In the modern CBD industry, manufacturers constantly come up with innovative ways to extract cannabinoids from hemp flowers. In turn, as new extraction methods are devised, they lead to the further development of new and exciting CBD products.

Certain hemp CBD products – like full-spectrum extracts – are created with the end goal of retaining a plethora of cannabinoids and terpenes. Conversely, isolate products are made with the objective of isolating CBD from all other plant materials – including other cannabinoids.

In today’s market, different CBD products have garnered their own dedicated following of customers. Throughout the globe, people enjoy CBD isolate because it affords unrivaled purity and extremely precise dosing.

What is CBD Isolate?

CBD isolates are hemp extracts that are refined into pure CBD.

Importantly, hemp contains over 100 active cannabinoids aside from CBD. When CBD is pulled from hemp flowers through processes like hydrocarbon and CO2 extraction, most of these other active cannabinoids are pulled with the CBD. Even more, most hemp extraction methods also extract terpenes, chlorophyll, and other plant materials. As a result, while most CBD extracts primarily contain CBD, some also house a number of other chemicals.

CBD isolates differ from other hemp extracts in that they don’t contain any other cannabinoids, terpenes, or other plant materials.

How is CBD Isolate Made?

To make CBD isolate, manufacturers must undergo a series of steps to transform hemp biomass into pure CBD.

The first step in the CBD isolate manufacturing process is extraction. For the most part, the initial extraction process is the same for all CBD concentrates, including full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.

Using hydrocarbon, ethanol, or CO2 extraction methods, manufacturers isolate CBD and other valuable compounds with a solvent. By running the solvent through hemp flowers, it pulls cannabinoids and terpenes from other organic materials. The solvent/cannabinoid mixture is then purged of excess solvents – leaving CBD oil.

After it is made, CBD oil can take a number of avenues in the CBD product supply chain. Sometimes, the crude CBD oil is sold in bulk to other manufactures, while some companies use CBD oil as the main ingredient in vape products and edibles. Other businesses refine CBD oil to further isolate certain compounds.

Distillation is the next step in the isolate manufacturing process. With distillation, manufacturers isolate CBD from other compounds through a process of boiling, condensation, and separation. If done correctly, distillation can result in an extract that is 70% pure CBD.

The final step in the CBD isolate manufacturing process is crystallization. In this phase, the extract is again heated and cooled, where it finally forms into CBD crystals of 99.9% purity.

CBD Isolate Effects

Because CBD isolate is cannabidiol in its purest state, it focuses the effect on the benefits of CBD, as opposed to those of other cannabinoids. In fact, people enjoy isolates because they provide the relief of CBD without any of the added side effects that come with other cannabinoids and terpenes.

Common CBD isolate effects include:

  • Calming
  • Pain relief
  • Sleep aid
  • Anti-inflammatory

CBD has also been proven to be an effective treatment for seizures. In fact, the only FDA-approved CBD medicine to date, epidiolex, is prescribed specifically to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

CBD Isolate Uses

In researching cannabinoids, doctors uncovered a phenomenon known as the “entourage effect.” With the entourage effect, CBD, THC, and other chemicals work in conjunction with one another to create unique effects in subjects. While some people enjoy the benefits of the entourage effect, others prefer to only consume pure CBD.

CBD isolate is a great option for individuals who are skeptical about the unpredictable nature of the entourage effect. CBD isolate is also widely popular because it offers precision dosing and strong product purity.

Some people choose CBD isolate over full-spectrum extracts because they are concerned about drug testing. While the federal government considers levels of 0.3% THC legal in hemp, it can be difficult to explain this trace of THC in your body if you fail a drug test. As such, professional athletes and people who get drug tested for work often prefer CBD isolate to full-spectrum products.

The Pros and Cons of CBD Isolates

As seen with other CBD products, CBD isolates have both their benefits and drawbacks. Yet, these factors are not necessarily universal rules that apply to everyone. Namely, because people often have quite different experiences with cannabinoid products. As such, a factor that might be considered a “pro” for one person can simultaneously be considered a “con” for another.

Potential Benefits of CBD Isolate

In the end, the benefits of CBD isolate are almost entirely tied to the fact that the compound is composed of pure CBD.

With CBD isolate, you can consume extremely controlled doses of CBD, without worrying about potential complications with the entourage effect. With this approach, you eliminate the chance of unwanted side effects from your CBD products.

Isolates are also extremely useful when it comes to making CBD-infused foods and beverages. Due to the fact that CBD isolate is a pure cannabinoid, it doesn’t taint food with the flavor of other plant materials. Conversely, less refined extracts often taste strongly like chlorophyll or other organic compounds.

Disadvantages of CBD Isolate

The disadvantages of CBD isolate are tied to peoples’ preferred methods of CBD consumption, as well as the many manufacturing steps required to make the compound.

While certain people only wish to consume pure CBD with isolate, others enjoy the added effects that come with full-spectrum extracts and the entourage effect. In fact, full-spectrum extracts are also referred to as “whole-plant” extracts because they include so many additional chemical compounds. For people who enjoy all-natural products, CBD isolate seems to lack some of the most beneficial compounds found in hemp.

Because CBD isolate requires so many steps in manufacturing, certain consumers are concerned it might house residual chemical solvents. As some parts of the extraction, distillation, and crystallization processes require the use of chemicals, certain health-conscious demographics might consider isolate to be unnatural and unhealthy.

Contact High Grade Hemp Seed with Questions

As an industry-leading CBD seed company, High Grade Hemp Seed, a division of Santa Fe Farms, has spent years researching the many nuances of hemp flowers and cannabinoids. Please contact us to learn more.

Every day we hear of new and exciting ways that hemp can be used to help humankind. Whether it be sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, or providing relief from chronic pain, hemp is likely our greatest ally in the plant kingdom.

For those unfamiliar with the industry, there can be some misunderstanding on what exactly constitutes a hemp plant. Even more, it’s easy to confuse one type of hemp plant for another as different types of hemp are grown for drastically different purposes.

Since hemp was legalized with the 2018 Farm Bill, any Cannabis Sativa plant that contains less than 0.3% THC is considered to be “hemp.” Therefore, hemp is set apart from other Cannabis Sativa plants by a ruling related to the illegality of THC. While this designation is helpful on a legal level, it doesn’t do much in understanding industrial hemp vs medicinal hemp.

The hemp industry of today is split up into two distinct categories: industrial hemp and CBD hemp. Not only is the industry divided by the types of products hemp can be made into, but also by the distinct ways that different hemp plants grow.

What is Industrial Hemp?

Industrial hemp is grown specifically for its fibrous stalks. Before the rise of the CBD industry, industrial hemp was largely the only type of hemp known.

Industrial hemp has been utilized by human beings for thousands of years. It is believed that the Mesopotamians farmed hemp up to 8,000 years ago, while Europeans adopted industrial hemp cultivation about 3,000 years ago.

Textiles made from the fibers of industrial hemp stalks have played important roles throughout human history. In fact, it is commonly believed that the first paper was made from hemp. Historians also credit hemp sails and ropes for aiding explorers as they sailed to the New World.

In the modern era, industrial hemp is coming to play a pivotal role in the environmental movement. Not only do hemp crops help with important jobs like carbon sequestration, but hemp products can replace less eco-friendly textiles like cotton.

What is CBD Hemp?

CBD hemp is grown for rich, aromatic flowers that are made into extracts, topicals, and edibles. While extremely popular today, CBD was little known just 10 short years ago.

CBD remained an obscure cannabinoid until medical marijuana legalization efforts began in states like California, Colorado, and Washington. Once the business world realized how much money was to be made with THC products, people began searching for an alternative, legal cannabinoid.

Research quickly uncovered that CBD offers relief from such ailments as anxiety, chronic pain, and sleep disorders — without the unwanted psychoactive effects of THC. After that, a legal loophole in the 2014 Farm Bill gave people the opportunity to legally grow and process CBD hemp. Finally, the 2018 Farm Bill legitimized hemp cultivation in the United States. This chain of events led to the global CBD market as we know it today.

Industrial Hemp vs Hemp: Key Differences

Some of the primary differences between industrial hemp and CBD hemp are related to the ways the plants actually grow. Because industrial hemp is grown for fibers and CBD hemp is grown for flowers, the plants diverge in their cultivation methods and overall growth patterns.

As hemp stalks are extremely hearty, industrial hemp is grown with methods and equipment taken from commercial farming. Conversely, because CBD flowers are quite delicate, CBD hemp plants must be grown in more specific environments.

Industrial hemp plants generally grow tall with singular stalks, while CBD hemp plants grow bushy with many stalks.

Industrial Hemp for Fiber

Industrial hemp is generally grown outdoors on massive farms. Industrial hemp stalks are harvested with large pieces of farming machinery like combines. After they are harvested, hemp stalks go through a series of processes where they are slowly broken down into usable materials.

Hemp bast is the long fibrous material found on the outside of the stalk. Bast is the primary material for which hemp has been grown for thousands of years. Because hemp bast is one of the strongest materials found in the plant world, it can be made into a number of products, including textiles, paper, and wood.

Hemp hurd resembles wood chips and can be found on the inside of industrial hemp stalks. Once considered a waste product, hurd is now made into such things as animal bedding and hemp concrete (hempcrete).

Hemp for CBD Yield

Hemp flowers can easily mold in wet and humid climates. As such, CBD crops are often grown in dry climates like California or Nevada, or within controlled environments like greenhouses.

Hemp flowers produce cannabinoids like CBD and CBG, as well as other beneficial compounds such as terpenes. Different strains of hemp produce unique flower characteristics and terpene profiles, with an array of attractive colors and aromas.

CBD hemp is grown exclusively in the interest of making consumable products. Whether it be edibles, topicals, beverages, or vapes, appropriate good manufacturing practices (GMPs) must be employed when cultivating and processing CBD. Because CBD flowers are delicate and grown for consumable products, farmers must put more care into growing this type of crop as compared to industrial hemp.

Industrial Hemp Uses

Most of the business interest in industrial hemp today is motivated by the environmental movement. To this end, certain hemp cultivation practices like bioremediation are extremely beneficial for the environment. Even more, hemp offers a sustainable alternative to popular textiles, as well as building materials like lumber, wood, and concrete.

Industrial hemp can actually help with global warming by reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Hemp plants pull carbon from the air through photosynthesis and then retain the carbon in their fibers – lessening the overall impact of the greenhouse effect.

Hemp fabric is a great alternative to cotton. Not only does hemp yield more per acre than cotton, but it can also be grown using far less water and fertilizers. Hemp actually makes the soil stronger through bioremediation, while cotton removes important nutrients from the soil.

High Grade: You’re Hemp Industry Experts

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we have worked with hemp farmers to understand the best uses for this amazing crop. Whether it be industrial hemp or CBD hemp, we are happy to answer any questions you might have — contact us to learn more.

The hemp plant is nothing short of miraculous. Not only can the stalks of certain hemp plants be made into biofuels and textiles, but hemp flowers also produce a number of medicinally beneficial compounds. Just as CBD has done in recent years, terpenes are now grabbing the attention of the industry.

Terpenes are the chemical compounds in hemp flowers responsible for giving them their unique aromas and flavors. Terpenes are found throughout the plant kingdom and have long been used as ingredients in essential oils.

Today, researchers have developed exciting new extraction technologies and methods specifically for terpene isolation. In doing so, they have opened the door for the production of terpenes to be used in products both inside and outside the hemp industry.

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give tree and plant species their unique smells. Whether it be the taste of basil or the smell of a pine tree, terpenes are literally the visceral connection between people and the plant world. Looking to hemp, unique terpene profiles are some of the most defining characteristics of different strains.

Hemp flowers produce terpenes in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like CBD. In studying hemp flowers, researchers have uncovered more than 100 of these molecules that can be characterized in three primary groups — monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and triterpenes. Beyond hemp, scientists speculate there could be upwards of 20,000 different terpenes found in the natural world.

The health and wellness industry has long since utilized terpenes for their therapeutic benefits. Of these, aromatherapy is a popular use of plant-based terpenes. Due to abundance in nature, scientists have found other uses for terpenes, including flavoring, biofuels, and medications.

Medicinal Uses of Terpenes

Terpenes have medicinal value on their own or when used in conjunction with cannabinoids like CBD and CBG.
Because so many different types of terpenes exist in nature, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of their potential medical applications. However, studies have shown terpenes to have positive effects in the following applications:

  • Antibiotic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Neuroprotective
  • Antitumor

While terpenes have amazing medical benefits on their own, they also work in unison with CBD to provide additional relief.

When researching the effects of THC on subjects, scientists uncovered the fact that “[t]ogether with the cannabinoids, terpenes illustrate synergic and/or entourage effect.” According to this line of thought, as terpenes and cannabinoids work together in the human body, they alter one another’s effects. As such, many people believe terpenes enhance the medicinal effects of CBD when consumed.

What is Terpene Isolation?

Terpene isolation is the process of removing terpenes from hemp flowers. After the terpenes are extracted, they can then be used in other products. While the industry already has a number of established extraction methods for CBD and CBG, we are just learning how to isolate terpenes from hemp.

Terpenes are quite chemically unstable when compared to other compounds found in the hemp flower – especially compared to cannabinoids. As such, popular CBD isolation methods like hydrocarbon extraction damage sensitive terpenes during processing.

While hemp terpene isolation methods and technologies are still far behind CBD manufacturing, there have been some interesting advancements in the last few years. Common types of hemp terpene isolation methods include hydrodistillation, steam distillation, and supercritical CO2 extraction.

Terpene Isolation Technology

Hemp terpene isolation technology borrows heavily from the essential oils industry. While terpenes have gained major notoriety in recent years in the hemp industry, health and wellness companies have extracted terpenes for products like essential oils for decades.

Today’s terpene isolation technology is a blend between modern cannabinoid extraction equipment and traditional essential oil manufacturing.

Hydrodistillation & Steam Distillation

Hydrodistillation and steam distillation are similar processes that each work well for isolating terpenes. Please note, hydrodistillation is a precursor to steam distillation – which is now the more common method for making terpene isolate.

In their book Essential Oil Safety, Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young explain, “During steam distillation, volatile plant constituents are vaporized and then condensed on cooling to produce an immiscible mixture of an oil phase and an aqueous phase. The oil product is a complex mixture of mainly odoriferous, sometimes colored and frequently biologically active compounds.” By running steam through hemp flowers, then distilling the vapor, manufacturers are able to capture delicate terpenes without damaging them.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

Supercritical CO2 extraction is one of the few cannabinoid extraction methods that is also a good terpene isolator. Because the CO2 extraction process doesn’t use harsh solvents like butane and propane, many consider it to be a cleaner, superior production method for terpene isolate.

CO2 extraction preserves delicate terpenes because it can operate at extremely cold temperatures. Importantly, supercritical CO2 extractors are complex machines that allow hemp manufacturers to “run” biomass in several phases. Therefore, it is possible to run an extremely cold batch first to extract terpenes, followed by a slightly warmer batch to isolate cannabinoids.

Terpene Isolation and the Future of the Hemp Industry

With the advent of legal hemp in the United States, scientists have put serious time into developing new ways to process cannabinoids. In learning about CBD extraction, researchers have also uncovered exciting new methods for isolating terpenes.

Hemp flowers are renowned for their incredible terpene profiles. Many people cannot believe a single plant can produce such rich and diverse aromas – including citrus, fruit, pine, and many more. While hemp connoisseurs have long appreciated terpene profiles, there is potential to share these amazing compounds outside the hemp industry.

As manufacturers continue to refine terpene isolation methods, other people are considering what we can use these compounds for. Excitingly, there is talk of hemp companies partnering with businesses outside the industry for the purpose of manufacturing and using terpenes. To illustrate, hemp terpenes could be used as a flavoring in the food industry, or as a natural additive to health and wellness products.

Even within the hemp industry, terpenes are offering some incredible promise. As CBD concentrates often lose much of their aesthetic appeal during extraction, there is potential to remix them with terpenes after processing. Not only will this approach help CBD oils smell and taste better, but they will also retain the added medical benefits of terpenes.

Just as CBD farms have sprung up around the nation, we could very well see a future shift where farmers start growing hemp specifically for terpene production. If this process takes place, terpenes will become a valuable new commodity for hemp farmers — ideally providing more stability in a sometimes volatile market.

Talk Terpenes with High Grade Hemp Seed

By breeding some of the best CBD strains in the hemp industry, the team at High Grade Hemp Seed has grown extremely familiar with terpenes. We are thrilled to see this new shift in the hemp industry. Feel free to contact us at any time with questions.

If you have ever been to the supermarket and purchased “store brand” groceries, you are familiar with the white label model. With white label products, a single manufacturer sells the same goods to several different businesses. In turn, these businesses then rebrand the goods as their own before going to market with them.

Private labeling is another practice where businesses outsource manufacturing to a third party. However, in a private label arrangement, manufacturers develop a specific product strictly for a single party — as opposed to one product for many companies.

As the national CBD industry continues to normalize, it is taking notes from more mainstream industries regarding white labeling and private labeling. Importantly, both white labeling and private labeling break up the hemp CBD supply chain, allowing different businesses to handle only specific links along the way.

What are CBD White Label Products?

From seed to sale, the hemp CBD supply chain contains many complex steps. Whether it be growing hundreds of acres of hemp plants, or doing supercritical CO2 extractions, implementing each step in the supply chain can be extremely expensive. As such, while vertically integrated hemp CBD companies have the most potential profit, they also take the greatest financial risks.

According to Investopedia, “White labeling occurs when the manufacturer of an item uses the branding requested by the purchaser, or marketer, instead of its own. The end product appears as though it has been produced by the purchaser.” In the hemp space, white label manufacturers play an important role for companies that cannot afford every step in building a new CBD brand — such as growing their own hemp or doing their own extractions.

The white label model breaks up many of the steps in CBD product manufacturing and disseminates them among several businesses. To illustrate, a common model for white labeling in CBD is for a single business to cultivate hemp, extract CBD, and finally formulate gummies. Next, a different business entity purchases the premade CBD gummies and sells them as their own brand.
With the white label model, purchasers can get CBD products to market without having to invest money in a vast majority of the steps in the supply chain.

Private Label CBD Products

As seen with white labeling, private label CBD products are also manufactured by another business. However, private label CBD products are based on a singular formulation that is wholly unique to a specific brand. As a result, private label CBD companies have a trademark not only on their branding, but also on specific product formulations.

Today, private labeling is a common practice in the essential oils industry. With the private label model, wellness brands work with manufacturers to develop specific essential oil blends. Once the two parties have created a sellable product, the wellness brand gets a trademark on the essential oil and goes to market with it. The relationship continues as the manufacturer continues to produce the essential oil.

The private label model allows new companies to enter the CBD space with a totally unique product – while also circumventing the need to grow and process their own CBD. Because these arrangements are often done under a contract between a manufacturer and buyer, the buyer also has more input into the development of a satisfactory CBD formulation.

With private label CBD products, purchasers can get unique CBD formulations to market without having to invest large sums of money in cultivation, extraction, etc.

CBD White Label vs. CBD Private Label

The pros and cons of white label and private label CBD products can be viewed from the perspective of either a business or a consumer. When it comes to end-users, product quality is almost always the most important factor for CBD products. Yet, businesses must consider both profitability and logistics in assessing CBD white label and private label business models.

The differentiating factor between white label and private label CBD products is product formulation. According to the white label model, several different CBD companies could sell products with identical formulas at the same time. Conversely, in the private label model, the CBD product formulation is unique to a specific brand.

CBD White Label Pros

White label hemp products have several advantages for CBD businesses. These include:

  • Easy market entry
  • Low overhead
  • Less employees
  • Manufacturing expertise
  • Compliance guidance

In the end, all of the factors that help reduce production costs for CBD companies are reflected in the final price point at which CBD white label products are sold. As such, this practice also helps end consumers get white label CBD products at a more affordable price point.

CBD Private Label Pros

Private labeling offers many of the perks of outsourcing manufacturing seen with white labeling, while still allowing companies to provide unique CBD products for their customers.

Private labeling has several advantages for CBD businesses. These include:

  • Product and brand are identical
  • Control over manufacturing
  • Flexibility with product formulation
  • Cater to customers
  • Brand loyalty

Private labeling is much more likely to drive customer loyalty than white labeling. Simply because, consumers can easily purchase white label products from other companies if they see fit.

Benefits of Working with White Label CBD Companies

Hemp farmers can benefit greatly by partnering with the right CBD white label services.

As mentioned throughout this article, white labeling allows businesses to split up the hemp CBD supply chain into digestible and affordable parts. While this division of overhead cost and labor is greatly beneficial for CBD brands, it is also extremely helpful for hemp farmers. Just as CBD brands can circumvent cultivation and extraction with white label partnerships, hemp farmers can avoid many of the business headaches that come with the CBD industry.

Commercial hemp farming is a massive undertaking in itself. To consistently grow high-quality CBD crops, farmers must account for irrigation, fertigation, IPM, labor, genetics, weather, compliance, and much, much more. Therefore, it is not surprising that many hemp farmers today don’t want to worry about business-centric tasks like branding, marketing, and retail sales.

Unfortunately, many new hemp farms have gone out of business simply because people have attempted to “wear too many hats” on the job. Conversely, white labeling allows hemp farmers to focus on what they do best – grow hemp.

The final thing to consider is that established white label manufacturers can make great partners for hemp farmers. Because white label manufacturers make CBD products for an array of customers, they have more market versatility than most hemp companies.

Contact Us

High Grade Hemp Seed has helped countless farmers understand their options for doing business in the CBD white label market. We are happy to share our expertise with you.

Please contact us to schedule a call.

Since hemp was legalized, our methods and technologies for processing cannabinoids have grown increasingly sophisticated. Today, hemp extraction operations borrow equipment and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) from the pharmaceutical and food processing industries. In turn, hemp companies produce pure extracts that provide accurate and consistent CBD dosing.

Hemp farmers and manufacturers have a number of options to choose from when it comes to hemp extraction equipment. Generally speaking, your decisions on purchasing hemp extraction equipment will be dictated by your business goals and budgetary constraints.

To get a clearer picture of the technology that goes into making quality CBD products, let’s explore the topic of hemp extraction equipment in more detail.

CBD Extraction Machines

Hemp extraction equipment plays a critical role in getting CBD products to market. In essence, extraction technology utilizes solvents to isolate CBD and terpenes from excess plant materials. Solvents are defined as, “liquid substance[s] capable of dissolving or dispersing one or more other substances.”

CBD extraction equipment generally uses one, or a combination of, the following solvents: carbon dioxide (CO2), ethanol (alcohol), and hydrocarbons (butane and propane).

CBD Product Supply Chain

Today, CBD oil extraction machines play a critical role in the CBD product supply chain. Without such pieces of technology as supercritical CO2 extractors, you would not be able to make many of the CBD products seen on the market today.

CBD extraction machines are responsible for taking raw plant material and removing valuable terpenes and cannabinoids. After these “extracts” are isolated from excess plant material, they are then infused in CBD products like gummies, salves, and drinks.

Hemp extraction technology is generally owned and operated by vertically integrated producers or manufacturers who purchase raw hemp biomass. In either case, this technology links a critical step between hemp farmers and CBD consumers.

Choosing Hemp Extraction Equipment: Factors to Consider

There are several factors that drive good decision-making when purchasing a hemp extraction system. Not only must you consider the budget, but you must also keep your target audience in mind. In the end, different extraction technologies will deliver different hemp CBD products.

Extraction equipment that can handle the rigors of commercial CBD product manufacturing is not cheap. While different extraction technologies are available for both small producers and large operations, commercial equipment is needed to process large crops. Commercial-grade hydrocarbon extractors can cost up to $200,000, while similarly sized supercritical CO2 extractors run upwards of $500,000.

Understanding exactly what your end CBD product will be can also serve as a great guide for choosing the right extraction equipment. For example, if product purity is a part of your brand identity, CO2 extraction is likely a better option than hydrocarbon extraction. Namely because you can mention the fact you don’t use any noxious solvents in making your CBD products.

Hydrocarbon CBD Extraction Equipment

Hydrocarbon hemp extraction equipment utilizes hydrocarbon solvents such as butane and propane to isolate CBD from other hemp plant materials. Due to the fact that both butane and propane are highly volatile, hydrocarbon extractors are engineered with very specific safety protocols in mind.

Closed-loop extraction technology is the industry standard for hydrocarbon extracts in the modern hemp industry. This hydrocarbon hemp extraction equipment is referred to as “closed-loop” because it never allows the solvents to make contact with the open air. As such, it greatly reduces the risk of working with highly volatile hydrocarbons.

Hydrocarbon extractor manufacturers have developed extremely sophisticated ways to purge these extracts of all residual solvents. Many popular cannabinoid extracts are made via hydrocarbon extraction, including wax, shatter, and crumble.

Ethanol Hemp Extraction Equipment

Ethanol hemp extraction equipment uses alcohol as a solvent to extract CBD and other valuable cannabinoids and terpenes. While hydrocarbon extracts can be safely purged of residual solvents, certain people remain skeptical about consuming them. As such, ethanol offers a “cleaner” alternative to hydrocarbon extracts for particular consumer demographics.

Like other extraction methods, ethanol extractors bring hemp plant materials down to extremely cold temperatures while soaking them in the solvent. The extract is then filtered and purged of excess ethanol. Occasionally, manufacturers will take the process one step further and isolate a specific cannabinoid like CBD or THC from the extract.

CBD companies enjoy ethanol extraction because it is easily scalable and can be used to make a wide variety of products. Because ethanol extraction works at different temperatures, it gives extraction teams more options over what they are extracting. Colder extractions are better for isolating more specific cannabinoids and terpenes, while warmer ethanol extractions pull a “wider spectrum of terpenes as well as other water-soluble compounds.”

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) CBD Extraction Equipment

With the advent of legalization, hemp companies have been able to look to other industries in developing new extraction methods. To this end, carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction technology has largely been adopted from food manufacturers. For example, CO2 extraction is a popular practice for isolating flavors from organic compounds and then infusing them in other products.

While ethanol extraction is often believed to be cleaner than hydrocarbon extraction, CO2 extraction is the cleanest of them all. Many CBD producers have turned to CO2 extraction because it does not utilize volatile compounds that could harm the human body or the environment.

As extraction experts suggest, CO2 “has been widely used [for CBD extraction] since it is abundant, inexpensive, non-toxic, non-flammable, relatively chemically inert, and forms at almost room temperature.” While CO2 extraction is immensely popular in the hemp industry, some manufacturers have turned away from this technology due to its high overhead cost.

Summary

Hemp product manufacturing continues to grow more sophisticated with increasingly sophisticated consumer demand. In the hemp industry of today, very few products even resemble the CBD flowers from which they are originally sourced. The process of taking raw plant material and turning it into edibles, topicals, and vapes is dependent on very specific technologies.

The CBD industry as we know it today would not be possible without hemp extraction equipment. All things considered, this technology is a critical link in the CBD supply chain. While your specific extractor needs will vary with the size and scope of your operation, you need the right equipment to build a successful CBD brand.

Contact High Grade Hemp Seed

High Grade Hemp Seed works with commercial hemp farmers and CBD product manufacturers on a daily basis. Please contact us with additional questions about CBD hemp or hemp extraction technology.

 

Whether it be THC or CBD, the cannabis and hemp industries continue to create amazing new products with cannabinoids. While innovations are doubtlessly exciting, consumer education sometimes falls behind product development in cannabis and hemp. In particular, many people are still not aware of the difference between THC and CBD.

Importantly, being able to differentiate between THC vs. CBD is critical in distinguishing between marijuana and hemp. In the end, knowing these cannabinoids is also important in understanding the difference between illegal and legal products.

Cannabinoids have gained outstanding traction in the global market, and to continue this trajectory, consumer education is the next logical step in further legitimizing the hemp industry. As such, we thought it beneficial to discuss the nuances of THC vs. CBD in more detail.

What is THC?

THC is an abbreviation for the term “tetrahydrocannabinol.” THC is the most commonly known cannabinoid and it is the chemical responsible for getting people “high” when they consume marijuana. As such, much of the controversy in the modern cannabis and hemp industries has to do with THC.

All medical and adult-use marijuana markets in the United States today are built around THC products. Each U.S. state with legal cannabis has devised careful rules to regulate the production and sale of THC. Even more, THC levels in cannabis plants dictate their legal standing with the federal government.

When hemp was legalized in the 2018 Farm Bill, the FDA stipulated that any cannabis plant containing less than 0.3% THC is legally considered “hemp.” Today, the entire national hemp industry is built upon this ruling. Hemp breeders and farmers work tirelessly to produce quality hemp with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD.

What is CBD?

CBD is an abbreviation for the term “cannabidiol.” CBD was a little-known cannabinoid until the legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill pushed it into the global spotlight. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce any sort of “high” feeling – although people report that it offers a calming effect when consumed.

Aside from products made from the stalks of industrial hemp plants, CBD is the primary driving force behind the hemp industry we know today. While hemp is legal in the United States, the FDA has not officially sanctioned CBD as a legitimate medicine. As such, companies who label CBD products as medicines or supplements can still face serious legal consequences from the federal government.

CBD vs. THC: Key Differences

Cannabinoids are differentiated from other chemicals in the cannabis plant because they bind with cannabinoid receptors in the human body. While THC and CBD are both cannabinoids, they behave quite differently when consumed by people. The unique effects caused by these cannabinoids are the primary differentiating factors in their legal status.

Chemical Makeup

From terpenes to chlorophyll, the cannabis plant contains an incredible amount of compounds. The U.S. National Library of Medicine website reports that cannabis produces over 400 different chemicals. Of these, the average cannabis plant contains around 60 unique cannabinoids.

While THC and CBD have a similar chemical makeup, the way that atoms are organized in each molecule gives them unique properties when consumed by people.

Psychoactivity

The most defining characteristic of THC is the fact the cannabinoid is considered psychoactive. According to the National Cancer Institute website, a psychoactive compound is “A drug or other substance that affects how the brain works and causes changes in mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings, or behavior.”

One of the primary reasons that CBD has grown so popular is that it is non-psychoactive. Therefore, people can enjoy the benefits of CBD without concern for feeling inebriated.

Potential Medical Benefits

As neither THC or CBD has been officially approved by the FDA as medicine, our knowledge of their medical benefits comes from patient testimonies and early studies. Yet, as our understanding of cannabinoid-based medicines grows, we continuously learn about new potential applications.

  • THC medical benefits: Cancer, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, irritable bowel syndrome, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more.
  • CBD medical benefits: Seizures, sleep disorders, chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and more.

Side Effects

Depending on the subject in question, both THC and CBD can have side effects. These side effects vary with intensity from person to person and can be rather unpredictable.

Due to its psychoactive component, THC has far more reported side effects than CBD. Side effects of THC include drowsiness, edginess, red eyes, impaired memory, and lack of focus. CBD users report far fewer side effects than THC users. However, some people experience drowsiness, nausea, dry mouth, or gastrointestinal issues when using CBD.

Drug Testing

When it comes to drug testing, both THC and CBD present unique challenges. Because THC is federally illegal, many businesses and organizations drug test for the cannabinoid. Even if you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you still have to be concerned with THC showing up on a drug test.

CBD is not tested for in drug tests, nor is it scrutinized in most regions of the world today. However, as full-spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of THC (less than the legal 0.3%), in rare cases they can cause you to fail a drug test.

Final Word: THC vs. CBD

Today, the hemp-derived CBD business is a global juggernaut. In the year 2020, the worldwide CBD market was valued at $2.8 billion. Yet, while CBD products are now readily available at retail and online stores worldwide, most consumers still don’t know much about cannabinoids. In order for hemp to progress, it’s critical we make an effort to educate people on the nuances of the THC vs. CBD discussion.

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are honored to take part in building the new national hemp industry. Within this spectrum, we feel that teaching people about the benefits and drawbacks of THC vs. CBD is essential. As we learn more about cannabinoids, we can work to further refine dosage levels and match the appropriate compounds with the right ailments.

Please contact us to learn more about cannabinoid research and hemp CBD.

The benefits of biochar in agriculture are multi-faceted. Not only does biochar offer an avenue for farmers to use excess organic materials, but biochar itself is a powerful soil amendment.

At the current rate of food production, agricultural practices are depleting soils quicker than they can be replenished. The rising human population on Earth only exacerbates this problem. As such, we are in a situation where sustainable agriculture is no longer just a trending concept, but rather a necessity for protecting the environment.

Because biochar is a powerful soil amendment, it can help replenish soils that have been diminished through commercial farming. As major proponents of biochar, we’ve put together this brief exploration into the many uses of biochar in agriculture.

Biochar as a Source of Plant Nutrients

Biochar is a fascinating compound that affects nutrient levels in soils in several ways. Depending on the feedstock in question, biochar often supplies nutrients directly to crops. Even more, its high porosity allows biochar to regulate nutrient uptake at the root zone of plants.

People often mistake biochar for compost. However, soil scientists note that “compost is a direct source of nutrients through further decomposition of organic materials.” Conversely, biochar does not break down further in soil, rather it retains its structural integrity as it releases water and nutrients.

Because biochar can be made from any organic compound on earth, it can contain a variety of nutrients itself. Generally speaking, biochar is known to raise soil PH and increase electrical conductivity (EC) around the root zone. Studies have also shown biochar to be a source of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P).

Biochar for Soil Fertility and Productivity

Current agricultural practices are depleting the soil of macronutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). As farmers continue to practice monocropping without leaving ample fallow time, fields become increasingly unproductive.

The most defining characteristic of biochar is its high porosity and immense surface area. Because biochar is made through a heating process, it resembles charcoal in many of its primary physical traits. The porous surface of biochar provides a “refuge for beneficial soil microorganisms such as mycorrhizae and bacteria and influences the binding of important nutritive cations and anions. This binding can enhance the availability of macro-nutrients such as N and P.”

As an amendment, biochar has the ability to help previously depleted soils regain their vitality. By housing living organisms, biochar helps establish living soil that can be used year after year – without the need for tilling or plowing.

Biochar in Soil Carbon Sequestration

While biochar is an invaluable tool for farmers as a soil amendment, it also has incredible benefits concerning carbon sequestration. Biochar gives us the ability to reduce the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. As such, biochar has the potential to greatly slow greenhouse emissions and global warming.

The carbon cycle is responsible for regulating levels of carbon within the earth and atmosphere. Since the industrial revolution, commercial agriculture practices and the burning of fossil fuels have thrown the carbon cycle out of balance. Today, excess carbon in the atmosphere directly contributes to climate change.

Carbon farming is an agricultural practice where farmers intentionally conduct operations in a fashion that keeps carbon from entering the atmosphere. In essence, these farmers use their farms as “carbon sinks” where more carbon is pulled into the ground than is released into the air.

Biochar offers an intriguing new option for the practice of carbon farming. With biochar, farmers can sequester carbon from leftover plant materials and keep it concealed in the soil far into the future.

Benefits of Using Biochar for Growing Hemp

There are several benefits to using biochar for growing hemp. As seen with other crops, biochar helps regulate water and nutrient uptake for hemp plants.

When biochar has time to work in your soil, it promotes a living community of symbiotic organisms. Because you don’t have to till this living biochar soil, you will save money on farm labor expenses in the springtime.

Hemp crops thrive in sunny and dry climates. Especially for hemp CBD plants, low humidity is critical for growing large flowers without fear of mold and mildew. However, the very regions where hemp plants grow the best oftentimes lack available water.

Using biochar as a soil amendment for your hemp farm will reduce the amount of water you need to use each growing season.

Limitations of Biochar

While biochar uses in agriculture show serious potential, there are a few notable limitations on the product.

Because biochar can be made from compounds as diverse as hardwood and animal manure, it can be difficult to predict how biochar will react when used. In the end, it could be very difficult to match the appropriate type of biochar with the right soil type. However, as biochar production becomes standardized and our knowledge expands, it’s likely biochar can be used with much more accuracy in the future.

Biochar and Sustainable Agriculture

As we learn more about the inner workings of mother nature, we are well-advised to mimic her methods when solving environmental issues. Today, we are in a position where we must admit that established commercial farming practices are untenable in the long run.

Biochar offers an intriguing way to amend soils and return farmland to its original state of productivity. Following processes found in the natural world, biochar gives farmers the ability to grow crops with fewer fertilizer inputs, while also establishing biological communities directly within farm soil.

The grocery market also presents opportunities for farmers interested in using biochar methods. Today, foods labeled as “organic” and “sustainably sourced” fetch higher prices at stores than others. All things considered, rising market demand for organically grown produce might very well be the catalyst to push more farmers into trying biochar.

Contact High Grade Hemp Seed

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are putting serious resources into learning all we can about the uses of biochar in agriculture. Our team of cultivation experts is thrilled to see where hemp farming takes biochar in the future. Please contact us to learn more.

Maybe our issues with global warming can be solved by studying the different cycles of planet Earth. Research of the carbon cycle is uncovering new and creative ways we can harness the power of nature to lessen the impact of the greenhouse effect. Within this line of inquiry, biochar is taking center stage as a tool for carbon sequestration.

Today, most of our efforts to curb climate change have to do with altering how we live. To illustrate, driving an electric vehicle is a practical way we can help reduce carbon emissions.

Biochar offers an interesting avenue for manipulating the earth’s carbon cycle to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. This approach to slowing global warming could be an excellent complement to individual efforts such as recycling.

Biochar and Carbon Sequestration

Since the industrial revolution, humankind has greatly altered the balance of the carbon cycle on earth. Soil tilling practices in commercial farming regularly releases carbon into the atmosphere. In like fashion, the burning of fossil fuels expels massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere that was originally buried deep within the earth.

Carbon levels on earth are regulated through the various components of the carbon cycle. In this cycle, plants and trees remove excess amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Residual carbon remains inside plants and trees when they die – eventually contributing to carbon levels in the soil. Without man’s interference, the carbon cycle keeps carbon levels balanced in the earth and atmosphere.

Modern carbon sequestration practices are dedicated to “storing carbon in soil organic matter and thus removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”
Biochar is a carbon sequestration tool that is made through a unique burning process known as pyrolysis. With pyrolysis, organic materials are burned while being starved of oxygen. Because the feedstock never ignites, it does not release carbon into the atmosphere. Because it traps carbon that would normally be released into the atmosphere, biochar sequestration offers an interesting workaround for the carbon cycle.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction

Climate change is one of the most important topics in modern society. Whether it be with politicians, environmentalists, or business people, the greenhouse effect and global warming are constantly being discussed on the global stage. Importantly, the carbon cycle, greenhouse gas emissions, and global warming are intimately bound to one another.

Global warming takes place when an overabundance of carbon is released into the atmosphere through practices like burning fossil fuels and tilling the soil. There should always be 3.1 times as much carbon in the soil as there is in the atmosphere. When these scales are tipped and more carbon is in the atmosphere than normal, CO2 (a greenhouse gas) gets trapped. In turn, CO2 hinders the ability of the sun’s heat to escape the earth’s atmosphere in a process known as the greenhouse effect.

With biochar sequestration, people can manipulate the carbon cycle to keep CO2 from plants inside of the ground. The goal of biochar sequestration is to counteract the excessive amounts of carbon we are currently expelling into the atmosphere. According to the Yale Environment 360, “Creating biochar actually reduces CO2 in the atmosphere because the process takes a theoretically carbon-neutral process of naturally decaying organic matter and turns it carbon-negative.”

While we are still learning about biochar sequestration, studies predict it could be extremely helpful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Leading universities such as Cornell assert that biochar production could offset greenhouse gas emissions up to 12 percent.

Soil Carbon and Biochar

Biochar is an excellent complement to established practices of carbon farming. With carbon farming, scientists and farmers have developed methods to grow crops with carbon-negative results. In essence, they have been searching for ways to practice agriculture, while also curbing global warming.

Carbon farmers employ several practices to establish carbon-negative results. Of these, no-till practices and covering the ground in plastic sheets are most popular. Each of these methods keeps carbon from escaping into the atmosphere from the soil. Other popular carbon farming practices include “multi-story cropping” and “mulching/compost application.”

If left undisturbed, scientists postulate that biochar sequestration will keep carbon contained for “hundreds or even thousands of years.” However, if the soil is disturbed by phenomena like floods, wildfires, or other natural causes, the carbon could be released back into the atmosphere.

If people use biochar on a massive scale for carbon sequestration purposes, it will require proper planning. After biochar is added to a tract of land, those living in the area must abide by proper soil management practices long into the future.

Hemp Biochar Carbon Sequestration Potential

Today, the hemp industry stands in a unique position. As both a renewable resource and natural medicine, hemp already has the power to change the world. Biochar gives us yet another avenue to utilize hemp as a tool to better the world around us.

Hemp farms are already great venues within which to practice carbon farming. Even without biochar, hemp farms can easily act as carbon sinks. To help in this process, biochar gives hemp farmers even more options for no-till practices. As biochar regulates the slow release of water and nutrients into the soil, it allows farmers to develop living, no-till soils that won’t release carbon into the atmosphere.

With biochar, CBD hemp farmers can take carbon farming practices to the next level by using leftover biomass as biochar feedstock. In doing so, they can lessen the environmental impact of the hemp industry, while also projecting hemp into the future as one of the most sustainable forms of agriculture on earth.

Count on High Grade Hemp Seed for All Things Biochar

At High Grade Hemp Seed, aim to inform our customers about the immense importance of carbon farming and biochar. If you have additional questions about these fascinating topics, please contact us.

 

 

The more that science discovers about the properties of biochar, the more uses we seem to find for this incredible substance. Even better, it seems that nearly all uses of biochar are environmentally friendly.

From carbon sequestration to organic farming, there are some amazing environmental benefits of biochar. Yet, with research still in its infancy, it’s important to take a critical look at biochar to better understand its overall risk and reward ratio.

In this brief exploration, we weigh the advantages and drawbacks of biochar production to give you a well-rounded perspective on biochar and its many applications in modern society.

What are the Environmental Benefits of Biochar?

Biochar has the ability to curb global organic waste production, while also improving the ecosystems that regulate our climate. The benefits of using biochar are directly tied to its nutrient retention abilities and high porosity. Because of these physical traits, biochar can be used for jobs as varied as improving soil and filtering water.

Biochar is useful as a soil amendment, bioresource for energy, as well as a tool for curbing climate change. Biochar also shows exceptional promise for the hemp industry as a way to turn waste plant material into a useful commodity.

Biochar Benefits in Soil

Industrial agriculture has had many unforeseen consequences on the environment. Not only do commercial farms contribute to global water shortages, but farming practices also greatly deplete the quality of the soil. Today, studies show many farms are “experiencing a carbon crisis” because tilling practices have “off-gassed 50- 70% of carbon in farm soils into the atmosphere.”

Carbon is critical to soil health. In fact, carbon is often referred to “as the building block of life” because it is so vital in contributing to the structure and fertility of healthy soils. This puts us in a tough position. Primarily because agriculture and energy industries release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere each day.

There are many benefits of biochar in soil. By sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and returning it to the ground, biochar regenerates soil with carbon and nutrients. Even more, due to its high porosity, biochar helps farmers conserve water and fertilizers.

Biochar for Water Quality

Increased water retention from biochar makes for better crop growth in regions with limited rainfall and low water supplies. Biochar amendments also reduce runoff and help protect local watersheds and aquatic life. Heightened nutrient retention from biochar amendments aids plant growth in regions with depleted soils. In like fashion, biochar lessens the fertilizers that leach into streams and rivers.

Biochar Benefits as an Energy Resource

Another interesting way that biochar can help the environment is as a renewable source of energy. While there is still a good deal of research to be done on this process, we know that some residual heat is produced when manufacturing biochar.

Biochar is made by heating organic materials to the point of burning, but not allowing them to combust by starving them of oxygen. In this process known as pyrolysis, “about half the chemical energy in the biomass is contained in the biochar, about 40% is used for the conversion, and about 10% may be used as a local heat source.” This extra 10% of leftover chemical energy has the potential to be used as a source for electricity production.

Biochar Benefits and Climate Change

One of the most exciting ways that biochar can be used is in helping curb climate change. More specifically, biochar can help lessen the amount of carbon we release into the atmosphere with farming practices and burning fossil fuels. By reducing carbon in the atmosphere, biochar directly weakens the impact of the greenhouse effect and global warming.

When carbon dioxide is released into the air, it keeps the sun’s heat within the earth’s atmosphere. The amount of carbon we release into the atmosphere has expanded exponentially with such things as industrial farming, energy production, and combustion engines. Scientists postulate that carbon in the atmosphere is responsible for much of the global warming we have seen over the last two centuries.

Biochar can help slow global warming in multiple ways. Not only does biochar production lock carbon into a substance that will remain in the ground, but biochar itself helps stabilize carbon levels in the soil. As such, biochar helps reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, while also promoting the growth of trees and plants that lessen CO2 levels in the earth’s atmosphere through photosynthesis.

Potential Disadvantages of Biochar

The more we discover about biochar, the more uses we seem to find for this incredible substance. Nonetheless, as our knowledge is still somewhat limited, it’s a good idea to further assess biochar benefits and risks.

Some major concerns surrounding biochar are as follows:

  • The long-term effects of biochar usage on a large scale are still largely unknown.
  • Because biochar can be made from any organic substance on earth, the exact parameters of its properties can be somewhat unpredictable.
  • A specific type of biochar that works well in one type of soil might not work well in another.
  • When used incorrectly, biochar can disrupt established biological processes in soil.

While these concerns are certainly warranted, more research into biochar will inevitably help quell any apprehension surrounding the compound.

Hemp Biochar Can Help Save Our Planet

As the hemp industry continues to mature and evolve, we need to start shifting our focus beyond profitability and onto sustainability. With so many applications for biochar in the hemp industry, we are excited to see the integration of biochar production into our farming methods.

Biochar gives hemp farmers the unique opportunity to use wasted plant materials in a constructive fashion. By turning leftover stalks into biochar, CBD hemp farmers can greatly reduce the environmental impacts of their operations. This practice will help reduce global warming, while also improving soil quality at hemp farms.

Contact us today to learn more about the environmental benefits and risks of biochar.

Environmental Benefits of Biochar - Infographic

Biochar is extremely unique in its ability to create a new industry from waste materials. Making biochar from refuse curbs the amount of material we put into landfills and lessens the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere through burning.

As our understanding of biochar grows, scientists, horticulturists, and engineers alike are working to develop new production methods and technologies for the compound. Hemp producers are also looking at biochar as a potential new revenue stream sourced from leftover plant materials.

The primary motivations for the hemp industry’s growing interest in biochar are the compound’s many environmental applications. With concepts like global warming taking center stage in global politics, it seems that newfound fascination with biochar comes at the perfect time. Read on to learn the latest on biochar manufacturing methods and technologies.

What is Biochar Made From?

Biochar can be made from any combustible organic compound — most commonly from woods, grasses, or similar plant-based materials. Recent studies show that “biochar production [now] include[s] crop residues from agriculture, forestry, municipal solid waste, food, and animal manures.”

In western regions of the United States, biochar is being cultivated from dead trees. Over the last two decades, pine bark beetles have killed millions of acres of trees in Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. While the scale of this devastation is difficult to accept, it is refreshing to see manufacturers actively finding ways to put some of this “beetle kill” to good use.

While you could grow a crop such as hay strictly for biochar manufacturing purposes, the real selling point of biochar is the fact it can be made from waste materials. Therefore, biochar offers a compelling option to commoditize plant material “leftover” after a harvest. An example of this would be producing biochar from cornstalks after the valuable ear is harvest.

How is Biochar Produced?

As our understanding of biochar develops, so do our methods of biochar production. Biochar is most commonly made through a unique process called “pyrolysis.” When making biochar with pyrolysis, organic materials are heated to temperatures hot enough to burn them. However, the biomass is starved of oxygen so the material never actually combusts and burns. Because the biomass never actually burns, it retains the carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

While pyrolysis is the original method for producing biochar, scientists have invented a few other ways to create the compound. Nonetheless, these alternative biochar manufacturing methods are still largely inspired by the fundamentals of pyrolysis.
Each type of biochar manufacturing includes the constituent elements of feedstock, time, heat, and pressure. However, biochar production methods vary with such things as manufacturing tools and types of feedstock.

Asides from pyrolysis, types of biochar production include:

  • Hydrothermal Carbonization
  • Gasification
  • Torrefaction and Flash Carbonization

Modern Biochar Manufacturing Technologies

Each biochar manufacturing process has its own essential tools and equipment. Whatever the type of production, these technologies are each dedicated to creating the right environmental conditions for creating biochar.

Pyrolysis Reactor

As the name implies, pyrolysis reactors are one of the primary biochar manufacturing technologies used for the process of pyrolysis. There is not a single dedicated “type” of pyrolysis reactor. Rather, the term is used to describe the various containers people use to heat and pressurize feedstock without oxygen. Vessels used as pyrolysis reactors include kilns and bubbling fluidized beds.

Hydrothermal Carbonization Reactor

Hydrothermal carbonization is used to produce biochar from fresh, wet biomass. This product is also referred to as “hydrochar.” Hydrothermal carbonization reactors are used to heat wet biomass to 180-250 deg C. After the biomass is heated, the reactors then allow the evaporating liquids to escape to a separation chamber. From there, the liquid is eventually dried into hydrochar.

Biochar Made From Hemp Waste

As seen with other forms of agriculture, CBD hemp farmers are looking for a way to commoditize their organic waste materials. After CBD-rich flowers are harvested from hemp, a vast majority of the actual plant biomass is leftover. These stem, leaf, and root materials are either tossed into a landfill or burned. Needless to say, both situations present serious environmental hazards for the hemp industry.

While hemp farmers are showing interest in biochar as a potential revenue stream, there is not much data available on the actual properties of biochar made from hemp. Currently, universities are conducting research to better understand factors like nutrient density and porosity characteristics of hemp biochar.

Biochar Made from Flax

As we continue to wait on more information regarding the characteristics of hemp biochar, we can look to similar materials to get a glimpse of what to expect.

Flax and hemp fibers are nearly identical and easily mistaken for one another. With so many structural characteristics in common, it is safe to assume that hemp biochar will resemble flax biochar on a structural level.

Here are some interesting facts surrounding flax biochar:

  • Extremely small porosity (excellent water retention capabilities)
  • High nitrogen content
  • Biochar can be made from flax fibers or seeds

If hemp biochar resembles flax biochar as much as one might expect, it shows serious promise as an organic soil amendment.

Wrapping Up

As our understanding of biochar grows, so do our methods of production. With a growing interest in biochar as a renewable resource with profoundly beneficial environmental traits, scientists are expanding on new ways to make biochar.

Biochar is one of those amazing compounds that has endless applicability in today’s society. Not only can we produce biochar from waste materials, but biochar itself is a rich soil amendment. This fact makes it a great tool for organic farming, as well as soil regeneration in damaged ecosystems.
As the hemp industry continues to research biochar, it will be fascinating to see how we will learn to utilize the material in the future.

Contact High Grade Hemp Seed

At High Grade Hemp Seed, we are continuously searching for new ways to improve the hemp industry. We are extremely proud and excited to be on the cutting-edge of the new hemp biochar manufacturing space. If you have questions about how to make biochar from hemp, don’t hesitate to contact us!