CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is a trending ingredient in the natural products industry. It’s one of the many compounds found in the hemp plant and is gaining more and more popularity for the numerous medicinal uses it has had over the past few years.
Without the compound that gives you the “high” while using cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD oil comprises a wide range of health benefits, including anti-inflammatories, antioxidants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, etc.
However, consumers cannot gain these benefits simply by purchasing the cannabis plant. All beneficial compounds should be extracted by a certified manufacturer and transformed into oil extract, which can later be used as an ingredient in products like edibles, creams, oils, and so on.
CBD — Where It Stands In Today’s Market
People in the cannabis industry are always on the search for efficient techniques of CBD extraction. This hunt is inspired by the demand for innovative tools to stay in tune with growing needs, as well as to be ready for a market that is federally regulated, which many predict is soon arriving.
With more and more new players joining the already competitive market daily, the technology required to reap the utmost benefits of the cannabis plant is advancing like never before.
This needed innovation is constantly being pushed by industry-leading companies. Ethanol extraction has evolved into the safest, most efficient method for extracting CBD oil from hemp fibers.
What Exactly is Ethanol?
Ethanol, commonly known as grain alcohol or ethyl alcohol, is a volatile, colorless flammable liquid. It’s used to produce gasoline, paints, solvents, food additives, and beauty products. If you’ve ever consumed beer, spirits, or wine, you’ve probably had ethyl alcohol in your system.
Furthermore, ethanol is used to extract chemical compounds from cannabis.
It’s fermented from several different sources and refined. Corn is one of the most used feed stocks for ethanol production. As for other sources, there is wheat, sugar cane, barley, grain sorghum, and potatoes. Because ethanol is obtained from plant material, it is considered a renewable source of energy.
According to the FDA, ethanol (C2H6O) is rated a Class 3 solvent with relatively low toxic risks when applied in pharmaceutical manufacturing where the residual is under 5,000 ppm or 0.5%.
There are several different ways to extract CBD oil with the help of ethanol extraction. However, the general process includes heating the hemp plant material to obtain decarboxylation — a key step for efficient production of the main active components in cannabis — and then soaking the plant material in ethanol for a specific amount of time.
Once the time’s elapsed, the final solution is filtered in order to separate the liquids from the hemp plant matter. After that, the liquid is left inside an open dish to let the ethanol evaporate.
Since ethanol is a plant-based solvent, many experts believe ethanol cannabis extraction is the most efficient method for maintaining the chemical ratios which naturally exist in hemp. This is why manufacturers have been able to scale up their ethanol extraction technology for high-volume CBD businesses, while still keeping things simple.
Ethanol not only extracts water but also the oil-soluble compounds.
Chlorophyll is one of the many compounds that ethanol extracts so effectively. While it closely mirrors hemoglobin and offers similar, if not, more health benefits, chlorophyll can be somewhat grassy and bitter tasting. Keep in mind that this additional filtration of chlorophyll may reduce the CBD oil’s potency.
It’s also worth noting that eliminating the ethanol from the CBD oil is almost impossible without an added filter, further decreasing the potency and purity of the finished CBD oil.
Probably the most prominent benefit of ethanol cannabis extraction is the unique formation of esters, which are water-soluble, making them highly bioavailable — i.e., they are easily absorbed by the human body.
Therefore, by mixing the THCa or CBDa that transpires in raw cannabis with ethanol, you’ll end up with THC or CBD that’s easily absorbed by the body.
When it comes to CBD oil, bioavailability is extremely important. Oil-soluble compounds aren’t easy to digest and need to be broken down by the enzymes and acids in our body, reducing their purity and potency in the process.
Lastly, for the most health-conscious users out there, note that CBD oil extracted using ethanol is certified organic. That spells quality and reliability.
In today’s fast-growing cannabis market, extraction companies play a significant role in the production of top-tier CBD oil Products. There are a variety of different methods of CBD extraction, but each has its pros and cons. Speaking of which, here’s why ethanol extraction stands out among the rest:
- Easily scalable
- Extremely inexpensive equipment
- Less power-intensive than CO2
- The facility is less expensive as opposed to hydrocarbons
- Fast extractions – great for distillate products
If you made it this far, it’s safe to say that you can take a pretty good guess on why big-name manufacturers prefer using the ethanol extraction method. It produces CBD oil at a high potency and purity level, meaning high-quality CBD products end up at the stores for customers to benefit.
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