There’s no doubt that cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is having it’s moment of glory right now. And as the popularity, variety and types of CBD oil extracts and products are increasing, more and more people are interested in using it.
But with such a wide range of choice, things can become quite confusing, even for more experienced users never mind first time users. Add to that the fact that not all CBD oils and products are created equal, it is no small wonder then that one of the most common questions we are being asked is: “What are the differences between the different types of CBD oil extracts, how are they made, and which one is right for me?
That’s why we’ve put together this beginner’s guide to CBD oil, answering these questions and more.
CBD oils and products are essentially made from three different types of CBD oil extracts – each of which are different in terms of what they contain, what they do and whether or not they are a good option for you.
Full-spectrum CBD oil extracts contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that you get in the whole hemp plant, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Because of what is known as the entourage effect, full-spectrum extracts are often preferred by many experienced users.
A broad-spectrum CBD oil extract is pretty much the same as a full-spectrum CBD oil extract but without the THC.
This makes it a good option for people who still want all the benefits of full-spectrum while avoiding THC.
CBD isolates are exactly that, with all other cannabinoids, terpenes and plant having been removed during the extraction process. This leaves behind an extract that is roughly 99+ % pure CBD.
CBD isolates are a good choice for people who are sensitive to other plant compounds, or need high/precision dosages of CBD.
The extraction and purification that gets the CBD out of the plant and into a final product means that the raw plant material needs to go through a couple of different processing stages. These can be as simple as soaking the raw plant material in oil, to highly complex processes that require large-scale and expensive equipment.
Each extraction process produces a final product that yields a different grade and quality of CBD oil extract. And each extraction method also has its own benefits and drawbacks. Here we will discuss the two most popular used commercially and what you are most likely to come across as a CBD user.
Supercritical CO2 extraction uses, as the name suggests, carbon dioxide (CO2) to remove the different hemp plant compounds from the raw plant material.
CO2 has a unique ability to act as either as a gas, liquid or solid, depending on the temperature and pressure it is put under. Using this “supercritical” property of CO2, during extraction, the first pressurized chamber is used to expose the CO2 gas to very low temperatures and very high pressures that turn it into a liquid.
This liquid CO2 is them pumped into a second pressurized chamber that holds the raw hemp plant material. From here the liquid CO2 “squeezes” the different plant compounds, including the CBD oil from the raw material. Finally the CO2 and extracts are pumped into a third chamber from where the gas evaporates and the raw hemp extract is left behind.
Supercritical CO2 extraction makes for a high-quality, highly concentrated CBD oil (as much as 92%) that’s free from solvents or other potentially harmful chemicals. Because the compounds are extracted using pressure instead of a solvent, this type of extraction method is not only allows the extraction specialists to selectively and accurately extract different plant compounds, but its also a very “clean” form of extraction. CO2 extraction also doesn’t use any heat (i.e. it’s a cold extraction method), meaning that heat sensitive compounds such as terpenes are preserved.
The biggest drawback of supercritical CO2 extraction is that the process is complicated and time-consuming, often with lower yields than other extraction method. This can make the final CBD oil or product more expensive.
In solvent extraction, a solvent – usually an alcohol such as ethanol – is used to remove the plant compounds from the raw hemp plant material.
During this process, the solvent acts like a solvent to break down the cannabinoids, terpenes and waxes into a mixture that includes both the extract and the solvent. This mixture then needs to go through an evaporation process to remove the solvent to leave behind the CBD oil extract.
Because solvent extraction is inexpensive and yield high amounts of CBD oil extracts, it is often the preferred method for commercial producers of cheaper, but lower quality products.
No matter how good the process, there is always a risk of some solvent residue being left behind. Especially when using hydrocarbons (e.g. naphtha, petroleum, butane, or propane) in the extraction process, the solvent residue can be toxic and increase the risk of developing diseases such as cancer. That is why many extraction specialists are moving over to natural solvents. However, the problem with a natural solvent such as olive oil or ethanol is that they don’t evaporate very well-meaning that the final CBD oil extract contains a lower concentration of CBD than it would with other methods.
The different of extraction methods, purification processes and CBD oil extracts and product types each have their own set of pro’s and con’s with varying combinations being suitable for different things.
When choosing the type of CBD oil extract and extraction method, you need to keep in mind what will work for you, your needs, your circumstances and your lifestyle factors. And although it is always a good idea to buy the best quality products that you can afford, ultimately the best type of CBD oil extract or product is the one that is right for you.
The statements made regarding K’Dara CBD products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration nor had the efficacy of these products been confirmed by FDA-approved research.
None of the information on the K’Dara CBD website is intended to be an enticement to purchase and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction nor are the products mentioned or sold here intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
All information presented is intended to be informative only, and not meant as a substitute for, or alternative to, information and/or diagnosis and/or treatment from registered healthcare practitioners.
We do not make any health claims about our products at K’Dara CBD. Always consult your healthcare professional about, usage, dosage, safety, potential interactions and/or other possible complications before using any product.
This disclaimer notice is provided as per the requirements of The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Food and Drug Administration.