We all know that CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant, but what many people don't know is how this magical golden oil manages to get into that little bottle. Whether you use a CBD oil tincture, a CBD E-liquid or CBD gummies, it all has to find its way from the cannabis plant to your product. When it is extracted, it should be ready for human consumption in the safest way possible while maintaining the highest quality of CBD content in each product. As a consumer, you want peace of mind that your supplement is safe, legal and effective.
From start to finish, cannabis plant to CBD product, different manufacturing companies are likely to use different methods to extract cannabinoids from the hemp plant, but which one is the best? In this article we will look at some of the most popular methods of extraction, and compare their effectiveness on quality, safety and cost.
THE SOLVENT METHOD
Probably the cheapest option, this method is sometimes seen as a very controversial way of doing things. The solvent method uses a variety of substances to extract CBD, the most popular of which include Butane and Ethanol. When Ethanol is used, chlorophyll is also extracted, which can make this method dangerous. This extraction method can also involve propane and isopropyl to draw CBD out of the plant. What's more, the residue of the solvents used can be extremely toxic, causing potential contamination to the end product; the last thing a company with a trade-mark of good quality would be looking for. Despite the dangers associated, this is a popular method of extraction due to the low cost, ease and speed involved. Most people who are looking to take CBD are usually looking for a natural, chemical free remedy, so keeping solvents and toxic ingredients to a minimum is a must. Often, CBD products that have been extracted using this method will retail below the average selling price for the strength in the bottle. If you do spot a product that seems cheaper than the rest, always check the extraction method as this could be the main reason. The risk of CBD oil side effects is increased when toxic substances are used.
THE DRY ICE METHOD
A relatively safe method of extraction, the dry ice method - as the name suggests - uses dry ice to freeze the plant and the trichome resins. The frozen plant is then shaken to loosen the trichome resins, and the CBD, having been loosened, is scraped away from the plant. The method is inexpensive and safe, but requires a great deal of accuracy, equipment and time. The quality of oil produced depends on how well the complex method is followed and the accuracy with timing. This means that not only can a poor quality of CBD often be produced, but the results will be inconsistent, which could mean your regular supplier is unreliable in terms of the quality of oil you receive from one purchase to the next. There could be a retailer that achieves high quality CBD using this method if they have really nailed the process, but there's no guarantee until you've tried each product.
THE OLIVE OIL METHOD
An old favourite of many CBD enthusiasts, the olive oil CBD extraction method is actually thought to be one of the safest and most cost efficient methods of extracting CBD. The plant is heated up to the required temperature for a certain amount of time until the cannabinoids are at the optimum temperature for extraction. At this point, the olive oil is added and the mixture is heated up again. When it reaches the perfect temperature, the CBD is ready to be extracted. In terms of safety and cost efficiency, this is a great method; using two natural ingredients to create a natural remedy. The problem is that the olive oil does not evaporate, causing the end product to lose its purity, which means that the user does not get the highest quality of CBD. It won't be the strongest CBD oil for sale, and has a short shelf life in comparison with CBD extracted using other methods. It is therefore not a popular extraction method with CBD manufacturers or retailers due to the storage demands of needing to be kept in cool and dark environments.
THE C02 METHOD
A more costly option, the C02 extraction method is the most popular method used for extracting CBD, and is divided into three different methods: sub-critical, mid-critical and supercritical. The latter is the most popular method. Supercritical C02 extraction uses pressurised carbon dioxide to extract CBD from the cannabis plant to leave a clean, chemical free end product. Due to the specialist equipment that is used, this extraction method produces consistently high quality CBD that is solvent free and safe to use. The higher cost of production will naturally result in a higher cost to the consumer, but also comes with peace of mind for a high quality product that is safe and solvent free. This method is more popular with large manufacturers due to the expensive specialist equipment required, but does produce a good all-round CBD.
SUMMARY: SO WHAT IS THE BEST METHOD OF CBD EXTRACTION?
Now we have looked at four of the most common extraction methods, which one holds the most benefits for you: the consumer?
All of the methods have their own pros and cons. Methods such as the olive oil extraction method offer a lower cost solution in exchange for quality & shelf life, while others, such as the solvent extraction method have a question mark over their safety. The dry ice method offers varying results in terms of quality, while the C02 method comes at a cost. It is safe to say that you should try and steer clear of any CBD with added chemicals and solvents which could be dangerous. It is also advisable to opt for a guaranteed mark of quality CBD, every single time. You should be looking for a CBD product that offers safety first, followed by quality, shelf life and finally, a reasonable price-tag.
When it comes to the consumer, there is only one clear winner: in our opinion, it is hands down the C02 extraction method. It may not be the most cost effective for a business but it does offer a safe product with consistently high quality and all natural ingredients. It may cost a little more to you, but can you really put a price on your health?
WHERE CAN I BUY CBD?
You can find good quality CBD retailers that are regulated and approved by Cannapro on the Cannapro website. Retailers such as CBD Hunters that are registered with Cannapro have been assessed and approved as responsible sellers of CBD and can be trusted on their reliability, quality and ethics.