If you’ve been even casually keeping up with the cannabis world, you’ve probably heard of a plant called hemp. It has been used for centuries in products like clothing, rope, and paper.
In recent years it has found a new use among lovers of cannabis because of its ability to produce oils rich in cannabidiol (CBD), one of the most common active compounds in this plant.
These oils are called cannabinoids, and each variety has its own unique properties that make it useful for different applications. The most common type is CBD oil.
Though there are many types of CBD oil available on the market now as well as several different ways to extract it from hemp plants. One such process involves extracting the oil using high pressure and an acidic solvent called hexane.
This creates what is known as “delta 8” — or just Delta 8 — hemp oil.
What Is Delta 8?
Delta 8 is an extraction process used to create high-quality hemp oils, with high levels of CBD.
Delta 8 is often described as a solventless process and is generally thought to be safer and more sustainable than the more common solvent extraction methods. But despite its popularity among users and manufacturers, there is still a lot of confusion about what it is and how it’s made.
The “8” in “delta 8” refers to the number of carbon atoms found within the primary fatty acid in hemp plants, called linoleic acid.
When linoleic acid is extracted using high pressure and low temperatures, it results in CO2-rich hemp oil. When only a small amount of hexane is used as a solvent, it’s called a “delta 8” extraction.
How Is It Made?
The best way to understand how delta 8 is made is to imagine squeezing the oil out of hemp seed. You’re applying lots of pressure to that seed, releasing its contents. To get hemp oil with a high amount of CBD, you want to make sure the seeds are broken open so that the oil can be extracted.
The first step of the process is removing the seeds from the plant. Many hemp seeds are pressed to extract the oil. Some producers might use a mechanical press, but the goal is to remove the seeds from the plant without crushing them.
The next step is to put the seeds into a solution, then pressurize them. Depending on the machine used, the seeds are put into a pressure chamber and pressurized to about 800 pounds per square inch (PSI).
A solvent is added to help the process along. The solvent is a liquid that dissolves the oil from the seeds. The amount of solvent used varies based on the type of extraction.
To extract the oil from the seeds, the pressure chamber is opened and slowly depressurized. The solvent is vaporized and removed from the chamber. The oil is left behind. Today, the delta 8 is available in various forms such as a Lollipop, Vape, Gummies, and Delta-8 pre-rolls.
Why Is It So Popular?
There are a couple of reasons why delta 8 is so popular among cannabis lovers. The first is that a large portion of delta 8 oils are rich in CBD.
CBD is one of the most common active compounds in the cannabis plant. It’s non-psychoactive, meaning that it does not produce the feeling of being high. Many people use CBD oil for its ability to help alleviate pain, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
CBD is also thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Delta 8 oils are also known to be safer and more sustainable than other extraction methods.
Where Can You Find Delta 8?
Delta 8 oils are becoming more common in dispensaries and online stores. If you’re looking for hemp products, you may find them in health food stores or online. Be careful if you’re shopping online, as not all hemp products are created equal.
Most hemp oils come in a dark-colored bottle or container. They are often labeled as “cold pressed” or “CO2 extraction.” If you find a hemp oil that is labeled “hexane extraction,” it is not a true delta 8 oil and may be inferior to CO2 extraction.
While delta 8 is a very popular extraction method, it is important not to get confused with hemp seed oil. Seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant and is usually used in cooking and cosmetic products.
Hemp seeds are pressed to extract their oil, whereas hemp seeds are pressed to extract the oil within them. When it comes to the hemp plant, the goal is to extract fat-soluble compounds, like CBD, from the seeds.
For that reason, when making hemp oil, the seeds are typically pressed to remove the oil. While a small amount of solvent may be used during the pressing process, it is removed before the oil is bottled and sold.