If you’ve been using CBD awhile or happen to be a CBD aficionado who eats, drinks, lives everything CBD, then chances are that you’ve come across the term ‘winterizing’ before. As research about CBD continues to grow, the process of winterizing CBD is also starting to become rather important. In this article, we will seek to explore the process of CBD winterization and why it is important. Basically, it is a step carried out – albeit an optional one – in the extraction process of CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in the industrial hemp plant. Only one of the over 100 cannabinoids produced in cannabis, CBD is often heralded because of the many therapeutic properties it possesses.
It is known to contain analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antiemetic properties among a host of others. Studies are still going on to find out more about CBD and its benefits even though there are lots of reports (mostly anecdotal) about how CBD can help in the treatment of a variety of conditions including joint pains and inflammations, epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia etc.
What is Winterization?
Winterization of CBD is an extraction process that creates a very pure and concentrated form of CBD. Employing this method allows you to purify the extracted CBD even further than it usually is.
During the process of winterization, CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes are extracted from the hemp plant and allowed to soak in alcohol before being frozen to separate out the waxes.
What is gotten after this is product similar in appearance to maple-syrup but darker in colour.
Usually after winterizing CBD, it is often processed into CBD isolate. CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form. CBD isolate contains no plant ingredient and is absolutely free from THC, the compound in marijuana that causes users to feel ‘high.’ CBD isolate is mostly the preferred choice of users who want zero trace of THC in their product, allowing for more flexibility in how they use and enjoy the product/
Extracting CBD from hemp
As has already been mentioned, CBD is a chemical cannabinoid compound produced in the hemp plant and can be extracted from it. Through the process of the extraction, CBD and other cannabinoids are separated in the form of oil from the hemp plant matter (stem and flowers)
In the extraction of this oil, two processes can be used; the CO2 extraction method or the ethanol. Whilst the ethanol method is less expensive, it does not create potent very potent CBD oil and so the CO2 extraction method is the more preferred type. During the CO2 extraction method, using pressurized carbon dioxide, hemp is subjected to intense pressure and low temperatures, discarding the need to use harsh and toxic chemicals.
This process is as complex as it is expensive. However, it ensures facilitates the production of very potent CBD oil in a safe and healthy atmosphere.
What you get after CO2 extraction is the hemp oil concentrate. Hemp oil concentrate is often thick, containing all available plant ingredients including CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes.
This form is what is known as full-spectrum hemp oil. Though the oil can be consumed or used in a myriad of products with any further processes, it can still be further refined – a process called winterization.
Winterization is important because it helps create a THC-free CBD product. Many people don’t want THC in their products especially those who are often subjected to drug tests. By offering CBD in its purest form, they can enjoy all the benefits of CBD without having to stress about anything.
It is also thought that winterizing helps to prevent cuticle wax from building up in the lungs when CBD is vaped. There actually are no studies to support this though that is what is generally believed.