Hemp Extract Methods

What are the best 4 methods to make hemp extract? An important criteria when selecting a hemp-derived CBD product is to find out what technique was used to extract the material. This process can be a crucial indicator when it comes to the quality of the hemp oil, because some cheaper methods of extraction involve the use of harsh solvents that strip away many of the plant’s natural compounds in addition to leaving behind trace elements of the harmful chemicals.

The use of plant extract can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, where scented oils were very popular. During the excavation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb, researchers were amazed to discover an unopened bottle of perfume which had still retained its fragrance, over 3,000 years later.

The first noted historical mention regarding the process of creating and using essential oils is attributed to Ibn al-Baitar, who was a 13th century Arabian botanist and pharmacist. He was most known for compiling an extensive pharmaceutical encyclopedia that included detailed information on over 1400 species of plants and their medicinal properties.

After an oil is extacted from the plant, it normally requires the addition of a carrier oil, which acts as a preservative. Many different kinds of oil can be used as a carrier, and the most common ones include MCT (multi-fractionated coconut oil), olive oil, propylene glycerol, and sunflower oil. 

Extraction methods can vary depending on what plant is being used and what material is being processed. With regard to hemp, the flowers, stems, stalks, and leaves can all be extracted into an essential oil.

It is important to note that oil extracted from hemp seeds is quite different from oil that comes from the rest of the plant, because the seeds do not contain any phytocannabinoids. Some brands will label hemp seed oil as simply “hemp oil”, which is technically correct but potentially misleading if the goal is to purchase a product that contains CBD. 

Hemp is the optimal variety of cannabis extract to use for CBD products because it naturally produces higher amounts of CBD. Conversely, hemp typically contains very little THC, which helps to keep it under the maximum federal allowance of 0.3% for full spectrum products.  This low level of THC in Hemp is important due to the legal status of CBD across the United States.

Top ways to extract hemp

We’ll go into detail about the various methods extracting of oil from hemp material.

Hemp Extract bottle with dropper

Cold Press

Plant extracts were originally made by hand, using a manual extractor. This is a common technique used for citrus, as most of their oils are stored in the skin of the fruit. The process involves either grinding or compressing the material until all of the oil is squeezed out. 

The cold press method is commonly used to make hemp seed oil, as well as other different kinds of cooking oil. It is the easiest way to make your own oil at home, and it undergoes very little processing.

Steam Distillation

Steam distillation is an ancient process of extraction that was first introduced in the 11th century by a Persian chemist known as Ibn Sina. It uses steam that is pushed through the plant material, causing the oils to be stripped away. The vapor is then collected and as it cools, separates into oil and water. After the water is evaporated, the concentrated oil is left behind.

Stream distillation is effective but is also more costly and time consuming than other forms of hemp extraction.

Solvent Extraction

Some extraction methods involve the use of solvents to dissolve away components of the plant and draw out its oils. This process is usually employed when the plant material being extracted is too delicate to undergo the heat required with steam distillation.

Some of the solvents commonly used in this kind of procedure include hexane, a significant component found in gasoline, as well as alcohol, ethanol, ether, and sometimes even petroleum. Unfortunately, a big drawback to solvent extraction is that remnants of these chemicals may be left behind in the oil, which can adversely affect its quality. For people who want a premium hemp-derived CBD product, this is a significant thing to consider.

CO2 Extraction

This extraction uses compressed CO2 (carbon dioxide) to separate the oils from the plant material. CO2 is known as a “tunable solvent” because of its ability to be precisely modulated when targeting the extraction of specific compounds in a plant, which is a huge advantage with this particular technique.

CO2 extraction is considered the optimal method for producing hemp extract because it is extremely clean, as no harsh chemicals are left behind in the finished oil. CO2 extraction is also very fast and requires the least amount of processing, so the hemp extract is able to retain the majority of its phytocannabinoid and terpene profile.

Our Committment to you

At Eco Sciences, we have dedicated a considerable amount of time and research when sourcing and producing ingredients for our premium hemp supplements. We use CO2 extracted, CBD-rich oil as the base to our extensive line of full spectrum products.

One of the ways we are able to demonstrate the value and quality of our products is by providing independent laboratory results on our website that detail the abundant phytocannabinoid profile for each batch of hemp extract that we use.