Solvent extraction is a common and effective way to extract CBD from hemp flowers, but an inevitable consequence is that there are residual amounts of the solvent left behind in the final product. Now, this typically isn’t a concern, as there are acceptable levels of residual solvents in CBD that are not harmful or noticeable, but it’s important to understand and identify when there is too much.
Common Causes of Residual Contamination
The amount of residue left behind often depends less on what kind of solvent you’re using, and instead on the CBD product you’re creating. For example, shatter and wax have a smaller surface area, require more time, more heat, and a deeper vacuum; thus, it is more difficult to purge impurities from. That said, while your method can be a factor, it’s difficult to perfectly replicate the extraction process each time. Human error and variables in the process can affect how much residue is left over.
Preventative Measure To Reduce Residue
So, while it’s difficult to consistently and perfectly replicate the extraction process no matter how experienced you are or how refined your equipment is, there are preventative measures you can take to ensure you have acceptable levels of residual solvents in CBD. Unfortunately, these preventative methods can be tedious. The best way to prevent your batches from varying too widely is to be constantly analyzing and perfecting your extraction process. Identifying better ways to do something or avoid making mistakes in your technique will always be major culprits of contamination.
The Quest for Purity
As we’ve established, there’s no real best way to prevent contamination of residual solvents as there are simply too many variables or potential mistakes that will contaminate your CBD. So, what are the alternatives? Where can you get the purest CBD? The best way to get the purest CBD is by looking for CBD crystal isolate. CBD isolate contains 99% CBD and is the closest to perfection you will find. It appears as a crystalline solid or a powder with neither a distinctive smell nor taste. Isolates will not only be free of any residual contaminants, but also lack any THC which other CBD products struggle to eliminate all traces of.