As a responsible consumer of CBD, it’s important to know a little about the pharmacology of the hemp plant and the laws that regulate its production and sale. To help you answer questions from your family, friends, and colleagues, we have prepared this resource page about our CBD extraction process and how this relates to the controversial delta 8 THC molecule.
As you may know from our article about broad-spectrum vs. full-spectrum CBD, the cannabis sativa plant produces over 100 different compounds called cannabinoids, which each have a slightly different molecular structure and affect our bodies in different ways. Of these 100+ compounds, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is most well-known for its psychoactive effects, and cannabidiol (CBD) is best known for its role in upregulating the endocannabinoid system without “getting you high.”
Although we hear a lot about THC and its removal during the CBD extraction process, this label actually describes a family of cannabinoids that are all slightly different in their molecular structure.
The cannabinoid that people are usually referring to — and the one that is a controlled substance — is delta 9 THC from marijuana. However, other THC cannabinoids — like delta 8 THC — can be found in much smaller amounts in both the “hot” marijuana plant and legal hemp.
Although the structure of delta 8 THC (D8) has exactly the same elements and the same number of atoms as delta 9 THC, it has one double bond that is located in a different place in the molecule. This small difference changes the way that the cannabinoid affects our bodies.
Like the regular kind of THC, delta 8 THC is an antiemetic. That means that it can help with nausea. It is also slightly psychoactive, but not to the same extent as delta 9 THC. The main reason this cannabinoid isn’t more popular is that it is only produced by the cannabis plant in trace amounts, and D8 sold on the market is usually derived from other cannabinoids from hemp — including CBD — using a catalyst that causes a chemical reaction.
Rest assured, CBD does not turn into delta 8 THC during the regular CBD extraction process because the heat is not sufficient for completing the conversion.
The 2018 Farm Bill paved the way for the hemp industry to grow and flourish with clearer laws regarding hemp cultivation and sale. However, THC has remained a sticking point that continues to plague businesses today. According to the Farm Bill, all of the components of the hemp plant (hemp is a cannabis strain that contains less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis) are defined as legal, and so are their extracts and derivatives. This means that while THC from marijuana is a federally controlled substance, THC derived from industrial hemp is completely legal in concentrations not exceeding 0.3%.
However, on the 20th of August, 2020, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration published an interim final ruling (IFR) that effectively removed the provisions made in the 2018 Farm Bill with regards to hemp-derived THC analogs and extracts. According to this ruling, all synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (similar to delta 8 THC in structure) are now considered controlled substances — no matter their origin. Furthermore, any hemp extract containing more than 0.3% THC — including each stage of the CBD extraction process — is also now considered a controlled substance.
If you weren’t already shopping for THC products derived from hemp, this might not seem like a major problem. However, the hemp extract part of the equation could have extensive implications for consumers of CBD and the businesses like EndoCoast that manufacture it. According to this ruling, any hemp extract must contain less than 0.3% to be legal. However, it is near impossible to complete the CBD extraction process without the THC levels exceeding 0.3% at some point.
Dry hemp material doesn’t contain levels above the 0.3% limit. However, “work in progress hemp extract” (WIPHE) often does. This THC content (including delta 8 and delta 9 THC) is removed using a supercritical C02 extraction process once the hemp oil has been extracted from the plant, leaving undetectable amounts of THC and a fully legal hemp-derived product.
At EndoCoast, we are committed to producing quality CBD from legal hemp to help you find greater balance and calm. In our CBD extraction process, we use supercritical CO2 to create a clean, cannabidiol-rich hemp extract that contains all of the nutritious compounds of hemp without toxic solvents or psychoactive THC.
For complete confidence in our final products, we have every batch tested at an independent lab and provide the certificates of analysis so you can see that our products contain no THC, pesticides, or foreign contaminants. The broad-spectrum oil produced in our CBD extraction process is then mixed into a range of cutting-edge products to help you #findyourcoast because we know that every CBD customer is unique and has specific health and wellness goals.