CBD Extraction Methods: Debunked & Explained
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A Brave New World

CBD is everywhere at the moment, from gas stations with flavored shots boasting a CBD infused label to high end boutiques such as Vitae SF which hosts an abundance of organic and carefully crafted hemp and CBD products, both in isolate & broad spectrum form. What makes all of the varying products so different? How is CBD from one company double the cost of another? Why is that? It all comes down to extraction, with different methods producing a different product. Here are some highlights of the industry’s most popular extraction methods, we’ll leave it up to you to decide what works for you:

A quick guide to understanding the basic differences between extraction methods

Cold Press Infusion Extraction

  1. This traditional process has the hemp plant material sit in a carrier oil to infuse its constituents with NO to low heat and can take anywhere from weeks to months to produce (especially when no heat is applied)
  2. Maintains terpenes and phytocannabinoids in addition to CBD
  3. Lower cost but longer processing time
  4. Easy, efficient & safe

Produces a refined and high quality product and Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum oil (and what's the difference? Full Spectrum extract has trace amounts of THC and Broad Spectrum doesn’t)

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction

During extraction, a series of pressurized chambers and pumps are used to expose Carbon Dioxide & Hemp to high pressure and LOW temperatures.

  1. Produces a high concentration product that contains as much as 92% CBD and allows for VERY precise extraction
  2. Ideal for maintaining terpenes and other phytocannabinoids in addition to CBD, which produces an extract that creates more of an entourage effect in the body which is said to be more effective influence on the consumer
  3. Most expensive method due to costly equipment

Produces a refined and high quality product and Full Spectrum or Broad Spectrum oil (and what's the difference? Full Spectrum extract has trace amounts of THC and Broad Spectrum doesn’t)

Solvent Extraction / Isolation

  1. A solvent such as ethanol is used for isolation, although other types of solvents can be used such as olive oil - in some cases butane or propane
  2. Non-natural solvents like butane or propane can leave toxic solvent matter left in the plant while olive oil and natural solvents make for a lesser concentration of CBD
  3. Least expensive method

Product is an isolate and highly concentrated generally speaking but not as ideal as other more expensive methods above. Natural solvents allow for chlorophyll in the final product, while the other solvents do not. Chlorophyll has health benefits - but some are turned off by its earthy taste. Non-natural solvents have the potential to be leftover in the final product.

Distillation / Isolation

  1. Water vapor is used through a traditional distillation method to separate the CBD oil from the hemp plant material - this is used for making essential oils as well!
  2. Requires larger amounts of hemp than CO2 method
  3. More of a risk that the plant matter will be heated to to a higher temp and change the chemical composition of cannabinoids

Product is an isolate - isolated and contains no terpenes or flavonoids in addition to the CBD