Extraction is where the magic happens! The most common way to extract CBD from plant material in large quantities is to use a liquid solvent, generally ethanol. The biomass is placed in the ethanol solution in order to break down the plants and strip it of cannabinoids and flavors. These elements are transferred into the solvent which is then evaporated away. It leaves behind a sticky thick oil often called "crude oil".
This oil typically contains 50% to 60% CBD. It is then refined further in order to take on the final golden color that is associated with CBD oil. Short path distillation and HPLC are generally used to sort break the crude oil into its component parts and remove impurities. You can read more about this on the Science page of our website. Once the oil has been refined, it is 99% CBD. This oil can also be turned to a powder form depending on how it is separated in the refinement process. From 1000 lbs of plant material, about a kilo of oil is produced. This number does vary, as the percentage of CBD in the plants can range from 3% to 10%. This means that massive amounts of the biomass are needed in order to produce a large enough quantity to sell in the whole sale market.
There is also a CO2 method of extraction which is used for small quantities. The plants are filtered through several chambers that control temperature and pressure. When the plants are put under pressure at these different temperatures, cannabinoids can be isolated with 90% efficiency. The CBD oil that comes out of this process is 80% pure. It can also be further refined from this point to nearly 100% CBD oil using the same methods as describe in the ethanol extraction section.
What is Candera's specialty?
Candera is one of the largest and most sophisticated extraction laboratories in the United States. Our 40,000 sq/ft. extraction facility is located in North Salt Lake, Utah. At this location we house a full R&D lab, HPLC for in house testing, ethanol extraction, and short path distillation. We have invested in top tier equipment, hired the best scientist and brought together the best employees to offer our customers a highest quality large scale solution, for all their hemp extraction needs. Our extraction methods currently use a continuous feed ethanol extractor that can process up to 500 lbs. of input per hour. In our finishing labs we can produce over 500 kilos of distillate per day with more expansion currently underway.
We currently offer distillate and isolate in large volumes and can customize to customer needs for just about any type of finished product needed. This set up and all our SOP's have been designed to offer the best product in the market and supply the needs of large wholesale customers while maintaining GMP standards.