What Is the Best Way to Make CBD Oil?
There is some debate, but in the case of Ethanol Extraction vs. CO2 Extraction there can be only one winner.
Have you ever wondered how CBD oil is made? As it turns out, the quality of your CBD oil depends on the type of extraction process you use. The same hemp strain put through two different extraction processes can produce products that are distinct from one another, not only in appearance but in their chemical profile.
What Is Solvent Extraction?
Like all plants, cannabis produces an essential oil. A solvent is needed to separate the essential oil from plant matter. This solvent allows extractors to concentrate cannabis resin into a product of its own.
Professional extractors use many different solvents to concentrate the essential oil of cannabis. Ethanol, butane, and propane are the most common solvents used by extractors. Yet not all solvents and extraction methods are created equal. Some, like ethanol and CO2, are safer for consumers and processors alike.
What is Ethanol Extraction?
Ethanol is, simply put, alcohol. In ethanol extraction, the alcohol is used as a solvent. Unlike other solvents, like butane, ethanol is considered a safe and clean solvent that poses little risk of toxicity. Apart from solventless extractions, ethanol is considered one of the safest solvents to use in consumer goods. While all commercial extractions must undergo lab testing to ensure that unsafe levels of residual solvent are not present, ethanol easily evaporates and poses little risk to human health.
What is CO2 Extraction?
CO2 is carbon dioxide, which can be used in extraction processes when exposed to the correct temperature and pressure conditions. Like ethanol extraction, CO2 extraction is considered one of the safest forms of extraction possible. CO2 products pose little risk of toxicity to consumers, which is perhaps one of the reasons that vapor cartridges filled with CO2-extracted oils have become so wide-spread.
Unlike ethanol, however, CO2 is very picky. While ethanol tends to easily dissolve both water-soluble and fat-soluble molecules, CO2 fails to extract much of the beneficial phytochemicals present in cannabis resin. Therefore it believed many CO2 extractions use ethanol during the process—to capture these lost phytochemicals.
In fact, a study published by Planta Medica in early 2018 found that CO2 extraction drastically changed the chemical composition of cannabis strains. Compared with dried flower, CO2 extracts eliminated many of the subtle flavor and aroma molecules 200 that provide nuance and subtlety to the experiential effects of different cultivars. CO2 extractions use ethanol during the process
Ethanol Extraction vs. CO2 Extraction
The bottom line? Ethanol Extraction is not only less of a drain on economic resources but is safer when it comes to lab safety than combustible CO2. While no extraction method is perfect, ethanol is one of the best and safest for drawing out the subtle flavors, aromas, and synergistic compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. These compounds work with one another to amplify the beneficial compounds of hemp extracts. For this reason, ethanol extractions may be among the best for those hoping to use CBD oil for health and wellness purposes.
Professional extractors like those at Hemp Foundry and 1935cbd have mastered the full-spectrum experience. Rather than adding additional aroma molecules or manipulating their product after extraction, 1935cbd starts with high-quality hemp right from our own farms, from the very start. Naturally farmed with expert care, 1935cbd and Hemp Foundry uses ethanol to showcase the integrity of excellent farming. Apart from MCT oil, no additives or thinning agents are needed to improve their excellent ethanol extracts.