There are many techniques to extract CBD oil from hemp flower. General Processing follows a technique called alcohol extraction or cryogenic alcohol extraction. This is a safe and efficient method with a higher extraction yield than other methods.
For the extraction, we use ethyl alcohol. Ethanol is a natural solvent made by plant byproducts. We have chosen the cryogenic alcohol process in order to leave behind any fats and lipids present in the hemp flower during the initial extraction. This process allows the fats and lipids present in the hemp flower to remain in the biomass (or biomaterial) rather than in the crude CBD oil.
The advantages of this technique are many. For instance, the carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction method can also extract chlorophyll, something we wouldn’t want to be included in our final product. Moreover, ethanol can extract all chemicals from the plant as opposed to CO2 extraction, which can only dissolve oil-soluble chemicals.
That makes our product cleaner and purer, as ethanol extraction also erases the need for dewaxing or winterization.
Testing Our CBD Product
What makes General Processing stand out from its competitors is our constant testing of the CBD oil during processing. We have implemented a three-stage testing process because we want to be absolutely certain of the purity and efficacy of our product. We test both the raw produce and our product a minimum of three times along the way, and then we test the finished product in the distillate form—twice. Our philosophy is based on dedicated quality assurance protocols, substantiated by the elaborate and extensive tests we carry throughout the production process.
Our first test comes before we even start processing the hemp flower when we test it for potency and contaminants. This is our introductory testing. However, even though this checks the flower, further tests are required, as the flowers are not concentrated enough to produce a conclusive result.
Hence our second test. Crude CBD oil is concentrated significantly compared to flowers, so we test that, too. This way, we will know if something is off, even if it didn’t show up in the initial test.
Our final tests come at the distillate stage, which is the most concentrated product we can get. We test twice to guarantee our high CBD oil quality.
The full-panel tests we carry prove that General Processing excels at what it does. We are thorough in our testing so that we are absolutely certain of the purity and potency of our final product. We are more than happy to share our test results with anyone interested in purchasing our products.
Is Hemp Oil and CBD Oil the Same Thing?
We are often asked if what we are selling is hemp oil. The short answer is, no.
Hemp oil is a byproduct of cold-pressing hemp seeds. Hemp oil, the end result of this process, contains fats. In many ways, it’s similar to sunflower seed oil. It has great nutritional value but does not contain any CBD.
On the other hand, General Processing only produces high-quality CBD oil. Instead of hemp seeds, we process hemp flowers. These are filled with CBD—indeed, CBD can only be found in the hemp flowers of the hemp plant. Phytocannabinoid oil can be found in CBD distillate and our facility only produces CBD distillate.
What is the Difference Between Full-Spectrum and Broad-Spectrum Products?
Generally speaking, full-spectrum refers to hemp products which have all the compounds found naturally in the hemp plant, including terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids such as CBG and CBN. A hemp plant contains hundreds of such compounds. Full spectrum means that the oil derived from the hemp flowers contains all its natural compounds, including the psychoactive THC.
Broad-spectrum is when one or many of the natural compounds have been removed from the final product, usually THC (THC is the psychoactive component of hemp). Therefore, talking about broad-spectrum CBD oil normally refers to THC-free CBD oil.
At our General Processing facilities, we produce full-spectrum CBD distillate with all the natural parts and compounds of the plant, aiming at the maximum effectiveness of the product. However, all of our products conform to the 2018 farm bill which states that THC levels must be lower than three-tenths of one percent (<0.3%).
We have recently invested in equipment to also produce THC-free CBD distillate. Our process is an entirely organic one, which doesn’t use any harsh chemicals. We remove the THC from the distillate through an elaborate system of filters rather than having to pull it out with harsh chemicals and re-distill it.
What Do You Do With the Processing Byproducts?
We are environmentally responsible when it comes to byproducts from CBD processing. That is why we have taken extra steps to make sure that we do not pollute nor throw away useful parts of the hemp plant. For example, we collect the discarded hemp husks as these contain useful proteins which become great animal fodder. We also gather the unused hemp seeds and are currently researching environmentally friendly ways to use them.