Before we get into the popular extraction processes, let’s look into a quick history of industrial hemp and how and why it’s harvested. In 1937, the US created the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 that harshly regulated its cultivation. In 1970, hemp was banned along with all of forms of cannabis and classified as a Schedule 1 drug. This was due to the fact that there was confusion with other kinds of cannabis, kind of like what we’re still experiencing in the United States today, in 2019…
Before this, hemp was a staple crop in the USA. Today, it is making its way back into the market and shows no signs of stopping. Hemp plants are harvested for three main reasons; seeds, fiber used in many plastic and clothing products, and CBD biomass used in products for individual health & wellness. Hemp plants are harvested in a similar style to wheat. It takes, 90-120 days for a hemp plant to mature (about 6 feet tall), and once it’s ready the hemp plant is harvested using a sickle-bar mower.
Purpose of extraction process
The whole purpose of the extraction process is to create high levels of CBD through concentration. In order to do this, you must go through an extraction process. Industrial hemp plants are bred and grown to have low levels of THC and high levels of CBD, but in order to create viable CBD products, you must separate the CBD from other components in the plant. While there are many methods out there for extraction, we are going to put our focus into two different types that are commonly used in the CBD industry across the country.
What happens during the CO2 extraction process?
Ground up hemp plants are thrown into massive CO2 extraction machines and then the magic happens. The whole process creates phase changes in CO2 using temperature and pressure, and this is how companies can manipulate the hemp plant. By controlling the temperature and pressure in a closed environment, you’re able to separate and collect differing components of the plant matter. After this, there are a couple other filtration steps. Once the filtration process is done you have a pure, quality product that is safe to use and consume.
Let’s take a look into some of the pros & cons of the CO2 Extraction Process:
Pros & Cons of CO2 Extraction
- Produces higher quality CBD
- Faster process overall and minimal extraction times, better for larger companies
- More flexibility to target specific terpenes and components of the plant for optimal flavor
- toxin-free extraction process
- not as safe of an option compared to ethanol extraction
- CO2 extraction process can pull out more compounds than preferred if not monitored closely, can cause collateral damage to the quality of your product
What happens during the ethanol extraction process?
In this process, the ethanol is poured over the plant matter in order to dissolve the active CBD (and other terpenes) compounds. Ethanol is a “polar” solvent which means that is will bind to more components of the plant that one would initially like. This is considered a much simpler process than CO2, but not as efficient.
Let’s take a look into some of the pros & cons of the Ethanol Extraction Process:
Pros & Cons of Ethanol Extraction
- More lenient storage limits compared to other methods. Companies are able to create higher extraction yields up to 20 times the capacity
- Safer, easier to set up, doesn’t require large operation
- More cost effective
- Can eliminate the need for dewaxing or winterization process
- Not as efficient; post processing is a much more labor-intensive process
- lower ceiling of quality and CBD levels
- Ethanol is a polar solvent; this causes it to bind to dangerous compounds like Chlorophyll during extraction
After taking a look into both extraction processes, we feel that the CO2 extraction process is the better option. The process is much more efficient for creating higher quality products like the CBD products Premium Jane and Green Roads CBD sell, and it can also save these companies a lot of time. You’ll find that companies that use this process will also have better tasting products because when using the CO2 process, they’re able to manipulate the extraction to pull out superior combinations of CBD and other terpenes. This is one way that companies can set themselves apart and show customers why their product stands apart from the rest. Head on over to the coupons page to save some money and experience these superior products.