Hemp Content

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Industrial Hemp Extraction Equipment

CO2 cannabis extraction, alcohol cannabis extraction, butane/propane cannabis extraction, and ice water extraction are the four main processes for cannabis extraction in the cannabis industry. Each extraction process uses different types of machines and equipment, which are discussed in the following sections.

CO2 Cannabis Extraction Method — The Hi-Flo FX2

Alcohol Cannabis Extraction — Genius ASAHI Rotary Evaporator

Butane/Propane Extractors — The PX40 Extraction System

Ice Water Extraction — The Eberbach Model E5703

Research Methodology

Your research team uncovered four examples of methods used in industrial hemp extraction, including an example of machine/equipment used in each process. We relied on information published by engineering institutions such as Engineeringk12.org, along with cannabis analytics tech companies like Analytical Cannabis and Cannabis Tech. We also checked cannabis news platforms like Industrial Hemp Exchange and business magazines like the MG Retailer. Equally, we checked the websites of the manufacturers of these machines, i.e., Go Eden Labs, Asahi Glass Plant, and Eberbach, to unearth more insights into their products and processes. All these sources and many more referred to the same processes and equipment; therefore, we handpicked those in each category that are designed for industrial and commercial use. Specifically, we focused on equipment with high output volumes since such machines are ideal for industrial use. Overall, all details regarding the procedure, the machine, and its advantages and disadvantages are examined above.
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Industrial Hemp Fiber Processing Equipment

The processing of industrial hemp involves the separation of the interior and exterior portion of hemp stalks. This can be achieved through either the traditional method of retting or the modern method of decortication.

Traditional Retting of Industrial Hemp

  • Processing industrial hemps can be done through the traditional method of "retting." This process involves the degradation of the pectin which is the substance that binds the tough woody interior of the hemp stalk, also called the hurd fiber, and the softer, more fibrous exterior, or the hurd fiber.
  • There are three types of retting that utilize either microorganisms, acid/bases, or special enzymes. The latter two called water and chemical retting involve the use of special facilities such as tanks, dryers, and specialty chemicals. Field retting, the most common type of retting, only requires the utilization of microorganisms found in the stem or in soil.
  • Two advantages of processing industrial hemp fiber through retting are its cost-effectiveness and accessibility. Field retting, or controlled rotting, only requires that a farmer oversees and properly manages hemp stalks that are just left on the ground for several weeks.
  • A disadvantage of retting is that it is dependent on weather conditions. The process of field retting takes several weeks to finish and can be accelerated when there is warm weather with intermittent precipitation, however, the process can also be delayed under suboptimal weather conditions.
  • Moreover, over-retting can cause the quality of the processed hemp fiber to decrease and weaken its strength.

Modern Decortication of Industrial Hemp

  • The decortication of industrial hemp is a method of processing tough hemp stalks that separates the bast and hurd fiber of the hemp stalk through breaking it.
  • This method is made possible through a machine called a decorticator, which mechanically separates the inner hurd fibers from the outer bast fiber of the hemp stalks through a hammermill-like mechanism.
  • An advantage of utilizing this method of processing industrial hemp is that it processes hemp stalks faster than the traditional method of retting.
  • Another advantage that it has over retting is that it is less dependent on weather conditions as technological advances have it possible to process wet hemp using a decorticator.
  • On the other hand, traditional retting is less costly and more accessible.
  • The dependence on mechanical equipment in decortication means that farmers will need to make significant investments based on the decorticator processor configuration.
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Hemp Decorticators

Mobile hemp decorticators are portable machines that can separate hemp fiber from plant stalks. The profitability of hemp cultivation significantly diminishes with transportation at a distance of more than 100-miles. There is a significant shortage of hemp processing facilities across the US. The mobile decorticators enable farmers and processors to access and segregate different hemp products according to quality and use. Some leading mobile hemp decorticators operating in the US include Power Zone, FormationAg, 6ix Hemp Inc, Pure Hemp, among others.

What is a Hemp Decorticator?

  • Farmers with agriculture land and state permit acquire seeds to grow hemp crops. Once matured, the harvesting of crops is done by cutting the stalks, either manually or with machinery.
  • A decorticator is a heavy machinery designed to strip outer layers of harvest from seeds, small shrubs, plants, and trees.

How is mobile hemp decorticator changing the fiber processing landscape?

What is the need for Mobile Hemp Decorticators?

How are hemp fiber processors dealing with high processing costs?

  • Mobile hemp decorticators minimize shipping costs by processing plant stalks into the fiber at the source.
  • Mobile hemp processing companies are touring 20-states in the country to offer processing services for farmers at their farms.
  • In 2018, mobile hemp processing companies started setting up the farmers market to process hemp harvests in the Northeast, Midwest, and West regions of the US.
  • Mobile hemp decorticator companies evaluate the quality of the harvest, quote price to farmers, and sell it to customers directly.
  • The hemp processors are able to process hemp according to different use and supply it to customers directly. For example, some buyers require hemp fibers for making cordage and automotive parts, while others require hemp hurds to make hemp blocks and hempcrete.

Companies credited with inventing the decorticator solution

  • Power Zone manufactures mobile hemp decorticators that can process 10-tons of hemp per hour and costs between $2 million to $2.5 million. The company partnered with a hemp consulting firm HempLogic to devise affordable and efficient hemp processing systems.
  • FormationAg manufactures trailer-mounted mobile hemp decorticators that can process 1-2 tons of hemp harvest per hour. The equipment features 60 inches width with six roller sets, enabling two workers to feed hemp simultaneously.
  • PureHemp's patented Continuous Countercurrent Reactor (CCR) technology converts raw hemp into pulp, sugars, lignin, flowers, and seed oil. The company can process four tons of hemp per day and expects to reach over 40 tons per day by 2021.
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Hemp Fiber

Spinning hemp fiber involves retting, decortification, softening, combing then spinning using wet or dry methods. Hemp fiber can be spun using any one of three processes, cottonization, long fiber or tow processing.

Long Fiber Processing


  • Hemp is harvested up to the mid flowering stage, which is then cut four to five feet from ground level, thus ensuring that both the seeds and the fibers are harvested. The plants are then left in the field to ret for about 10 to 20 days. Retting is done either by water or dew.
  • Water retting is where the stems are placed in water, that is, in ponds, tanks or streams for approximately 10 days. While dew retting involves laying the hemp parallel in rows so the morning dew falls on the hemp. During this time, the stems are turned at least twice to allow them to 'ret' or rot evenly.
  • In either method of retting, the pectin that binds the fibers in the hemp to the stem's core is being released, thus causing the fibers to be separated. The process is complete once the hemp stalks have become white, divides easily into fibers, separates from the core, and stalks are dry.


  • At the end of the retting process, the fibers go through decortification. Some call this the grassing and scutching step. This is a drying process where the retted hemp is conditioned as well as freed from wood kernels by squeezing, breaking and scutching. More specifically, the stems are broken by passing them through fluted rollers.
  • After this, the fibers are de-cored or "scutched" through a process of beating the stems with a beech stick. Alternatively, the stems may pass through rotary blades.

Softening and Combing

  • After decortification, the hemp fibers are softened using a roller or softener. This causes the fibers to be suppler and softer.
  • Then the softened hemp is combed. During this step, the long fibers are smoothed and "parallellized" with a hackling machine. While this is taking place, woody particles are being removed to produce a "continuous sliver" for the spinning step.


  • At the end of the combing process, the spinning process begins. This is where the slivers are drawn and doubled, then pre-spun into roving yarns using dry or wet processes. The wet spinning process involves "bobbin, drying and winding" while dry spinning is done through the spinning frames used for spinning flax.
  • Next, the yarns are bleached with hydrogen peroxide then boiled in caustic soda for refinement. With these methods of spinning, two types of yarn are produced, one that is short and the other is long. Wet spinning produces softer yards, however, dry spinning is cheaper but coarser.

Tow Processing and Cottonization

  • At the scutching and hackling step, the shorter fibers are spun into a coarse yard using the wet or dry process. At this stage, they are refined and parallelalized using carding machines. This is the towing process.
  • Cottonization is where long hemp yarns are turned into a texture similar to cotton. It involved removing substances such as lignin and pectin from the yarn. This is sometimes done using "elementarization," similar to what is done when making cotton.
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CBD Extraction: Ethanol

Ethanol extraction is the most efficient CBD oil extraction process in the industry as it creates large amounts of high-quality products at a lower production cost. The process is also safer than other methods since it creates zero vapor pressure, and is less flammable than hydrocarbon extraction.

Process Overview

  • Ethanol is one of the best solvents to extract CBD oil in massive scales, like when producing industrially ten thousand pounds a day.
  • To extract the CBD from the cannabis plant, this process starts by soaking the raw plant in ethanol to pull the trichomes, or small hairs and outgrowths located in the exterior of the plant, into the solvent. The alcohol or ethanol is left until it extracts the required ccannabinoids required, like the CBD oil.
  • The next step is to remove the cannabis, filter the liquid, and purge the alcohol from the extracted product using evaporation.
  • This process needs more work than others to identify the proper filtration and refinement methods. However, once the process is understood, it doesn't require winterization to remove the unwanted elements, as CO2 and hydrocarbon extraction do.
  • The post-process procedures are winterization and decarboxylation. Winterization is the removal of terpenoids, fatty acids, chlorophyll, plant materials, and unwanted cannabinoids from the CBD extract, while decarboxylation is the process to activate the CBD component.


  • Ethanol extraction requires proper equipment, proper mass balance, and proper post-process procedures, like verifying the process didn't extract the desired cannabinoids and ensuring the purity of the CBD oil.
  • This process needs high-proof ethanol to minimize the damage on the cannabinoids, and a suspension liquid to prevent oxidation and other damages.
  • There are different kinds of CBD extraction machines from which to choose when using the ethanol extraction method, such as the turnkey extraction systems, centrifuge extractors, molecular distillation systems, crystallization reactors, and chromatography equipment.

Popular Machines

  • KPD Series Vulcan by Precision Extraction: Vulcan was designed for industrial processing of hemp or marijuana. It allows the re-proofing of the product, retaining the solvent, and yielding maximization of the product through ethanol extraction. The machine is also easily scalable.
  • Cannabis Oil Centrifuge Extractor by Cedarstone: This machine was designed to extract cannabinoids with low-temperature ethanol. The machine can be configured based on each production's requirements, operates at high-speed, it's easy to maintain and operate, and it's safe.


  • Ethanol is fantastic for scaled extraction, because it creates zero vapor pressure, meaning that the team working on the process is not operating under pressure of leaks or explosion.
  • It has less flammability than hydrocarbon extraction and, for its zero vapor pressure, it's safer than CO2, and in general, a safe solvent recognized by the FDA, so it's less likely to cause explosions or hurt the employees by suffocation.
  • Regarding machinery cost, the industrial equipment to remove CBD with ethanol is in the middle, being the most expensive the ones that use CO2, and the cheapest the ones that use hydrocarbon extraction. However, once the equipment is acquired, the cost of production is cheaper than the other two methods.
  • Ethanol extraction is the best to produce high-potency cannabinoid products, 99% pure, and simple CBD or CBD oil, while hydrocarbon is better if the result requires a terpene and CBD more similar to the one found in the original plant.
  • Ethanol extraction is the most efficient industrially, as it allows extracting thousands of pounds of pure cannabinoid per day, focus on extracting CBD or THC of high-quality, requires minimum interventions to check on the conditions, and a single machine.
  • It is the easiest extraction process for those starting in the CBD industry, as it allows obtaining more product on a small scale, and it0s easily scalable.


  • Ethanol is an extremely polar solvent, and as such, if it's not measured correctly and it's left too long, it may dissolve other valuable and beneficial compounds from the plant, and not only the ones desired.
  • Ethanol extraction equipment is more expensive than hydrocarbon extraction equipment.
  • Ethanol extraction might dissolve terpene and deliver a purer product, losing the essence of the plant.
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CBD Extraction: Water Vapor

The water vapor extraction process is a simple method to produce CBD oils by utilizing the steam from the boiling water that passes through the cannabis plants whereby the steam volatile compounds from the cannabis plants are volatilized, condensed, and collected in the flask.

How Water Vapor Extraction Works

  • The equipment needed in this process is a boiler, distillation tank, condenser, pipette, and collecting flask with an inlet and an outlet.
  • The inlet of the glass flask should connect to a glass container, underneath the plant flask, which has boiling water. The outlet should connect to the condenser tube. It should roughly look like this.
  • As the water boils, the steam of the cannabis plant will transfer into the plant flask and separate the oil vapors that contain CBD substance.
  • Then, the tube is used to capture the oil vapors which will condense them into hydrosol and volatile oils.
  • The mixture of hydrosol and volatile oils captured in the tube needs time to separate the CBD oil from the hydrosol. As the mixture creates a distinct layer of water and oil on top, a pipette can be used to collect the oil.

Why It Is Important

  • This process is simple and it has been done to extract other essential oils for centuries.
  • The water vapor extraction process can be performed in small scale industries using basic chemistry equipment.
  • This method can produce CBD oils without terpenoids, flavonoids, and other contaminants, such as residual solvents and pesticides.
  • The water vapor extraction process is generally safer than the solvent extraction process which uses alcohol or heat-sensitive oils.

Benefits of The Extraction Method

Possible Harmful Effects

  • CBD oil derived from this method may be less effective due to the sensitive CBD's chemical properties toward the excessive heat.
  • An individual may experience tiredness, decreased appetite, gastrointestinal problems, and altered liver enzymes after consuming CBD oil. However, these side effects may vary on the dose taken.

Research Strategy

To collect relevant information related to the water vapor extraction process for CBD oil, we looked through various expert blogs, scientific literature, and publications from respected sources, such as NCBI, Science Direct, and CBD Awareness Project. During our research, we found that the water vapor extraction process is also called a steam distillation process. Utilizing this insight, we managed to gather valuable information related to the inquiry. We found that the answer to this research was straightforward and did not need any triangulation.
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Winterized CBD Oil

Winterized CBD oil has a potency level of up to 65%. Winterization is crucial because it is effective in removing cuticle wax from the cannabis plant, which, when consumed, can cause respiratory problems. Winterized CBD oil is more flexible in consumption and can also be used in the treatment of patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

What Winterized CBD Oil Is

  • A winterized CBD oil refers to processed hemp oil that is clean and safe. Winterization involves the hemp oil being soaked in alcohol. It then goes through a heating process of about 120 degrees. Afterward, it is frozen to remove the waxes and additional phytonutrients like terpenes.
  • The final product is a superior oil with up to 65% potency.

Why Winterizing CBD Oil is Important

Benefits of Winterizing

  • Winterizing produces CBD products that are THC free, and in turn, allows for more flexibility in how consumers utilize the product. CBD oils with THC limit consumers who have to pass drug tests.
  • Winterization produces high purity CBD oil, which is then processed into a CBD isolate. CBD isolates are THC free, thus making them effective when used as add-on treatments on patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome with daily seizures.
  • Pure and clean CBD oil results in a high level of customer satisfaction, increased profit, and growth for companies that deal with these products.

Harmful Effects of Ingesting Non-Winterized CBD oil

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CBD Oil Extraction Machines

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. The price of home-based extraction machines ranges from $510 to $4,000. Further details on the CBD oil extraction machines have been provided below.

Most Popular Types of Machines

  • The most popular types of machines used for CBD oil extraction are grouped based on the key substance that makes extraction possible. Based on multiple sources (here, here, here, and here), 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 the hemp into the CBD.
  • There are three sub-categories under this method: supercritical, subcritical, and mid-critical.
  • The supercritical method works at high temperatures and typically produces more yield of CBD than the other two sub-methods. However, at high temperatures, other important extracts such as terpenes could get destroyed. Think of it as losing diesel fuel and paraffin while trying to extract petrol from crude oil.
  • The subcritical and mid-critical methods (cold extractions) produce lower yields of CBD oil, but preserve the presence of other extracts.
  • Carbon dioxide extraction machines are 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 easily be turned into liquid form under pressure.
  • These substances, hydrocarbons, can pull out the important substances from the cannabis Sativa plant while leaving other undesirable products behind such as chlorophyll.
  • This method works faster than the CO2 method, and the equipment are 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 restrictions on the quantity of these substances that are permissible per time.


  • Ethanol is a highly-purified version of alcohol that is also used to extract CBD from hemp biomass.
  • At normal room temperature, ethanol is abrasive, that is, it tends to extract (pull out) everything from the hemp biomass including unwanted substances such as chlorophyll, lipids, and fats, which will require further separation and filtration techniques.
  • However, when it is supercooled, it can be used to selectively extract useful substances only.
  • One of the drawbacks of this method is that traces of ethanol can still be found in the finished products. The ethanol in finished products must no exceed 0.5% for it to be fit for sale.
  • 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.

Key Features to Look for When Buying CBD Oil Extraction Machines

  • When seeking CBD oil extraction machines, important features to look out for include 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.
  • Additionally, depending on the client's needs, it is important to also look at the processing and commercial capacity, as well as the energy consumption.
  • You should also check to know if its operations are manual, semi-automatic, or fully automatic.
  • There are also certain certifications to check for to ensure the machines have passed through necessary and through certification processes. 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).

Should You Buy New or Used?

  • There isn't enough information in the public domain regarding if users should get used or new CBD oil extraction machines. However, based on the fact that the CBD industry is still in-flux and without an adopted industry-wide standard and regulations means it is probably wiser to purchase new machines as the old ones could fall foul of newer standards and regulations.

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.

Price Ranges

How to Determine Reputable Sellers

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CBD Extraction: Ethanol vs. CO2

The ethanol and carbon dioxide extraction methods are very different as they are used to achieve two different results. While it is possible to extract pure CBD with ethanol, its nature allows for the dissolving of other unwanted compounds. This is why carbon dioxide is often used to produce pure CBD oil, however, the process is long and the machinery is very expensive. These points and more are discussed in detail below.

Ethanol Extraction Methods

Carbon Dioxide Extraction Methods

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How To Make CBD Isolate

CBD isolate comes in a variety of solid forms, including powder, crystal, shatter, and slab. The culmination of a multi-stage process, CBD isolate is used as an ingredient in the manufacturing of a number of CBD products. The process to get the CBD isolate in its purest form and the definition of what CBD isolate really is are discussed below.


  • CBD isolate comes in a powder, crystal, shatter, or slab form and is the purest form of CBD extracted from hemp.
  • The difference between the powder and slab forms is the structure of the isolate. However, they all have the same absorption rates, effects, and qualities.
  • Even though the differences are not many, it is easier to use the isolate powder to make CBD products such as edibles, creams, and vape juices. The slab, crystal, and shatter forms are often ingested straight or used for dabbing. They can also be used to make creams, vape liquids, and edibles.
  • Usually, during the extraction, many other substances are dissolved with the CBD such as terpenes, waxes, and chlorophyll. In CBD isolates, all these substances are removed.
  • CBD isolate is odorless, which makes it excellent for many products such as beverages and supplements.
  • It is extracted mostly from hemp, which is a variety of cannabis that contains high levels of CBD but low levels of THC. It contains no THC, which is the compound that causes the 'high' when cannabis is ingested.
  • CBD isolate is usually cheaper compared to CBD tinctures, oils, and edibles containing the same amount of CBD.

How CBD Isolate is Made

  • CBD isolation is the culmination of a multi-stage process which produces CBD Isolate.
  • The steps that are involved in the isolation of CBD are as follows: selection of high CBD hemp biomass; drying, processing, and decarboxylation of hemp; extraction of CBD oil from hemp; refinement of CBD oil to remove contaminants; distillation of refined CBD oil for a more concentrated mixture; chromatography for pure CBD from distillate; and crystallization of CBD to further purify.
  • During the selection of hemp biomass, farmers look for the best plants and flowers that will provide the highest concentration of CBD. In this process, the hemp is harvested, dried, processed, extracted, refined, and purified through a multitude of processes.
  • When chromatography is used to isolate CBD, the methods used include supercritical CO2 chromatography, High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) using solvents such as pentane, flash chromatography, and rotary chromatography. Using CO2 is preferred because it doesn't leave behind any toxins.
  • After this process and sometimes before it, the refined CBD oil is distilled by way of winterization or short path distillation.
  • After this process of separating the CBD and refining it to very high levels by removing impurities such as THC and terpenes, further purification is done and the CBD is crystallized so that the CBD is collected in solid form.

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CBD Processing Equipment Buyers FAQ

The three questions every buyer of CBD processing equipment should ask is what are the extraction options, what is the safest process and what is the environmental impact? Other questions where the answer is dependent upon the size of the operation are also included.

Question #1 — What are the options to get CBD out of marijuana?

Extraction techniques

Basic Requirements

  • The extraction of various compounds, including CBD, from the marijuana plans requires analytical skills and real lab and safety equipment to perform the methods described below.
  • Just as critical, the extraction process must be performed correctly to produce a product safe for human use.
  • The results should, therefore, be confirmed independently from the process.


  • These machines use high heat and pressure, which turns the gas "supercritical," which means the CO2 is both a gas and a liquid.
  • CO2 extraction provides higher yields and less loss of valuable resources as no reagents are necessary. Therefore, this extraction process is more economical to run.
  • The process can guarantee no residuals in the final product — suitable for medical-grade CBD oil.


  • This extraction process is one of the most commonly used because it is cheap. The alcohol soaks up the CBD and THC which can be separated by evaporation
  • On the flip side, alcohol is highly flammable. Any change in temperature can significantly alter the final product.


Ideal Answer

  • The ideal answer depends on the purpose of the extracted CBD. If its goal is medicinal, i.e., human consumption, then CO2 extraction is preferred.

Question #2 — What is the safest way to extract CBD?




  • There are safety requirements not only for the equipment but for the facility in which the processing will be conducted.
  • Because of the use of compressed gas, the facility must be a Class 1, Division 1 facility. This requirement also means the appropriately rated electrical equipment, as well as monitoring and evacuation equipment, must be present.
  • If ethanol or alcohol is used, there must be a vent hood or equivalent vented area.
  • IF CO2 is used, there must be audible alarms in case of leaks.

Ideal Answer

  • The ideal answer is one that allows the purchaser to check off every item on the above list.

Question #3 — What is the environmental impact?

  • For companies concerned about environmental sustainability, the residual agents, and their disposal effects on the environment are of concern.
  • Some extraction methods release gases into the atmosphere, some have unwanted chemicals that require disposal, and some do not affect the environment at all.

Ideal Answer

Value Add Information

  • There are other questions that do not have "ideal" answers because they are dependent upon the size of the operation.
  • What is the footprint of the equipment? It should fit safely and comfortably in the area it will be used.
  • Does it meet the scale of production the buyer is considering? Some machines are designed for home use and some for large scale production.
  • Is it automated or manual? The answer will determine the skill set required of the operator.
  • Is it scalable? If the buyer anticipates growth, the equipment should be able to start small and increase production as required.
  • Does the quoted price included a turnkey operation, or are there accessories that must be purchased? The total cost of ownership may be an important consideration.

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CBD Processing Equipment Sellers FAQ

Three questions sellers of CBD processing equipment should ask of buyers, in order to assist them with choosing the correct equipment, are what the end use of the product is, what material is being used to make the product, and what quantity of product the buyer is looking to process per day.

End Use

  • One main question sellers of CBD processing equipment should ask of their customers is what is the end use of the product they are trying to create.
  • The desired end product will determine what type of equipment to purchase. Different types of equipment use different solvents, and not all solvents are suitable for each end use.
  • For high quality CBD, especially for consumption (rather than for a topical application), the equipment itself must be made of food-grade materials and accessible for cleaning.
  • For human consumption, the safest solvent to use is CO2, but compressed gas and ethanol are also generally regarded as safe, however, different locals have different regulations.

Material Source

  • Sellers of CBD processing equipment should determine what type of material their buyer will be using, so they can identify the correct type of equipment for that material
  • CBD can be made from hemp and cannabis, although hemp is more common.
  • There are also variations in medical hemp verse industrial hemp. Medical hemp can provide a more concentrated CBD oil, but both plants can be processed to make a CBD oil. However, the processing techniques will differ and as such, it is important for the seller of the equipment to know what type of material is being used to provide the best equipment recommendation.


  • The seller should identify how much input material the buyer intends to process every day so they can recommend a machine capable of handling the intended input.
  • Machines range from entry level machines processing 10 lbs of material per day, to up to 600 or more pounds. Some systems have the ability to scale up, while most have a set input capacity.
  • As the input capacity increases, the cost of the machine does as well, so the buyer's budget will also need to be taken into consideration.

Research Strategy

The research team began by reviewing business guides intended for newly starting extraction businesses. These business guides provided expert statements on what questions they generally ask of CBD processors in order to identify the correct equipment to buy.

Once the key areas in question were identified, we looked for the answers to these questions and further context for the questions from equipment sellers and how-to guides for CBD extraction. For all questions, there was no single correct answer. The equipment recommendation depends on the buyer's intended end-product, input material, and expected quantity. Based on these answers, the seller can recommend the best equipment to buy.

From Part 03
  • "But Colorado farmers see the same hemp-processing logjams that hamper colleagues in other states. CBD extractors are too few, and fiber processors are almost nonexistent. As a result, some producers are moving into the extraction business for themselves."
  • "The company aims to boost the economies of these towns by offering affordable hemp processing services, which incentivizes local growers to add hemp to their crop rotation. "
  • "The company is continuing to scout new locations for local processing centers in Florida, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and several other states."
  • "Moreover, “A to Z” services for the farmers are available – from harvesting to drying, bagging, curing, storing, nitrogen sparging, machine trimming, hand trimming, and selling, creating a “one stop shop” for the small to large family farms. And with the soon-to-be addition of our third party, on-site testing labs from Digipath Labs, local farmers can do their testing, processing and selling in the same place"
From Part 08