Happy New Year Everyone!
I had the chance to interview John Carberry, CEO of Snce Laboratories. Their “extraction” process is very different than the common CBD extraction techniques and results in a true full spectrum CBD oil that others have not been able to replicate. Here are the highlights of our conversation.
John- let’s start at the beginning.
What is a full spectrum CBD oil?
Good afternoon Amy, great question. Two qualify as a full-spectrum CBD oil, the product must contain must contain at least two cannabinoids (CBD and up to .3% THC), terpenes and other plant matter.
Where do you source your hemp?
We have been sourcing US grown hemp for over 4 years. Our most recent lots were grown by a farmer about 10 miles away from our Tennessee processing facility. We only use flowers.
Is producing full spectrum CBD oil hard to do?
The target compounds in hemp are hydrophobic meaning they don’t dissolve in water. There are two widely used extraction techniques, Super Critical Carbon Dioxide extraction (SCCO2) and the Solvent method.
The SCCO2 process uses pressurized carbon dioxide as a solvent to separate out the oil from plant matter. This process retains the cannabinoids, but loses the terpenes and other essential oils. Manufactures may try to retain terpenes by doing a shorter sub critical SS02 run or use ethanol to extract terpenes from the bud.
Many SCCO2 producers also remove chlorophyll which while a beneficial antioxidant, can impart a bitter taste to the product.
The oil is further processed by winterization removing fats, waxes and lipids.
To make a full spectrum product, manufactures use the winterized extracted oil and add terpenes back in to create pseudo full spectrum product that is missing all plant matter.
The solvent method is much cheaper to buy and set up as well as much easier to operate vs. SCCO2 production. The process is not as efficient as SCCO2 but does have the advantage of retaining all of the terpene content.
Care has to be taken to remove all of the ethanol or hydrocarbons prior to consumption. This is usually accomplished by temperature controlled evaporation.
How does Snce Laboratories make its full spectrum CBD oil?
We start using ethanol as a solvent but that is where the similarity to the other methods ends.
We take dried flowers + ethanol and add that slurry to a low temperature, high sheer force process. Large mechanical forces breaks the plant cells down to nano-size particles.To improve bioavailability, we retain all of the fats and lipids found in hemp. These fats and lipids surround the nano-sized hydrophobic compounds forming water soluble “envelopes.” The envelopes carry the hydrophobic compounds through our digestive tract and bloodstream, significantly improving bioavailability.
Our process also acts as a decarboxylation step converting CBD-A to CBD further improving potency.
After the application of mechanical energy, we remove cellulose using a centrifuge followed by removal of ethanol by evaporation.
The resulting oil contains everything that the hemp flower provides including the antioxidant chlorophyll which tints the oil green.
Doesn't the chlorophyll negatively impact taste?
Our oil tastes “hempy” and “grassy.” Taste is in part driven by chlorophyll but also from the terpene content of the flowers. Terpene content varies by strain, plant husbandry, soil/environmental conditions, and freshness.
We use chemical analysis to test and select our flowers to produce a consistent taste. Sourcing locally gives us control over freshness. We purchase freshly cut flowers, do our own low temperature drying step to remove water, then immediately process the dried flowers into our stock oil.
For those who don't like "hempy/grassy taste" we offer flavored full spectrum options as well as capsules for those who want the benefits of the full entourage effect without tasting a thing.
Is your process lower cost?
Yes. Our process is much more efficient than either SCCO2 or solvent producers. Green Serene is a true full spectrum product that is both more potent and affordably priced.