To gain the most out of the cannabis plant, you initially need to extract the oil from the hemp plant. There are several tools and ingredients that can facilitate the process of extraction.
There are many methods of several methods of cannabis oil extraction, and some DIY versions. But let’s analyze the most popular extraction methods.
Cannabis Oil Extraction by Solvent
This method involves a solvent – a common food grade ethanol, or a hydrocarbon such as butane or propane – is soaked or passed over plant trimmings, removing necessary compounds. During hydrocarbon extraction, the final mixture, which will have a lot of cannabinoids and beneficial compounds like terpenes will also be refined (the method used for refinement will depend on the type of end product) and most of the solvent will be extracted. Afterwards, there will be extraction of leftover solvent, allowing only a concentrated CBD oil. When it comes to the extraction process with ethanol, the final liquid is further distilled to differentiate the hemp oil from the food-grade ethanol so that the necessary compounds can be further isolated.
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Olive Oil Extraction
A popular solvent includes olive oil and it can facilitate cannabis oil extraction, but this method is mostly used by cannabis enthusiasts and not recommended for companies. The crude hemp is placed under high temperatures (decarboxylated) and afterwards added to the oil and heated again for successful cannabinoid extraction. The olive oil is richer and won’t evaporate like ethanol or hydrocarbon solvents. This means that the result won’t be as concentrated and will usually involve CBD-infused oil rather than a concentrated extract.
This famous, proven strategy for removing fundamental oils can be utilized to extract cannabis compounds too. Steam is utilized to unlock the volatile compounds (usually known as cannabinoids) from the pure plant material. This results in a vapour filled with the necessary compounds which are cooled and condensed, and afterwards separated from the water.
This technique involves using CO2 (carbon dioxide) to draw cannabinoids and other essential compounds from the pure hemp plants. This process is the most scientific and usually involves three chambers. The first chamber mostly deals with CO2 – which is in a gaseous state under in its original form– is transformed into liquid form by expanding the pressure and fundamentally reducing the temperature. Afterwards, the temperature and pressure are gradually expanded until the liquid CO2 becomes critical. The first chamber is usually easy and neat. Now, the CO2 is somewhere close to a liquid state and a gaseous state, with each sharing the same properties; it expands like a gas, but highly condensed like a fluid. During its optimal state, the CO2 pushed into the subsequent chamber, which contains the hemp plant material. At this point, the CO2 goes through the hemp, isolating the rich cannabinoid oil from the plant material. The oil and CO2 are advanced toward the third and last chamber where they are separated and the leftover CO2 evaporates, leaving behind highly concentrated marijuana oil extraction.