Market Outlook & Production Overview
It is estimated that the global market for cannabidiol (CBD) oil will grow from $967.2 million in 2020 to $5.3 billion by 2025. The global CBD oil market is mainly driven by growing research funding for cannabinoid research, legalization of CBD in various regions and the rising occurrence of chronic diseases and related complications.
Hemp-derived products are the largest segment in the CBD oil products market. CBD oils are primarily used in pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic and other industries. The cosmetic and food industry segments accounts for more than half of the market but over the next few years the pharmaceutical segment is expected to expand significantly.
There are two classifications for the cannabis plant that produces CBD oil: hemp and marijuana.
Hemp-derived CBD is sourced from industrial hemp plants, which are grown primarily for their fiber and seeds. Hemp is differentiated from marijuana by its levels of THC, the cannabinoid that possesses intoxicating properties. Under U.S. law a hemp plant must contain no more than 0.3% THC.
Marijuana-derived CBD is extracted from marijuana plants that have thick, lush foliage and flowers that are generally grown and consumed for their intoxicating properties. The U.S. government defines marijuana plants as those which contain more than 0.3% THC. While most marijuana plants contain THC as the predominant cannabinoid, there are several strains of marijuana that are rich in CBD.
Whether CBD is extracted from hemp or marijuana, it remains identical on the molecular level.
Hemp Growing Process
Farmers breed plants with high concentrations of CBD and low concentrations of THC to comply with the 2018 Farm Bill through seeds or cloning.
Once harvested, the plant is air-dried for three to four weeks before the stems are soaked to make the decortication process easier. Decortication happens before extraction when the fiber of the plant is removed from the stem.
The extraction process is the method of turning plant to oil. Various solvents are used to separate cannabinoids into an oily substance.
- CO2 extraction utilizes carbon dioxide to produce a highly concentrated oil when the gas is put under high pressure in a low-temperature environment. This manipulates the gas into a liquid, which is then passed through the harvested plant materials resulting in the purest oil possible.
- Ethanol extraction utilizes ethanol, a polar solvent that mixes with water to draw out water-soluble molecules and cannabis compounds. The resulting dark oil is a mixture of cannabis compounds and Chlorophyll, which is later filtered out. Although this filtration step also removes some of the extracted cannabinoids, thus lowering the overall purity of the product.
- Hydrocarbon extraction utilizes solvents like propane, butane or acetone to extract CBD oil. Although a cheap and easy process, the extracted oil often has a higher concentration of THC, and a lower concentration of CBD. Plus, the possibility for residue is high, which significantly lowers the purity and effectiveness of products.
When it comes to quality, CO2 extraction yields the best products, but at a higher cost due to the need for expensive equipment and knowledgeable extractors.
Decarboxylation comes after the extraction process. Decarboxylation is a simple heating process that most CBD oil products undergo to activate CBD and its benefits for the human body.
The heat activates the Cannabidiolic Acid (CBDA), which subsequently produces CBD that will interact and bind with receptors within the endocannabinoid system.
Purification, or winterization, is an optional step of the process that removes excess fatty acids, chlorophyll, and other plant materials.
Valves and Flow Meters for CBD Production
From growing to extraction, Assured Automation valves and flow meters are used throughout the botanical extraction industry.
Find out more at /CANNABIS/
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