Extraction refers to the way in which a single compound is separated and removed from the rest of the hemp or cannabis plant. In order to create an oil, wax, tincture, edible—you name it—the CBD, THC or other cannabinoids need to be extracted from the flower first.
Being the first step in the process obviously makes the extraction method important to the quality of the product. Delta-8 hemp THC extraction has become particularly interesting since it’s so scarce in both hemp and cannabis. Manufacturers are getting creative with ways to increase production and starting new industry trends in the process. Here are a few of the most common ways to extract delta-8 hemp THC.
Delta-8 THC Extraction Methods
Using a solvent to extract a cannabinoid from hemp is commonly used for delta-8 products. Although many companies test to make sure all the solvents have evaporated, some products aren’t quite as thoroughly “cleansed.” Make sure to look at third party lab test results, or you may run the risk of consuming a product with leftover chemicals.
The process of extracting delta-8 hemp THC with CO2 is safe and effective. It combines heat and pressure with carbon dioxide. This method is one of the most economical since the CO2 can be reused. Plus, any residual carbon dioxide will evaporate, leaving no solvents behind in the product.
CBD to Delta-8 Isomerization
Since there is such a small amount of delta-8 THC in hemp, the process of converting CBD into delta-8 is becoming more and more popular. There is plenty of CBD to go around in both hemp and CBD— it accounts for about 15-20% of cannabis, which is higher than any other cannabinoid. Delta-8 THC, on the other hand, usually accounts for less than 1% of the plant. This obviously makes it attractive to delta-8 producers.
The great news about CBD to delta-8 conversion is that it’s safe for consumption. Also a solventless method of creating a delta-8 product, it utilizes a process called isomerization. This involves altering the molecular structure of an isomer, CBD in this case, so that it transforms into another isomer, delta-8. It doesn’t add or remove anything—it’s a carbon copy of the delta-8 compound.