How Do You Extract CBD?

Are you curious about how CBD products are made? As a seed to label provider, we are highly experienced in every step of the process and are happy to share how we extract CBD along with the other extraction methods available. Once CBD-rich hemp is harvested, the next step is extraction. We conduct extraction in our labs after harvesting our own hemp crops that are grown in our Colorado farms.

The Hemp Depot CBD Extraction Process

While there are many common extraction options for CBD, we utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction. CO2 extraction separates the CBD from the rest of the plant material. During our CO2 extraction process, a series of pressurized pumps and chambers provide high pressure and low-temperature exposure for the CO2 in order to extract highly concentrated CBD oil. When the extraction process starts, a chamber with pressurized CO2 and another pressurized chamber with hemp plant material are prepared. The CO2 is then pumped from the first chamber into the second chamber containing the hemp plant material. The CO2 exposure breaks down the hemp in the second chamber, creating a CBD-rich hemp oil that’s separate from the original plant material. Once the CO2 and CBD oil is fully incorporated into a third chamber, the gas evaporates leaving behind pure CBD oil.

The CO2 extraction process is the most expensive extraction process but provides the highest quality results. As the preferred extraction method, CO2 extraction guarantees that your CBD products won’t have any residual solvent residue which can be toxic for consumption. This safe extraction method can produce 92% pure CBD oil for better potency and quality. The CO2 extraction process enables the ability to adjust solvent and pressure ratios to extract specific desired concentrations.

Other Extraction Methods Available for Producing CBD

  • Steam distillation: Steam distillation utilizes steam for extracting CBD oil from hemp plants. In this extraction method, the hemp plant material is contained in a specialty glass flask that has an outlet and an inlet. The outlet connects to a condenser tube while the inlet connects to another glass container with water set to boil, located underneath the plant flask. When the water heats to a boil, the steam travels up into the plant flask. The steam separates the oil vapers which contain CBD. When these oil vapers are captured in another tube, they condense into water and oil. When the steam extraction is completed, the water and oil mixture is distilled to remove the water content. Steam distillation isn’t a preferred method since it can be quite inefficient when compared to the CO2 extraction process. Steam distillation also requires a lot more hemp plant material to yield the same amount of CBD.
  • Solvent extraction: The solvent extraction method is actually quite similar to the steam distillation process except it uses a solvent rather than water to extract the CBD from the plant material. This method results in a CBD oil mixed with whatever solvent is used. When the solvent evaporates, CBD oil is left alone. The solvent extraction method can be achieved using different solvents including natural solvents and hydrocarbons. While solvent extraction is more effective than steam distillation, hydrocarbon extraction brings significant health concerns. Hydrocarbon extraction refers to butane, petroleum, naphtha, and propane. These toxic solvents pose cancer risks especially when they haven’t been fully evaporated. Unfortunately, inexperienced or careless extractors have been known to contribute to this problem– traces of these toxic solvents have been found in certain CBD products. Ethanol and olive oil are natural solvents that can be used instead. However, these natural solvents can extract chlorophyll which results in poor-tasting CBD oil. Natural solvents also don’t evaporate as well.

The Importance of CBD Extraction

CBD extraction is just as important as any other step of the process for CBD production. From seed to label, there needs to be quality control in every regard in order to protect your brand and customers. Solvent extraction isn’t ideal for CBD since it can expose you to toxic solvents that are known carcinogens. When purchasing your wholesale CBD or white label products, make sure to always check where the hemp is sourced from, how the CBD is extracted, and that all products have up to date COAs. While CO2 extraction can impact pricing, the quality and safety are well worth it.

Work with the Nation’s Leading CBD Extractors

Hemp Depot is proud to be the leading CBD extractors serving the nation. As a vertically-integrated company, we’re able to enforce and facilitate our high-quality standards at every step of the process. We value product purity and safety, ensuring we take every measure possible to deliver the best CBD available on the market. Our in-house CO2 extraction process offers the highest-quality CBD products without toxic solvents. For more information regarding our CBD extraction process, please contact us!