CBD Extraction Methods: A Guide to How CBD Oil Is Made

CBD Extraction Methods


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What are the best CBD extraction methods? CBD is naturally a versatile compound. It exists in multiple forms. In addition to that, there are several methods of extracting CBD oil. But of all the methods, what is the best one? On the other hand, why do we need to extract CBD hemp oil and what happens after extraction? To find out more about this below is a comprehensive review with all the answers.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD is a compound that’s found in the cannabis plant. It’s one of the hundreds of compounds found in hemp and marijuana. Although hemp and marijuana are all cannabis plants, they have different concentrations of CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive so it doesn’t alter the way the mind functions.

Understanding the Different Types of CBD Oil Products

There are several kinds of CBD oil products. Each form has a different level of effectiveness in the body. Understand that some provide instant and temporary effects. Alternatively, others that provide long-lasting effects. Common types of CBD products include:

CBD Edibles

These include CBD hemp oil products for ingestion. CBD edibles include forms such as gummies, cookies, and other forms of edibles. These products are vital in relieving chronic pain because of their long-lasting effects. However, the effects of CBD edibles usually take longer to kickstart. This is because the compound has to undergo the digestion process that sometimes takes hours.

Tinctures and sprays

Tinctures and sprays are for sublingual application. CBD droplets are placed under the tongue. The consumer needs to wait for a minute or so before spitting or swallowing the oil. With sublingual intake, the oil reaches the bloodstream via the blood capillaries found in the mouth’s lining.

 Topical products

They include creams, balms, patches, and lotions. CBD topicals are normally applied to the skin. They are for external use and act on a specific part of the body. Topical CBD products don’t reach the bloodstream. Instead, the CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system found in the skin.

CBD vape oil

This is a product that’s designed for inhalation. CBD vape oil is normally used with the vape pen. You need to heat the oil under high temperatures to produce vapor. It is this CBD vapor that you need to inhale. CBD will get into the bloodstream via the lung’s lining.

What Exactly Are CBD Extraction Methods?

Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the most sought-after components from the cannabis plant. CBD extract is known worldwide thanks to its wide range of health benefits. CBD extracts come in different forms and, therefore, they exhibit different properties. This includes CBD isolates, broad-spectrum CBD, and full-spectrum CBD.

CBD Extraction Methods: Why Do We Need To Extract?

Why can’t we just use the hemp plant as a whole instead of extracting pure CBD oil?  The reason why you need to separate cannabinoid from the plant is to make it consumable to humans. Understand that consuming raw CBD oil has an unpleasant taste. In addition to that, you will not get the same benefits as you would with the concentrated extract. Cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are only effective if there is an application of heat (or if they are decarboxylated).

It should be noted that if you dry the cannabis plant, it will end up being partially decarboxylated. On the other hand, vaping or smoking will make the cannabinoids instantly decarboxylated. That’s why the cannabinoids become easily absorbable via inhalation.

Several ingestion methods require decarboxylation. This includes ingestion CBD oils, edibles, and capsules. After decarboxylation, the body can fully take advantage of the CBD through the process of digestion.

Note: it should be noted that raw herbal hemp plants can also be a host of a broad range of microbes. This can pose a serious health risk in case you end up consuming it like that. So, extraction and purification are important in the removal of microbes. Extraction helps to eliminate microbes. In addition to that, it also helps to eliminate other unwanted compounds like waxes and lipids. These compounds can be detrimental to your health.

CBD Extraction Methods- Common Extraction Process

Do you want to know how to extract CBD oil from hemp? Well, there are several methods that you can use. The most common methods include CO2 extraction, natural solvents, steam distillation, and hydrocarbon method.

CO2 Extraction

Also known as carbon dioxide extraction, CO2 extraction involves the use of supercritical carbon dioxide. It’s normally used to separate the CBD oil from the hemp plant. Supercritical CO2 contains both liquid and gaseous states.

There are several series of pressurized chambers and pumps that expose CO2 to high pressure. On the other hand, the temperature is low resulting in the extracted oil to contain a high concentration of CBD oil extract.

Solvent extraction

It involves the use of natural solvents and hydrocarbons. The solvent is used to separate the oil from the plant material. The resulting mixture, therefore, contains CBD oil extract with the solvent. To pure natural CBD oil, the solvent evaporates, thereby leaving pure CBD oil behind…

This is a highly effective method that’s affordable. However, the use of solvents such as hydrocarbons create health concerns. These solvents contain toxic residues that can increase the risk of cancer in case their traces remain the extract.

 Note: to avoid the possible effects of hydrocarbons, always use natural solvents like ethanol. However, they also have downsides in that chlorophyll may be extracted resulting in a product with an unpleasant taste.

Steam Distillation

It involves the use of steam to separate CBD oil from the hemp plant. The hemp plant is usually placed in a glass flask with both inlet and outlet. The inlet connects to another glass container that has water. On the other hand, the outlet connects to the condenser tube.

It should be noted that as the water boils, the steam moves upward into the plant flask. It separates the oil vapors that contain CBD. These vapors go into the tube that will condense them into water and oil respectively. After collection, both the oil and water mixture is distilled to extract the oil from water.

Note: this technique has been in use for centuries. Steam distillation has been used to extract the essential oil. Thus, it’s a tried and tested method. However, it’s not as highly effective as CO2 extraction. Steam distillation requires a significantly huge amount of hemp plants. So, it’s not easy to extract large amounts of CBD oil using this method. In addition to that, it’s very expensive.

CBD Extraction Methods: What’s The Best Way to Extract CBD Oil

Whether you want pure natural CBD oil or a full-spectrum product, each method of extraction has its pros and cons. But generally, the best way to extract CBD oil is by getting an extract with the highest concentration of CBD.

Pros and Cons of CO2 Extraction

+ Highest concentration of CBD

+Efficient and easier to adjust the concentration

+No chlorophyll or toxic residue

-very expensive

 Pros and Cons of Natural Solvent Extraction

+Its highly efficient

+There is the non-toxic residue

+Inexpensive method

-Potential for toxic solvent residue

Pros and Cons of Steam Distillation

+It’s an inexpensive method

+There is no toxic residue

-The method is inefficient

-The high heat can damage CBD

Pros and Cons of Hydrocarbon Solvent Extraction

+The CBD concentration is consistent

+It’s an efficient technique

+There is no chlorophyll

-There is a potential for toxic solvent residue

Note: although each method of CBD oil extract has its pros and cons, the CO2 method is normally considered to be the best. It tends to result in high-quality products with a much higher concentration of CBD.

What Happens After Extraction

After finding the best way to extract CBD oil, the resulting product is regarded as “full-spectrum”. But why is it called so? Well, it simply means that other cannabinoids besides CBD are still present in the extract. They include cannabinoids such as CBDA, CBDV, and THC among others. But as long as the CBD oil extract contains less than 0.3% THC, then it’s legal federally in the US.

It should be noted that full-spectrum CBD oil has other beneficial elements. The CBD hemp oil may feature terpenes and amino acids and hence it provides the body with the entourage effect. In cases where there is no THC and other compounds in the extract, the pure CBD oil is referred to as an isolate.

Final Thought

There are several methods of CBD oil extraction. However, supercritical CO2 extraction is considered to be the best. This is because the resulting product usually contains a high concentration of CBD. Although it’s an expensive method, the quality of the product you get is worth it.

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