The major difference in extraction methods for CBD oil between alcohol and critical CO2 processing is the stronger herbal taste and dark green color which is characteristic of …
THE TOP FOUR AILMENTS TREATED WITH CBD make up 75% of all conditions patients report when requesting a consultation, making CBD vital to health care. These are pain, sleep interruption, anxiety and depression, although many more ailments are treatable with CBD. These are considered the big four, and it is important to note that pain must be divided into various categories such as inflammatory, musculoskeletal and neurologic, with neurologic the most difficult to treat, and extraction methods for CBD oil playing a part in this pain relief.
The Realm of Caring Foundation website lists the top 50 diagnoses physicians treat with cannabinoid therapies. The neurologic categories are divided into neuropathy, head injury, seizure disorders and tremors, as these categories make up the majority of neurologic complaints that respond with a high rate of success.
Doctors, to have the desired outcomes, need to start with a cannabinoid product that has the best potential for effectiveness. A checklist should include a product that is:
- Made in the USA
- Pharmaceutical-grade or pharmaceutical-grade equivalent
- Meets 2018 Farm Bill requirements for third-party testing
- Traceable from farm to patient
Extraction methods for CBD oil and processes
There are two major extraction methods for CBD oil to achieve phytocompound-rich products; the original extraction process uses food-grade isopropyl alcohol as a class III solvent. This is to remove all phytocompounds regarding proprietary genetics.
The other extraction method is done with supercritical fluid extraction technology using food-grade CO2. This is desirable because it provides the extraction process of the whole plant without the heavy herbal flavor.
Alcohol extract — For centuries, alcohol tinctures have been a traditional way to remove beneficial phytocompounds from plants. The difference between a traditional alcohol and today’s alcohol extract is 100% of the alcohol is removed, leaving behind a pure whole-plant product. The first step is dry harvest testing by third-party labs prior to production to ensure quality and the correct THC level. The hemp is then mixed with the alcohol product and the tincture is removed and filtered a minimum of 21 times. Low-temperature distillation is used to remove the alcohol and it is collected for further use. The extract is collected and heated to completely evaporate any remaining alcohol and to decarboxylate the cannabinoids.
Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction (SFE) — SFE technology is now the most-used of extraction methods for CBD oil for botanical ingredients. It is also used to decaffeinate coffee, extract certain spices from botanicals and produce essential oils. As always, the first step is third-party testing for production. The hemp product is prepared for specifications for best results outcome via the SFE process. Hemp is heated slowly to begin the decarboxylate process. Time, pressure and temperature parameters are major components of the SFE process. Once the extraction phase is complete, the machine and programs are switched to a collection-phase process. The product is now a phytocompound-rich plant extract that is sampled for testing once again prior to use.
Major differences in the extract process
The alcohol process is considered labor-intensive and not the most efficient method. It is still a handmade extraction procedure and cannot be used for scaled business development. SFE systems still allow all the benefits of full-spectrum phytocompound technology, but are much more automated and scalable for large production.
Due to the demand for hemp products (which will only increase), the challenge for production staff (especially in maximum-strength products over 5,000 mg and 100-ML bottles) has led to distribution delays, requiring priority shipping for physicians and patients with neurologic dysfunction, which should soon be resolved.
The major difference in extraction methods for CBD oil between alcohol and critical CO2 processing is the stronger herbal taste and dark green color which is characteristic of the alcohol/manual process. Critical CO2 extraction reveals a milder taste with the light honey-like color present in all product strengths.
KYLE NEVIUS, DC, is a past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association and has degrees in pre-hospital emergency medicine, chiropractic and occupational rehab. He is the past chairman of the board of the Collier County Red Cross, and was the first chiropractic physician to participate in the physician evaluation process for the Florida Special Olympics, leading to significant protocol changes. He was also the first and only chiropractic physician to be appointed to the state of Florida Workers’ Compensation oversight board. He is considered an expert in CBD integration and is the physician educator for Charlotte’s Web North America. Learn more at charlottesweb.com.