Over the years, research in the cannabis sector has opened our eyes to more hemp use cases—from curing medical diseases to providing bodily nutritional supplements to even powering our vehicles—the unlimited benefits of hemp continue to unfold with time.
But then, we cannot derive these hemp benefits if it remains in its natural state. We’ll need to process it to be able to use it for the various purposes that are economically beneficial or usable to us. In that case, we need specialized CBD extraction machinery to achieve this.
This guide will show you the complete CBD machinery you may need to source CBD oil, including equipment you could use to harvest, extract, and process CBD oil from hemp. Additionally, you’ll learn about some of the industries that use CBD machinery, as well as some factors to consider before choosing hemp CBD production machinery. Find out more below!
What Is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It is one of the most significant compounds found in cannabis, alongside tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (the high-inducing element of cannabis).
Research shows that CBD makes up for about 40% of cannabis extract and forms the primary ingredient used in the production of CBD oil and other hemp products, including hemp gummies, CBD gummies, and other medicines or supplements made from hemp.
CBD oil is very beneficial to food and drugs, biochemical, and textile industries. Its benefits are why cannabis is tremendously cultivated today. However, it doesn’t end with cultivating cannabis—you need machinery to harvest and process it and then extract the CBD oil from it. The collection of these CBD equipment is called CBD oil extractor machinery.
What Is CBD Machinery?
A CBD machinery comprises a set of equipment or procedures used to isolate and extract CBD from hemp. While CBD machinery may be used to extract other cannabinoids from hemp or cannabis, our primary focus in this article will be CBD oil.
The process of extracting CBD oil isn’t as straightforward as it may appear in theory. However, with CBD machinery, processing cannabis or hemp becomes easier. All the processes, from harvesting to extraction to filtration, even up to testing and packaging, become seamless and streamlined.
It’s important to note that cannabis or hemp contains so many impurities in their natural states. You need specialized and true CBD oil machinery to obtain the highest quality and purest form of CBD.
Moreover, the laws around cannabis remain unclear in many jurisdictions. So, certain mistakes can be hazardous to your end product and could attract legal sanctions such as a CTFO lawsuit or DEA or FDA interventions.
Types of CBD Machinery
There are many types of CBD oil machinery in the market today—more sets of equipment are being introduced to serve the evolving CBD and hemp industry. Here are some of the commonly used machinery for extracting CBD from hemp.
1. Extraction Machinery
The first of the many steps for producing CBD oil is extraction. And there is no perfect way to achieve this without an “extraction machinery.” Extracting CBD from hemp requires some biology and chemistry, in which you immerse the biomass/hemp into solvents like liquid CO2 or ethanol.
The underlying solvent used in the extraction process indicates the extraction machinery used. For instance, we have the CO2, hydrocarbon, and ethanol extractors. Also, recent developments have introduced solventless extractors that depend on mechanical intuition rather than solvents.
This is the most popular type of CDB extraction machinery due to its environmentally friendly nature. Here, High-pressure liquid CO2 forces out naturally occurring phytocompounds such as Cannabinoids from unrefined hemp plant material. Apart from this environmentally friendly extraction method, it also yields large amounts of concentrates.
You pump the chilled ethanol into the powdered hemp plant materials compartment when using the ethanol extractor. These materials are allowed to soak for about 10 minutes. The cannabinoids, both CBD and THC, dissolve in the solvent. Afterward, you filter the solution and obtain the extract. Grain and isopropyl alcohol are recommended solvents you could use here.
This process involves using mechanical agitation instead of chemicals to separate the cannabinoids and other essential oils from plant material. This method is often preferred to ethanol extraction because it reduces the chances of fire accidents when using a flammable solvent.
Also, it produces an extract free from unwanted solvents like alcohol. These methods also include using pressure, ice, heat, or water to separate. Examples of solventless extraction include Dry sieve agitation, Water extraction, and Rosin extraction.
Hydrocarbon extraction involves using hydrocarbons, such as propane and butane, as solvents to extract CBD from hemp plants using solvent extraction. Hydrocarbons have a way of ensuring that the extract obtained is very similar to the natural plant.
They can extract the relevant trichomes without bothering the other plant-based tissues present. This is one of the best CBD oil extraction machinery often used due to its natural content preservation.
2. Distillation Equipment
Distilling equipment comes in handy when separating the integral components of the CBD oil in a bid to get the purest oil. Let’s take a look at some of the common examples of these machines.
Short Path Distillation Systems (SPDS)
SPDS is also called fractional distillation and is a very common apparatus used in cannabis distillation. It is divided into three main components: a collection flask, a boiling flask, and a condensing head. The cannabis extract, also known as crude oil, is heated at different temperatures in a boiling flask.
The vapor is then passed through the condensing head, which turns the vapor into a liquid. The collection flask then collects the liquid residue and separates the THC and CBD contents or components. Depending on the temperature of the boiling flask, the collected distillates are separated and divided into three fractions: main, tails, and heads.
Wiped Film Distillation Systems
We use Wiped-film distillation systems for molecular distillation of raw hemp oil. They are often used in cannabis industries to remove and separate unwanted and heavy compounds from cannabinoids.
Because less pressure and heat are utilized in this process, which allows the used components to distill, condense, and evaporate on a balanced scale, wiped-film distillation ensures the production of high-quality CBD products. One benefit of this process is that it allows an even and excellent heat spread, ensuring less wastage.
Two distillation processes are involved in wiped film: Thin and Rolled film distillation. The rolled film distillation method can purify complex CBD materials by subjecting them to high boiling points or exposing them to high temperatures. Meanwhile, Thin Film distillation is commonly used for more specific purification processes such as devolatilization.
Molecular Distillation Equipment
This is often confused and used interchangeably with short-path distillation systems because they have almost the same features and traits. Molecular distillation is a new separation technology.
They are often used to separate liquid-to-liquid mixtures. It is done by subjecting these liquid mixtures to temperatures lower than the boiling point, which makes it different from the conventional distillation Equipment.
These machines are suitable for selective evaporation of target CBD products, desolvation of liquid after solvent extraction, and removal of other impurities. One benefit of this modern technology is that it stays on a heating surface for a short time; this reduces the chances of thermal decomposition.
3. Filtration Machinery
The next step after extracting and distillating CBDs from cannabis and hemp plant material is the filtration process. This filtration is done using equipment known as filtration machinery. This filtration machinery helps to remove undissolved mechanical particles floating on top of the CBD-extracted liquids. Three different types of filtration machinery are available today: filter presses, cartridges, and filtration skids. Let’s take a look at these machines and how they are used.
The filter press is one of the oldest filtration methods and is still in use. It efficiently separates solvent from substrate, particularly when little or no liquid is desired in the solid. Some parts of the filter press include Plates, Frames, Screens, Drip plates, filter paper, pipe manifold, valves, etc.
The slurry to be filtered is pumped into the filter press, and the liquid is forced out under pressure from the hydraulic press. After extraction of cannabis oil using solvents like ethanol, the resulting extract, which is usually in the form of a slurry, is passed through the filter press. The resulting filtrate undergoes another form of distillation to get an even better refined CBD oil.
These are tubular devices enclosed within a housing and used in filtration. The fluid to be filtered enters the housing’s inlet nozzle and, with the aid of pressure, travels through the cartridge, which filters off any contaminants or particulates from the fluid. The filtrate leaves the housing through the outlet.
Cartridge filters are of two main types: surface filters, for trapping the pollutants within their thin surface layer, and depth filters, which allow fluid to pass through or retain suspended particles within their multiple layers.
Other Filtered Cartridges include wound cartridge filters, melt-blown cartridges, air filter cartridges, pleated type cartridges, sintered cartridge filters, etc.
The best part of a filtration skid is its mobility. Moving the machine around makes it possible to use one filter at different locations in the plant. Hence, it saves you the cost of making several inbuilt filters around your industry.
Cartridge filtration technology is the foundation of industrial filtration skids. Filtration skids are filtration machinery that possesses one or more cartridge filters. The filtration skids can be customized with a pump and control box.
They are the easiest way to get your filtration system close to your production line. Most filtration skids often have bag filter housings where liquids to be filtered are stored for purification.
4. Drying Equipment
Also known as solvent recovery vessels. They are used to remove solvents like Ethanol or CO2 used in the earlier stages of the extraction process. That way, you can efficiently separate the CBD in the product material from the solvents or any other additives used in the extraction process.
You should carefully choose your drying equipment because this stage of the extraction process is usually delicate. Most of the materials at this stage are volatile organic compounds and could vaporize with miscalculations.
Common dryers or solvent recovery vessels used industrially include Rotary Evaporators, Falling Film Evaporators (FFE), and Rising Film Evaporators.
Also called RotoVaps, it depends on the difference in pressure and boiling points of the materials and solvents involved. Since CBD has a boiling point above 160 degrees Celsius, it becomes easier and more effective to separate solvents, which typically have lower boiling points. For instance, ethanol has a boiling point of 78 degrees Celsius, while CO2 has a BP of -78 degrees Celsius.
For rotary evaporators to work efficiently, they must possess certain essential components, including a rotary motor (or rotavapor), a condenser, an evaporating and receiving (chiller) flask, a vacuum pump and controller, etc. Through these apparatuses, you can pass and control the heat and pressure in the system and appropriately receive the CBD oil in the receiving flask.
Falling Film Evaporators (FFE)
Also known as a climbing film evaporator, FFE is another great drying option you could use in place of RotoVaps. They are best suited for highly heat-sensitive materials and solvents like ethanol and CO2.
Architecturally, a Falling Film Evaporator is vertically mounted as a shell and tube heat exchanger used in refineries. And like a RotoVap system, an FFE capitalizes on the difference in the boiling points of the materials in the vessel to produce high-quality cannabis extract oil.
Rising Film Evaporators
The rising film evaporator is an alternative to the falling film type. If you’re on a budget or farther deadline, this might be a good option for drying CBD extracts. However, rising film evaporators aren’t as effective as FFEs. Plus, they pay more attention to solid materials than fluids. That is why FFEs are more popular than RFEs in the CBD extraction space.
Meanwhile, RFE obeys the same heat exchange protocol as FFE. You can also control the heat or pressure in the system. Also, due to their longer residence times, they’re suitable for materials that need greater heat to vaporize or condense.
5. Testing Equipment
After separating the CBD from the solvents, you may still find THCs or some cannabinoid impurities in them. Because of that, you must always test the CBD oil extract after it has been dried. Testing equipment helps you to carry out this process seamlessly. Some of these testing machinery are:
Chromatography is commonly used in the laboratory to examine cannabinoids in hemp. It’s also effective industrially for separating THC or terpenes from CBD after drying.
For both cannabinoids to be successfully separated via chromatography, they must travel at different speeds through a stationary phase column. We have two common types in CBD oil extraction: high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography.
Potency analyzers are used to test the potency and strengths of the processed CBD extracts to ensure they are safe products. To explain in a simpler term, potency analysis or test are done to determine how much of the cannabis or hemp are in the sample of the cannabinoids.
This testing helps ensure that the products comply with regulations and the law. It also helps to identify contaminants, ensures proper dosing, and helps to maintain the industry’s reputation.
Mass Spectrometers are used to determine the mass spectrum of CBD. The mass spectrometry technique is used to examine cannabinoid concentrations and profiles, which are the hyphenated methods. This method uses a chromatographic column to isolate analytes by their retention time.
After this, you perform mass spectrometry on each of the separated analytes, one after the other, for further selective analysis. This helps to ensure a greater confidence in species identification. The most commonly used hyphenated method is the Liquid Chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).
6. Processing Machinery
After testing the CBD oil for purity, it is now fit to be shipped or processed into other usable products like CBD or hemp gummies, capsules, tinctures, and so on.
However, in this state, CBD oil may only be used for limited purposes. Therefore, it will need to be transformed into various distillates or ingredients that serve target industries like petroleum, drugs, and food.
In that case, you’ll need processing machinery to achieve this. Some procedural equipment includes refining or purification equipment, CBD product manufacturing, and emulsification or homogenization machines.
Refining and Purification Equipment
Earlier in the introduction, we mentioned that CBD oil use cases are a major reason we cultivate cannabis. However, without refining them for various purposes, there will be no such notion about CBD oil.
It is important to note that the CBD oil used for biofuel will need to be refined to serve the food or drug industry. At this stage, you also want to make sure that there are no impurities that could hamper future use of the CBD oil.
For instance, some industries may need some levels of THCs or terpenes in their CBD oil, while others may not. With refining and purification equipment, you can streamline the manipulation process to serve the intended process for which it was produced.
CBD Product Manufacturing
CBD products are growing in numbers. You need specialized equipment to transform CBD oil into finished products like medicines, supplements, and edible gummies.
Meanwhile, this would depend on the industry or brand that needs the oil for whatever purpose they plan to use it for.
Manufacturing machines streamline CBD product procedures and ensure you do not produce end products that can cause legal or health concerns.
Emulsification and Homogenization
Emulsification and homogenization of CBD oil is when you add other additives that may not, under normal circumstances, dissolve or blend with CBD oil. Substances like these may be required to produce the desired CBD product in the market.
You’ll need special emulsifiers and homogenization machines to make this work. This is also the part where medical market scams that claim to offer quality CBD oil products or supplements occur. You also need to abide by the CTFO, DEA, and FDA laws if you intend to manufacture food, drugs, and CTFO CBD cream or materials.
7. Packaging Machinery
Packaging machinery enables packaging operations ranging from primary packages to distribution packs. This packaging process involves fabrication, cleaning, combining, filling, labeling, overlapping, sealing, and palletizing. Below are some of the CBD product packaging machinery that is often used.
Liquid Filling Machines
Liquid-filling machines are semi-automatic machines that fill the right amount of liquid into a container or bottle. CBD liquid filling machines are designed to fill a volume of CBD oil into a bottle specifically and carefully seal it using a dropper cap or screw-on cap.
These machines work on the principle of gear pump filling. They are easy to operate and have low power consumption. Its weighing mechanism can regulate both liquid volume and viscosity. Its main filling capacity is between 2 and 30 ml bottles.
Capsule Filling Machines
The fastest way to package capsules or drugs is through the use of capsule-filling machines. Capsule-filling machines are automatic devices that enable different industries, such as pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetic industries, to encapsulate their products. These filling machines suit large, small, and medium-scale production processes.
Capsule fillers are also known as encapsulates. Their work is to fill empty capsules made of gelatin with granules, semi-solid, liquid substances, and, most times, powders. The process of filling these relations is known as encapsulation.
Technological advancements have made the provision for many capsule-filling machines to be manufactured ranging from manually operated, semi-automatic to automatic encapsulators.
As the name suggests, labeling machines are used to apply labels to products or packages. There are two types of labeling machines often used: automatic and semi-automatic. The semi-automatic labeling machines are particularly designed for applying labels on little productions.
It is used in different packaging tools, including bottles, tubes, boxes, etc. Automatic, on the other hand, is designed for bulkier productions. It is mainly used in large manufacturing companies.
The sealing machine is the last type of machine used in this packaging process. They are used to seal CBD containers. This helps to ensure leak guarding and air tampering prevention.
It goes a long way in preserving and prolonging the CBD product’s freshness. In this sealing process, you can either use automatic sealing machines or you use semi-automatic sealing machines. They both serve almost the same sealing effects and process. The best type of package sealer is the automatic induction sealer.
8. Crystallization Equipment
Crystallizing CBD is another way to get a high-purity CBD. Achieving this requires introducing a different solvent like pentane or heptane. Usually, the CBD oil is first winterized in a freezer using a filter reactor. Afterward, it is distilled in any of the near-boiling solvents, which forces it to crystallize gradually.
It’s recommended that you run some tests after crystallizing or winterizing CBD oil to ensure it doesn’t contain THCs or Terpenes. Moreover, your test results shouldn’t be anywhere below 89% pure CBD. Nonetheless, there is some equipment you could use to expedite crystallizing CBD oil and ship it for industrial processing. They are crystallization reactors, cooling systems, and filtration units for crystals.
A crystallization reactor simplifies any complexity in producing high-purity CBD crystals. It does this by combining a set of equipment, including a water heater, a distillate collection vessel, a diaphragm pump, and the crystallizing vessel.
The water heater ensures that steam or heat is efficiently passed into the solvents in a controlled temperature environment. The distillate collection vessel receives and stores the purified CBD crystals after they pass through the crystallizing vessel or reactor and condense at room temperature.
A cooling system is often called a winterizing vessel. It is one of the first moves to producing pure CBD crystals. Typically, this involves drying the CBD oil from any solution used in inducing it out of the biomass, then cold crashing at lower temperatures to produce a clear distillate which is then sent to the filtration unit for crystallization. You may skip this process by using a crystallization reactor.
Filtration Units for Crystal
The filtration unit is where the CBD is purified or impurities removed to ensure that the result after crystallization is highly pure. You may use a freezer or filter reactor to achieve the desired result. This is so that the CBD crystallizes after complete purification in the filtration unit.
Application of CBD Machinery
Today, we have various sectors where we can find CBD machinery. This is a testament to the growth of the CBD industry. Having seen the different types of CBD machinery in the previous section, here are some departments that use them:
CBD Extraction Facilities
CBD extraction equipment is used in the cleanroom of extraction facilities to extract cannabidiol (CBD) from the plant materials of hemp or cannabis.
These extracted CBD materials are then used to produce different products like oils, gummies, tinctures, etc. These equipment are used in these facilities to extract CBDs on a large scale.
Processing and Refining Facilities
CBD machinery is used in refining and processing industries to subject the extracted CBD to further purification and refining. All unwanted and unrefined compounds, such as terpenes and other plant matter, are isolated or removed during this purification process.
The refined CBD is then utilized to produce and manufacture different products or formulations. Distillation equipment, chromatography, and filtration systems are some CBD machinery often found in these processing and refining facilities.
CBD Manufacturing Facilities
Manufacturing industries use CBD and heavy machinery to encapsulate or enclose end products in capsules. Additionally, these machines are used to seal and package these CBD products after production.
Another CBD oil machinery used in CBD manufacturing is the labeling machine used to add product information and labels on the products. After which they are shipped off or supplied to different retailers to distribute to consumers.
Other common CBD machinery in manufacturing facilities include sealing machines, liquid filling, capsule filling, packaging machines, etc.
Research and Development Labs
Research and development laboratories (labs) use CBD machinery to develop a new CBD product plan, conduct experiments, and perform data and chemical analysis.
Researchers and scientists use these machines to examine and analyze the conceivable risks, benefits, and applications of CBDs.
These machines can help test the potency and purity of CBD-extracted samples or analyze their phytochemical profile. Afterward, the researchers or scientists can conduct studies and tests about the biochemical effect of CBD on cell organisms.
This thorough research ensures that the final product realized at the end of the extraction, purification, and manufacturing process does not cause health risks such as CBD oil mold illness.
CBD Product Retailers
CBD product retailers are the middlemen between the CBD manufacturers and consumers. They use CBD machinery in their retail or e-commerce niche, such as online CBD stores, pharmacies, wellness shops, etc., to streamline CBD oil distribution and transactions.
Some retailers do not directly use these CBD machinery in their operation as their only job is to sell and supply the products. However, they may work with the manufacturers to ensure these products reach the final consumers.
Even though these retailers may not explicitly use these machines, their job in the whole production and distribution process can not be overlooked or neglected.
Factors To Consider Before Choosing CBD Oil Extraction Machinery
Certain factors must be considered when purchasing or choosing CBD oil extraction machinery to suit your production needs. These factors include:
This refers to the highest product output your business can generate within a given time frame while utilizing the resources at its disposal. Knowing your production capacity would help you budget and get the right equipment to suit your current operating levels.
For instance, there’ll be no use in getting equipment if you don’t have the right workforce to operate them. You will either go for a less sophisticated machine with the same functionality or get training for your staff to equip them with the necessary skills.
Cost is like the apex of the decision-making process. This is because your budget goes a long way in determining the machine to settle for at the end of the day. Therefore, before you choose or purchase any equipment, you should conduct market research and cost analysis by weighing the cost of getting the machines against the profit from selling products. Adjustments would be needed if the machine’s projected price exceeds the perceived earnings.
Flexibility of the machinery is another factor that must be considered before you purchase any equipment. It is important to go for machines that are not just restricted to one usage or purpose. This means that you should rather opt for machines that can perform different tasks, as this goes a long way in saving both money and time. Therefore, before purchasing any product, you must ask yourself, how flexible is the machine you want to purchase?
Owing largely to the fact that both CBD and heavy machinery in general, when exposed to severe weather and environmental impacts, are prone to early and easy damage, it is important to choose machines that can withstand any form of environmental exposure or impact. This is why environmental impact is one of the most important factors to consider in selecting a suitable and long-lasting CBD machinery.
Settling CBD machinery with easy-to-use features and a control system is the best choice. Therefore, ensure you watch out for this feature when choosing the best equipment for your production.
Knowing the best extraction method suitable for your choice of production is also important when purchasing this machinery. Every extraction machine has its unique application. Ensure you know these extraction methods, as this will help simplify your job.
CBD machinery saves you time and makes CBD oil extraction and processing seamless and more efficient. Different sets of CBD machinery may be used together or distinctively depending on your production style and the purpose of the CBD oil.
You must understand that it doesn’t end at purchasing or investing in these sets of equipment or machinery—maintaining them is what makes them last long and gives the desired service you crave. Moreover, you must go for durable and sustainable CBD oil production machinery to avoid contaminating the finished products.
If you are lost on where to find quality CBD machinery that will suit your taste perfectly, then look no further. SaintyCo provides you with the excellent CBD machinery or equipment you could need, including equipment used for conditioning and packaging, research and development, or even manufacturing. You may check our product catalog for more details.
Is CBD Machinery Expensive?
CBD machinery is quite pricey for several reasons, such as the demand, size, and apparatus included in the equipment set. Additionally, considering the cost of assembling these different sets of tools to work together also contributes to the net cost.
How Long Does CBD Machinery Last?
CBD machinery typically has a long lifespan. However, how long it will last may depend on your maintenance culture and machine care.
Can You Extract CBD With a Press?
Yes, you can extract CBDs with a filter press. Filter presses are considered the best and most efficient solutions for extracting and producing high-quality CBD oil.