Cannabinoids are a class of naturally occurring chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. Cannabinoids are generally classified as either phytocannabinoids or endocannabinoids.
Phytocannabinoids are derived from plants, whereas endocannabinoids are produced by the human body. Cannabinoids can be synthesized in laboratories through various methods, such as hydroxylation of specific organic compounds. CBD(cannabidiol) and THC(tetrahydrocannabinol) make up at least 40% of all phytocannabinoids. CBD is most abundant in the hemp plant, and unlike THC, it does not induce psychotropic effects when ingested. CBD is mainly produced in three forms, i.e., full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolates.
Broad-spectrum CBD is a cannabidiol extract containing all other hemp plant components except for THC, which are completely removed during the extraction process. A true broad-spectrum product will include no trace levels of THC. Still, it will provide a comprehensive cannabinoid profile that includes CBD, CBG, CBN, CBDV and terpenes.
Several methods are used to extract broad-spectrum CBD oils, such as ethanol extraction, propane or butane extraction and carbon dioxide extraction. It is important to note the source material. i.e., hemp or marijuana is important as it determines the purity of the oils, the number of cannabinoids extracted, the amount of THC present and the extraction method used.
Ethanol is a non-toxic and relatively cheap oil solvent. This is the most preferred method of extraction for several reasons. It is relatively cheap and easy to scale up the production process. This extraction method utilizes the entirety of the hemp plant. First, harvested hemp plants are dried in a cool and dry place. This is to preserve cannabinoids in the plant and prevent them from evaporating with water vapor as the plant dries. Dried hemp plants are then immersed in tanks containing ethanol and left to rest for a while until all the cannabinoids have dissolved off from the hemp plant. This mixture is then sieved to remain with the solution. This solution is panned out and left in the open to allow ethanol to evaporate out. This leaves behind a solution containing cannabinoids, terpenes, and other natural organic compounds.
Another method for extracting CBD from hemp is a solvent such as butane or propane. This is done in a laboratory using a closed-loop extraction process. These solvents are repeatedly washed over the hemp to dissolve cannabinoids. Other organic compounds are present in the plant, and the resulting solution is then collected. Making hemp concentrates in this manner necessitates a careful purging process at the end to ensure all the solvents are removed from the resulting solution. This is because butane and propane are harmful for human consumption.
The carbon dioxide extraction process typically necessitates the use of three distinct Chambers. The first chamber contains liquid carbon dioxide that has been pressurized to turn into liquid. The second chamber is filled with the entire hemp plant. The extraction machine injects highly pressurized liquid carbon dioxide into the second chamber with a slightly higher temperature. This causes carbon dioxide to condense into a supercritical gas which dissolves all cannabinoids present and other organic compounds. Carbon dioxide is washed over the plant material absorbing the hemp’s cannabinoids. Once the cannabinoids have been extracted from the hemp into a solution, the solution is transferred into the third chamber. The pressure in this chamber is reduced drastically until all the carbon dioxide is converted into gaseous form. As the carbon dioxide gas rises in the chamber, the cannabinoids are released, and the extracted hemp oil collects at the bottom of the chamber.
The final process in the extraction process is preparing the extracted oils. This is done by heating the hemp oil. This is done to activate the oils and release the various cannabinoids. However, the extract contains various cannabinoids in oils at this point. Therefore, these oils must be passed through quality checks to check the content levels of various cannabinoids present. If THC levels are above the recommended 0.3%, the oil is further refined to eliminate all THC present.
In addition to CBD, these extracted oils contain many other cannabinoids and organic compounds. Some of the minor cannabinoids present in these oils include; cannabigerol, cannabinol, cannabichromene, and cannabidivarin. In addition, broad-spectrum CBD oil contains some form of terpenes. Terpenes are essential compounds that give these oils their unique flavor. Some of the terpenes presented include myrcene, limonene, and pinene. Moreover, broad-spectrum CBD contains other organic compounds such as mineral salts, essential oils, and trace amounts of vitamins. These include; amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, various types of vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, and minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, and zinc.
Individuals who want to avoid THC completely should use broad-spectrum CBD products. Even though the amounts of THC in full-spectrum products are minimal (0.3%), they can be problematic in the following ways: Individuals who are drug-tested for THC are included in this first scenario. Some employers in the U.S are routinely subjected to THC testing to ensure they do not use marijuana. Even though they are using a legal hemp-derived product, full-spectrum products may at times cause a false positive effect. As a result, using a THC-free broad-spectrum extract can help keep the benefits of whole-plant CBD formulations while passing THC drug tests. Individuals who are extremely sensitive to the effects of THC constitute the second case. This can be fatal even though they are found in trace amounts, and larger doses must be effective. Using broad-spectrum extract CBD ensures that one does not experience the psychoactive effects while using products made from broad-spectrum CBD.
There are three types of CBD oils; CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD and full-spectrum CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD contains all other cannabinoids, terpenes, and other organic compounds except THC. Broad-spectrum CBD oils are prepared through ethanol extraction, propane or butane extraction, and carbon dioxide extraction methods. Broad-spectrum CBD is useful to individuals who want to enjoy the full benefits of other organic compounds found in CBD oil without having to worry about tetrahydrocannabinol.
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