptors and neurotransmitters that help maintain the body’s homoeostasis.

All CBD products contain CBD oil, which is extracted from a hemp plant. After extraction, the oil is added to various products, including CBD oil tinctures, gummies, capsules, topicals and vape oils.

CBD Extraction Methods

Here are the most common methods to extract CBD oil:

  • CO2 – Highly efficient, easy to control concentration, no toxic residue
  • Steam Distillation – Inexpensive, no toxic residue, inconsistent yield, inefficient
  • Hydrocarbon – Efficient, consistent concentration, potential for toxic residue
  • Natural Solvents – Inexpensive, presence of chlorophyll affects taste, low concentration

CO2 Extraction Process:

The carbon dioxide extraction process employs a closed-loop extractor with 3 chambers. One pressurized chamber holds solid carbon dioxide, another chamber contains the dry plant materials, and the final chamber receives the extracted product.

Solid carbon dioxide moves into the second chamber with the plant materials. The temperature and pressure change in the second chamber turns the carbon dioxide to liquid CO2. Liquid CO2 runs through the dry plant material and separates cannabinoids from unwanted byproducts. The liquid mixture then moves into the third chamber where it exits at a higher temperature and lower pressure. This change turns the liquid CO2  back to a gaseous state allowing it to rise to the top of the chamber while the CBD oil extracted from the plant material collects at the bottom of the chamber. High pressure ball valves are utilized to control the extraction process.