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purifying cbd oil into isolate

Image is courtesy of Endoca.

Image is courtesy of Endoca.

When the unpurified extract is poured into the column, the sand acts as a filtration system. By applying pressure, the molecules are pushed through the sand, thus becoming more purified. If no form of pressure is available, the method will still work; however, it will be much more time-consuming. As the molecules travel through the sand, the smaller particles (CBD) move to the bottom quicker, while more massive molecules (THC) travel slower, if at all.

Chromatography, which is a method of isolating and purifying cannabinoids, is often used in the cannabis industry to separate THC and CBD from already extracted cannabis.

Most cannabis users are not going to have access to industrial chromatography equipment to produce crystals, but as this video shows, there are methods of creating a small-scale chromatography machine. The technique used in this video requires a column with fine sand inside of it (silica is a popular agent used amongst cannabis producers), a pump to apply pressure (pump should have required tubing and a lid that fits the column) and a collection chamber with a small amount of evaporable solution.

Image is courtesy of Endoca.

The filtered extract is then collected and stored in the reservoir of solution. This process can be repeated several times for maximum purity; however, it should be noted that the more times it is run, the smaller the amount of end product. Once the filtration is complete, the solution should be placed on a heat source (coffee pad) to evaporate the solution, leaving purified CBD crystals as the finished product.

CPC purification: CPC uses liquid/liquid chromatography to separate natural compounds with high recovery and purity. 4,5 Because CPC uses a liquid stationary phase, it requires up to five times less solvent to elute cannabinoids than that used for solid/liquid chromatography. 4

As an alternative, researchers have developed a new workflow for extracting cannabinoids from hemp using centrifugal partition chromatography (CPC). This workflow can yield a recovery rate that is greater than the average HPLC method and uses significantly less solvent in the process. 4,5

Winterisation: Winterisation removes unwanted components from the crude extract. The first step is to dilute the crude extract in ethanol and store the mixture at the freezing point of ethanol (114.1 °C) for at least 24 hours. This prompts the removal of lipids and waxes from the extract.

The benefits of using centrifugal partition chromatography

Dry down: To remove ethanol from the abstract, one can use either a rotary evaporator or vacuum distillation. This leaves behind the cannabinoids and terpenes.

Distillation: To produce a cannabinoid-rich distillate product, one can either short path distillation, fractional distillation or wiped film distillation.

The medical cannabis market for Europe’s three largest consumers – Italy, the Netherlands and Germany – could double this year, according to a recent report from a cannabis market research firm, creating increased demand for manufacturers to produce pure, medical-grade cannabinoids 1

Additionally, a few months ago, Bulgaria became the first European Union member state to allow the free sale of cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp . and many other European countries could follow suit. 2

Then, the refined CBD oil is distilled by way of winterization or short path distillation. Sometimes this step comes before chromatography. We wrote a great, in-depth article if you want additional information about this topic: Winterized CBD Oil Explained: In-Depth Research & Benefits

  • CBD isolate production involves extraction processes followed by distillation procedures (more distillation steps results in a more refined product) followed by chromatography. Then, tests are performed to what ‘extras’ are still in the products and other distillation methods may be used to extract other compounds from the distillate.

What is Chromatography?

  • Chromatography is one of the most common methods used to CBD extract from hemp, especially in large-scale production operations.

    This methodology separates and purifies chemical compounds “taking advantage of their differences in properties.” It is a “ practical and straightforward way to purify a substance from a complex mixture.”

• Chromatography is used for the extraction / isolation CBD from hemp. It also “ takes out all the terpenes, which are responsible for both scent [and] flavor,” and removes all/most plant matter.