CBD Oil Extraction Basics

By BCB Staff Writer | October 1, 2020

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Traditionally, grow operations had a handful of ways to separate the cannabis oil concentrate from the plant; now, a proprietary new technology could add an additional option for extraction.

CO2 extraction is commonly known as the safest and most efficient way. CO2 extraction is also how industries like coffee, tea, vanilla, fruit and nut extracts and aromas, omega-3 oils, fragrances and perfumes, and algae oil are separated. When placed under a compression north of 10,000 psi, the carbon dioxide turns into a liquid. It’s then passed through the hemp itself in a closed-loop extractor. The CBD oil produced through this extraction method is full-spectrum and maintains all the enzymes and vitamins in the cannabis Sativa plant. If passing a drug test is essential, the CO2 method is also the best way because it is the only way capable of eliminating Delta-9 THC completely.

The second form of extraction is through ethanol. Ethanol is most commonly in paints, gasoline, mouthwash, markers, and as a food preservative. Although these household uses are not meant for consumption, the process of CBD oil extraction via ethanol is perfectly safe. Ethanol is obtained from plants like wheat, corn, barley, potatoes, and sugar cane and is considered to be a source of renewable energy. Utilizing ethanol as an extraction technique involves heating the hemp to produce decarboxylation and then soaking the hemp plant in ethanol. Once time has elapsed, the hemp plant/ethanol solution is filtered, and the resulting liquid is left in a dish while the ethanol evaporates. For those intrigued by the plant-centric aspect of ethanol extraction, all CBD oil produced through ethanol extraction is certified organic.

“The effects of our advanced production processes are notable in the cannabis space, but where we see an equally significant opportunity is in foods,” Joseph Hickey, Benchmark Nutriceuticals chairman and co-founder, said. “In fact, we have produced deliciously flavored and highly concentrated butters and oils by infusing things like industrial hemp flower, turmeric, ginger root, eucalyptus, guajillo peppers and rosemary, as well as hemp seed and MCT.”

CO2 and ethanol extraction methods are far and above the most commonly used. In March 2020, Benchmark Nutriceuticals announced the creation of a new, high-tech CBD extraction process, which results in a higher quality of full-spectrum CBD oil, produced at a lower cost and a higher volume than the competition. This patent-pending process eliminates harmful solvents and additives, leaving only cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and chlorophyll intact. Benchmark currently has capabilities to produce 300 gallons per day through this technique and can build 5-10 processing facilities for the cost of one of the competition’s facilities.

“The effects of our advanced production processes are notable in the cannabis space, but where we see an equally significant opportunity is in foods,” Joseph Hickey, Benchmark Nutriceuticals chairman and co-founder, said. “In fact, we have produced deliciously flavored and highly concentrated butters and oils by infusing things like industrial hemp flower, turmeric, ginger root, eucalyptus, guajillo peppers and rosemary, as well as hemp seed and MCT.”

The company is currently seeking sites for these processing facilities, and the potential yield is 100 percent of the current market. Also, depending on the location of the campuses mentioned above, local farmers could have access to product testing as well as distribution channels and private label sales. Although the patent for this technology is still pending, it could lead to a break-through in CBD oil extraction processing.

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