Cannabidiol (CBD) is the chemical compound within the hemp plant whose therapeutic properties have caused a stir in different industries in recent years. From pharmaceutical companies to cosmetic giants, everyone seems to be coming up with some form of CBD oil, CBD cream, or CBD ointment.
If you’re looking to incorporate products that contain CBD oil into your business, buying readily processed CBD oil may be expensive in the long run, when compared to buying hemp flowers, stalk, and stems for industrial hemp extraction within your facility. To save money, you’ll need to invest in the right industrial hemp extraction equipment.
If you’re looking to get into the hemp industry, here’s everything you need to know.
4 Types of Industrial Hemp Extraction Systems
Also known as hemp extract, CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant using a variety of methods and equipment. These extraction systems differ mostly in terms of the solvents they use in the extraction process. Common methods used to extract CBD from hemp include carbon dioxide extraction, alcohol extraction, butane extraction, and ice water extraction.
1. Carbon Dioxide Extraction Systems
Carbon dioxide hemp extraction is known to produce higher CBD oil yields compared to the other solvents on the list. This is majorly attributed to the capability of the extraction machines to exert high amounts of heat and pressure on the carbon dioxide gas, forcing an increase in extraction efficiency. These systems have several advantages including:
- They help minimize wastage by producing massive yields without compromising on purity
- You can use it to extract specific chemical components found within the hemp plant
- CBD oil extracted using this method is safe for consumption since the carbon dioxide gas trapped in it usually evaporates away quite easily
- Carbon dioxide gas is a relatively cheaper solvent compared to alcohol and butane
The single major downside to using carbon dioxide extraction machines is that they’re relatively slow when compared to others on this list.
2. Alcohol-Based Extraction Systems
These systems use alcohol (like ethanol) as the main solvent. The ethanol soaks up the chemical compounds from the hemp plant, including the targeted CBD oil. The CBD is then separated from the rest of the compounds through evaporation.
The main advantage of alcohol-based CBD oil extraction is that ethanol is cheap and easy to source. Additionally, it doesn’t leave behind any toxic contaminants in the final product thanks to the efficient evaporation process of the alcohol.
On the flipside, ethanol is highly inflammable and any major variations in temperature during the extraction process can significantly compromise the quality of the extract. What’s more, further processing has to be done on the CBD oil to remove the chlorophyll which has an unpleasant smell.
3. Butane Cannabis Extraction Systems
Also known as hydrocarbon extraction systems, butane systems work much like the carbon dioxide extraction systems. The only difference is that the butane solvent has to be heated and pressurized to turn it into gas. This then makes it easier to remove the butane from the final product.
Some of these systems use a mixture of butane and propane gas. One advantage of using a butane extractor is that its hemp extract comes with a distinct, aromatic flavor.
However, the hydrocarbon extraction usually leaves behind a residual called butane shatter or butane hash oil – which is a controlled substance. Additionally, since butane is highly flammable, you’ll have to ensure you maintain the appropriate temperatures during the CBD oil extraction process to prevent an explosion.
4. Ice Water Extraction Systems
These systems feature an ice water extraction chamber where you place your hemp flowers and give them a “cold bath” to remove the denser THC. The CBD-rich water is then filtered to get the hemp extract.
This basic technique is perfect for small-scale cannabis oil extraction. For bulk extraction, the previous methods and equipment are recommended.
4 Important Things to Consider in a Hemp Oil Extraction Machine
To get the high-quality consumable hemp oil and other concentrates, you need to use the right extraction machine – depending on your needs. Before you choose the first extraction system you come across, consider the following:
1. Size of the Machine
Hemp extraction machines vary by size, mostly depending on the design preferences of the brands that make them. Some can take up a whole room, while others are as small as a kettle. Therefore, consider the amount of available space you have before getting the extractor.
2. Processing Speeds
The rate at which CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant varies depending on the machine’s efficiency. For instance, powerful industrial extraction machines can process even up to 22 liters of hemp oil within two hours. Unfortunately, these systems are some of the most expensive in the market. If you’re working on a tight budget and wouldn’t mind the processing speeds, then you’re better off with a slower extraction system.
3. Mode of Operation
Depending on what you prefer, some machines support solvent-based extraction while others don’t. Common solutions used in solvent-based extractors include carbon dioxide (CO2), propane, and alcohol. Before investing in a hemp extractor, consider the availability of a particular solvent in your area.
4. Quality Certifications
Since CBD oil qualifies as a consumable product, its processing regulations are developed and enforced by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) which is responsible for ensuring food safety and quality standards are maintained in the manufacturing of food products. Therefore, ensure your CBD oil extraction system is approved by the necessary regulatory bodies, especially if you’re running a business.
Get Quality Extracts with the Right Industrial Hemp Extraction Equipment
If your business can’t purchase an industrial hemp extraction equipment right away, you can always lease one to allow you to get off the ground without making huge capital investments. This will also help you test out different types of hemp extraction systems and help you find the best one for your business.
As the hemp industry grows, we can expect advancements in all extraction processes for high-quality hemp extracts and concentrates.