If you’re ready to commit yourself to a regular CBD routine, it’s important to make sure that you choose the best product for your specific needs, and it’s equally important that you choose a product that’s high in quality. Now, this can be easier said than done, because the CBD market is so enormous right now that there are a lot of factors that must be carefully taken into consideration before making a purchase.
Further complicating things is the fact that the hemp industry is lacking in proper regulation as it awaits approval by the FDA. This means that consumers have to be extremely discerning when shopping for the right CBD product, as there is no rule of standards in terms of the quality level that can be sold.
This piece will be talking about one of the most important determining factors in the overall quality of a CBD product, which is the extraction process. This commonly overlooked aspect of the hemp industry can actually make a massive difference when it comes to whether or not you end up with the desired results after starting a new CBD routine.
What Does the Extraction Process Refer to When it Comes to CBD?
If you’re pretty new to the world of hemp, you might not even quite understand what we’re talking about when we discuss the extraction process. Well, allow us to explain it. Commonly used CBD products like gummies, oils, e-liquids and topicals all contain hemp extract, which is different from the raw hemp plant. It means that the desirable compounds in the plant have been extracted from the plant material, resulting in a potent concentrate that can easily be combined with other ingredients to produce a formula.
Extraction Methods That Can Be Used to Produce CBD Products
There are different methods for extracting these compounds. And, as you would expect, some of them are better than others, as the hemp plant’s chemical composition is relatively delicate, and requires an extraction process that best preserves the integrity of those sought-after compounds like CBD.
Extraction Method #1: Olive Oil
Using olive oil to extract plant compounds is actually an ancient practice that’s been used all over the world with a number of different plants. The process is pretty simple, and you can even do it at home. First, you submerge the hemp plant into olive oil. Then, you slowly heat the olive oil. During this stage, the compounds naturally leave the plant material and bond with the olive oil’s unique molecules. As a result, you end up with an oil that’s infused with those compounds, and the plant material that can now be discarded.
While the olive oil method can work, it’s really not suitable for companies to use. That’s because the shelf life of the resulting extract is pretty short, and olive oil can be chemically unstable, meaning that its compounds can easily break down and become useless when exposed to a number of external factors like heat and bright light.
Extraction Method #2: Solvents
This process is pretty similar to the olive oil method, only rather than using olive oil, the manufacturer uses a solvent such as alcohol or butane. These substances are unique in that they can literally dissolve the compounds away from the plant material, which means that less heat needs to be applied. However, solvent methods are not considered ideal.
For one thing, they allow the resulting extract to contain trace amounts of the solvent in them, and who wants to be consuming their CBD with a side of butane or alcohol? Additionally, they are not known to produce the most chemically stable product possible, which again means that you can end up with a product that will lose its potency under a number of conditions.
Extraction Method #3: CO2
Most CBD companies rely on this method, because it’s just better than the others. As the name implies, it uses CO2 rather than a chemical solvent or organic substance. The CO2 is pressurized, which helps it push the compounds away from the plant without the use of high temperatures. And, it yields a cleaner, purer product as it does not utilize additional substances.
The CO2 method is ideal because it can yield a far more chemically stable product. Not only does this mean that you can count on its potency more easily, but it also means that its shelf life should be longer. And, if you’re spending money on CBD each month, you want to make sure that it will last, and that it will continue to work as expected.
How to Make Sure You’re Buying CO2-Extracted CBD
As you can see, the CO2 method is easily the best that’s out there. Therefore, you should seek it out whenever possible. The good news is that it’s become the industry standard, which means that as long as you’re buying your CBD from a reputable company, chances are that you’re consuming CO2-extracted hemp. Still, with such a massive selection on the market, it can be difficult to tell which companies are using better methods than others.
So, how can you know for sure that you’re getting CO2-extracted CBD? Well, one way is to simply look up the company’s website. This info is often available somewhere, whether it be within the individual product descriptions, on the company’s “about” page or under the “FAQ” section. If you can’t find this information, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with contacting the company and asking them yourself – any company that uses superior manufacturing methods should be more than happy to share this information with you as it is a source of pride.
Another thing you can do is check out the third-party lab reports provided by the company on their website. In these reports, you’ll find information regarding the extraction method used, because any trace amounts of solvents or other substances will appear.
Extraction Means Everything
The CBD industry keeps growing and evolving, which is great news for the market in terms of financial success, and also wonderful for consumers who like having options when it comes to how they take their CBD. But, as the industry keeps expanding, more low-quality products are slipping in and putting users at risk of spending money on a product that will ultimately disappoint them. This is why consumer education is crucial.
One way to ensure that you’re buying a high-quality product is by checking the extraction method used, as this doesn’t just indicate a higher-quality CBD oil, but also reflects the standards held by a particular hemp brand.