What Is Solvent-Free CBD Oil: Solventless vs. Solvent-Free CBD

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Cannabis extraction involves isolating various compounds from the plant and using them to produce quality products. Manufacturers adopt numerous methods, from supercritical CO2 to steam distillation, for this purpose. Some can be completed by hand, while others require technology to handle larger volumes of cannabis or hemp.

Among all techniques, solventless and solvent-free are two common ways to extract cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) from hemp. As their name suggests, both seem similar, but there is a significant distinction between them. Understanding the difference can help you know more about solvent-free CBD oil. So, read on to learn what solvents are and which is the best for you.

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What Are Solvent-Based Extractions For Cannabis Compounds?

Every cannabis flower has a trichome, tiny hair covered in microscopic crystals containing THC and CBD. Terpenes, also present in trichomes, are plant components responsible for their distinct zest and aroma. Since cannabis strains vary in terpene composition, they come in unique tastes and scents. Some marijuana strains may have a fruity flavor, while others may have a distinctly herbal fragrance. All cannabis compounds can get extracted from cannabis plants in solvent and solventless processes.

Whether it is CBD, THC, terpenes, flavonoids, or other chemicals, their extraction is critical for quality. A solvent-based extraction entails using volatile chemicals to dissolve cannabinoid-packed trichomes and separate them from the plant material. Once removed, the solvent undergoes an evaporation process, so they leave behind a trichome-rich concentrate. Some of the most commonly used solvents for extracting cannabis contents are:

Butane Hash Oil (BHO)

Butane has unique chemical properties and low boiling points (31.1o F), making it an ideal solvent for extraction. It helps retain more temperature-sensitive compounds, such as the aromatic terpenes. Cold-boiling the leftover solvent from butane-derived crude oil decreases the possibility of boiling off the volatile terpenes.

Propane Hash Oil (PHO)

Propane extracts are pale yellow to golden in color compared to butane. The extraction of propane proceeds more quickly and effectively. It helps maintain the most volatile cannabinoids and terpenes during solvent purging because of its low boiling point (43.6°F/-42°C).

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Carbon Dioxide

The co2 extraction method helps obtain the desired compounds by using a high-temperature, supercritical form of carbon dioxide under pressure. Because of the intricate nature of this process, producers need expensive high-tech equipment to strip off cannabis components. However, it has become popular in the commercial sector due to its minimal carbon footprint compared to hydrocarbon extraction and its more reliable outcomes.


The oldest extraction technique uses alcohol as a solvent. Instead of butane or CO2, producers used ethanol or isopropyl alcohol. Cannabis oil made vis ethanol extraction has a purity rate of up to 99 percent, resulting in a higher-quality final product. Comparatively, alternative extraction techniques often only achieve purity levels of about 90%.

Ethanol, butane, and propane are the extraction solvents most frequently used. Low boiling points of propane and butane allow extraction without needing high pressure or temperatures, which would otherwise destroy the cannabinoids and terpenes. Hence, no residual solvents should be present to preserve volatile terpenes during the extra stages involved in butane and propane extraction processes (known as purging).

Contrarily, ethanol needs much less purging when it is cold and is more selective. CO2 is also an appealing option for extraction because it is a clean and versatile solvent. It helps create the most oil for vape cartridges. Despite the pros and cons of each solvent, they all provide an effective method to remove cannabinoids without destroying their original content in the process.

Also Read: Understanding CBD for Back Pain

What Is Solvent-Free CBD Oil?

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A solvent-free CBD product has no residual solvents. Note that producers use solvents during the extraction process. But, they remove it entirely before incorporating the extracted material into products. So, if the label states CBD oil is solvent-free, it means that the solvent has been thoroughly removed. Generally, manufacturers use the process of distilling cannabis to separate the material from impurities and unwanted molecules.

When a concentrate is distillate and has a residual solvent level of 0 ppm, it is a solvent-free cannabis concentrate. It requires the removal of hydrocarbon-based solvent from the material, ensuring it is exclusively free of any lingering solvents. The goal is to extract CBD and re-infuse it into the concentrates to create a clean and effective product.

Upon extraction of the plant materials with a hydrocarbon (such as CO2 or butane), you may obtain crude oil with residual contents. The next step is heating and evaporating before condensing through a cooling system and insulating into beakers. Repetition of these steps is necessary to ensure the processing and distillation of cannabinoids. With more heat, the products become thicker in consistency. The process is complete once the solvent and the concentrate get separated. Manufacturers infuse solvent-free CBD oil in edibles, vapes, pharmaceuticals, topicals, and cosmetics.

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide To CBG Edibles

Potential Benefits Of Using Solvent-Free CBD Products

Solvent-free products offer a healthy, potent, and safe way to ingest CBD. A study from 2021 found that highly pure CBD oil-based treatments were effective for treating epilepsy patients. This study summarises the FDA-approved CBD formulation for treating tuberous sclerosis complex, Lennox-gastaut syndrome, and dravet syndrome. Let us know more about the effects and benefits of solvent-free CBD derivatives.

Increased Potency

The solvent removal process involves heating, condensing, and applying vacuum pressure. After removing the impurities, the outcome is a thick, golden-amber liquid with high CBD concentrations. It is highly potent and filtered to provide extra strength in single servings. A 2021 study shows that CBD-rich extracts have a favorable therapeutic profile.

Effective Therapeutic Agent

CBD is widely sought-after due to its distinct properties and enormous medical applications. It is considerably more demanding now that scientific studies acknowledge its therapeutic efficacy in treating epilepsy. Researchers seek to explore its potential for treating more medical conditions. Purified CBD is a possible pharmaceutical solution, according to a 2021 study. It can help with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain, inflammation, schizophrenia, and other ailments.

Also Read: Does CBN Show Up On A Drug Test?

Better Bioavailability

CBD is a potent plant medicine, but pharmaceutical approaches are necessary to maximize its effects. Research shows that fluctuating profiles, poor water solubility, and low bioavailability may decrease its efficiency. On the contrary, CBD can overcome these common issues using modern pharmaceutical development procedures. Solvent-free CBD oil tends to provide better delivery, stability, and results.

Boosts ECS Functioning

When pure CBD interacts with human ECS( endocannabinoid system), it binds to cannabinoid receptors. It can overcome deficiencies in the system by imitating endogenous compounds. It slows down the enzyme breakdown process and allows endocannabinoids to stay in the system for an extended time. Research shows that ECS modulation via solvent-free CBD products affects various bodily functions. For instance, it helps regulate your diet, sleep, stress, exercise, pain, inflammation, immunity, and other factors.

Also Read: CBD For Fibromyalgia Treatment: Is It Effective And Safe

What Are Solventless Cannabis Extracts?

Solventless extracts are concentrates that extract cannabis using pressure, heat, ice, or water. The cannabinoids and terpenes remain intact because the process does not use chemical solvents such as ethanol, propane, or butane. While solvent-free extracts ensure no residual solvent, many people prefer solventless concentrates. It gives them peace of mind that no solvent touched the product they tend to buy.

Solventless extraction is notoriously time-consuming and labor-intensive. But still, the sector is expanding because of three primary reasons:

  • Development of large-scale commercial agitators, rosin presses, mechanical separators, and other industrial equipment
  • Increased access to cannabis strains with trichomes suitable for the procedure
  • Due to growing awareness, more customers are willing to pay more for them.

Hashish is a centuries-old marijuana concentrate made without solvents. Hundreds of years ago, hashish first appeared in India and the Middle East. It is highly sought-after due to its strength and authentic flavor profile. Making hash initially involved isolating the trichomes from the cannabis plant by merely rubbing the bud between fingertips. With technological innovation in the cannabis sector, crafting includes screening to separate the trichomes more quickly. The collected trichomes can get pressed together to create hash bricks. You can smoke, add to edibles, or even press using heat and pressure to make rosin.

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Bottom Line: Solventless vs. Solvent-Free CBD

A solvent is a liquid used to isolate essential compounds from the cannabis flower. Butane, propane, and ethanol are the most commonly used solvents for CBD extraction. Extracts obtained without using these solvents are solventless products. Labels exhibiting solventless claims are the ones that never contained butane, alcohol, or comparable solvents. These CBD concentrates are the most organic extracts. Kief and rosin are two examples.

On the other hand, a solvent-free extraction employs solvents and then purges the solvent at the end of the procedure. There are no solvents present in the final product. The distillate, shatter and crumble are a few examples of solvent-free CBD oil products.

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