There is no denying the fact that there is a race to find the most potent marijuana strains and given this obsession, it was expected that somehow, someone will come up a way to put as many cannabinoids as possible into a substance. It’s a well-known fact that the marijuana available for sale today has a lot more THC as compared to the early days of its popularity. However, some users want a product with THC concentration of more than 30% and this is where the CBD concentrates shine.
Medical patients using CBD products want a cannabidiol delivery method that helps them get maximum relief in the lowest possible time. Needless to say, CBD concentrates have gained a lot of popularity as no other products are as potent as these. To prepare these concentrates, cannabidiol is extracted from hemp plant or cannabis by experts and it is then filtered down to achieve high concentrations.
What is CBD Concentrate?
In simple terms, CBD concentrate may be defined as a hemp plant extract containing an amazing high percentage of CBD. In fact, you can buy CBD isolate products today comprising of 99% CBD. A CBD concentrates allows you to consume a huge amount of cannabinoid in a short period of time. Since CBD is non-intoxicating and potentially helps in providing relief from a number of symptoms related to medical issues, it is claimed by proponents that concentrates offer an effective and safe form of medication.
Commercial CBD Concentrate Process
CBD can be obtained through various extraction methods that involve use of various solvents including butane, hexane or ethanol. However, the safest and cleanest method of extraction is through the use of non-toxic and supercritical CO2 and this is the method used by all the reputable companies.
Here is a quick guide on how CBD cannabis oil is turned into concentrate by experts:
After harvesting, hemp with high concentration of CBD is dried. Once it is completely dry, it’s grinded to prepare for extraction of oil. This grounded hemp is then put into a vessel with volume up to 20 L and this vessel is attached to the CO2 extraction equipment. In this process, carbon dioxide is used for extraction under very low temperature and high pressure. This helps in isolating, preserving and maintaining the oil purity.
One of the major problems with above-mentioned toxic solvents is that it may lead to presence of some unhealthy and unpleasant aspects of toxic solvents in the final product. Use of supercritical CO2 minimizes the risk of exposure to such harmful residues. The extraction process goes on for several hours and once this process is completed, the wax and oil is removed from the machine.
In the next step, the paste is winterized which involves removal of certain plant waxes as these are not needed in certain products. The derived oil is further refined with the help of ethanol. This mix of oil and ethanol is then put through a vacuum filter and a rotating evaporator is then used to spin it. In the spinning process, the oil settles down at the bottom of the container and ethanol is recovered for recycling.
Producers at the high end of the chain use liquid chromatography equipment (very expensive) for analyzing the cannabinoid content as well as overall potency of CBD oil. This oil is then formulated into various products including capsules, edibles, sublingual sprays and various other medicinal products. These products are lower strength products.
In this process, various types of CBD concentrate can be created as per the moisture levels, heat levels and texture of the oil before removal of impurities. Some CBD manufacturers may label their products differently though it’s just using another name for CBD concentrates.
Here is a list of some of the products you’re likely to see on websites selling similar products:
- Wax: It is more crystallized and solidified than normal oil and is opaque in color.
- Live resin: This is derived from buds that are cryogenically frozen instead of dried trim or cured buds. The cryogenic freezing process helps in preserving more cannabinoids and terpenes offering a more flavorful experience to the users.
- Shatter: This product is the substance that does not become crystallized while extracting which leads to its cloudy and opaque appearance. It mimics glass and on heating, it looks like thick honey.
- Crumble: This looks similar to wax but may also involve use of pre-purged CBD oil that contain more moisture and is thicker. The end product looks something similar to feta cheese.
- Budder: This product has a texture similar to butter as it’s waxy and fluffy in nature. It is produced when the oil is purged at extremely high air pressure and temperature during the extraction process.
- Distillate: Learn more about CBD distillate.
- Isolate: Learn more about CBD isolate.
Making Your Own CBD Concentrate
If you want, you can also prepare your own CBD concentrate. However, the quality is not going to be as good as the CBD concentrate sold by a reputable source unless you are ready to spend thousands of dollars for buying the supercritical carbon dioxide extraction equipment.
Take 100 gram of high CBD plants such as ACDC, Cannatonic or Harlequin. The herb needs to be grounded after making sure that it has been decarboxylated and dried.
Another thing you are going to need is alcohol like Everclear which is at least 90% alcohol.
Some of the other tools that you would need include a
- Double boiler.
- A funnel.
- Cheesecloth or other filtering equipment.
- A mask to keep yourself safe.
- an electric heating source.
- a glass temperature resistant bowl, several containers, and utensils.
How To Make Your Own Concentrates
- Begin by placing the dried plant matter in the bowl. Cover it with alcohol and make sure that it rises around an inch above the dried plant matter.
- This mix should be stirred for a period of around three minutes. You should stop once you are sure that the resin has been extracted by alcohol.
- Use a coffee filter or a cheesecloth or some other filter for separating the remaining plant material from the solution. It is recommended to use a funnel for filtering the liquid into a second container.
- Make sure nothing is left in the filter. Squeeze it and get everything out.
- Take a temperature resistant glass container and pour liquid into it. Put this container in the water in the double cooker.
- Start heating the water. It starts boiling at a temperature of around 168 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep boiling the water until the alcohol is evaporated completely. The temperature will rise to the boiling point of 193 degrees Fahrenheit and it will start bubbling.
- Once the bubbles start forming, you should increase the temperature continuously in case the plant matter hasn’t already been de-carbed. This process happens at around 230 degrees Fahrenheit. You also need to ensure presence of lots of water as it starts boiling at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or it will start evaporating.
- Keep heating until you can’t see any bubbles.
- Once the bubbles stop farming, you will get a very thick product that looks like tar. Even though the final product is in liquid state, it assumes a resinous paste once it cools down.
- There you have it. You have your very own CBD concentrate.
How To Buy The Best Extract?
As mentioned in the beginning, it is recommended to buy CBD concentrate that has been extracted from the plant matter with the help of supercritical carbon dioxide extraction process. Concentrate made using any other extraction method is unlikely to be of high quality. Also, there is no benefit in paying a small fortune for buying CBD concentrate using butane as you can also make it at home.
Check CBD percentage. The best products are isolates with CBD percentage ranging from 90 to 99%. A product with CBD below 80% carries a significant quantity of polyunsaturated fatty acids. For instance, if you buy a product with CBD concentration of 60%, it means that the remaining 40% may waxes and these are not necessarily healthy.
Upon choosing CBD concentrate, it’s important to be careful when dosing as it’s not that difficult to get carried away when dabbing CBD wax. Although you are unlikely to get high when using such a strain (Charlotte’s Web) but you may end up using a lot more cannabidiol than needed.
It’s not a good thing as firstly, it is rather expensive. You may have to spend up to $50 to get a gram of 99% CBD isolate. Also, if you are using CBD as medicine which means you should begin by micro dosing to figure out the effect it has on your body. The dosage should be increased slowly to find the minimum effective dosage. In case you start with too much, it will build up a tolerance and that may negatively affect any medicinal effects.
If you’re looking for a potent cannabis product, CBD concentrate offers a useful way to reduce inflammation, ease anxiety and provide pain relief and much more. You may want to invest in a vaporizer for vaping, or if you’d like dabbing, you may buy a dabbing ring and other equipment for dabbing concentrate. People who are fans of vaping claim that it’s better for the lungs.
Whatever method you choose to consume CBD, it is important for you to keep in mind the potency of CBD concentrate. You need only a little in the beginning. You also need to take into account the entourage effect. This theory suggests that cannabinoids work much better when taken together. In case you are buying CBD isolate, you are only getting cannabidiol. Therefore, you should look to buy a concentrate that contains CBD as well as terpenes and flavonoids.
Finally, if you think that you might get high from consuming CBD concentrate, you just need to ensure that you buy products only from companies with good reputation and ones that publish lab reports on their websites. You will find the level of CBD in these reports along with information on presence of THC. Keep in mind that even consuming a small amount of THC on a regular basis might set you up for a drug test failure. So, you need to keep that in mind.