If you’ve ever tried any of Papa & Barkley’s CBD and other wellness products, you already know that we’re big believers in the power of all-natural ingredients. If you look at what’s in our award-winning CBD Releaf Balm, for instance, you’ll see it contains things like beeswax, coconut oil, and tea tree oil. You’ll also see what it doesn’t contain: chemical solvents.
What are solvents? In this context, solvents are chemicals commonly used to extract CBD from plants. While they’re effective at separating CBD and other medically active compounds from cannabis, solvents can present serious drawbacks as well. What’s more, there’s a cleaner, more environmentally friendly way to achieve the same goal by relying on relatively simple solventless infusion equipment instead.
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This begs a question: Why would you use solvents in the first place? In today’s post, we’ll explore that topic and more. As you’ll learn, solvent-free CBD infusion is not only kinder and gentler on our planet and the people who live on it, but it’s at the very leading edge of functional medicine production, allowing us to access all the benefits of the cannabis plant without the use of chemicals (or anything else that shouldn’t go on our inside your body).
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
Solvent Free CBD Extraction: Why It Matters
If you’ve spent any time on our CBD 101 Blog, you know that CBD is a cannabinoid, or what you might think of as an innate “active ingredient” of the cannabis plant. As shown by a number of clinical studies, CBD has the potential to help us fight stress, support faster muscle recovery, and impart other beneficial effects. But not all CBD is created equal. As a growing number of us are realizing, how it’s extracted from the cannabis plant makes a difference, both in relation to its purity and to its impact on the environment.
CBD can be extracted from plant matter in one of two basic ways: Through the use of solvents or without them. Solvent-based extractions use chemicals such as butane, CO2, or propane to remove the CBD and other active compounds from the plant matter. Then the solvent is “purged” (or washed away) so that the resulting concentrate is safe for you to use.
By contrast, solventless infusion equipment relies on gentle heat and pressure to remove the CBD from the plants. It’s an inherently simple process with a lot of downstream benefits, which we’ll explore in greater detail in just a moment.
One of the major issues with solvent-based extraction methods is that producers who use them must safely dispose of those chemicals once they’ve been purged. This requires the use and upkeep of sophisticated and costly waste-management systems to ensure that no one is harmed by such compounds—both onsite during production and outside in the air we breathe and the water we drink.
What’s more, many of those solvents give off high levels of volatile organic compounds, otherwise known as VOCs. These chemicals pose a threat to the people handling them. According to the American Lung Association, VOCs can cause multiple health problems, including difficulty breathing and nausea, and they can damage the central nervous system and other vital organs. We’re not willing to take that risk with our team.
As we mentioned earlier, a properly made solvent-based product should be free of any solvent residues. But here’s our point: At Papa & Barkley, it’s our stance that any given product should be assessed not only for its health benefits or risks to the end user, but to everyone who comes in contact with that product.
In other words, stating that a solvent-based product is safe to use isn’t the whole story. From the impact on workers who must handle such chemicals to those who live in the vicinity of such production facilities, we feel that solvent-based extraction is a decidedly unnatural way to access the healing power of this all-natural product.
Why Are Solventless Products Better? A Holistic Approach
That said, we’d prefer to focus on the positive, and at P&B we believe solvent free CBD infusion is only one part of a more balanced approach to CBD-based care. Here are just a few of the ways we use this technique to produce our thoughtfully made wellness offerings.
Some cannabis cultivators prefer to grow their plants indoors, arguing that this allows greater control over light, moisture, and other environmental factors. However, this approach requires significant amounts of electricity to maintain a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. That’s one reason we prefer to let Mother Nature do the work, growing our vibrant cannabis plants outdoors instead.
Organic Growing Methods
When your goal is producing exceptional all-natural products, it makes sense to refrain from adding anything you wouldn’t want in your body or on your skin. This includes synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and other questionable products. Instead, we source our sungrown cannabis from farmers who cultivate using organic and regenerative principles, and chemical-free inputs for healthier soil and a healthier you.
Solvent-Free CBD Infusion
As we referenced earlier, our solventless infusion equipment uses gentle heat and pressure—really, that’s all!—to extract the purest CBD possible from our 100% USA-grown plants. That means our partners and employees aren’t exposed to the VOCs present in most solvents, and there’s no need for complex waste management systems to dispose of such solvents, either.
Finally, we go out of our way to use renewable ingredients such as beeswax and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), a pure coconut-derived oil that provides its own benefits as well. As numerous studies attest, MCT oil may promote weight loss, help manage blood sugar levels, and provide other corollary advantages.
Solvent-Free CBD Infusion: Why It Matters to Us
At Papa & Barkley, we’re committed to harnessing the full power of plants. That’s why all of our products are made with solventless, whole-plant infusions that contain the full spectrum of terpenes and cannabinoids present in each plant we harvest. From our award-winning topicals to our joy-sparking edibles and our convenient and effective tinctures, you’re putting these therapeutic plants to work with each and every one of our products.
Do you have other questions about the benefits of solventless extraction? Just ask! We’re always here to help.