how to grow the best hemp

What works and What Doesn’t

The global medical fraternity has finally started reacting to the potent benefits which Cannabidiol, or CBD, has on a number of health issues. CBD is just one of the hundreds of constituents of Cannabis, known colloquially as marijuana.

Unlike marijuana, Cannabidiol is non-addictive and has already showcased a host of near-magical properties.

Cannabidiol is legal in most parts of the United States. While some state laws governing marijuana and CBD are still in flux, enthusiasts and medical experts have drawn up a draft list of illnesses and conditions where CBD oil can ease symptoms.

These include:

  • Combating insistent pain caused by underlying conditions.
  • Preventing seizures in epileptics. While epilepsy can be controlled using prescription medication, more complex and ill-understood epileptic conditions like Lennox–Gastaut syndrome often do not respond to medicines. CBD has been seen to help them.
  • Slowing down the progress of Multiple Sclerosis, an irreversible nervous condition.
  • Lowering anxiety and hypertension, and
  • Shielding against clinical depression.

Clearly, the medical benefits of CBD oil are legion. New ones are being discovered at regular intervals.

However, how effective this oil is depends to a great extent on its manufacturing process.

To harness the maximum benefits of this CBD oil, some understanding of the major manufacturing processes is in order.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 Extraction

Universally considered to be the best way to produce high-grade CBD oil, this method involves blasting a wave of supercritical Carbon Dioxide through a chamber filled with cannabis trimmings.

When CO2 is in this state, it is neither a gas nor a liquid; yet, it has the properties of both.

Once blasted, supercritical CO2 can ‘pull’ phytochemicals like Cannabidiol from the trimmings.

Initial examination would suggest that the final product is of very high quality, but there is a big problem that often happens that even professionals miss. This method can cause extreme damage to the plant material and harm the final product.

Solvent Extraction

This technique requires considerable experience in handling combustible solvents like butane and ethanol. A skilled technician will find solvent extraction right up his or her alley.

Solvent Extraction

Ethanol and cannabis plant trimmings are mixed in a large vessel. After a few minutes, the ethanol is strained; by this time, it has absorbed most of the plant extracts rich in CBD.

A last step involves heating this ethanol-CBD mixture. At high temperatures, this ethyl alcohol evaporates, leaving behind only plant products.

Solvent extraction can produce large amounts of CBD oil within reasonable budgets. This process is not too time consuming. That said, it is best to let professionals handle such an operation.

Ethanol-related accidents are all too common, which is why only expert technicians are utilized for this process.

Olive Oil Extraction

Olive Oil Extraction

This method is used whenever smaller quantities of ultra-high-grade CBD are required. It is hardly an option for large-scale enterprises.

However, the quality of CBD produced using this method may become diluted if adequate attention is not paid, or if something else in the process goes askew.

Cannabis trimmings are mixed with Olive oil (although any cooking oil still does the job) and this mixture is warmed for more than an hour.

Upon heating, these trimmings release the Cannabidiol. It is collected and left to cool.

Olive oil extraction is a very popular DIY method for extracting CBD, despite its considerable drawbacks. Heating Cannabis is a risky business, as you can decarboxylate the plant. This means that it will transform from on cannabinoid (CBD) to another usually (CBN).

Lastly, Olive Oil can become rancid with no change in color, or taste which can be poisonous for human consumption.

My advice? Stay away from this method.

Ice Water Extraction

Cannabis plants are minutely chopped into very thin pieces and mixed with either ordinary ice or dry ice (solid CO2).

Ice Water Extraction

Dry ice has a much lower temperature of about -78.5 degrees Celsius. It is usually preferred over plain ice.

Some water is added to this admixture of plant trimmings and ice. Once this is done, the entire mass is strained repeatedly through micron mesh bags, using finer filters with each strain.

After repeated straining sessions, the sediment containing CBD oil is collected. Any excess water is evaporated off and CBD is leached out.

Ice water extraction, again, is rather inexpensive. While it takes more time and labour than many comparable techniques, it also yields substantially greater volumes of CBD oil.

Incidentally, it is also another DIY enthusiasts’ favorite!

The Best Method

Well, everyone has his or her personal favorite technique; there is no one-model-fits-everyone scenario.

Still, based on the ease of use, access to essential ingredients for a set-up and greater yields, the CO2 extraction method pips its rivals. Not only is it economical; it also does not leave behind any toxic by-products, is clean and comparatively safe.

The international legalized cannabis industry uses this method to produce a wide range of full-spectrum oils.

Even though, based on the ease of use, access to essential ingredients for a set-up and greater yields, CO2 extraction appears to be the best… it falls short based on its’ aggressive handling of the plant material.

We need to remember that the plant is the most important part in this equation. If we apply intense temperature or pressure to Hemp, it will crumble in your hands.

This is why we prefer ethanol, and truly believe it to be the best.

The Bottom Line

There are many irresponsible and invalidated statements surrounding CBD oils on the Internet. You must also fall prey to such glitzy advertisements and promises that are too good to be true. Cannabidiol has enormous promise, but it is not a panacea.

Consult your physician before you decide to jump aboard a CBD wagon. Remember that it is still classified as an unregulated supplement in many countries.

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