Refining Hemp Extracts: Standards and Innovation in the Hemp Industry

Refining Hemp Extracts

Refining hemp extracts is necessary to create pure, compound-specific hemp products. There are many hemp refinement processes, each with its own benefit to the products they help create. Today, we’ll discuss common hemp refinement processes and then highlight some unique ways we’re refining hemp extracts for our novel cannabinoid products.

Why Refine Hemp Extracts?

Before we talk about refining hemp products, we should discuss what we’re refining in the first place: hemp crude oil. Basically, hemp crude is the result of first-pass extraction, which is a process by which solvents remove trichomes from the flowers, leaves, and stems of hemp plants. Importantly, these trichomes include cultivar-specific mixes of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, all of which are valuable cannabis components.  

However, hemp crude also contains many other plant components, as well, like waxes, minerals, and carbohydrates. As such, many processors refine hemp crude to remove unwanted elements and isolate desired components.

There are many benefits to refining hemp extracts, like removing impurities, increasing potency, or isolating specific hemp-based compounds. Essentially, hemp refinement gives manufacturers more control over the products they create and gives retailers more opportunities to sell unique cannabinoid products.

Different Processes for Refining Hemp Extracts


Winterization is the process of removing plant waxes from crude hemp extract. Essentially, processors soak the crude oil in a solvent and then drop the solution below freezing. The process pulls lipids from the oil, which float to the top for processors to strain. Next, they purge the solvent from the solution leaving behind a more potent hemp extract.


Distillation is the next step in the hemp refinement process, which involves heating the extract to precise temperatures and then collecting and liquifying the evaporated elements. To clarify, each cannabis component has its own unique boiling point. That means that each element evaporates at its own special temperature. As such, manufacturers can heat the extract to the precise boiling point of the element they wish to extract and then collect the resulting vapors in purified form.

Hemp extracts generally undergo multiple rounds of distillation, focusing on the element with the lowest boiling point first.

Advanced Hemp Refining Processes

The hemp industry is always evolving, as are the ways we approach refining hemp extracts. For example, VCM offers many unique hemp products that have undergone further refinement and processing to improve bioavailability, increase potency, and expand access to various cannabinoid types. The following is a mere glimpse at our exciting new product line.  

PGF CBD Powder

Pharmaceutical-Grade Flowable CBD Powder is a tablet-type product made from thoroughly processed hemp extracts. Essentially, we process hemp and other botanical extracts into fine, measurable powders which we then test to determine exactly which elements are included in the powder and to what degree. Then we use simple math to calculate and formulate unique, highly targeted botanical blends. Finally, we press the powder into tablets to produce highly targeted products with incredibly precise dosing and predictability.

Nano CBD

Nano CBD is a unique hemp extract product, which we create by processing pure CBD isolate into extremely fine particles. Next, we coat these tiny elements with a special lipid coating to protect the product’s integrity and improve absorption into the body. In fact, some tests suggest that nano CBD products could be four times more potent than traditional CBD products. They also remain active in the bloodstream longer. We currently offer gummies, tinctures, and water-soluble sachets in our white-label nano CBD product line.

Alternative Cannabinoids

Alternative cannabinoids refer to hemp-based synthetic cannabinoids like Delta 8, Delta 9, Delta 10, and HHC. To be clear, these cannabinoids develop naturally in cannabis plants, just not in very high quantities. However, scientists can also create these cannabinoids in a lab from hemp-based CBD. Importantly, this makes them federally legal despite producing slight intoxication. Though the effects of these alternative cannabinoids vary by type, consumers often equate their effects to traditional Delta-9 THC, albeit to a slightly lesser degree.

Refining Hemp Extracts: Closing Thoughts

VCM has been growing, processing, and manufacturing hemp products for years. We’ve refined our processes many times since then to regularly bring hemp retailers new and unique cannabinoid products.

Contact us to learn more about our hemp refinement processes or view our product offerings now.

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