Full Spectrum CBD Extraction: How is CBD extracted? What is the difference between Full Spectrum and other types of CBD? Find out here. Extract the full spectrum of CBD When prioritising the best CBD products, it’s important that each step of the process is carried out with care and precision. You can grow high-quality hemp, with a large percentage of cannabidiol (CBD), but all of that goes to waste without the proper extraction techniques. So, that ra
CBD Extraction: How Is It Done And What Is Full Spectrum Oil?
By now, it seems like just about everyone has heard about CBD products. You might have a friend or family member who is always raving about the benefits of CBD.
You may have even heard people talking about these products in the news, on your favorite podcast or within the health and wellness community. Full spectrum hemp extract is getting a lot of attention, and it seems like people are only becoming more interested in it over time.
These products aren’t likely to be a fad or trend that people just forget about in a few years. Many people say CBD extract has inspired a general sense of wellness and optimized their enjoyment of life.
If you’re interested in these products, learn more about what they are, where they come from and how they’re made. Educating yourself will make it easier when you decide to shop for the best CBD products online.
Where Does Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Come From?
The name says it all. Full spectrum hemp extract is just a refined hemp product. A CBD extraction process uses pressure, temperature, solvents or a combination of the three to collect the most desirable natural components from the hemp plant.
This concentrated form of CBD and other organic compounds from the plant is hemp extract oil. Like almost anything else you can buy, the finished product’s quality will largely depend on the materials you start with.
What Separates Premium Hemp From the Rest?
Think about it this way: if you were going to buy lemon extract, would you want it made with dry, old lemons? Or would you rather it be made with fresh, aromatic fruit? Most people would almost definitely say they’d rather have something that’s made from superior plant material. After all, it hardly seems like there’s a point to extracting the essence of something underwhelming in its natural form.
The same goes for hemp extracts. The best full spectrum hemp oil is made by using the best natural hemp. Naturally, healthy plants often taste better, smell better and contain more cannabinoids like CBD. This is especially important if you’re taking a whole-plant approach by buying full spectrum hemp oil, as opposed to CBD isolate. Compare these two types of CBD extracts to see why the source material’s quality matters so much.
Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Vs. CBD Isolate
Most people eventually have the same question once they start shopping for hemp online: “is full spectrum CBD oil better than CBD isolate?” Most of the experts say they gravitate more toward full spectrum products, but it comes down to personal preference in some ways. Here’s what you need to know about the most popular types of CBD products.
Full Spectrum CBD
Full spectrum CBD is what you get from products that take a holistic approach to CBD extraction. In addition to CBD, full spectrum extracts also contain all of the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in hemp.
Terpenes, fatty acids and other plant-based compounds may help the CBD interact with your body more thoroughly. Since you’re getting all of the different organic compounds from hemp in your full spectrum hemp oil, it’s essential to make sure that the extraction company starts with excellent hemp.
Broad Spectrum CBD
Broad spectrum CBD is full spectrum CBD that’s just been refined ever so slightly in order to remove all traces of THC. While broad spectrum CBD will still have some of the cannabinoids and terpenes found in full -spectrum CBD, it will lose significant amounts of its minor cannabinoids and terpenes during the winterization process. With no THC, broad -spectrum CBD can give people that have concerns about even trace amounts of THC in their systems peace of mind.
CBD isolate is significantly different from full -spectrum hemp oil and even broad spectrum hemp oil. This process involves a thorough winterization process to remove terpenes, cannabinoids, waxes and other natural parts of the hemp plant.
This is ideal for people who only want pure CBD because, as the name implies, the cannabidiol has been isolated in this particular type of hemp extract. Many experts say that the whole-plant, full -spectrum approach is best, but some people still prefer to buy CBD isolate because they think it seems purer with the rest of the plant removed.
Hemp vs. Marijuana Vs. Cannabis
One of the biggest reasons some people don’t want full spectrum CBD is that they want to avoid trace amounts of THC. If that doesn’t quite make sense, just learn more about the differences between hemp, marijuana and cannabis.
The cannabis plant comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s related to the hops plant and some others you may have heard of. Here in the United States, we categorize different cannabis plants as either hemp or marijuana for legal reasons, which is especially important since there’s still a prohibition on marijuana on a federal level.
In the United States, marijuana is what they call any cannabis plant that contains levels of THC higher than 0.3%. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid that has been legalized in many states (either medicinally or recreationally) but is still illegal on a federal level.
Hemp is legal on a federal level here in the United States. To qualify as hemp, a cannabis plant must have THC levels no higher than 0.3%. Since hemp is legal, and CBD is legal, hemp-derived CBD products are also legal. In other words, for your full -spectrum hemp oil to be legal, it can’t come from a plant that contains more than 0.3% THC.
Is There THC in CBD Extract?
Hemp plants are technically allowed to contain up to 0.3% THC, though most hemp plants are grown to eliminate THC altogether when possible. Even so, there may be minimal amounts of THC in hemp oil. While this is more likely in full spectrum hemp oil containing all of the cannabinoids and terpenes from the natural plant material, some companies that claim to produce CBD isolate may not be testing their products well.
With all of that in mind, it’s essential to know the following before you buy CBD online:
- Is it ok with you if your product contains trace amounts of THC? It’s not at all likely that legal hemp oil would cause you to become intoxicated or fail a drug test, but it’s also not entirely impossible.
- How much CBD oil will you be enjoying? Even trace amounts of THC can add up.
- Do you trust the company that runs the online CBD store? If you don’t trust the company’s integrity, or if they don’t publish their lab results, there’s no way of knowing what’s really in their oils.
Learn more about how to extract CBD in part two to determine what makes a good CBD Extract.
We’ve already covered the different types of CBD oil, so now you’re ready to get into more details about how CBD extraction works. When you understand the process that turns the plant into hemp extract oil, you’ll see how these convenient products preserve the original material’s natural essence. Many smart people are working to figure out how to extract CBD more effectively, but you don’t have to be a scientist to understand some of the basics.
How to Extract CBD
To make a CBD extract, you need to start with either hemp or marijuana. Once you have your source material, you can make full spectrum hemp oil in a few different ways. While we make our end products in-house, we do not buy hemp flower in mass or handle extraction. Instead, we partner with the best extractors in the industry to obtain our raw materials. In order to meet our high standards, we vet our extraction partners carefully and require full traceability to confirm the quality and purity of their source material and extractions.
Ethanol Hemp Extraction
The most common way to perform a CBD extraction is to use a liquid solvent like ethanol (alcohol). Ethanol is non-toxic and relatively easy to evaporate, making it a good choice for creating hemp extracts. Once the liquid has pulled the cannabinoids out of the plant by running over it, the alcohol can be evaporated. At this point, all that’s left are the cannabinoids, terpenes and other natural organic compounds from the plant.
Propane or Butane Extraction
The other way to extract CBD from hemp is to use a solvent like propane or butane. This solvent is usually washed over the hemp material in a large piece of lab equipment called a closed-loop extraction system. Like other types of solvents, the gas will strip the cannabinoids out of the plant material to be collected with the solution. Making hemp concentrates in this way requires a careful purging process to remove all of the solvents at the end. Propane and butane are not safe for human consumption, so there can’t be any left in the final product.
CO2 Hemp Extract
The other common way to extract CBD is by using carbon dioxide (CO2) in a supercritical form, which is another way of saying it’s pressurized into an especially dense state that’s somewhat like a liquid and a gas at the same time. This process works somewhat similarly to the processes that run with other kinds of solvents. Working with CO2 is great because it’s relatively easy to change from a solid to a liquid to a gas by manipulating the pressure and temperature. This allows hemp oil producers to extract cannabinoids from hemp very efficiently with CO2.
A CO2 extraction process normally requires three different chambers. In the first chamber, there’s liquid CO2 that’s pressurized enough to turn the carbon dioxide into a liquid. The second chamber is full of your plant material, which is legal hemp in this case. The extraction machine pumps highly-pressurized liquid CO2 into the second chamber, where the temperature is slightly higher. Since the temperature is higher, the carbon dioxide becomes a supercritical gas, which quickly removes cannabinoids and other desirable compounds from hemp.
The CO2 washes over the plant material until it’s essentially absorbed the cannabinoids from the hemp. Once the cannabinoids are out of the hemp and into the solution, the solution moves into the hemp extraction system’s third chamber. The pressure is dramatically reduced in the third chamber until the CO2 turns back into a normal gas like it normally would be at room temperature. The carbon dioxide gas releases the cannabinoids and rises, so the extracted hemp oil collects at the bottom of the chamber.
This is the final type of extraction process we’ll cover. This CBD extract is made simply by heating the hemp in oil. Doing this allows the cannabinoids to be activated and released from the hemp, transferring into the oil. Some manufacturers use olive oil, MCT oil or something similar.
No matter which of the extraction processes are used to create hemp oil, the extract will contain other cannabinoids besides CBD. CBD should be the most prevalent cannabinoid in the hemp oil (assuming actual hemp was used, not marijuana). Some extraction processes move on to a winterization stage to remove other natural compounds and isolate the CBD. Still, full spectrum hemp extract includes everything that was pulled out of the plant.
In addition to CBD and other cannabinoids, you can find all of the following things in full spectrum hemp oil:
- Terpenes – these are like the essential oils that give cannabis its unique flavor, and some believe they have therapeutic effects
- Amino acids
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamins A
- Vitamin B (various types)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium and zinc
How Is Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Tested?
It’s critically important to test any kind of hemp oil. Even if something is labeled as CBD isolate, you should still see the third-party lab tests that back that up. Testing is important for three primary reasons:
- It confirms the level of CBD products. One of the biggest problems we see in this industry is that some companies sell products that are marketed to contain specific amounts of CBD, but the products themselves don’t live up to the labels. To put it quite simply, this is a dishonest way of doing business, and it’s not right to charge people without delivering the quality product they’re paying for.
- Even beyond the quality and consistency of hemp oil, purity is one of the main reasons we have all of our hemp extracts tested thoroughly. We want to know if there are any leftover solvents or other impurities that might not benefit our customers. If a product isn’t tested and it isn’t from a company that you have good reason to trust, there’s just no way of knowing how it could be contaminated.
- We’re independently lab-testing for THC content in our final products. This is a big one, especially when you’re buying full spectrum hemp oil. In addition to CBD, full spectrum hemp extract also contains other phytocannabinoids like CBN, CBG, CBC, CBDA and more. Since we want it to be legal throughout the United States, we have to test every batch to make sure it contains no more than 0.3% THC. Please see our Lab Results page for more information.
Buy Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Online
At Harbor Hemp Company, we partner with the top extractors in the industry who use state-of-the-art technology and equipment to turn premium hemp flower into a superior CBD extraction that we used to make our premium, finished CBD products. Our full spectrum hemp oil, along with all of our products, are always third-party tested to ensure quality, purity and cannabinoid levels.
Our family-run business is on a mission to make reliable hemp products available to everyone. Our family has been sourcing oils and plant extracts since 1936, and we use the generations of experience to make the best hemp-derived CBD oil we possibly can.
Order some today to see what makes our full spectrum hemp oil so special.
Which CBD oil extraction method is the best?
When prioritising the best CBD products, it’s important that each step of the process is carried out with care and precision. You can grow high-quality hemp, with a large percentage of cannabidiol (CBD), but all of that goes to waste without the proper extraction techniques. So, that raises the question: which method is best?
At Vitality CBD we often discuss the importance of choosing a quality CBD oils, and how premium extraction techniques contribute to a better product. To truly understand why high-end extraction methods matter, let’s first explore how CBD is synthesised.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over a hundred different cannabinoids found in plants from the Cannabis family. The most famous of these cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the one that induces the “stoned” effects typically associated with recreational Cannabis use. On the other hand, studies have repeatedly shown that CBD does not get you high.
Currently we know that when introduced to your body, CBD interacts with your pre-existing endocannabinoid system. Understanding that the human body already generates cannabinoids that bear a great similarity to CBD in structure and function is step one in understanding why CBD oil is proving so popular.
Cannabidiol is actually synthesised in the trichomes of the female hemp plant, alongside the other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The need to create CBD oils that retain CBD and other cannabinoids whilst removing the THC is part of why extraction techniques are so important.
How do you extract CBD?
When we extract the best CBD, the end goal is to harvest it in a concentrated form so that it can then be mixed into CDD e-liquids, CBD oils and CBD topicals. That’s why we use a strain of hemp called Cannabis sativa L., renowned for its high CBD levels.
As we’ve mentioned, CBD is actually a constituent in a vast sea of hemp compounds, so extraction isn’t as easy as it first may seem. However, all of these techniques were first developed for other purposes, like extracting essential oils from flowers.
At Vitality CBD we use two different techniques specifically (typically in conjunction) but we’ll discuss all the options available, and how they affect the end result. As always, if you have any further questions drop us an email on our contact page.
CO2 extractions of cannabidiol
The most expensive and most popular CBD extraction method (particularly amongst manufacturers offering a premium product) involves using CO2. This is because it provides a clean, precise extraction that massively reduces the contamination potential of other methods.
The applications of CO2 extractions stem far beyond just hemp products. CO2 extractions are used to decaffeinate coffee beans, to extract the nicotine from loose-leaf tobacco, and to precisely extract spices and flavours.
CO2 extractions can be split into supercritical and subcritical categories (there’s also ‘mid-critical’, a halfway point between the two), but supercritical is the most common, and the one we use at Vitality CBD for all of our CBD products. We’ll breakdown the differences between each below.
The shared methodology between the two essentially entails running pressurised carbon dioxide across the hemp plant to strip away the desired phytochemicals (literally: plant chemicals). When treated to certain conditions, CO2 actually acts like a solvent, without any of the potential side-effects.
Supercritical CBD extraction
Starting with the liquid form of CO2, a supercritical method involves increasing the temperature and pressure of the CO2 until it becomes ‘supercritical’. This means that the CO2 has properties of both gas and liquid: it is able to fill a container like a gas, whilst also having the density of a liquid.
In this supercritical state, CO2 acts as a solvent when applied to the hemp plant without denaturing any of the compounds. The need to maintain the right pressure and temperature explains why CO2 extractions use expensive equipment, resulting in the best CBD.
Once the supercritical CO2 has been passed through the hemp extract, the resultant solution is passed into a separator to be (you guessed it) separated. The CO2 is stored to be used again, whilst the desired hemp compounds are removed and taken to the next step in the process.
Subcritical CBD extraction
The immediate distinction with a subcritical hemp extraction is the lower temperature and lower pressure. As a result, the process takes longer, but it also further reduces the chances of denaturing the more delicate compounds, like terpenes.
Whilst the yield is smaller than with supercritical, it also allows for lighter oils and other sensitive compounds that might otherwise be dismantled in the process to be extracted. However, the trade off is that heavier, more resinous material will typically get left behind.
Solvent CBD extractions
Probably the cheapest and easiest of all the methods available (you could easily do it at home without buying any specialist equipment. not that we recommend this), solvent extractions are also generally considered to be the most likely to cause issues with the end product.
A solvent extraction involves running the solvent in question—typically either butane or ethanol—to the hemp plant matter. This strips the cannabinoids into the liquid, which is then evaporated so as to leave behind a concentrated oily residue with the hemp compounds in.
The main problem is that the solvent not only removes the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids, but also inadvertently extracts chlorophyll. This occasionally leads to unwanted side effects, and will cause the taste to become much more bitter.
Likewise, the compounds that the solvent does remove can either be denatured, or just degraded entirely during the extraction process. As such, whilst it’s the cheapest and easiest method to do on a mass scale, there’s a reason why many companies are phasing it out. When you buy CBD with us, you can be confident it’s not been treated this way.
Olive oil CBD extraction
An olive oil extraction is most commonly done by home brew enthusiasts looking to create their own CBD oils. Though near any oil can be used in this process, olive oil is preferred due to its masking flavour and versatility.
The first step is to either grind the hemp very finely, or to decarboxylate it, a complex word which here means: heat it at a certain temperature. Through this process, several of the cannabinoids have their chemical make-up converted, making some more potent and others easier to extract.
After the initial heating, you then heat the hemp matter further in the olive oil, a process by which the compounds are extracted to the oil. Whilst this is perfect for home users, it results in a low yield and a highly perishable product that isn’t practical on a mass scale.
Dry ice CBD extraction
Whilst the name alone suggests high-tech scientific experimentation, this is another method that can be performed at home (assuming you have access to dry ice). It also benefits from the lack of denaturing solvents, resulting in a cleaner and purer end product.
The process involves flash-freezing the loosely chopped hemp extract, and then sieving the frozen trichomes through a mesh bag. These in turn can then be used as the basis for your cannabidiol oil—it’s really that simple.
Since this is a relatively haphazard and difficult to measure method, the quality is not always ensured depending on how well the hemp is frozen and how vigorously it is sieved. However, if you can get safe access to dry-ice this is a clean alternative to solvents for creating your own CBD oil.
Which CBD extraction method is best?
At Vitality CBD, we would recommend either of the two mentioned CO2 extraction techniques, depending on what compounds you want to prioritise extracting. All of the others have their uses, of course, but CO2 is the best all-rounder.
Learn more about CBD
As mentioned earlier, grasping why a clean and accurate extraction is important is premised on understanding just what is being extracted. Read on here for our supporting articles on terpenes and flavonoids.
If you’ve got any further questions about CBD extraction techniques, or some information you’d like to share with us, our experienced team are always on hand to field any questions. You can reach our friendly team via our contact page, or alternative you can go check out our full CBD range here!
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