Different CBD Extraction Methods

3 min read

Different CBD Extraction Methods

One of the unique things about hemp and CBD is its versatility. These products can be used to make a near-endless litany of products and can be cultivated, refined, and crafted in a number of ways. 

But before CBD can be used in products like gummies or pain relief creams, it has to be extracted from the hemp plant itself. Here at Axis Labs, we utilize a cold extraction method that uses ethanol to derive a full-spectrum extract from the hemp plant. That’s not the only extraction method, however, so we thought we’d cover a few of the other methods out there.

Alcohol Extraction

This form of extraction has been used for centuries as a way to draw nutrients and minerals out of plants to create tinctures. With alcohol extraction, alcohol is introduced to the hemp plant and allowed to interact. Over time, the alcohol draws the cannabinoids out of the plant. Typically, a high-proof ethanol is used, as it does not damage the cannabinoids within the hemp. It also helps to suspend the CBD in a liquid that prevents the valuable compound from oxidizing.

This method is prized by CBD companies who aren’t willing to compromise on the quality of their products. In some cases, the alcohol extraction method can be used to create extracts with up to 99% purity. This means that the subsequent CBD products made from this extract will be more potent without needing to use more CBD oil. 

CO2 Extraction

One of the most recent extraction methods to be used, CO2 extraction is expensive and complicated, but when done properly, it can create a CBD oil that’s free of chlorophyll. This extraction method is typically conducted in a closed-loop extractor, a machine with three chambers. The first chamber is filled with pressurized CO2, the second has the hemp plant, and the third chamber separates the final product. CO2 is pumped over the plant, extracting the CBD. The extract then runs to the bottom of the third chamber where it’s collected. 

Many are turning to CO2 extractions despite the added costs. Some argue that the process results in a cleaner product, and does a better job of extracting all of the useful cannabinoids out of the plant. 

Steam Distillation

Like alcohol extraction, steam distillation has been one of the most common extraction methods for centuries. This is one of the most proven forms of extraction out there because it’s fairly simple. 

Hemp is set in a glass flask connected to another glass. As the water heats up, steam moves into the plant flask, forcing the CBD from the hemp. The vapors are condensed into oil and water to collect more of the cannabinoids. Finally, the oil and water are distilled so that the CBD can be had separately from the water. 

However, time hasn’t necessarily made this method better. It takes a huge amount of hemp for this process to yield useful amounts of CBD, and extracting precise CBD amounts from individual plants is challenging with this method. Additionally, if the steam gets too hot, the extract itself can become damaged, ruing the CBD for everyone.

Olive Oil Extraction

This method of extraction is typically done at home by hemp enthusiasts. It’s probably very similar to the processes ancient civilizations would have used to extract CBD. This process is affordable, safe, and simple, making it accessible for nearly anyone. 

The hemp has to be decarboxylated for this to work. Essentially, you’ll have to heat the plant up to a certain temperature for a given amount of time. This activates the chemical compounds within the hemp. Typically, extra virgin olive oil yields the best results. But the main thing to keep in mind is that the end product, a CBD-infused olive oil, is perishable. Your CBD extracts should be stored in a cool, dry place and used soon after they’re produced.


Premium Extraction Methods Yield Premium CBD

When you purchase CBD products from Axis Labs, like our shots or pain relief creams, you can rest assured that you’re getting one of the purest and potent products on the market. That’s because we use a precise and careful extraction method, and then subject all of our extracts and products to a rigorous battery of tests through our third-party lab. You can find the lab results of our products right on our site. 

We encourage you to browse our line of CBD-based goods today. You’ll find tinctures, capsules, gummies, and more!