Ethanol vs HPLC As CBD Extraction Methods
CBD has become a big topic among people everywhere, and especially in the medical community. While people are praising the greatness of CBD, they don’t really think about how it’s made. CBD has to be extracted from a plant, and there are quite a few methods of performing this extraction. Two notable methods are ethanol extraction and HPLC extraction, which you can get a better look at here.
The Cannabis plant is a plant that is grown for multiple purposes, two of which are medicinal and recreational usage. The plant contains more than 113 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, and one cannabinoid named Cannabidiol or CBD has gotten a lot of attention. It has become useful as a treatment option for many medical problems, such as pain, chronic inflammation, and even epilepsy. Unlike tetrahydro cannabinol or THC, it doesn’t produce any psychoactive effects when taken.
There is a problem with CBD usage in how it is absorbed by the body. The body will only absorb 20% of CBD oil when it is ingested. The extraction process has to done as carefully as possible to ensure that the right cannabinoids are obtained to make CBD oil. This is why different extraction methods were created.
The ethanol method of extracting CBD oil is a solvent based technique, and it’s one of the simplest methods that exist. Other solvents, such as butane or low grade alcohol have been used before, but ethanol make a safer end product. The method is done by adding ethanol to plant trimmings and mixing them until the ethanol dissolves the plant extracts. This allows all of the cannabinoids in the plant to be extracted, and may give the liquid a green color. The mixture is then strained and heated in a container until the ethanol is gone, leaving only the extracts.
The ethanol extraction method has some good advantages that make quite useful. It’s easy to perform the extraction process, and it doesn’t take a lot of time to perform. The method can also be done for a relatively cheaply. You don’t have to buy a lot of expensive machines to do it, and with high grade ethanol, you can produce some great CBD oil.
Ethanol vs HPLC As CBD Extraction Methods
There are some drawbacks associated with using ethanol to extract CBD oil. Ethanol is an extremely flammable substance, and if used improperly or if an accident occurs, the ethanol could ignite and create a hazard. Environments where ethanol extraction is done should be prepared to deal with the outbreak of a fire, and have safety equipment available when handling ethanol and working around heat. During the extraction process, chlorophyll is extracted from the plants, which gives them their green color. This can cause side effects, which is why it is strained out, but straining will reduce the potency of the CBD oil.
High Performance Liquid Chromatography, otherwise known as HPLC, is a method of CBD extraction that is a bit more involved than other methods. This method is seen as the industry standard when it comes to creating CBD oil. Analytical HPLC and preparative HPLC can be used for method, where Analytical HPLC examines for specific compounds, while Preparative HPLC does the actual extraction. Components of cannabis mixtures are separated by physical characteristics, such as particle size, during the stationary phase of Preparative HPLC. The mixtures move through HPLC columns that contain silica-resin, and when doing so, they create a signal. A detector picks up on the signal and collects the cannabinoids, which were separated with the help of the silica-resin filled columns.
One of the greatest advantages of extracting CBD oil using HPLC is that the oil is highly pure. When compared to some other oil extracting methods, the unnecessary particles are filtered out more efficiently. A higher yield of CBD oil can also be made than some other methods. Since the process of purifying the oil is done in a manner that uses a lot of specific controls, there isn’t much of a need to spend time optimizing the process, and there isn’t as much troubleshooting to do.
While the HPLC method for extracting CBD oil looks attractive, there are some drawbacks that can’t be overlooked. Price is a notable one, as the setup requires columns, reagents, the silica-resin, and control systems to make everything run perfectly. The cost of all of these components can be a bit much, especially for a small organization. Solvents are needed in large quantities to collect the purified parts, which adds to the overall costs. Over time, the use of solvents to prepare large scale amount of cannabis for extraction will result in a lot of costs.
There’s also the problem of time, as the time needed to move the mixture through the system creates a longer extraction process than other methods. This additional time is good for producing a pure yield, but it does cut down on the efficiency of the process. A very specific silica-resin is needed to isolate the cannabinoids during the extraction process, because the columns that are used are linked to the size of the compounds in the mixture. The crude extraction is quite sticky, which results in the column needing to be replaced a lot.
When it comes to extracting CBD oil using the ethanol and HPLC methods, you have to look at what both can offer. Both are good for producing CBD oil, but the HPLC method produces a better quality oil and larger amounts of it. It’s also a safer method, as no flammable components are used. On the other hand, it takes a longer time to extract the CBD oil, and a higher price and more equipment is needed to get the oil, making ethanol a less complicated and more cost effective extraction process than HPLC.
The method of choice for anyone wanting to extract CBD oil from cannabis comes down to how much oil needs to be produced and the amount of money available for equipment. If you want an easier, lower cost solution, go with the ethanol extraction method. If you want a higher yield with better quality and you can afford the equipment, go for the HPLC extraction method.