An Essential Guide to How CBD Oil is Made – Explosion

Cannabinoid or more popularly known as CBD is a natural compound found in the cannabis plant. In more recent years it has become a flourishing trend for wellness and medicinal purposes to people across the world. 

Minus the THC compound that creates the ‘high’ feeling of marijuana, CBD oil provides an eclectic range of benefits to a person’s overall health. CBD oil aids people who are suffering from pain, soreness, anxiety and helps in more complex ailments such as epilepsy, MS and cancer symptoms. 

However, it is not accessible to obtain its advantages by plainly purchasing a hemp plant. The essential compound must be extracted efficiently and be transformed into CBD oil so that it can be infused in products such as tinctures, edibles, oils, and creams. 

There are various ways to extract CBD oil, but the goal of extraction is to produce cannabinoids in its purest form with high concentrations for human use. To improve and achieve an unadulterated oil with higher THC, some experts opt for cannabis distillate, which is the final step of the extraction and purification method that produces an odorless, tasteless and viscous oil. To understand the other processes involved, we look into the various methods of how CBD oils are extracted.

CO2 Extraction
This form of extraction is fairly common and used to create rich CBD oil extracts. The method uses high-pressure carbon dioxide. The gas is transformed into a liquid because of the high pressure and is then passed through the hemp plant material. This method is 90% effective. The resulting extract produces a pure, high concentred CBD oil.  The process requires expensive equipment and experienced operators, so the resulting oil is higher priced than others available in the market.

Ethanol Extraction
This is one of the cheaper ways to extract CBD oil from a plant. Many companies use this method because of the lower costs involved. It can still give out high-quality oil but will need higher expertise and post-extraction processing.  An alcohol solvent, more commonly called as ethanol is used. Ethanol is generally considered safe by the FDA and is regularly used as a food preservative and additive in most grocery store supplies.

Ethanol is a solvent that will mix with water and also dissolve water-soluble molecules to derive the desired cannabis compounds. Chlorophyll is one of the compounds that ethanol will extract together with the CBD oil. The result produces a dark-colored oil with a grassy, bitter flavor.

Hydrocarbon Extraction
One of the first methods used to extract CBD oil, it uses a light hydrocarbon solvent. Butane, propane, hexane, isopropyl alcohol or acetone are used as solvents. These solvents have a low boiling point and can conveniently be used to extract CBD oil. This cheap method, however, comes with a variety of problems. The final oil generally contains a lower concentration of terpenes and CBD and a higher concentration of THC.  It can also leave unsafe residue making it an unpopular choice for major CBD companies today.

Lipid Extraction
This method uses fats or lipids to absorb hemp compounds. Coconut oil is often used in the extraction process. This way does not require any harmful solvents or CO2.

Process After Extraction
After the CBD has been extracted from the hemp plant and prior to it being ready for consumer use, the oil must undergo additional post-process procedures. The natural compounds found in the cannabis plant come in acid forms, such as cannabidiolic, tetrahydrocannabinolic, and cannabigerolic acids. These raw cannabinoids must be stimulated to produce the desired oil.

This method activates CBD oil for human use. Prior to the extract being decarboxylated, there is no naturally present CBD or THC present in the hemp plant.
This process activates CBD oil for human consumption. Instead, phytocannabinoids are found in an acidic state, known as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA). The process of decarboxylation converts these inactive elements to generate a high-quality end product.

This is the method of removing unwanted fatty acids, plant materials and chlorophyll contained in your CBD oil extract. This process is where non-polar articles such as hash oil are combined with a polar substance like ethanol at sub-zero temperatures. This allows the waxes and lipids such as the fatty acids from the rough extract to go to the top of the mixture, which can easily be taken out through the filtration method.

What Happens After Extraction?

After extraction, the cannabinoids other than CBD are still present. If it is extracted from the hemp plant, the amount of THC present is 0.3% or lower. This THC content makes it legal across the United States.

Full-spectrum CBD oils also carry encouraging elements from the hemp plant, such as terpenes and amino acids. Some consumers prefer not to have THC present in their oil, even in low legal quantities. These people favor CBD isolates where the extract is cooled and further purified into a crystalline isolate. This produces a white, odorless, flavorless powder. If a product contains pure CBD, with no THC, it costs less.

Whether one needs a full spectrum CBD or a CBD isolate, the end produced CBD oil is infused to other substances to create popular wellness products like tinctures, creams, lotions, vapes, and edibles.