It’s one of the “buzziest” buzz words these days: Cold-pressed olive oil, Cold press juice, Cold-pressed hemp oil, Cold-pressed CBD, Cold-pressing, and so the list goes on. So why is cold-pressing the preferred method for creating amazing juices, superior olive oils, and the best CBD? The answer is in the extraction method and why cold-pressing is the preferred method for extracting–without damage–the polyphenols, terpenes, prized flavors, micronutrients, and others, otherwise inaccessible yummy goodness of the fruits, seeds, and flowers we cold press. Our CBD101 guide walks you through what cold-pressed CBD is and how it stacks up with other cold-pressed products like juices and olive oils you already know and love.
What is a cold press?
Cold-pressing (usual oil) is a method of extraction whereby essential oils are extracted from some kind of fruit, flower, or seed. In this process, fruits and seeds are ground up and squeezed under great pressure to separate the oils from fruit or seed pulp. The simplest example of this can be found in olive oil or hemp seed oil; both products can be extracted by cold-pressing the fruits/seeds to obtain the oils.
There is no heat used at all in cold pressing and this is what makes the process so unique.
The most important aspect of the cold-press extraction process is in the word “cold.” There is no heat used in cold pressing, which makes the process so unique and what makes cold-pressed products so desirable. When heat is used during extraction, it can speed up the process, but it can also denature the polyphenols, terpenes, and many other micronutrients, which give the oils much of their characteristic flavor.
For example, many olive oils on the market today do not use the older, cold-pressed method but are extracted using a centrifuge which is a more economical extraction method with less waste. However, consumers themselves have indicated that the more traditional cold-pressed oils have a preferable flavor profile and, even if this extraction method is archaic by today’s standards, it is still preferential as the end product tastes better. For most European olive oils, this means that the temperature during extraction does not get above 27ºC (80ºF), ensuring that the flavors, polyphenols, and micronutrients remain intact in the finished product.
the indication first cold pressing may appear only for extra virgin or virgin olive oils obtained at a temperature below 27°C/80°F from a first mechanical pressing of the olive paste by a traditional extraction system using hydraulic presses.
– Official Journal of the European Union
Ditto the findings of cold-pressing for the cold-pressed juicing community who charge a premium for their ultra-fresh, on-demand product. Cold-press juicing uses only raw, fresh ingredients, no heat, and a cold-press “masticating” process to separate fiber, cells, and juice is a cold–” no heat” process. The resulting juice stands head-and-shoulders above competing products firstly because it is hard to beat the freshness and, secondly, because of the elevated flavor profile obtained through the cold-press method extracting additional micronutrients, flavonoids, terpenes, and polyphenols to round out the flavor.
As you can see, cold-pressing is an ancient mechanical process used to extract oil from fruit, seeds, and flowers, which uses no heat (at least less than 27ºC/80ºF by modern standards) and which produces a superior juice or oil which contains high levels of micronutrients, polyphenols, and flavors.
Why is cold pressing better than heat or chemical extraction?
For someone wanting to extract oils from plant material, cold-pressing will retain more of the natural, characteristic properties of the oil, like the fragrance, the flavor, the increased nutritional value, and the purity. The drawback to this process is that extraction may take longer or will not extract the same volume of oil that a heat-driven process might. However, the quality of heat-driven extractions suffers greatly as vital elements can be damaged by the heat, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Cold-pressed juices, cold-pressed olive oils, and now cold-pressed CBD oil all share this unique characteristic of exceptional quality. Yes, it is harder to make and more labor-intensive. Yes, cold-pressing will not generate the same volumes of a finished product that other extraction processes can provide, but cold-pressing will provide you with nutrition and flavor that no other extraction method can come close to.
For Soulsome’s cold-pressed CBD oils, the choice was a simple one, to create a flavorful, nutritious CBD oil with unrivaled purity, cold-pressing was the only option. Furthermore, Soulsome’s carrier oil selection (the oil used to dilute or “carry” the potent full-spectrum CBD oil) is a cold-pressed, organic and extra-virgin hemp seed oil. The extra-virgin appellation means it is of the highest possible quality with low acidity, and oil of this nature typically has a superior micronutrient content and exceptional nutritional value.
There is a reason hemp seed oil is so often called “nature’s most well-balanced oil.” This is mainly because hemp seed oil has a perfect ratio of 3:1 of essential fatty acids, Omega-3, Omega-6, and Gamma-Linolenic acid. As a result, only hemp seed oil contains 70-80% polyunsaturated fats (the good kind of fats)–the highest of any oil derived from plants. Hemp seeds are also excellent sources of protein (second only to soybeans), with hemp seeds containing all of the 20 known amino acids and the nine essential amino acids that the human body cannot make. Compared to the old standard of CBD carrier oils–MCT, cold-pressed, extra-virgin hemp seed is in a class of its own for nutritional value and healthful benefits.
An extraction method that honors the plant
There are certainly drawbacks to using cold-pressing as the preferred extraction method of a full-spectrum CBD oil; most notable is that it limits the volume of oil produced from a single harvest. However, there is something rather special about cold-pressed oil that other oils lack. For example, olive oil producers often remark how oils made from a modern centrifuge extraction and a typical cold-press extraction differ significantly. The taste and smell of the cold-pressed oils are most apparent, which is so distinct that the centrifuge-derived oils pale in comparison.
Secondly, the cold-press extraction method seems to honor the plant as so many factors go into a good cold-press extraction. For example, the room temperature when the cold-press discs are loaded with the fruit paste and stacked one on top of the other, the timing of the press, the decanting, and the skimming process are all manual and seem to be closer to a labor of love than an industrial production process.
As we are starting to see in olive oil trends, the oils with character of flavor are the ones that stand out at competition, where pungent, robust and individual flavors seem to win out over competitors, which often taste much the same.
This is doubly true for Soulsome’s cold-pressed raw hemp CBD oil. Firstly the distinctive flavor is no mistake, but a hallmark of the purity of the oil and a testament to the character the cold-pressing process imbues our oil with. The nutty, earthy, and grassy/artichoke flavors which wash over the tongue in stages cannot be created with chemical, heat, or gas extraction methods. The cold press guarantees that Soulsome’s raw hemp CBD is made in small, artisanal batches, emphasizing the purity of the oil and the preservation of the natural flavors of the hemp flowers and seeds. The nutritional value of Soulsome’s range of oils goes beyond the needs of a simple delivery mechanism for CBD oil and ensures that Soulsome’s adherents ingest a highly nutritious, protein and amino-packed oil with many nutritional benefits beyond those obvious benefits already offered by CBD itself.
The essential difference between cold-pressed CBD oils and others is a simple one. This of oils extracted by chemical, heat, and gas processes as being sterilized, benign, and, in a sense, “stripped” of the plant’s essence. On the other hand, cold-pressed oils are rich, almost fecund, and brimming over with the essential nutrients, flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids from the plant. This is a much richer, fuller, and robust CBD, with its distinctive flavor and nutrition profile which leaves nothing to be desired.
All this and obvious environmental benefits
Cold-pressing has one additional benefit over other extraction methods; it is a more environmentally-conscious method of production, which has stood the test of time. The pulped raw hemp flowers leftover from our cold-press process, which extracts the oils are immediately compostable and can also be turned into feed for animals. Due to there being no contaminants or toxic chemicals used in the extraction process, this flower pulp can be re-purposed or allowed to degrade naturally into compost.
Other extraction methods are not as carefully conceived. Around 70-80% of the biomass of the plant matter cannot be used after extraction because it is saturated with alcohol or other toxic chemicals. This means it is shipped off to the landfill and will probably still be there, perfectly preserved when the sun eventually goes supernova in a few million years.
What aren’t all oils made this way?
The simple answer to this is that there is a difference in production focus between cold-pressing and other extraction methods. Other extraction methods like alcohol or CO2, for example, are built for maximum yield from each extraction and maximum profit, with an eye to the easy scalability of the operation as business needs grow. This is a good model if your interests are purely business and making a buck.
As an alternative, the cold-press CBD extraction process focuses on purity, flavor, and nutrition, a very different kettle of fish from the one described above. Because cold-pressing is such an ancient process, it is not as commercially focussed as cold-pressing. Instead, Cold-pressing evolved from the need to extract a pure, flavorful oil with maximum nutrition and health benefits rather than pursuing a profit and scalability model. It’s one of the reasons Roman cold-presses are still to be found in Tunisia and Morocco to this day because the communities that used them appreciated the value and goodness they brought to the community. Cold-pressing honors this time-bound tradition, while it also honors the plant and the consumer with superior taste, superior nutrition and, a superior experience of nature’s bounty.