Explain the health benefits of CBD. Does THC also deliver the same benefits? Why CO2 SCFE is preferred for hemp extraction?

admin | January 11, 2021 | 0 | Health


Popularly known as CBD, cannabidiol is the most well known cannabinoid along with THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. Cannabinoids are the elements or molecules in cannabis. With many governments legalizing cannabis, curiosity about cannabis and cannabinoids is steadily rising.

Before we get into the specifics, let us understand how CBD acts in the human body. CBD and THC both block neurotransmitters, which are the messengers from the brain. The obstruction affects feelings of pain, stress, and sleep. It also influences the immune function, All in all, it produces a relaxing, calming, or medicinal effect.

This is where the similarity ends.

While THC is psychoactive i.e. it gets the users in the so-called “high” or intoxicating state, CBD is not. Additionally, CBD delivers a whole range of medicinal effects, which is the reason it is used in the treatment of:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mental Illness or Psychosis
  • Migraines
  • Inflammation
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

THC is also used in treatment of some of these conditions and some other conditions, such as:

  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or Sleeplessness
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Spasticity
  • Low Appetite
  • Glaucoma

Apart from the fact that THC is psychoactive and CBD is not, there are a number of side effects associated with the consumption of THC. These include:

  • Memory Loss
  • Faster Heartbeats
  • Delayed Reflexes
  • Dry Mouth
  • Red Eyes
  • Coordination Issues

Speaking of side effects, those resulting from CBD are more a result of its reaction with other medicines that the user is consuming. The World Health Organization (WHO) regards CBD as safe.

Legally speaking, cannabis with 0.3% or lower THC (by dry weight) is hemp while cannabis with over 0.3% THC is marijuana. Hemp is a legitimate substance in many parts of the world, marijuana is banned.

Coming to the topic of extraction, carbon dioxide supercritical fluid extraction (CO2 SCFE) is preferred in hemp extraction because of its selective nature. When in the supercritical state, the solvent power of a fluid changes with minor changes in the process pressure and temperature. Adjusting process pressure to a value where the supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) mostly dissolves CBD and very little or zero of other molecules enables the isolation of relatively pure forms of CBD. Some other molecules, say THC for example, do get associated with the extracted CBD but in minor quantities. This makes it possible to further refine the target molecule using minimal post extraction procedures.

The legal implications of the difference between hemp and marijuana can assume very serious forms. Some states prefer to prohibit all amounts of THC from the cannabis products within their jurisdiction – not even allowing products with less than 0.3% THC. Authorities at the border can hold up cargoes with such products, making this an expensive and legally complex issue to handle. As a result, many producers choose to eliminate all traces of THC from their cannabis products. Even this process is easier with CO2 SCFE because it will ensure the least quantity of post processing operations as we have seen before.

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