A guide to CBD manufacturing safety.

by Alfred van der Heide
industry

When you take a look at your favorite CBD brand, you’re probably in awe of how thin, stalky Hemp plants could become rich, concentrated oils. Indeed the end product is wondrous and beautiful, but the extraction process is the complete antithesis of pretty simplicity. Instead, the whole extraction chain is riddled with difficulty, especially regarding safety. In this article, we will explore how CBD companies extract their Hemp Oil through strict safety measures in order to assure only the best, most authentic products for worldwide consumption.

We will begin with some of the less popular, cheaper ways of extracting Hemp Oil from Hemp plant that some companies employ to cut costs.

Hydrocarbon extraction

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A large hydrocarbon extraction set up.

One cheap way to extract CBD Oil is through hydrocarbon extraction. This is a controversial method as it relies on unnatural, volatile solvents like butane and propane. The solvent chosen by the manufacturer is first enveloped around the Hemp plant, which is said to bind to the CBD or cannabinoids within. After this, the solvent is removed, taking the CBD along with it through applied heat.

However this doesn’t assure the best, most authentic products as the final product is filled with chemical or solvent residue, regardless of how many additives and extra procedures are used to get rid of them in the end. Therefore many CBD companies who feel obligated to give the best, most natural CBD usually forgo this method of extraction. Furthermore, regarding end-user safety, chemical-ridden CBD is unlikely to be healthy nor is it safe in large quantities.

Concerning manufacturing safety, hydrocarbon extraction is extremely dangerous. This is because of the volatile nature of the solvents used. For instance, butane is commonly known as lighter fluid, so if it’s used in great amounts it has a tendency to go bang. There have been numerous incidences of house fires, manufacturer injuries, and extraction premises going up in flames due to the careless management of using solvents in hydrocarbon extraction. One way such an accident can occur is by not adhering to manufacturing safety methods, such as refraining from smoking near the facility or using matches for cooking during lunch breaks within the extraction premises.

It may seem we are bad-mouthing all manufacturing giants who use hydrocarbon extraction to gain CBD in large quantities, at cheaper prices, but you get what you pay for. Would you rather pay bottom level prices for CBD oil that has trace amounts of hydrocarbons, or pay a little more for CBD extracted via the method we are about to describe?

CO2 extraction methods

This is the most common extraction process in the industry due to its manufacturing safety assurances. For instance, CO2 extraction methods do not rely on solvents like butane, ethanol, or propane to “bring out” CBD in Hemp. Instead, this method relies on what’s already around us: CO2.

In order to extract with CO2, you must set it at a certain temperature and level. This is easily done as CO2 is a gas that can be easily manipulated with modern technology. Therefore it’s less volatile than solvents and safer.

After you have the CO2 at the right level and pressure, it’s ready to use. In this particular method, you must fill a vessel with biomass, in this case, Hemp plants. When you have the right amount of Hemp plant in the vessel, you use supply cylinders to squeeze pure CO2 into it. As time goes on, the pressure in the vessel will increase and the Hemp Oil will be “squeezed” at a molecular level until Hemp Oil starts to drip.

This is just a simple breakdown of CO2 extraction methods, however, it’s obvious that CO2 extraction methods are a much greener and safer manufacturing style. Furthermore, the efficacy of CO2 and ease of use means you can “tune” the CO2 in the supply cylinders to certain pressures.

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Subsequently, by doing this you can cater to certain cannabinoids in the Hemp plant, such as terpenes and flavonoids that require a certain amount of pressurized CO2 to extract. So, if you want a terpene-rich Hemp Oil at the end, you simply create a high-pressure environment in the vessel to achieve this. On top of this, CO2 acts as a sanitizing agent, and in the right hands, the right environment yields medical-grade Hemp Oils.

Not to mention the absolute lack of flammables in this manufacturing method means it’s the best route to constant safe Hemp Oil, that has no solvent residue. There will be more days without an incident or accident too!

 

 

THC and safety

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One of the most essential manufacturing safety protocols is getting the right level of THC. Numerous control bodies around the world have a compulsory set of requirements for CBD companies to adhere to, when it comes to the THC in their products. This is because the specified level of THC allowed is what’s considered safe in their respective laws.

For example, in the UK the threshold of safe THC is 0.2%. This is the amount of British law considers non-psychoactive or non-intoxicating. Therefore manufacturing a Hemp Oil with the safe THC level becomes a priority for manufacturers. In the US the percentiles are similar as 0.3% is the required amount of THC.

Taking this into account the manufacturer needs to go back to square one when supplying the right Hemp plants to yield the exact percentile of THC, allowed in their country. This includes talking to cultivators to grow low-grade THC Hemp plants.

How is this achieved? Well, farmers assume where exactly in the growth cycle THC will be at the right amount, by looking at the height of the plant, and testing “dummy” plants growing alongside the main crops. From this, the Hemp plants are cut down and used in the extraction process if it’s the right time to prune.

However, the sourcing of Hemp plants is vastly different in the EU. This is because the European Commission has stated that THC should be capped at 0.05% (almost nothing) in Hemp Oils sold in Europe. Therefore EU manufacturers need to assure that either the plants they source are in the infantile stages of their growth periods, or they use CO2 in the right manner to “squeeze” out low THC volume Hemp Oil.

This is essential to garnering safe Hemp Oil in Europe. This type of Hemp Oil made in Europe can be dubbed as “Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil” as it only makes use of CBD, CBDa, CBG, CBGa, and CBC. However British and American Hemp Oil can be titled “Full Spectrum Hemp Oil” as it contains all the cannabinoids in the Hemp plant, including THC.

Now that we have isolated CO2 extraction as the best example of CBD manufacturing safety, we will go down the line and analyze how, during post-production- certain measures need to be implemented to ensure customers are kept informed and safe.

Post-production Hemp Oil

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The post-production activities of CBD manufacturers are just as crucial to achieving safe CBD consumption in the general public. The most effective activity at this end-stage is the correct labeling and information pertaining to Hemp Oil.

Correct labeling of the content of the Hemp Oil sold, the directions of use, warnings, and suggested servings are mandatory. They ensure the consumer knows the safest way to ingest their chosen Hemp Oil. For instance, as Hemp Oil isn’t vindicated as officially safe when taken with other medications, a simple notice on the bottle stating: “consult your doctor before use” will make sure the industry isn’t under fire, for not advising people to be careful taking it. Furthermore, correct directions of use on how much CBD to take per day can result in an authentic experience for the consumer to get the most out of their purchase.

However, above all lab reports are the greatest example of manufacturing safety when it comes to Hemp Oil, as these are the greatest indicator that the product on sale contains what it says on the label, or doesn’t exceed the amounts of THC deemed safe. A typical Hemp Oil lab report will have a list of every cannabinoid in the bottle. Most importantly it will outline the percentage of THC. A genuine lab report comes about when a CBD manufacturer carries out extra tests on their final Hemp Oil and sends it to an impartial third party.

This third party will compare the lab tests carried out by the manufacturer before completing their own with the samples provided. This will be the ultimate test of trustworthiness of whether a manufacturer is compliant with THC levels. If everything checks out a formal lab report will be printed out and given to the manufacturer as a certificate of authenticity to be displayed on their website. This is then the best way a consumer can deduce the safe and authentic nature of their favorite Hemp Oil provider.

In conclusion

In this article, we have investigated the two different ways a manufacturer can extract Hemp Oil. By doing this we hope it acts as a guide for consumers on how to define the safest CBD on the market. For example by being aware of hydrocarbon extraction and CO2 extraction a consumer can assess the packaging of a certain provider. If CO2 extraction isn’t present on the labeling, they can presume that Hemp Oil is extracted through hydrocarbon methods. This can be argued as a less safe way to extract CBD due to the use of solvents.

Moving on we looked at the safe levels of THC. After reading this guide hopefully, people can see that depending on where they live, their Hemp Oil must adhere to what’s considered the safest level of THC. The only way to find this out is by reading the lab reports published by a manufacturer that show the THC levels in their products.

Lab reports also act as an assurance that the correct safety measures were used in extraction. Secondly that the right levels of THC are in a particular Hemp Oil. This is the final best guide to CBD manufacturing safety.

About us:

At All Round CBD, we look to educate people on CBD manufacturing and to supply safe Hemp Oil like ​Anytime Oral Spray​ to the world.

 

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