With all the buzz around CBD, it is almost impossible to not have heard of it at least once. The compound obtained from cannabis is a major ingredient in several therapeutics and skincare products. The word cannabis might plant a seed of doubt in some of your minds because it belongs to the grey area as per the laws of several nations. However, CBD is out of that grey region because it is sourced from hemp, a cannabis plant that contains minimal amounts of THC, which is majorly responsible for the high experienced by cannabis users.
CBD, THC, other cannabinoids, terpenes, etc are found in all cannabis plants like marijuana, hemp, etc but the individual concentrations see significant variations. Marijuana has higher amounts of THC, no wonder why the US law made hemp-derived CBD and not marijuana CBD legal in the country. Separation of individual cannabinoids and terpenes from hemp requires distillation to obtain pure final products.
What Is The Importance Of Distillation?
Cannabis plants are very inconsistent in terms of the concentrations of their compounds. The percentage amounts of the ingredients in each hemp plant will be varied and this applies to the flavors, strains, and taste too. The primary reason why the beneficial hemp compounds are isolated and divided from other ingredients is the above-mentioned inconsistencies.
CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are usually present in the crude form after extraction. They are purified by the distillation process to produce refined oil that is about 90% pure. The refined oil is referred to as distillate and it is devoid of terpenes and other flavors that would lead to an inconsistent product if retained.
Two types of distillation process are:
Short path distillation
Short path distillation or molecular distillation uses an apparatus that has several receivers to obtain hemp compounds individually. In this technique, the distillates have to travel very short distances between the evaporation vessel and the condenser. The unrefined oil is heated under vacuum inside the distillation apparatus. After the contents take the short path, it is then cooled allowing the vapors to condense.
Fractional distillation makes use of the varying boiling points of hemp compounds. Individual compounds of hemp evaporate at various temperatures on reaching their specific boiling points.
Both fractional distillation and short path distillation requires high temperatures. As CBD is prone to degradation due to heat, ordinary distillation is a bit complicated. Performing fractional distillation through short path distillation at low pressure is an effective method that can significantly prevent the degradation of cannabidiol.
The purity of a CBD product decides how effective it will be in treating a medical condition that you are treating. Higher purity indicates high quality.