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CBD can be derived from both industrial hemp and cannabis (the drug cultivar), at varying levels of concentration depending on factors such as genetics and growing conditions.
A THC content of less than 0.3% classifies a plant as hemp, however CBD content can range. 10% would be considered high CBD content and most industrial hemp contains < 10%.
Through genetics and highly controlled growing variables, it is possible to increase CBD yield of a plant, however as CBD levels rise in a plant, so too does THC content. Interestingly, the reverse is not true (CBD content does not increase in proportion to THC). Therefore, it’s much easier to cultivate cannabis for THC content, compared to CBD. This impacts availability and price of CBD, whether in high-yielding biomass or as a refined and purified extract.
How does Nextleaf extract CBD from cannabis or hemp?
From hemp or cannabis biomass, our patented inline chilled-ethanol extraction skid processes a crude extract which is then further refined and purified into distillate.
With CBD extracts, above 60-70% potency the cannabinoids begin to crystalize. This is problematic for product stability, especially for formats such as vapes where crystallization can impact performance of the hardware, affecting the user experience.
Does “pure CBD” exist?
A CBD isolate (99% purity) is a crystalline powder and may not suit all formulations and products (such as vapes). Often, working with a liquid solution allows for greater precision in dosing and versatility during product development.
Nextleaf’s high purity distillate and Rapid Emulsion Technology by OILS™ offer brands and formulators a variety of ingredient and material options to work with in developing their product line-up.
The end product (vape, edibles, topicals) is ultimately the most important determinant of what form of CBD, whether a high purity distillate or an emulsified liquid or powder ingredient is best suited to the end goal.
The supply chain is continuously evolving, and we anticipate more pesticide-free, outdoor grown hemp-derived CBD will become available with each growing season, and as the Health Canada approved cultivars and licensed growers list expands.
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There is a combination of fixed and fluctuating factors that affect pricing. This is relevant context for cultivators looking to maximize the value of their harvest, and manufacturers looking to create competitive pricing in their portfolio of cannabis derivative products.
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