CBD Processing from Hemp
Processing hemp to produce CBD for medical use is a multi-stage process that should be performed under food safety or pharmaceutical quality standards such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice).Manufacturing medical CBD products such as hemp oil, CBD distillate and CBD isolate as well as finished product manufacture require a consistent source of high CBD hemp flower or hemp biomass.
Selecting High CBD Hemp for Processing
While CBD can be extracted from most cultivars of industrial hemp, the best quality extracts and medicines come from specially selected, bred and cultivated high CBD hemp plants.
While most industrial hemp has small flowers with little resin and a low CBD content of 1% to 3%.
High CBD Hemp Strains have been bred to produce large flowers, large amounts of resin and a CBD content of 10% to 20% while keeping the THC content less than 0.3%. These plants have also been selected for their terpene profile and bouquet, meaning they produce smokeable quality flower with appearance and flavor comparable to medical marijuana, but with negligable THC. This terpene profile (and often also minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC, and CBDV) mean these flowers make great medicine too.
By working with high CBD medical hemp rather than industrial hemp, you can extract much more resin and the quality is substantially higher and more suitable for use with minimal processing. There are fewer contaminants and you know the product has been grown with medicine in mind.
In contrast industrial hemp is often grown as a rotation crop, may have used pesticides, and will mop up any toxins in the soil because hemp is a bioaccumulator.
For this reason in North America where most of the world’s high quality CBD oils are produced, the best quality flower can be processed into great tasting, “terpy” oil having a strong terpene taste and perfume. Industrial hemp on the other hand is mostly used to produce highly refined CBD isolate – meaning that the poor terpene and minor cannabinoid profile doesn’t matter.
CBD Manufacturing Standards
Because CBD is being used as a medicine (or sometimes a novel food product) it should be prepared in a way that ensures it is safe, pure and of know potency and composition.
This is achieved through following quality management systems and manufacturing standards such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice).
CBD Manufacturing Process
Once the harvested high CBD hemp has been dried, cured and trimmed or ground it is ready for further processing. Typically post harvest handling occurs on farm or at hemp processing and storage facilities. CBD Manufacturing occurs in a purpose built processing facility which includes equipment for hemp drying, grinding, extraction, filtration, distillation, isolation and packaging.
CBD Manufacturing facilities typically process hemp to bulk CBD extracts such as CBD rich hemp oil, CBD distillate, CBD isolate and other Cannabidiol rich products.
These are then sold to finished product manufacturers for production of CBD oil tinctures, CBD capsules, vape juice and similar products.