The continuous pursuit for ways to treat medical conditions has led the world to explore beyond the conventional. While tried-and-tested medications and medical procedures have proven their worth over time, people are still looking at what more can be done to help patients suffering from conditions like chronic pain to improve their quality of life, and that journey has led to one of the most controversial alternative treatments in the world today: cannabidiol.
The use of marijuana as a form of treatment has been a sensitive topic in the medical world, as it is a drug that’s been abused by many. And with a growing opioid crisis happening the United States today, bringing in another drug has stirred questions about how the benefits of CBD oil can outweigh the potential risks for abuse, if there are any. But those who’ve tried using cannabidiol oil—from popular television physician Dr. Oz to celebrity and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow—are preaching its wonders, which is why it is continuously gaining more momentum in the market today.
What exactly is cannabidiol?
Cannabidiol is a molecule found within the cannabis or marijuana plant together with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike CBD that has no potential harmful effects to humans, THC is responsible for the “high” that one feels when using traditional cannabis because it is a psychoactive ingredient. Simply put, if you take THC out of the equation, cannabis or hemp, which is the legal term used for cannabis with little or no THC content, is fairly safe to use for medical purposes.
So, how is CBD extracted?
With THC being the harmful component of cannabis, extracting CBD becomes a tricky process, which is why its manufacturers are very keen on making sure that their oils don’t contain any THC or if they do, that amount is kept at a recommended level. Thankfully, there are technologies that have been used by industry leaders to get those results:
- Bioethanol extraction
NCM Biotech, one of the top producers of CBD products today, has been focused on finding ways to extra CBD using the most efficient technology. This is why the company has entered into a deal with Greenbelt Resources, another biotech company producing bioethanol and other bio products using food waste.
Since 2010, Greenbelt Resources’ technology has been used by many businesses in California, especially its proprietary ECOsystem technique that helps produce top quality bioethanol that is now used by NCM Biotech for its CBD extraction process. According to the company, they are impressed by Greenbelt’s renewable ethanol, which has a lower carbon footprint making it an eco-friendly option for extracting CBD.
- Thermal extraction
Petabis is an industry leader in producing top quality CBD products for animals like cats and dogs, and they have been using what they describe as a “revolutionary thermal extraction process” in making sure that their CBD is of the best quality and free from THC. The company’s patented water vapor extraction process vaporizes THC and extra pure cannabidiol and the end product is a fine extract with no traces of any psychoactive compound.
- Supercritical CO2 extraction
Diamond CBD is a widely known name in the industry. Aside from being a subsidiary of PotNetwork Holding, Inc., the company is also known for using a unique process called supercritical CO2 extraction in getting the finest CBD extracts to use for its products. Diamond CBD claims that their process is better than others because it retains all the naturally occurring molecules of hemp unlike other extraction procedures that could remove them.
By using the purest extracts of the CBD compound, Diamond CBD can produce quality oils that don’t require further post-processing procedures. This means that the company’s CBD oils don’t contain any chemicals and come out of their laboratory as is. Diamond CBD also imposes strict quality checks by performing lab tests for each batch of extracts to ensure that they are free of THC and are of their purest forms.
What’s next for CBD?
The technology behind CBD extraction is already quite impressive. But those still looking for better ways to make cannabis safer and more effective for medical use have continued to pursue more technological advancements over the last few years.
This time, the word nanotechnology is coming into the picture. Nanotech is no stranger to the medical world as it has been used in creating medications, supplements and even beauty products. But with CBD, the main purpose of using nanotech is to make cannabinoids easily absorbed by the body.
According to Anubhav Pratap Singh, PhD from the University of British Columbia: “As the particles get smaller and smaller, the microparticles still behave very similarly to the macroparticles. But as we reduce the particles to a few hundred nanometers, some properties of the particles are completely different than the old particles…they can pass through gaps that they were unable to before. So we try to take advantage of this in different forms.”