There are many ways to extract the oil from the plant. Apeks Supercritical systems use CO2 as a solvent to extract the oil. The solvent is considered a cleaner, purer form of extraction because there is no residue after extraction.
To isolate the individual compounds (CBD being one of them), the extracted oil needs to be distilled after extraction. The first step is a process called Winterization, followed by Short Path Distillation.
Winterization is the process to remove undesirable elements that were extracted from the plant, for example fats, waxes and lipids. This process is only needed when the oil was extracted at high pressure/high temperature (supercritical) because this intense extraction pulls everything from the plant, including material you don’t want in the final product. The extracted oil is effectively crude oil, which needs refining.
Once extracted, the mixture is combined with 200 proof alcohol and stirred vigorously until completely mixed. It’s then placed in a deep freezer overnight. In the morning, the mixture looks cloudy and is ready for filtration. One way to filter out the fats, etc. is to run it through a filter paper into an extraction jar. A common piece of equipment for this is a Buchner Funnel. Once it’s been filtered to satisfaction and the undesirable elements have been removed, it’s time to remove the alcohol. This is done using heat. The extraction is warmed and as its warmed, the alcohol evaporates since the boiling point of alcohol is lower than the oil. The removed alcohol can then be reused on a different batch of crude oil.
To further refine the extract, and to isolate the CBD, the oil goes through Short Path Distillation. This works in much the same way as Winterization in that the extract is heated and each compound is then separated because each one has a different boiling point. In this way, each compound is isolated and can be used by itself.
Research is showing that CBD has a huge potential in the medical market. It eases symptoms of anxiety, reduces pain and inflammation, helps prevent seizures, and many more. Because it’s a natural extract, there are few, if any, side effects. The extract works with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is the system’s method of regulating processes, like pain, mood, appetite, and memory. CBD works with the natural system rather than being an unnatural substance, so the body doesn’t try to reject it. This is why it has powerful medical benefits.
Despite the benefits of CBD as an isolate, there is much to be said for providing patients with all the compounds in the plant, not as separate isolates. Patients can still use the oil without getting high, as long as the THCa has not been heated, which converts it into THC, which is what makes you high. The Entourage Effect is the effect that all the compounds of the plant have on the body, as a whole.
Cannabinoids - Chemical compounds that act on cannabinoid receptors in the brain. The most well-known cannabinoids include CBD, CBDa, CBN, THC, and THCa.
Terpenes - Common constituents of essential oils. Terpenes are responsible for the distinct aroma and taste of hemp.
Extraction - The process used to separate cannabidiols, terpenes, bioflavonoids, and essential oils from the plant matter.
Bioavailability - The fraction of an administered dose of unchanged drug that reaches the systemic circulation after administration. For example, medication taken intravenously is 100% bioavailable. When a substance is administered other ways, bioavailability may be reduced. Many consider the sublingual (under the tongue) way of taking an extract to be most effective. There has also been some research that indicates that hemp/CBD extracts containing small amounts of ethanol and salt are more bioavailable, and our products contain both of these elements. The mineral salts found in our products are the naturally occurring salts found inside the plant.