CBD in Switzerland is growing fast. Switzerland is becoming one of the greatest spots vis-a-vis the market for hemp in Europe. Courtesy of its numerous therapeutic benefits, CBD is now legal in various parts of the world, including Switzerland. Cannabidiol is not prohibited under Swiss narcotics legislation. The Swiss Government understands the useful effects of CBD as a potentially medicinal product. Switzerland is probably the most forward-looking country in Europe concerning the CBD usage legislation. The commercialization, use, production, or possession of CBD containing less than 1% THC is permitted within the Swiss laws.
Production of hemp products was legalized in August 2016 in Switzerland.
Plants produce essential oil but require advanced machinery or methods to extract it. There are many different forms of extraction, which can be divided into two distinct methods: mechanical or solvent.
Mechanical methods do not require equipment but are still regarded as processes for extracting oil. This category includes ice water hash, rosin presses, and dry sieves.
Solvent-based machines require a solvent-based system to remove oil.
CO2 is a high-pressure solvent. Add temperature variations, and you have a superior mechanical solvent capable of extracting specific compounds from the plant without destroying their substance. Other forms of extraction are not as accurate and may destroy flavonoids or fragrance compounds that are widely desired in a product. They are recognized as terpenes and contain many components that have proven successful in a wide range of medical issues. The combination of terpenes and all other cannabinoids in the plant produces a broad range of oil, including the known CBD oil.
CO2 is not an explosive or volatile solvent. In fact, CO2 is the main component of fire extinguishers. The most safety equipment required by the operator is a CO2 monitor in the event of a leak. However, no special safety equipment is needed in the CO2 laboratory, as is the case in other forms of extraction.
There are four steps to extract CBD with CO2:
To extract CBD effectively, you need a large proportion of CBD source material. Hence, hemp is a strong contender. The plant is extracted and fully dried. CO2 doesn’t do well with water – it evokes from the extract and reduces the yield. The plant is hanged or put in an oven to dry it fully.
After drying the plant, the content is lowered to a coffee-ground consistency (approximately 100 microns). This is the optimal surface size for CO2. Any smaller and there is a chance that the plant material will slip through one of the filters and contaminate the process. If the surface size is any bigger, there is a risk of channeling. It means that the CO2 will find the path of least resistance through the plant material, and not all the plant material will be exposed to the solvent.
As supercritical CO2 is utilized in the extraction of CBD, its gas properties allow it to fuse through all organic matter, while its liquid properties allow it to remove chemicals effectively. The exact method differs, and some laboratories commence extraction with liquid CO2 while others start with CO2 in gas form.
In order to attain the supercritical state of CO2, producers add CO2 in a chamber that contains plant matter and use the same pressure and temperature required for CO2 to enter its supercritical state.
In that stage and with the help of some additional heat, CO2 acts as a solvent and allows the plant material to detach. Owing to the pressure, the CO2 transforms from gas to liquid, which is a perfect solvent. It takes up the oil in the plant as it flows through until it goes to the extraction chamber, where it passes through an orifice that depresses it and transforms it back into a gas. The oil in the flow drops out of the gas stream into the collector’s cup. The CO2 runs in a loop, passing through the content until it reaches the chosen time at which point the run stops.
Depending on the circumstances, the operator may have to interrupt the extraction run for the oil. When finished, CO2 is isolated from organic compounds, and the producers are left with full-spectrum CBD crude.
Although it needs trained manpower and there are higher costs associated with the equipment required for supercritical CO2 extraction, it is by far the most effective and fastest method of extracting CBD. It is also environmentally sustainable due to the small amount of pollution and cleaner than the extractions that use such solvents. All Zéna CBD oil are made using the CO2 extraction method.
It is the most efficient method, CO2 is generally safe, environmentally safe, but expensive and needs qualified personnel.
Steam distillation is a centuries-old procedure that is widely used to distill alcohol and remove essential oils from organic matter. The procedure is much less complex than the CO2 extraction of CBD. The plant matter is inserted in a distillation tank first. Through the use of water and heat, the generated steam brings oils to the top of the tank and then passes through the condenser, resulting in a mixture of water and oil. The mixture then goes through further distillation to separate water and oil, and the result is full-spectrum CBD oil.
While this CBD extraction process is a lot easier, there are several downfalls. It is more vulnerable to error, much less effective, and can potentially harm a part of the plant’s essential oil profile. Owing to these purposes, steam distillation is rarely used to remove CBD. Although many laboratories do use some form of distillation in the process of isolating CBD from full-spectrum crude.
The Distillation Process is relatively easy to perform, with low cost, but not very efficient and consistent, and the oil is less potent.