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CBD Oil from CO2 Extraction

04/07/2022
CBD Oil from CO2 Extraction

There are  two ways to get a cannabidiol (CBD) extract. On the one hand, it can be produced chemically, resulting in a CBD isolate. This is – as the name suggests – an isolate containing only pure CBD.

The other possibility is obtained naturally from the hemp plant using CO2 extraction, resulting in a full spectrum hemp extract (read more about Full Spectrum CBD vs. Broad Spectrum vs. CBD Isolate here). This has several advantages.

On the one hand, it contains several cannabinoids that expand the spectrum of action and there are terpenes and other compounds in the CBD product. The other active ingredients contained in addition to the CBD result in the so-called entourage effect (check what the entourage effect means here, we’ve written a lot about it). 

To put it simply, those who use full-spectrum products can benefit from a synergy of CBD with other active ingredients found in hemp. Compared to CBD isolates, full-spectrum and broad-spectrum hemp extracts show a naturally optimized effect that research has shown may be more effective than pure CBD isolate.

In case you didn’t know already, at Down To Earth we sell the best CBD oil products online in Australia in addition to other hemp and premium CBD products.

 

Making Full-Spectrum CBD Oil

The growing popularity of CBD raises questions for many people. Most people wonder how CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant without coming into contact with other substances such as the illegal THC. In this article, we want to explain how CBD is obtained through the process of CO2 extraction, which is the most sustainable method for the extraction process.

Firstly, the overall quality of the end product is already determined when selecting hemp seeds. When the cannabis plant grows under biologically perfect conditions, one can expect a rich spectrum of ingredients and therefore potency. However, the best raw material is useless if you can’t extract the components from it. 

CBD is both fat and alcohol soluble. This could give rise to the fallacy that using either solvent will result in high-quality products. This isn’t the case. The reason why you choose an extraction with alcohol or fat is mainly profit. It doesn’t cost much and doesn’t involve a lot of effort. Also, retailers can sell them at a lower price than the competition that use CO2 extraction!

 

Critical and Non-Critical CO2 Extraction

Extraction roughly means ‘pulling out’ certain substances from raw material using carbon dioxide. 

As early as 1879, researchers started the first attempts at CO2 extraction. However, it has only been used industrially for around 40 years because there were previously no opportunities to do so. However, not only cannabis extracts are obtained this way but also, for example, caffeine and flavorings! It isn’t for nothing that the pharmaceutical, food, and chemical industries use this process. 😉

There are different ‘levels’ of CO2 extraction which can be divided into non-critical and critical. We currently use supercritical CO2 extraction as it’s the most efficient. Basically, there are two steps involved in CO2 extraction:

  1. The release of the desired substances from the cannabis
  2. Separation of the extracted extract from the solvent.

 

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

This method requires special equipment and a lot of know-how. This works with a closed-loop system, which means that the process takes place in a completely separate cycle.

The plant material is first heated, whereby the inactive cannabinoids are separated from an acid group and activated. This process is called decarboxylation. At the same time, the plant material dries, which in turn prevents the formation of carbonic acid.

The CO2 is now cooled down to -56°C while increasing the pressure to 5 bars. (If you’re wondering, a ‘bar’ is an atmosphere of pressure, so 5 bars is 5x normal atmospheric pressure.) This causes the CO2 to be in a ‘supercritical’ state, which means that the lines between liquid and gas are blurred.

In this state, the CO2 behaves like a solvent. It’s passed through a chamber that contains plant material. Meanwhile, the CO2 still has the density of a liquid but can fill the entire chamber like a gas. This is ideal for extraction as it prevents denaturation or damage. The cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted by the CO2, i.e., released from the flowers. In order to separate the solvent from the extracted substances, the substances are then fed into a separator and then broken down into different parts.

The extracted compounds are sent to a collection tank, while the CO2 is passed through a condenser to be returned to its original state so that it can be recycled and then used again in the same process.

Final Thoughts

If you were wondering how to extract CBD from the cannabis plant at the beginning of the article, then hopefully we’ve answered your question. As mentioned, there’re several ways to use this method. Commercial producers tend to use CO2 extraction due to the quality of the oil produced. It’s of course enormously expensive and technically complex, but a very safe and efficient method. Therefore, when buying CBD oil products online in Australia, pay attention to where the products come from!

As always, before buying CBD oil products online in Australia, consult your health professional. At Down To Earth, we sell high-quality CBD oil online in Australia, all of our products are tested by independent labs to ensure their quality and purity. Check the lab reports here. If you’ve any questions, drop a comment below or contact us. We’re here for you!

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