CBD Extraction: How it Works on Seeds, Stalks, and Flowers

December 22nd, 2017 by Javed Pathan

CBD Extraction

Those of you curious about buying CBD should know it’s slightly different from hemp than marijuana in that it doesn’t cause a psychoactive high. This doesn’t mean you won’t get the same health benefits from using it. It’s also produced in a similar way, though you’ve perhaps never looked into how CO2 extraction works from hemp plants.

Extraction can become complicated in its scientific explanations, but you should know the basics for an education on CBD production.

This process occurs from either seeds, stalks, and flowers. Imported hemp has to come only from seeds and stalks. However, domestic hemp can have CBD extracted from flowers as well.

Take a look at a simpler explanation on how these cbd extractions work.

Extraction from Seeds

Hemp seed oil has become a very popular product in recent years, and it involves extraction from hemp seeds. It’s a product you usually see added to CBD supplements as a base. It can also be found in many food and beauty products.

The health benefits of hemp seed oil are exponential since it offers balanced essential fatty acids that distribute in your body. It often becomes confused with regular hemp oil, something often combined with phytocannabinoids.

So what’s the extraction process involved to make these products? For hemp seed oil, it involves pressing or grinding the seeds at temperatures below 120F. It’s a technique called cold pressing, and it’s not the only method to extract hemp oil.

Some other extraction techniques:

  • Using ethanol or olive oil, both of which are safe for consumption.
  • Super critical CO2 extraction is more complicated, yet it’s safe and gives you high potency and purity.

How Does Super Critical CO2 Extraction Work?

If you’re more curious about the last extraction method above, it involves compressing CO2 up to 10,000 psi, something 300 times greater than normal car tire pressure.

This compression method helps make it “super critical”, or becoming liquid and gas at the same time. The CO2 becomes very cold to help preserve enzymes and vitamins and allows the CBD compound to be separated from the hemp seed oil.

Manufacturers then release and recycle the CO2 to create a more concentrated and pure extract.

Extraction Methods from Stalks

While CBD extractions occur from seeds, they can come directly from stalks as well. This involves some of the same extraction methods. Super critical CO2 is also used on stalks, and the FDA lists the method as “Generally Regarded as Safe.” A phrase like this from the FDA is always a good sign, even if it sounds tepid.

You’re starting to see super critical CO2 used often now in extraction methods for the commercial food industry. Since CO2 is non-toxic, it’s used as the main solvent in CBD industries to extract all the essential oils, lipids, and compounds.

After removal of the solvent, you get extracted hemp oil paste naturally high in CBD.

Extraction Methods on Flowers

Most CBD users prefer extractions directly from industrial hemp. It’s easier to grow legally, especially in all the legal states. Plus, it’s easier to extract from hemp because it has more CBD than regular marijuana plants.

To properly make CBD products from flowers, you have to make sure the THC levels are within the legal range in your state. Your extraction processes also have to avoid using butane or explosive solvents.

Still, many sources say the flowering strains of Charlotte’s Web produce just as much CBD as hemp. Bluebird Botanicals is another one that uses flower extract, and it’s domestic.

One critical step in extracting from plants is chromatography, a process removing unwanted phytochemicals from the extracted oil. It removes chlorophyll in particular, giving stronger purity to the CBD for greater health benefits.

Overall, CO2 extraction is the most common method used by our vendors here at Green Wellness Life.

Visit us to ask about our CBD products and how they’re made.