How is CBD extracted from cannabis?
CBD (or cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating substance that is extracted from the cannabis or hemp plant. One of 113 cannabinoids, CBD is used therapeutically to treat anything from chronic pain to anxiety and depression, with none of the psychoactive properties of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD has become the most sought-after component of cannabis and is the cannabinoid of choice for medical patients who need treatment for conditions like stress, nausea caused by chronic illness, inflammation, depression, and the frequency and severity of seizures.
Why is Extraction Necessary?
Extraction is necessary because it includes the decarboxylation process. Decarboxylation converts the acidic cannabinoids to their non-acidic forms, THC and CBD. This involves applying heat and time to extract these highly desirable cannabinoids and make them available to our body.
Simply by drying the cannabis, the decarboxylation process has begun, then if you smoke or vape, the CBD is made instantly available through inhalation. Other CBD products like edibles, oils, or capsules also need decarboxylation as part of the extraction process so that CBD can be made available. It also removes possible other harmful components.
The Three Most Commonly Used Methods of Extraction
These methods range in price and level of difficulty.
- Solvent Extraction:
In order to remove toxicity, this method requires complete evaporation of the solvent. Although this may be the least pricey, using a solvent is dangerous because it is a highly flammable process. The solvents used are either alcohol, propane, isopropyl, ethanol, or butane. They dissolve the wax, bitter chlorophyll, and other cannabinoids.
- CO2 Extraction:
For the safest, most potent, and most chlorophyll-free extract, CO2 extraction is used, mostly by companies producing CBD. This method has become the most popular despite the intense capital outlay, an increasing number of companies are opting for this method.
- Olive Oil Extraction:
Many CBD consumers consider this method of extraction to be the best. It is also the oldest. It starts with the decarboxylation process, then the plant material and olive oil are heated again, which removes the cannabinoids. Olive oil dilutes the cannabinoids and so the result is not as concentrated. This method might not be for everyone as you need to be aware that olive oil is perishable.
Three Main Types of CBD Extracts
There are three main types of CBD extracts.
Full-Spectrum CBD products: Full-spectrum CBD retains the full cannabinoid profile and plant compounds. All the amino acids and terpenes are there, along with small amounts of THC.
Broad-Spectrum CBD products: Broad-Spectrum CBD is very similar to Full-Spectrum CBD, except it has gone through a process that removes the THC.
CBD Isolate products: CBD Isolate provides a 99% concentration of CBD. But isolating CBD means that this process removes the other cannabinoids and terpenes, the consequence is that there will be no entourage effect.
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