What Are Cannabidiol And CBD?
Numerous compounds are found in the cannabis plant and most of these have mind-altering effects. CBD is a compound found in the marijuana or cannabis plant that is non-psychoactive. This means that it does not have detrimental effects on the brain. It belongs to a class of ingredients commonly known as cannabidiol. The medical world has discovered that CBD oil has numerous health benefits. It helps cure inflammation, nausea, vomiting and can help treat epilepsy, schizophrenia, anxiety etc. CBD has even been used to treat cancer as it produces anti-tumor properties!
CBD is different from other psychoactive compounds found in the cannabis plant as it does not affect the brain and does not cause memory loss, uncoordinated movements and loss of senses.
Ways To Extract CBD Oil
Most governments have banned the cannabis plant because recreational use can lead to adverse effects on people and it is more likely to be abused if it is openly available. Some authorities have allowed users to grow the plant and use it strictly in controlled facilities for medicinal purposes only.
CBD oil can be extracted in several ways for medicinal purposes. We have listed down simple, correct ways of extraction below:
1. Extracting with petroleum-based solvents
Butane is widely used as a solvent in extracting CBD. The plant containing cannabidiol compounds is put in a tube which has a filter as the cover. This filter allows liquids to pass through. When butane is introduced inside this tube, CBD compound transfers to the liquid butane and then passes out of the tube through the filter.
The solvent is then removed by evaporating it. This leaves a concentrated CBD oil solution. It may have some impurities which can be removed using other specialized processes in the lab. Other solvents like ethyl-alcohol follow the same method of extraction but the downside is that traces of the solvent might be left in the final product and might contaminate it.
This method of using petroleum or alcohol-based solvents is cheap, simple and economical.
2. Extraction using Carbon dioxide
This method uses carbon dioxide as a solvent to help extract CBD from the plant. This method is called ‘super critical’ as it uses specialized machinery to convert gaseous carbon dioxide into liquid. Carbon dioxide is compressed and condensed at a very low temperature (- 68 degrees Celsius) and pressure of 73 atmospheres. The carbon dioxide then turns into a fluid and can be used in the exact same way to extract CBD as the petroleum-based solvents.
The carbon dioxide fluid does not need any external processes to evaporate it as the ‘supercritical’ fluid retains the properties of the carbon dioxide gas.
Scientists believe that this is the most environmentally friendly method of producing CBD oil and is also the safest. Moreover, the equipment may be slightly expensive, but it gives a pure extract.
3. Non-Solvent techniques of extraction
It is a technique where finely- chopped and ground cannabis are filtered using silk screens that have pores of only a few microns. This filters some psychoactive compounds from the plant but does not purely contain CBD. This method does not produce pure CBD and is just a manual way to remove some impurities from the plant itself.
It`s a technique that involves adding pentane to already formed CBD oil in order to further purify it. This mixture with pentane is heated, cooled and then repeated several times at high temperatures to form CBD crystals that are 99 percent pure.
This method produces pure CBD oil but it is a very dangerous way to extract CBD.
Technological advancements have led to the development of more methods of extraction. We have listed down the most common ones that are also simple to follow.
CBD oil has lots of healing properties and is getting very popular among doctors are scientists. Research and experiments have revealed that it is a very powerful medicine but if abused it can lead to a lot of adverse consequences. This is why one must be very careful while extracting this as the raw material needed for its extraction (cannabis or marijuana plants) is illegal almost all over the world.