If you have started researching and looking for the health benefits of CBD to treat chronic pain or another condition, you might have come across a few different options available in the market. Cannabidiol tinctures can be extracted from the hemp plant using a wide range of different methods, each of them having different effects on the final product.
While extraction is certainly a crucial part of the CBD manufacturing process, it is also important to understand that organic growing methods and careful strain selection are the first steps to produce high-quality cannabidiol. Once the hemp plants have been harvested and their strains separated according to their desired terpene profiles, it is time for the extraction to take place!
Cheap and Easy: Solvent Extraction.
If you have found a CBD oil at a price that seems too good to be true, you can be almost entirely sure that it has been extracted using a liquid solvent such as alcohol, butane or ethanol. While these methods are cheap and allow companies to sell cannabidiol at low prices, they also have a few drawbacks you might want to consider before completing your order.
After the hemp flowers and leaves have been harvested, they are put in large containers filled with solvent liquids. These substances take away the cannabinoids from hemp, leaving them concentrated in a liquid that is later evaporated. What remains from this process is a relatively small amount of pure hemp oil.
While solvent extraction is certainly cheap and easy, these liquids can destroy some beneficial properties naturally found in the hemp plant. Certain terpenes and cannabinoids are either weakened by solvents or destroyed during the evaporation process.
Ideal for Home Extraction: Olive Oil.
While not widely used by the largest CBD companies in the market, olive oil extraction techniques are popular among those who manufacture their own cannabidiol products. This method involves adding the hemp plants and leaves to a large container of olive oil and warming it to a specific temperature for several hours. The result is not a pure CBD oil, but rather a cannabidiol-infused tincture with low concentration rates.
Perhaps the most important aspect to consider when using olive oil as an extraction method is keeping the right temperature at all times. If the oil gets too hot, it can damage cannabinoids and terpenes, rendering the final product ineffective.
The Premium Method: CO2
With the increasing number of CBD companies in the market, several businesses have decided to go one step forward and use premium extraction techniques to deliver the highest-quality products. CO2 extraction equipment starts at around $40,000; a big investment that nonetheless delivers incomparable results and the most effective CBD extracts.
As it name indicates, the CO2 extraction method uses Carbon Dioxide to separate all the beneficial properties of cannabidiol and terpenes from the hemp plant. This is done by cooling CO2 to almost -60 °C to turn it into liquid state. Later, pressure and temperature are quickly increased and this supercritical CO2 is sent through the hemp leaves and flowers in an extraction chamber. Finally, this solution is sent to a low-pressure chamber where carbon dioxide and the plants separate, making it possible to drain the final product.
Whether you are a beginner or a regular user of CBD products, your best option will always be to choose those extracted using CO2. These tinctures are helpful in dealing with the widest range of health conditions; from joint pains and sore muscles to the root causes of depression and anxiety. As always, concentration and usage frequency are key for their effectiveness.