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Using CBD leftover from the industrial purification of THC

Petar Petrov
Written by Petar Petrov

Even though cannabinoid extraction, as well as the cannabis industry as a whole, is evolving and becoming more and more precise and efficient, one thing seems to remain at a plateau – the waste of leftover compounds.

A couple of years ago, The Huffington Post reported on the huge amounts of medical cannabis resin, wasted in Canada and their hemp fields. Now, the CBD waste also comes from THC purification.

Because extraction companies are naturally concerned with making their products as pure as possible, they tend to forget about all the good stuff that is left behind. Many THC extractors simply dump perfectly good CBD as part of their waste, and with it, they waste opportunities – both for their growth and that of the industry as a whole.

Here are some ideas on using CBD leftover.

Philanthropic Ideas

Donate the leftover CBD for research or to patients in need, as simple as that. Clearly, few companies would actually go to the trouble of extracting CBD without needing it, but that doesn’t mean other companies that specialize in the compound won’t, even if it’s merely for charity.

Furthermore, just like Joey from Friends argues that there’s no truly selfless deed, the same would be true for this endeavor as well. Not only could something like this do wonders for a company’s brand identity and invoke real affinity, but if it was to grow into a widespread practice, it could sway the public’s opinion toward the positive side of the cannabis industry’s equivocal image.

Business: Converting CBD to THC

But even if a THC-oriented company is all about business, wasted CBD would still be wasted business. Because not only could such companies perhaps trade their leftover material with companies that specialize in CBD, but they could even convert CBD into THC themselves.

CBD can be converted to both delta-8-THC and delta-9-THC in a number of ways. (1)To give you a more concrete idea and a specific “recipe”, one of the tested methods goes as follows. Boiled-down to its essence without getting into the specific numbers, the idea of this method is that you need to:

  • Provide a reaction mixture of a catalyst and an organic solvent
  • Add CBD to that mixture and mixing it in
  • Give the mixture enough time to separate into an aqueous phase and an organic phase
  • Remove the organic phase

This is just one of the few tested methods for converting CBD into THC. As you can see, there are plenty of ways to put your CBD to good use. But dumping it is definitely not one of them.


  1. Webster et al. Conversion of cbd to delta8-thc and delta9-thc, FULL SPECTRUM LABORATORIES Ltd, US10469928

About the author

Petar Petrov

Petar Petrov

Petar is a freelance writer and copywriter, covering culture, art, society, and anything in-between that makes for a nice story. And as it so happens, cannabis is a great element to add to each of those conversations.

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