Over the past few years, CBD has become a sought-after and appreciated substance for its numerous highly prized benefits. Capsules, infusions, dried flowers, oil... CBD can be presented in various types of products, but oil remains the most popular and widely used form. In this article, we will review all the possible extraction methods for CBD oil and thus determine the most reliable process.
How is CBD extracted?
Using CBD in skincare?
The skin is constantly subjected to assaults. Although it has natural defence mechanisms (hydrolipidic film, skin microbiota, hair, etc.), our modern lifestyle (lack of sleep, pollution, UV rays from the sun, smoking, etc.) can sometimes put these defences under severe strain, and to this can be added skin diseases that progress with inflammatory flare-ups (psoriasis, rosacea, eczema, acne, etc.).
The CBD can be a valuable ally in aiding the skin to fulfil its protective function for the body without being overwhelmed by inflammation, particularly due to its recognised local anti-inflammatory properties . Moreover, CBD has the potential to combat most skin problems and skin diseases. It could reduce acne, fight against psoriasis or even eczema, as well as accelerate the healing process and slow down skin ageing.
From Hemp to CBD Oil: What are the Different Types of Extraction?
The type of CBD oil extraction is an important criterion that will be a guarantee of the quality of your CBD. There are various extraction methods, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a list of the main CBD extraction methods available.
The process of cold-press extraction.
This method involves freezing the flowering tops of hemp, then crushing them using a mechanical press to extract all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other components present in the hemp. Although this type of extraction does not require the use of chemical substances, it does however result in a relatively low yield of CBD. Indeed, a large amount of raw material is needed to produce a small amount of oil.
The extraction using a carrier oil.
Simple and quick to execute, it is possible to extract CBD oil using a vegetable oil with a high quantity of saturated fatty acids (coconut, sunflower, olive...) to enhance the bioavailability of CBD. This production of CBD oil is achieved by heating hemp flowers in the chosen carrier oil for a set period. The CBD and cannabinoids then become active and naturally bind to the fatty acids of the carrier oil during infusion. All that remains is to let it cool and filter.
However, although this is a traditional method, due to the high temperatures used, the properties of cannabidiol may possibly be altered and some molecules deteriorated during the process. Furthermore, the CBD content is low and this type of extraction does not allow control over what is extracted from the hemp, particularly the other cannabinoids (CBN, CBG, CBA, CBC...). Another major disadvantage of this extraction is the limited shelf life of the final product, making it quickly perishable.
The process of liquid solvent extraction.
Easy to implement, this manufacturing method allows for a high yield at a lower cost. Hemp plants are immersed in the solvent: this could be ethanol, butane, propane, hexane... Subsequently, the CBD oil is retrieved through evaporation. However, using chemical solvents can pose a risk to the body. Indeed, there will always be the presence of a minute amount of solvent residues in the final extract. Another major drawback is that this process tends to diminish the beneficial effects of the CBD oil.
The Supercritical CO2 Extraction.
This is the most suitable method for industrial-scale CBD extraction. Without additives, this process involves manipulating carbon dioxide (CO2) in a specific way to reach a supercritical state. The aim is to selectively extract molecules based on their chemical nature. To achieve this, a change in the state of carbon dioxide to supercritical will be carried out using controlled temperature and pressure. This process is conducive to the decarboxylation of hemp cannabinoids. Decarboxylation is the activation of the properties of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, CBA) through heat. This extraction method preserves the integrity of CBD molecules, not to mention that it is a environmentally friendly method as the CO2 is condensed and re-transformed into a liquid for reuse.
Decarboxylation, the key step for the therapeutic activation of CBD.
Cannabidiol is naturally present in hemp in the form of cannabidiolic acid (CBDA). However, this form, produced during photosynthesis, is pharmacologically less active. It therefore needs to be converted into active neutral compounds. Decarboxylation is a process that involves removing the carboxylic acid (COOH) attached to CBD to convert the acidic form of CBD into its active form, by heating the plant materials for a given period. The CBDA molecule must be heated between 140 and 180°C for it to decarboxylate into CBD.
The CBD products from Typology.
Formulated from natural ingredients certified by the European Union, we have decided to develop a range of CBD-based products at Typology: a soothing botanical blend and a balm-mask where the properties of CBD are harnessed to care for the epidermis and aim to alleviate inflammation. The CBD (INCI: Cannabidiol) used is sourced from hemp leaves grown in Colombia, obtained through supercritical CO2 extraction in order to preserve the integrity of the molecule.
AIETA N. & al. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. Journal of Supercritical Fluids (2016).