How is CBD oil made?

We have recently seen CBD and its various forms grow more in popularity due to its many benefits.

You may be wondering where it is produced from and what goes into the production process. You can find everything you need to know about the manufacture of CBD oil here.

Planting and harvesting

There are different production processes for making CBD oil, but all the methods involve extracting and isolating cannabinoids from CBD flowers of hemp plants cultivated for this purpose.

Trethowans
Trethowans

The most popular approach is the supercritical CO2 extraction because of the quality of the product it gives. 

There are other processes, such as ethanol extraction, hydrocarbon extraction, lipid extraction, carrier oil extraction, Rick Simpson method, etc. The final product would depend on the quality of the plant used and the production process utilized.

The process is started by growing hemp plants in soil rich in nutrients and following all laid down guidelines for planting, harvesting, and storage. Some prefer cloning part of the plant’s tissue since it gives a more guaranteed result.

Supercritical CO2 extraction

After harvesting the hemp plants, they are subjected to a process of extraction to pull out the useful compounds that include CBD, terpenes, and other plant constituents such as fatty acids and chlorophyll. This is called crude extract.

Carbon dioxide or CO2 is used for separating the crude extract from the other parts of the plant before passing it through further processing before we get CBD oil. Carbon dioxide has the unique property of being able to exist as a solid, liquid, or gas.

The process involves putting carbon dioxide under low temperature and high pressure in a closed-loop extractor. This atmosphere converts and keeps the CO2 in liquid form, which then acts as a solvent to absorb the oil from the plant.

This mixture of oils and carbon dioxide is pumped into another chamber where the CO2 changes to gaseous form and evaporates, leaving only the crude oil.

This process is very expensive but presents no problem like other methods. This is because CO2 is considered safe, pure, and used to manufacture other products such as soft drinks. The resulting extract needs to be passed through additional processing stages to remove the contaminants from the pure CBD oil.

Other types of extraction

There are also other types of extraction.

Ethanol/solvent extraction

Solvent extraction is another method similar to using carbon dioxide, but its use is no longer widespread due to the availability of more efficient ways.

Different solvents such as hydrocarbons can be used, with each producing a slightly different end product. Ethanol or natural solvents such as olive oil is widely used since they are considered safe.

However, ethanol gives problems since it extracts a high level of chlorophyll from the CBD flower, which gives the CBD product a harsh taste when consumed. The process involves passing ethanol through the hemp plant, stripping it of the CBD extracts.

Steam distillation

Steam distillation works like extracting using a solvent. The steam distillation is utilized in a setup that uses steam to extract the oil from the plant. Then, distillation is used for separating the water from the oil. The problem with steam distillation is that it is less effective in extracting the desired components and can only work on a huge quantity of hemp plants.

Winterization and short path distillation

After CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, it needs to be decontaminated of other constituents not desired, such as lipids, waxes, fats, etc. The process of removing contaminants from the CBD extract uses techniques such as winterization or short path distillation.

These processes involve heating the extract until the components evaporate out. They are sent into a container where they are collected to condense. This process makes it possible to separate the constituent elements.

Now, your CBD oil

What you have after the above processes is a CBD extract. The extract is mixed with the manufacturer’s carrier oil to convert this extract into the oils that we buy online or in shops. 

This allows them to set factors such as taste and potency of the product. Some of the carrier oils used by manufacturers include olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, and hemp seed oil.

These carrier oils also have the advantages that they add to the product. For instance, coconut oil and MCT are notable for helping the oil give more energy. They also allow more straightforward and quicker absorption of the CBD into the bloodstream.

On the other hand, olive oil is used to bring an amazing flavor to the oil, while hemp seed oil supplies your body with fatty acids required to enhance well-being.

And finally, the CBD oil is bottled and sold

As explained above, there are different methods for producing CBD oils from the CBD flowers, with the carbon dioxide extraction method regarded as the best. It is safe, pure, and gets out most of the product from the hemp plants.

After CBD oil production is complete, the final products are bottled and tested by the manufacturer’s labs and third-party labs for potency and quality. The results of these tests would give adequate information on the product’s quality.

When shopping online or in the local malls for CBD oil, ensure you read the production process and constituent profile before purchasing. Reputable manufacturers would give you this information.