The What and Why of Solvent Free CBD Tinctures

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Solvent Free CBD Tinctures

When shopping around for a CBD tincture, you may not be entirely sure what to look for or may not consider exactly how a tincture is made. With every CBD product on the market comes a story behind its extraction process and, with various extraction methods at hand, understanding the pros and cons of each may be complicated. From solvent-based extracts, such as ethanol, butane and CO2, to solvent-less extracts including hashish, bubble hash and rosin, it is important to understand how different extraction methods may or may not maintain the efficacy of the hemp plant and its medicinal properties. While solvent extraction methods are some of the most common, tried and true extraction methods used by hemp manufacturers, solvent free extraction methods, as well as solvent free products, are becoming increasingly popular and desirable among manufacturers and consumers alike.

Solventless vs. Solvent-Based Extracts

Solvent-based extracts are derived using solvents such as ethanol, CO2 and hydrocarbons including butane and propane. This method uses one of these volatile chemicals to distill trichomes away from the plant material. Once the trichomes are separated, the solvent is then removed by the means of evaporation, leaving behind a crude oil packed with the plant’s cannabinoids.

Although this method proves to be effective, there is always the possibility that the final product may contain harmful residual solvents. This risk increases if the manufacturer does not practice third-party testing to test for residual solvents in the final product. That’s why many health-conscious cannabis consumers are now turning to solvent free CBD products. Dissimilar to solvent-based extracts, solvent-less extracts are resin concentrates produced without the aid of any chemical solvents. This method maintains high purity and potency of the plant’s cannabinoid and terpene profile. Some solvent-less extraction methods include hashish (made by squeezing together kief by hand), bubble hash (which uses cold water, ice cubes and agitation), and rosin (only using heat and pressure).

While solvent free extracts, specifically hashish, have been used for centuries, advancements in technology have made solvent free extraction methods faster, easier and overall better. Possibly the newest method of solvent free extraction is rosin, emerging only in 2015 when the company PurePressure formed to address the new demand for solvent free products.

What is Rosin?

Rosin is a type of solventless extraction process that uses only heat and pressure to extract the medicinal properties from the hemp plant. The process entails tumbling dried hemp or trim over mesh screen filters to separate the powdery kief from the plant matter. This kief is packed into mesh Micron bags, set between two hot plates where pressure is then applied. With this perfect combination of little heat and high pressure, a rich, thick and sticky goo-like substance (aka rosin) is spewed from the packed kief.

Watch one of our rosin extractions HERE!

Rosin is one of the best hemp extraction methods since it maintains the full-spectrum of the cannabinoid and terpene profile—the constituents which are responsible for the curative powers of the hemp plant. In certain extraction methods, including steam distillation, the cannabinoids of the hemp plant may become fully “activated,” turning phytocannabinoids such as CBDA into CBD.
While this may sound desirable, many studies show that CBDA can be significantly more effective than CBD in improving ailments such as inflammation, nausea and anxiety. Maintaining the efficacy of not only CBDA, but other phytocannabinoids including THCA, THC, CBN and CBG, is more than beneficial since each contain its own unique, medicinal properties. Keep in mind, there are over 120 phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant!

Why Choose Solventless CBD Tinctures?

Solventless CBD tinctures are becoming widely popular among the cannabis community, not only because they are free from potentially harmful chemicals, but also because there is a better chance that solventless extracts have a more diverse and well-maintained cannabinoid and terpene profile.

Since solventless extraction methods do not use chemical solvents to manipulate the plant’s chemical structure, solventless extracts have a direct reflection of the starting material used. While this may be a challenge for hemp manufacturers in terms of finding or spending more on quality hemp, this detail proves how non-destructive and non-manipulative solventless extraction methods truly are. When executed correctly, and with the use of top-shelf hemp, solventless extracts offer a distinct and pure expression of the original plant material in a much more concentrated form.

Final Thoughts

When comparing solvent-based extracts to solventless extracts, it is easy to understand why consumers prefer the latter. Considering that the hemp industry is still highly unregulated and third party testing is not mandatory for CBD products, companies selling hemp products may choose to do without third party testing, increasing the risk of leaving behind residual solvents—which may potentially pose a health risk—in the final product. Consumers can curb this risk, however, by purchasing cannabis extracts from vendors who practice third party testing or, better yet, by choosing solventless CBD tinctures.

Sources
Howe, Rachel. “Solventless cannabis extraction: What are the options?” Yo Dabba Dabba, 5 Mar. 2021, yodabbadabba.com/dabbing-resources/solventless-cannabis-extraction/.
“Solventless or solvent-based extracts- What are you dabbing?” Infinite Chemical Analysis Lab, 10 July 2020, infinitecal.com/2020/07/10/solventless-or-solvent-based-extracts-what-are-you-d“
What is solventless extraction?” Cannabis Business Times, PurePressure, 16 Mar. 2021, www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/what-is-solventless-extraction-purepressure/.abbing/.
Written by Kaitlyn Cranor
Owner at Vera Herbals