Lots of CBD extraction types are available on the market today, and all have their individual positive and negative attributes. But, the necessary equipment that facilitates the extraction process is expensive, particularly if it is of the most efficient type. Industrial Hemp Farms utilizes just two methods of extraction, namely, ethanol and CO2. To learn more, please continue reading.
Extraction via CO2:
This kind of extraction process utilizes a pressurized form of CO2 to release cannabinoids (CBD in this instance) from the designated biomass. Two different subcategories exist for this type of extraction, subcritical and supercritical. These two terms have to do with the CO2 pressure adjustment, which subsequently alters solvency power. As an example, when temperature and CO2 pressure are brought higher than 88 degrees Fahrenheit and 1083 psi, extraction will be designated as supercritical. If the temperature is reduced lower than 88 degrees Fahrenheit, CO2 transforms to a liquid state, and the extraction will be of the supercritical variety.
In each of these cases, CO2 works as an agent for the purpose of separating cannabinoids from plants. Though the topic itself can become quite technical, suffice it to say that CO2 extraction of the supercritical variety results in larger amounts of usable extract, though less of the plant’s original terpenes will remain. Conversely, when subcritical extraction is performed, a smaller extract yield results, but there will be a stronger cannabinoid profile remaining. Processes of this type must be performed in a laboratory setting using costly equipment and skilled staff.
Positive Aspects of CO2 Extraction:
- The process leaves no residual substances on the final product
- The process can be customized to achieve optimized preservation of terpenes
- The process of scalable and can be automated
- Once established, the process is cost-effective
Negative Aspects of CO2 Extraction:
- It is costly to initiate
- A high degree of training is required to handle the equipment
- The extraction rates are slower
If CO2 extraction is not the preferred method, it is possible to utilize high-grade alcohol as the required solvent. Extraction done in this manner tends to be more budget-friendly and C02 extraction of the subcritical or supercritical varieties. The FDA considers ethanol as a Class 3 risk solvent, in that it has a low toxicity level and can thus be safely used for the purpose of extracting CBD to create organic CBD nugs.
There are two distinct categories of ethanol CBD extraction, namely supercooled and room temperature. Warm ethanol methods are good because they help retain more of the waxes and pigments from the hemp flower. Methods involving chilled ethanol are faster, but they can result in the destruction of the majority of terpenes. In the end, supercooled extraction with ethanol is the cheapest and fastest mode available.
Positive Aspects of Ethanol Extraction:
- It is a low-cost process
- Extraction is quicker
- Consumes less power than CO2 extraction
Negative Aspects of Ethanol Extraction:
- Process leaves excess residue on final products, which necessitates additional processing
- Extra safety measures are needed due to ethanol’s flammable nature
What Extraction Process Is Best for CBD Hemp Flower?
This can only be answered after a careful assessment of your own budgetary restrictions and your specific needs. The sort of final product you desire will also be a key factor in what you ultimately decide. If you are looking to end up with grade-A juice for vaping, a clean CO2 extraction process can be your best bet.