Hemp Extraction by Ultrasonic Equipment
Hemp and Hemp Oil
The plant Cannabis sativa is distinguished into two main species, hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD is well known for its beneficial medical effects, acting anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety, whilst THC is mostly known for its psychoactive abilities, which cause the so-called ‘high’. Hemp contains a significantly higher percentage of CBD, while THC is found only in trace amounts. This makes hemp the predestined source to produce high-quality CBD extracts, which are therefore also known as hemp extracts. CBD does not cause “high” effects, but its use can have relaxing effects and reduce anxiety and depression.
Hemp extracts are rich in cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG as well as terpenes – substances, which are known for their positive effects on health and well-being. Hemp extracts contain mainly non-psycho-active substances. THC, which is known for its psycho-active effects, is found in hemp in minimal concentrations of less than 0.3%. THC in such low dosis is negligible and produces no noticeable effects in the human body.
CBD is one of many phytochemicals in the hemp plant. These phyto-compounds are encapsulated in the vegetal cells of the plant. In order to produce hemp extract such as CBD oils, tinctures, capsules, lotions, creams or other supplements, the CBD must be extracted and isolated. To release the valuable cannabinoids such as CBD, CBG and terpenes from hemp, an extraction process is required. Hemp extracts can be produced via various methods such as ethanol extraction, hydrocarbon extraction, or supercritical CO2 extraction. A very efficient, rapid, safe and easy-to-operate technique of hemp extraction is the ultrasonic extraction.
- Higher yield
- Superior quality
- No thermal degradation
- Rapid extraction
- Simple and Safe Operation
- Green Extraction
Hemp Oil Extraction Process
Hemp oil or cannabis oil is a term often used for the isolated CBD oil from the hemp or cannabis plant, respectively.
There are two types of CBD oil production, which result in two different products. One is by isolating exclusively the CBD to produce a CBD isolate. The other type of CBD production results in full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD is produced from the hemp leaves, stems, or flowers and gives a pure oil containing the full spectrum of all cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp plant. Full-spectrum CBD oils have the benefit of the so-called entourage effect. The entourage effect describes the interplay of the manifold other cannabinoids besides CBD. The extraction of full-spectrum CBD oil is often the preferred process, because the full spectrum extract contains not only the benefits of CBD but also of all the other cannabinoids found in the plant.
Ultrasonic hemp extractors can be used to manufacture both types of CBD oils, CBD isolates and full-spectrum CBD oils.
Hemp Oil Extraction Methods and Equipment
How is CBD oil manufactured? In order to extract CBD oil from the cannabis or hemp plant, the cannabinoids such as CBD and CBG must be released from the cell matrix of the hemp material. There are several types of extraction equipments available. The most popular hemp extractors are ultrasonic CBD extractors, supercritical CO2 extraction, hydrocarbon extraction, and conventional solvent extraction (e.g. ethanol, methanol). Ultrasonic hemp extraction has the strong advantage that the sonication technology can be used with various solvents including water, ethanol, water/ethanol mix, glycerine, vegetable oils etc. This gives the manufacturer a wide range of possibilities to optimize the extraction. By selecting a specific solvent, the hemp extract can be produced to meet specific targets such as yield, purity, or final product.
After the extraction process, the phyto-compounds of the hemp plant (e.g. CBD, CBG, other cannabinoids and terpenes) must be isolated by a distillation. For the distillation, the crude extract can be optionally winterized before it is run through a short path distillation or evaporator.
Ultrasonic Hemp Oil Extractors
Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies professional hemp extraction equipment for any production scale. Ultrasonic hemp extractors can release the complete range of cannabinoids and other valuable phyto-compounds such as terpenes from the hemp plant.
Guide for Ultrasonic Hemp Extraction
Hielscher Ultrasonics offers the ideal setup for your hemp extract production. For smaller and mid-size production scale, Hielscher batch extractors are a safe-bet for easy and rapid extraction of superior CBD oils.
Ultrasonic Batch Extractors for Hemp Oil
With the UP400St (400 watts), you get a powerful ultrasonic extractor, which easily processes up to approx. 2gal per batch. The setup and operation of the UP400St is quick and simple and allows for a fast processing of manifold smaller lots in row. The sonication duration for a 2 gallon beaker of hemp slurry takes 2-5 min. Since the change between the batches is so simple and quickly done, the UP400St is capable to process up to 20 gallons per hour.
The picture on the right shows the ultrasonic hemp extractor UP400St for the extraction of cannabinoids such as CBD from industrial hemp in an 8L (1.8gal) beaker. The mechanical stirrer on the left side promotes the macro-movements of the slurry for a uniform ultrasonic treatment of the hemp.
If your looking for an ultrasonic extractor capable to process larger barrels of hemp, the UP2000hdT (2000 watts, see pic. left) is the right hemp extraction equipment for you. Easy and safe to use as the UP400St, the UP2000hdT comes with 2000 watts ultrasonic power and can handle batch extractions of up to 26 gal barrels (120liters) per run.
Ultrasonic Inline Extractors for Hemp Oil
For highly professional CBD extraction from large lots of hemp on fully commercial scale, the installation of an ultrasonic inline extractor gives you really large production capacities. The UIP4000hdT is a 4000 watts powerful ultrasonic hemp extractor, equipped with flow cell which feeds the hemp directly into the ultrasonic cavitation field, where the cannabinoids are released from the plant cells. Depending on the hemp slurry and solvent concentration, the UIP4000hdT can easily process up to 2gal/min. The processing capacity can be easily increased by installing several units of the UIP4000hdT in parallel.
The UIP16000 comes with 16,000 watts ultrasonic power and processes up to 22gal/min.
All Hielscher ultrasonic extractors are designed and manufactured in Germany and fullfil highest quality standards. The are built for 24/7 operation under full load, robust, user-friendly and safe to operate. Digital touch-screens, automatic data protocolling, and browser remote control are just a few of the key features, which make Hielscher ultrasonic extractors the preferred ultrasonicators for hemp oil extraction.
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Why is Ultrasonic Extraction the Best Method?
- Higher yields
- Rapid extraction process – within minutes
- High quality extracts – mild, non-thermal extraction
- Green solvents (water, ethanol, glycerin, veget. oils etc.)
- Plug-and-play – Set-up and operate within minutes
- High throughput – For large scale extract production
- Batch-wise or continuous inline operation
- Simple installation and start-up
- Portable / Movable – Portable units or built on wheels
- Linear scale up – add another ultrasonic system in parallel to increase capacity
- Remote monitoring and control – via PC, smart phone or tablet
- No process supervision required – Set-up and run
- High-Performance – designed for continuous 24/7 production
- Robustness and low maintenance
- High quality – designed and built in Germany
- Quick load and discharge between lots
- Easy to clean
- Simple and safe to run
- Solvent-less or solvent-based extraction (water, ethanol, vegetable oils, glycerin, etc.)
- No high pressures and temperatures
- ATEX-certified explosion-proof systems available
- Easy to control (also via remote control)
Hemp Extract vs Hemp Oil vs Hemp Seed Oil
CBD oil is a concentrated extract from cannabis/hemp flowers or leaves that is dissolved in an inert carrier oil, mostly an edible oil such as MCT, coconut, sunflower, hemp seed, or olive oil. When the CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, it is therefore often called hemp extract or hemp oil. In comparison to the marijuana plant (which is high in THC and low in CBD), the industrial hemp plant contains large amounts of CBD and is therefore predestined for the production of CBD extracts. The term hemp oil is sometimes dually used for hemp-derived CBD extracts and hemp seed oil. However those both products – hemp CBD oil and hemp seed oil – are very different in their composition, effects and use.
Hemp seed oil is the vegetable oil, which is obtained by the cold pressing of hemp seeds. Hemp seeds do not contain CBD, but is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Hemp seed oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids for vegetarians and vegans and is used for cooking and cosmetics. Hemp seed oil should be listed as cannabis sativa seed oil, whilst CBD-containing oils are listed as cannabidiol, full-spectrum hemp, hemp oil, phytocannabinoid-rich (PCR) hemp extracts.
Benefits of Hemp Extract
CBD is well tolerated in humans and maintains a very high safety profile. Neither abuse nor dependence has been demonstrated. Research studies have shown that CBD offers a high potential therapeutic efficacy against various medical conditions including epilepsy, psychotic symptoms, anxiety, depression, inflammation, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and chronic pain.
As OTC drug and supplement, hemp oil and CBD extracts are used to reduce inflammation, anxiety, pain (e.g. muscle and joint pain), as well as to support the immune system and the overall well-being.
Facts Worth Knowing
Solvents for Hemp Oil Extraction
For the production of CBD oil, various solvents can be used. Common solvents range from organic solvents (such as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol) to more harmful types such as petroleum-ether, naphtha, and even supercritical fluids (e.g. butane, CO2). The exact conditions and solvents applied have a great impact on hemp oil quality, taste, color, and appearance of the final product.
Ultrasonic hemp oil extractors can be used with manifold solvents. Typically used are solvents such as ethanol, alcohol, water/ethanol mix, pure water, glycerine or vegetable oils (e.g. MCT, coconut, hemp seed or olive oil). This gives ultrasonic CBD extraction the important advantage of using harmless, organic solvents.
Ultrasonic Extraction – Cavitational Effects
When power ultrasound waves are couples into a liquid (e.g. a suspension consisting of botanical material in a solvent), the ultrasonic waves travel through the liquid causing alternating high-pressure / low-pressure cycles. During low-pressure cycles, minute vacuum bubbles (so-called cavitation bubbles) are created, which grow over several pressure cycles. At a certain size, when the bubbles cannot absorb more energy, they implode violently during a high-pressure cycle. The bubble implosion is characterised by intense cavitational forces, including micro-turbulences and liquid streams with velocities of up to 100m/s. These cavitational shear effects are also known as sonomechanical effects. Ultrasonic extraction of bioactive molecules is mainly caused by sonomechanical effects: the agitation and turbulences disrupt cells and promote mass transfer. This means the bioactive molecules such as polyphenols, terpenes, essential oils and cannabinoids are released from the plant cell matrix into the solvent.