We grouped the most popular machine types for CBD oil extraction based on the primary substance that makes extraction possible. These substances include Carbon dioxide (CO2), hydrocarbon, and ethanol. Each type is described briefly below:
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
• This method uses carbon dioxide as a natural solvent, which breaks down hemp to release CBD.
• There are three sub-categories under this method: supercritical, subcritical, and midcritical.
• The supercritical method works at high temperatures and typically produces greater CBD yield than the other two sub-methods. However, at high temperatures, other important extracts such as terpenes could be destroyed. Think of it as losing essential vitamins and minerals from while frying vegetables.
• The subcritical and mid-critical methods (cold extractions) produce lower yields of CBD oil, but preserve the presence of other desired extracts.
• Carbon dioxide extraction machines tend to be expensive and have a fundamental issue with scalability.
• There are three major types of hydrocarbons used as solvents for this method: butane, methane, and propane.
• Although these substances exist as gases at room temperature, they can be into liquid form under pressure.
• Although powerful, these solvents, can pull out important substances from the hemp plant while leaving other undesirable products behind such as chlorophyll.
• This method works faster than the CO2 method, and the equipment is less expensive as well. However, these gains are offset by risks associated with using these substances as they are very flammable and combustible. This quality requires any extraction equipment using this method to be housed entirely in a Class 1, Division 1 (C1D1) facility, which can quickly raise costs.
• This process is also not easily scalable as there are purchasing quantity restrictions on these solvents.
• Ethanol is a highly-purified version of alcohol that is also used to extract CBD from hemp biomass.
• At room temperature, ethanol is abrasive. This means it tends to extract everything from the hemp biomass, including unwanted substances such as chlorophyll, lipids, and fats, which will require further separation and filtration techniques.
• However, when the solution it is supercooled, it can be used to selectively extract desired substances only.
• One drawback of this method is that traces of ethanol can still be found in the finished products. Ethanol in finished products must not exceed 0.5% otherwise, it can not be sold.
• Supercooled ethanol extraction machines do not require further separation techniques such as filtration and winterization.
• Supercooled ethanol extraction machines are the most common CBD oil extraction methods because even though they are similar to the hydrocarbon process, they are comparable to carbon dioxide machines in terms of safety.
Water Vapor Extraction
• This extraction method uses steam to separate CBD oil from the hemp plant.
• The main components of this process are the boiler, the distillation tank, the condenser, and the collecting flask.
• The distillation tank contains plant material. Water is heated in the boiler and the steam produced travels upward into the distillation tank. In the distillation tank, CBD is released from the plant into the steam.
• The vapors are then captured in a tube and condensed into oil and water. In the collection flask, the CBD oil is separated from the water through distillation.
Key Factor to Consider When Buying CBD Oil Extraction Machines
• Factors to consider when buying CBD oil extraction machines include the cost, the effectiveness of the extraction process, and the final product yield. Each extraction method also with its own unique pros and cons.
• Although CO2 hemp extraction machines are not the cheapest machines, many have high yields.
• Ethanol hemp extraction is cheaper but ethanol is highly flammable and any change in temperature can significantly impact the final product.
• Hydrocarbon hemp extraction is effective but the process is not ideal for medicinal products because of the risk of contamination.
• Ice water extraction is advantageous because of its simplicity. It is cheap to perform and maintain, and it does not use harmful chemicals. However, this method is more suitable for small scale use than commercial use.
Key Features to Look for When Buying CBD Oil Extraction Machines
Important features to look out for in a machine are: the machine’s safety profile, yield output, the type of solvent used, the extraction time, the efficiency rate, and the amount of processing required afterward.
• Different CBD oil extraction methods have varying levels of safety requirements. Ethanol extraction is not the safest because it uses a highly flammable solvent. Additionally, the hydrocarbon method required a C1D1 facility. The Ice Water Extraction, on the other hand, is extremely safe as it involves putting the plant material in ice water and then filtering it.
• Depending on your needs, it is important to look at the processing and commercial capacity, as well as energy consumption.
• This refers to how efficient the extraction process is in terms of yield and energy consumed.
• CO2 Cannabis Extraction machines have high yields, while Ice Water Extraction is more suited for small scale use.
• You should also find out if its operations are manual, semi-automatic, or fully automatic.
• The main difference between manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic CBD oil extraction machines is the level of human intervention required. Manual machines constantly require human intervention, semi-automatic machines require human intervention at intervals, and fully-automated machines require no human intervention once the process is started.
Certifications, Approvals & Stamps
It is also important to check if machines have passed certain certifications or have stamps of approval from manufacturing or federal governing bodies. Examples of certifications and stamps to look out for include the Food and Drugs Administration, 3A sanitary standards, current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
• FDA approval means that the Food and Drug Administration has determined that the benefits of the product in reference outweigh the known risks for the intended use.
• FDA clearance means the manufacturer can prove that their product is ‘substantially equivalent to another (similar) legally marketed device’ that the FDA has cleared or approved.
• The 3-A Administrative Symbol Council represents both the USDA and the FDA as 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc, also known as 3-A SSI.
• 3-A SSI’s mission has two main standards and practices. These standards and practices are: “1) to protect food meant for human consumption from contamination and 2) to guarantee that all product contact surfaces can be mechanically cleaned and dismantled manually for thorough inspections.”
• The Current Good Manufacturing Practices consists of FDA’s formal regulations regarding the design, monitoring, control, and maintenance of manufacturing processes and facilities.
• ASME certification and accreditation “certifies that stamped items conform to ASME standards, including the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC), the Bioprocessing Equipment (BPE) Standard, and/or Reinforced Plastic Corrosion Resistant Equipment (RTP-1) Standard.”
Where to Buy CBD Oil Machines
• For industrial purposes, it is recommended to buy directly from reputable companies. Examples of companies that sell industrial-scale CBD oil extraction machines include NuAxon Bioscience Inc. and Precision Extraction Solutions. NuAxon Bioscience Inc. supplied Hemp, Inc. with a large capacity of CO2 Supercritical Extraction equipment in 2017.
• Vendors for home-based extraction machines include Ablaze and Extract Craft.
• Alternatively, Ali Baba, a market place, offers many suppliers of CBD oil machines.
The price of home-based extraction machines ranges from $510 to $4,000, while the same for industrial-based extractors can range a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars, depending on the size and needs.
CO2 Hemp Extraction
• The cheapest extractor available is the OCO Labs’ SuperC extractor which costs $4,000 while the most expensive is the Apeks Supercritical CO2 System which costs $445,000.
Ethanol Hemp Extraction
• The cheapest extractor available is the Source Turbo which costs $599 while the most expensive is Across International Rotovap which costs $19,470.
Hydrocarbon Hemp Extraction
• The cheapest extractor available is the Ablaze Mini Closed Loop Extractor which costs $510 while the most expensive is The Io Extractor which costs $225,000.
Water Vapor CBD Oil Extraction
• The price of water vapor CBD oil extraction machines ranges between $15,500 and $2 million.
Companies that Sell Used Machines
• This company has one of the largest selections of new and used hemp extraction machinery from major manufacturers, and they add new items every day so inventory is constantly changing. Customers can feel comfortable knowing they are purchasing from a vendor with an 80+ year old reputation for professionalism and expertise committed to providing unparalleled service.
• Aaron’s terms and conditions makes a disclaimer of all warranties of goods that are purchased “as is” and “with all faults”, and the company makes no representation of a warranty. The company strongly recommends buyers conduct an on-site inspection of goods and cannot be held responsible for a prior lack of inspection. Buyers also absolve Aaron’s from any responsibility of used goods after purchase.
• The company has an online ‘Sell Us Your Equipment Form‘ where sellers enter their name, company name, phone number, state, a description of the equipment being sold, asking price, and upload pictures. The buying department is responsible for reviewing the submissions.
• The company offers replacement parts that are engineered and manufactured to the original company expectations and reduce maintenance and improve uptime. Paul O. Abbe has provided most of the parts for over 50 years, and also completely refurbishes or rebuilds Paul O Abbe process equipment.
• The staff of Service Technicians, Mechanical and Process Engineers provide installation oversight, machine inspection, process recommendations and parts and maintenance recommendations.
• HempFlax provides used equipment as part of the company’s environmentally friendly approach. The used equipment is refurbished and upgraded to HempFlax’s standards that are continually refined to provide even better products with a smaller environmental footprint.
• The machines are comprised of 96% John Deere components and can be serviced by the 2,000 John Deere dealers and specialists around the world. HempFlax makes arrangements with the specialists and provides support and specific knowledge, but if more specific service is required it is taken over by GroeNoord.
• There is no information regarding warranties or guarantees from the company in regard to the equipment. The company’s general terms and conditions state that HempFlax guarantees that the goods correspond to the agreement and specifications stated in the offer but does not give guarantees regarding the usability of the goods for the intended purposes of the buyer. The purchaser guarantees the accuracy and completeness of the specifications and other information they provide for HempFlex to base the offer.
The company was founded on May 25, 2012. The company is headquartered at 899 S College Mall Rd Unit 161, Bloomington, Indiana and has strong ties to India and herbs from the Ayurvedic tradition through the ownership of three certified organic farms.
• The company supplies the biggest names in the Natural product industry with its super-premium ingredients that are sourced from its own certified organic farms and from an organic co-op that the company founded with local farmers to ensure the farmers get fair prices for their work.
• The machines use a single-step extraction tailored to achieve highly concentrated products, “extracts and spent biomass are free of solvent residues“, mild temperatures ensures product stability and quality, among other benefits.
• Customer reviews and technical publications that review the company do not reveal any cons.
The company was founded in 2011. The company headquarters is located at 2468 Industrial Row Dr, Troy, MI 48084. It has a California Showcase located at 2230 S Fairview St, Santa Ana, CA 92704.
• A benefit of buying from this company is the knowledge and comfort that the products come from an award-winning company known for its quality equipment and technology. Precision Extraction was awarded the 2018 Best in Equipment and 2019 Best in Technology by Green Entrepreneur Top 100 Cannabis Companies.
• The company has partnered with top and reputable companies such as Rivers Innovations and Cascade Sciences among others. Precision Extraction has “unparalleled tech support and customer service” and is the “world’s only provider of turn-key extraction labs”.
• Reviews support the high customer service perceptions of Precision Extraction. A review states the company went above and beyond to help them with their order even after numerous questions and changes and adjustments they made to the order.
• The company may be costly especially depending on the project, and that causes some customers to downsize their orders but they still deal with the company.
• The company has a 4.8/5 rating on Facebook and there is only one negative review that was not about the product.
• Glassdoor reviews gives cons of the company to be the constant pivoting to remain an industry leader in light of the overall industry growth and constantly changing regulations.