Butane Hash Oil (BHO) and carbon dioxide (C02) extractions methods are the two main ways of producing CBD wax. This article provides information on the basics of CBD wax and the practices CBD wax is made.
CBD wax is one of the newest ways of taking CBD, and most cannabis users are embracing it due to its high potency since you do not need a lot of it to acquire one desired effect. Like other formulations of CBD, it also contains a wide array of benefits, including but not limited to pain relief, improving one's sleep condition, and alleviating anxiety and depression. The good thing about it is that it is non-psychoactive since it is tetrahydro cannabidiol (THC) free, so that you can enjoy its benefits stress-free. Various extraction methods are used in processing CBD wax; the primary ones are butane hash oil extraction and carbon dioxide extraction. Each has its downfall and advantages. Read along to know more about CBD wax and the extraction methods involved in its processing.
Basics of CBD Wax
CBD wax is one of the formulations of CBD concentrate. Due to its heightened potency, more cannabis users are embracing it since they need less, making it cost-effective. It is hemp-derived, meaning it rarely causes any psychotic effects due to the absence of THC. CBD wax is available in various formulations, including:
Full spectrum: Marinotti et al. (2020) stated that it contains most of the cannabinoids, including THC, and is preferable due to the entourage effects since other cannabinoids interact with cannabidiol to enhance its medical benefits
Broad spectrum: Unlike the entire range, the wide spectrum CBD wax does not contain THC but has other cannabinoids
Isolate is the most refined form of CBD wax since all the other cannabinoids were derived from the hemp plant leaving CBD solely.
Crumble: Through its manufacturing, it utilizes a pre-purged oil rich in moisture, leading to a crumbly and dense consistency product.
Shatter: Abraham et al. (2022) noted that its structure differs from CBD wax since it resembles broken glass. During its manufacturing, extremely high temperatures are required to heat the hemp plant to extract CBD oil. After its cooling, its consistency resembles that of honey.
Live resin: Its processing differs from the other types since it uses freeze-dried hemp plants. The advantage of freezing the hemp plant is that all the cannabinoids are retained. Hence the reason it is costlier and more potent.
Ways CBD Wax Is Made
Various extractions methods are used in the making of CBD wax. The manufacturers blast the hemp plant material using the closed-loop extraction system with the help of a solvent. Some of the popular methods of CBD wax production include:
Butane Hash Oil Extraction (BHO) Method
Fiorito et al. (2022) noted that the Butane Hash oil extraction method pulls out the essential oil and other cannabinoids from the hemp plant, including terpenes and flavonoids, using butane as its primary solvent. During evaporation, a richly concentrated product is left behind after butane evaporates. Though it is the most famous method, it contains several disadvantages, such as; since it is toxic in the human body, all the butane left behind should be extracted. Also, it is highly explosive and should be treated with utmost care. Despite these drawbacks, it has remained the most common method.
Advantages of BHO Extraction
Allows Full Spectrum Extraction
The full spectrum CBD wax contains all cannabinoids in the hemp plant. BHO makes it possible for producers to reap more compounds from the hemp plant than other solvents. It is possible since it contains low boiling points and chemical properties that allow cannabinoids to be extracted from the cannabis plant. Additionally, butane retains temperature-sensitive cannabinoids like terpenes due to their low boiling point.
Offers Product Diversity
Since BHO instruments can be easily fine-tuned, it makes it possible for producers to single one or the entire compounds in the cannabis plant hence providing the flexibility of creating a wide array of products. Other methods, like C02 and ethanol, cannot manufacture refined hash oils. Even though they can produce synthetically flavored vape e-juices, they cannot produce cannabis hash oil.
Disadvantages of BHO
When used in unregulated settings, it may lead to blasting. According to some reports, it may lead to severe burns and, in worst cases, death. When produced illegally, BHO may risk the consumers’ health since butane is toxic to the human body.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction Method
The CO2 extraction method has become one of the most popular methods of manufacturing CBD wax. In the CO2 extraction, pressured carbon dioxide is utilized to extract cannabinoids like terpenes. According to Qamar et al. (2021), it turns supercritical due to high pressure and heat exposure, which simultaneously acts like liquid and gas. The good thing about this method is that, after extraction, all the carbon dioxide leftover in the product evaporates completely, unlike butane. The result is, therefore, a cleaner wax than that processed with butane. It is safer to consume CBD wax since consumers are assured that no excess solvents are ingested since they were all pulled out.
Benefits of CO2 Extraction
It is safe since carbon dioxide is commonly used as a food additive and utilized in producing substances like carbonated beverages.
It is effective since various food companies used carbon dioxide as a solvent long ago.
It is pre since it produces potent cannabinoids, is chlorophyll free, and rarely contains contaminants.
Disadvantages of Carbon Dioxide Extraction Method
It is expensive since costly equipment is required
It is technical and hence can only be performed by experts.
CBD wax is one of the CBD concentrate formulations available in multiple types, but not limited to crumble, shatter, live resin, isolate, and full spectrum. Various extraction methods produce CBD wax; butane hash oil and carbon dioxide extraction are the primary ones. Each of them has its pros and cons. In BHO, butane is used as its direct solvent to extract the other cannabinoids and essential oils from the hemp plant. Even though it is the most popular method, it has various downfalls, such as the risk of explosion and butane consumption being harmful to individual health. On the other hand, C02 extraction is becoming a preferred method since it offers a cleaner wax since all the C02 evaporates from the concentrated product.
Abraham, O. R., & Waddell Smith, R. (2022). Optical and spectroscopic characterization of crystalline structures in cannabis extracts. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 67(2), 483-493.
Fiorito, S., Epifano, F., Palumbo, L., Collevecchio, C., & Genovese, S. (2022). A subcritical butane-based extraction of non-psychoactive cannabinoids from hemp inflorescences. Industrial Crops and Products, 183, 114955.
Marinotti, O., & Sarill, M. (2020). Differentiating full-spectrum hemp extracts from CBD isolates Implications for policy, safety, and science. Journal of Dietary Supplements, 17(5), 517-526.
Qamar, S., Torres, Y. J., Parekh, H. S., & Falconer, J. R. (2021). Effects of ethanol on the supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of cannabinoids from near equimolar (Thc and CBD balanced) cannabis flower. Separations, 8(9), 154.