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Hemp Extraction by Ultrasonic Equipment

Hemp oil or CBD oil is all the rage for its exceptional health benefits. The extraction method and equipment, which is used to isolate the cannabinoids from the hemp plant, influence the quality and yield of the CBD oil significantly. Ultrasonic hemp extractors excel other hemp extraction methods in several aspects.

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.

Hemp Extraction

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 extraction of hemp oils and CBD extracts

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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Ultrasonic extraction of hemp oil and CBD extracts with ultrasonicator UP400St

Literature/References

Why is Ultrasonic Extraction the Best Method?

Efficiency

  • Higher yields
  • Rapid extraction process – within minutes
  • High quality extracts – mild, non-thermal extraction
  • Green solvents (water, ethanol, glycerin, veget. oils etc.)

Simplicity

  • 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

Safety

  • 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.

Hemp Extraction by Ultrasonic Equipment Hemp oil or CBD oil is all the rage for its exceptional health benefits. The extraction method and equipment, which is used to isolate the cannabinoids

Get Started with CO2 Extractions for Hemp & CBD

Ever wondered what hemp-derived extract looks like right out of the SFE Pro? Kind of like this…

Green Mill’s SFE Pro is the perfect machine for extracting oil from hemp using supercritical carbon dioxide. It is affordable enough and small enough to fit into a small extraction lab and powerful enough for a large one. Our system’s unique advances are discussed here.

But before you decide on an extraction machine you need to have things in order regarding your larger goals with the lab. Aside from whether you will grow your own hemp or buy it from a third-party grower, there are other key questions to ask when starting a new hemp/CBD operation:

What product do I want to make and what customers do I want to serve?

How much capital do I have available to build out my initial space and develop my product(s)?

What are the laws and market conditions in the state where I will operate?

How do I intend to scale the business?

What product do I want to make and what customers do I want to serve?

If you thought “CBD” was the product, think again. It’s merely the compound you’re targeting as the active ingredient in the final product you or your customer will sell. We have clients who’ve installed an SFE Pro in a souped-up shipping container to process third-party firms’ biomass, and others with large labs and multiple retail dispensaries where they sell their own product that they extract themselves. Here are just some of the products you could make in your extraction lab with the oil that comes out of the SFE Pro:

Crude oil (straight from the machine with no refinement)

Crystals or Sheets

Be sure to thoroughly research them all.

You can then choose to either develop products under your own brand to sell retail, or you can sell the CBD in bulk to other companies who would use it to develop their products. These products could take the form of:

Creams and gels

Food and beverages

The other consideration is who is your customer? CBD is commonly used in general “wellness” products, but it is also used to treat very serious illnesses. A health enthusiast who wants to supplement for energy or quality of sleep or mood optimization is one type of customer, but a parent looking for something to help their child suffering from epilepsy is completely different.

How much capital do I have available to build out my initial space and develop my product(s)?

All of the things above will determine what kind of investment is required to get your facility up and running. Be warned: this is expensive. A complete extraction lab can easily require more than $300k to set up. That’s not including a grow facility such as a hemp greenhouse or farm.

Get your plan in place, find the financing, and then contact us. We can help you with a lot of the business details, but you have to have the basics on paper to get the full benefit of our expertise.

What are the laws and market conditions in the state where I will operate?

While the 2018 Farm Bill technically legalizes hemp in all 50 states, there is still a lot of ambiguity around how the law will be implemented and individual states are going to have different legalization landscapes. For example, in Idaho, hemp is illegal and they are still arresting people for transporting it even when it conforms to the Farm Bill’s requirements. And then there’s federal USDA regulations, which have not yet been written.

For some states the Farm Bill is the first type of cannabis legalization they’ve experienced, and for others there is either an existing medical or recreational market already in place. Be sure to assess the risks and rewards of both.

Try to determine how crowded the space is for the type of business you want to start. This factor can work against you or for you. A more crowded space means more competition but also more established rules around how to operate.

How do I intend to scale the business?

Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world today, forecast to expand at a rate of 25-35% per year. There’s a lot of upside — if you can keep up. Like few in history, any new cannabis business has to be ready to grow from day one. You want to get in quickly but smartly. If super-fast growth is not something you’re interested in then you’d better make up for it in efficiency so you can keep your prices competitive as more players enter the market. Because they will enter.

One final thought

There is an infinite number of ways to approach your business. Creativity will be rewarded in this industry more than any that have come before because the rules are not set. We’re here to help you craft your own vision for a hemp business that is right for you. Reach out if you have any questions whatsoever. We love to talk extractions with anyone!

Green Mill’s SFE Pro is the perfect machine for extracting oil from hemp using supercritical carbon dioxide. Here is a brief guide on some key considerations when strategizing your hemp/CBD operation. Visit Green Mill Supercritical