Nov 30, 2021

The CBD Extraction Process

HempLucid Lab Director Sarah Balboa walks us through the process of creating our two CBD bases: whole-plant CBD oil and CBD isolate.

Hi, I'm Sarah Balboa, Lab Director for HempLucid. Welcome to HempLucid University. Today, we're going to walk you through the process of creating our two CBD bases, whole-plant CBD oil and CBD isolate.

Organically Grown & Hammermilled

All of our plant material is organically grown in Colorado using zero pesticides. The first step after we harvest the material is to dry it and run it through a machine called a hammer mill. The hammer mill takes the plant material and grinds up the plant material, giving it a fine-mesh consistency.

Clean Supercritical CO2 Extraction

The second step is to run it through a supercritical CO2 extractor. We use supercritical CO2 extraction for two main reasons:

  1. It's used across several other industries across the world, such as lavender oil and coffee.
  2. It's clean and efficient.

We breathe out CO2. So it's a natural process. The CO2 leaves the CO2 tanks and goes into the vessels holding the plant material. Plant material will then be separated out by the CO2 and we start to collect what is known as the raw crude extract.

Winterization & Filtering

From there, it goes into the process known as winterization. Winterization is the addition of food-grade ethanol. The extract is then placed into a freezer, causing the fats and the lipids from the wax to attach to the ethanol. That gives us two distinct layers: the fat layer and the oil layer.

Then, we begin a filtering process. The filtering process allows us to filter out that fat and liquid layer and leaves us with the oil/ethanol combination. From there it's time to remove the ethanol. This involves what's known as a rotary evaporator. This machine takes the ethanol, heats it up, turns it into a vapor, and then supercools it, turning it back into a liquid, allowing us to collect it—leaving only the oil.

Decarboxylation for Whole-Plant CBD

We have a quality assurance check to make sure that we've removed all ethanol from our oil. The last step is the decarboxylation process. This is what's known as activation in the cannabis industry. This process takes the CBDA oil, which has an acidic molecule on the end, puts it into a vacuum oven, heat and pressure, and removes the acidic molecule, giving us an active CBD oil. This CBD oil is the base for all of the HempLucid whole-plant products.

Further Refined to Produce CBD Isolate

We take that whole-plant CBD oil and further refine it to make isolate. For this, we use distillation and chromatography. Distillation is a solvent-free process using only heat and pressure to further refine the oil. The distillate is commonly 70% or above CBD potency.

Did you know CBD likes to naturally crystallize? Distillate will naturally start to crystallize on its own. So we take that distillate and we run it through chromatography.

Chromatography is a process of separating compounds. So the chromatography will separate the CBD from the other cannabinoids. We then take that and wash off the impurities with food-grade hexane. And once again, we have a quality assurance check to make sure that there is zero hexane left in the finished isolate.

And that is how we make the two CBD bases for all of HempLucid's products. Thank you for joining us at HempLucid University. I'm Sarah Balboa, Lab Director for HempLucid.

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