To crystallize CBD, you’ll need a jacketed vessel, heating and cooking baths, pentane, and CBD oil. Add two parts of CBD oil to one part of pentane and heat the mixture till it reaches 45 °C (approx 115°F). When you see that the oil is fully dissolved, it’s time for a cooling bath. Its initial temperature should be around 5°C (40 °F). As you stir the solution and gradually lower the temperature, you’ll notice crystal forming — these are crystallized CBD. If the initial CBD oil contains around 70% of CBD, the crystallized substance will feature approximately 90% of CBD. All other components, including THC, will remain in the mother liquor. You can make CBD oil even purer by repeating the whole process a few times.
When CBD is produced on an industrial scale, more often than not, it’s extracted with CO2. Some manufacturers utilize solvents, but they appear to be less popular. With CO2, the extraction process results in a clear substance with no residue. However, it’s not yet pure enough to be ready to use. The step that follows the extraction is called winterization.
Remediation via Crystallization
The goal here is to remove unwanted substances and compounds from CBD oil. For this, the extract is mixed with alcohol, thoroughly stirred, and put in a freezer for 12-16 hours. After this, the mixture thaws and runs through filters until it becomes clear again. The next step is to remove alcohol through heating. CBD oil and alcohol have different boiling points: alcohol will evaporate at lower temperatures. You can try to capture alcohol evaporation and use it for the following winterizations.
In order to produce broad-spectrum oils (i.e. those that feature other essential hemp components with the exception of THC) manufacturers use chromatography. Chromatography equipment is loaded with hemp extract and solvent. As it runs, it separates the ingredients from each other. The THC faction is then removed. The downside of this process is that it breaks down some CBD molecules as well as other valuable ingredients. Chromatography equipment is also very expensive — sometimes, the price tag can go as high as millions of dollars.
CBD oil promises great benefits for health. However, not everyone is ready to take it due to the possible trace amounts of the psychoactive compound called THC. Because the legally allowed content of THC is extremely low (below 0.3%), hemp-derived CBD won’t get you high. On the other hand, if you’re an athlete or your job requires you to take drug tests, you don’t want to consume any THC at all. The good news is that you can remove THC from CBD oil at home if you have enough time and some equipment.
The same is not true for the solvent method, which often fails to eliminate such impurities.
The process of CBD extraction is fairly expedient and can take place in a single afternoon. According to Leising, it takes about three to four hours to process up to 1,200 pounds of cannabis.
Extracting cannabinoids from cannabis or hemp can be as simple as making cannabutter at home. But for large-scale manufacturing purposes and more potent results, there are two primary methods for efficient CBD extraction. Each method presents distinct benefits in creating a high-quality, highly-potent CBD product.
Which CBD extraction method is best?
Terpenes are the naturally-occurring compounds that infuse cannabis with its signature aromas and flavors as well as potential therapeutic benefits. Full-spectrum CBD products rely on extraction methods that can keep these compounds intact.
You can safely make CBD oil at home via a simple infusion and consume a high concentration of cannabinoids without risking life or limb. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
In this article, you’ll learn about how CBD is extracted from hemp and cannabis, as well as which extraction process yields the best results.
All the cannabidiol (CBD) you find in your favorite gummies, drinks, and oils has to go through an extraction process first. CBD, for those who don’t know, is a cannabinoid found in cannabis. Extracting CBD involves isolating the chemical compound from the surrounding plant material and distilling it in high concentrations. Research has shown that cannabinoids may have beneficial effects on physical and mental health, and extraction makes it possible to consume more of those cannabinoids with less effort.