CBD (Cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis refers to both hemp and marijuana. CBD, prior to it being extracted from the cannabis plant, is actually CBDA (Cannabidiolic Acid), the acidic form of the cannabinoid. It is a widely held belief that activating CBDA and other cannabinoids through decarboxylation is the best way to achieve the highest bioavailability of the cannabinoids.
CBD Crystals are the purest form of CBD. CBD Crystals are made by removing all of the other compounds and cannabinoids from the CBD oil which has been extracted from the cannabis plant.
First the CBD oil “crude oil”, which includes other compounds and cannabinoids including cannabis terpenes is extracted from the dried hemp flower by either alcohol, CO2 or hydrocarbon. People think the initial extraction method matters, but it does not when we are referring to CBD crystals (CBD isolate) which is pure CBD. Next, the crude oil is winterized which is the process of removing the waxes from the CBD oil. Once the CBD oil is winterized, the oil is put through a process called fractional distillation. Fractional distillation is when the oil is heated up to a certain temperature while under vacuum. As the temperature of the oil increases, the oil then turns into a gas and rises into a condenser. In the condenser, the gas then down and turns back into a liquid. The purpose of fractional distillation is to remove any additional impurities which then increases the purity of the CBD oil. The fractional distillation can also be used to decarboxylate the oil which turns the CBDA into CBD by releasing a carbon molecule. Once the oil has been fractionally distilled once or twice, you are left with a 90%+ CBD oil, also referred to as “Distillate”. At this point the CBD purity is so high that it will start to crystalize on its own.
The last few steps are what make the initial extraction method irrelevant. People are concerned about how the original oil was extracted from the hemp biomass, but in actuality, it does not matter because once the oil is distilled once or twice, all of the impuritiesare removed.
Once you have distilled oil, aka “distillate”, you need to separate the CBD molecules out completely using a solvent such as hexane or pentane. These solvents are polar solvents and the process is commonly referred to as a “wash”. The “wash” can be done multiple times, each time removing additional impurities from the CBD oil. The purified CBD oil is now turning into CBD crystals at a much faster rate because the CBD is closer to being 100% pure. As the CBD crystalizes, it forms CBD “crystals”, these CBD crystals will need to be ground up and purged again to remove any excess solvents. Purging is done using vacuum ovens. A vacuum oven is an oven that has a vacuum feature which literally pulls the solvents out of the CBD crystals while under vacuum.
After the solvents have been purged, the CBD crystal, which is now usually a powder, needs to be tested by a third-party lab. Third party lab testing is crucial to make sure the residual solvents are at zero PPM (parts per million), or a safe level. Once the CBD crystals pass the test, they can be used to formulate products and ingested by humans.
Dosing with CBD Crystals is a simple process because you are using 99% pure CBD. First, you need to determine how much CBD to ingest daily. Daily dosages can be recommended by a doctor or practitioner. Second, daily doses are usually broken up into 2 doses, meaning if you are supposed to take 100mg of CBD a day, you would take 50mg of CBD each dose. Third, CBD is best taken with a carrier oil that contains EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids). EFAs increase the bioavailability of the CBD. NCBI Dosing Study
There has been reported benefits of CBD including reduction in pain, inflammation and symptoms of arthritis. Relief from depression and anxiety has also been reported. CBD may also have an effect on cancer and may also help to relieve cancer related symptoms according to a Harvard Blog
The cost of CBD is based on a price per milligram and it ranges from pennies to over .20 per milligram for some CBD oils. To compare the cost of CBD you would take the price of the product, let’s say the product has 1000mg of CBD and it cost $100, the price per milligram would be $.10 (100/1000=.10). One of the lowest price CBD products is pure CBD isolate or CBD crystals which can be as low as a half a cent ($.005) per milligram. Purchasing CBD crystals and then formulating your own product is the best way to save money when purchasing CBD products.