A close-up photo of a hemp plant

How is Your Hemp Extracted?

There are various methods manufacturers use to extract cannabinoids from hemp, but they aren't all created equal.

How is Your Hemp Extracted?

Published on: 06/12/2022

At Kriva, we understand botanical extraction and the commitment to safety required to extract cannabinoids from hemp. So, what should athletes know about hemp extraction? In this article we discuss the different types of hemp extraction and how each method can impact the purity and potency of products. 


What and why is hemp extraction required? 


Hemp extraction is required to capture the miraculous compounds, called “phytocannabinoids”, from the tiny flower glands present on the plant’s flowers and small leaves. Hemp extraction is required as consuming cannabinoids from raw hemp flower can be done in very few ways1. Being able to remove and concentrate the phytocannabinoids into a raw ingredient allows for more precise dosing and safety analysis. 


How does hemp extraction work? 


The foundation of hemp extraction is, “likes-dissolve-likes.” There are three common methods of hemp extraction: CO2, ethanol, and water. 

Both CO2 and ethanol can easily dissolve cannabinoids based on properties called “polarity.” In these processes, hemp flowers are pulverized and mixed with solvents. In the case of CO2, the pressures and temperatures are manipulated to utilize the gas-liquid properties of CO2 that can be easily manipulated. The resulting oils from the initial extraction must then be further purified through additional exposure to solvents, or chemical separation.2 Ethanol and CO2 hemp extraction produces a thick syrup oil commonly referred to as, “crude oil” and are made up of processed cannabinoids, such as CBD. This ingredient contains detectable levels of THC. 

Water-based extraction methods, like the products that Kriva ingredients come from is akin to tea and beer brewing methods. The whole hemp flower and leaves can be mixed with water to produce a highly pure and dry powered ingredient. The water-based method eliminates the extraction of THC making the raw ingredients a true broad-spectrum ingredient. Water-based methods contain large amounts of natural phytocannabinoids such as CBDA and CBGA. 


How does extraction affect the final product? 


For athletes, the biggest consideration is if the ingredient contains THC. A full Certificate of Analysis (COA) from a reputable third-party qualified laboratory should be supplied through transparent traceability. The batch listed on the package should match the batch listed on the COA. Athletes should consider the what types of cannabinoids they want to utilize as water-based methods provide the more potent and bio-available form called CBDA. 


To learn more about extraction methods view our extraction comparison infographic. 



  • Phytocannabinoids from raw hemp flower can be consumed by raising the temperature of the cannabinoids so they become volatile and can be inhaled or through raw juicing or baking of the flower.

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