There are over a hundred active cannabinoids in cannabis plants. However, cannabidiol is one of the most popular. How is CBD made? They are abundant in hemp plants and are extracted via a thorough hemp production method.
Though people have used cannabis plant medically and recreationally since ancient times, its public consumption was eventually banned because of the psychoactive side effects it gives to users. Despite that, many countries have lifted this ban, especially in Europe where some of the most potent strains of cannabis thrive.
CBD Oil and How It’s Made
Cannabidiol is one of many naturally occurring cannabinoids present in cannabis plants, especially in hemp flowers. Hemp is its main source because marijuana often contains high amounts of THC. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis that induces intoxication.
Hemp oil is essentially cannabis concentrate that carries a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Similarly, all of these naturally occur in the plant material. Like any other cannabinoid, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). It may stimulate happy hormones that help keep users relaxed and well-rested.
A thorough CBD extraction method creates oil. Manufacturers use the oil as the primary ingredient in varying products. To date, these products range from softgel capsules, oil tinctures, topicals, to pet treats.
There are several methods of extracting and producing CBD oil. Each one has a big impact on the content, quality, and purity of the oil it produces. Knowing various production methods to make CBD is key to making sure you only get the highest quality products.
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The Overall CBD Making Process
How is CBD made? The general idea of production and extraction is to separate the active compounds from the cannabis plant material. They do this through a solvent. They mix the extracted phytocannabinoids and many other plant compounds with solvents like ethanol or glycerin. The end result is the creation of CBD oil.
There are several extraction methods that cannabis companies use to create a crude extract from hemp plants. With extraction equipment, creating this crude is the first step in transforming the cannabis plant compounds into any one of the many CBD products. Today, many customers consume these products in the market.
The most common production and extraction methods include supercritical CO2 extraction, winterization, decarboxylation, ethanol extraction, and path distillation. Depending on the type of CBD formulation, the extraction method may vary for full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolates.
CBD Oil Production Methods
When harvesting oil, oil infusion is one of the oldest techniques. It dates back to ancient practices. Many cannabis home-growers and producers still use this method up to this day. It is one of the easiest and most cost-efficient methods of producing your very own CBD distillate.
Before starting on oil infusion, the hemp plant must first undergo decarboxylation. Though the term sounds technical, decarboxylation is simply the process of heating up an extract. Through decarboxylation, it “awakens” active compounds of cannabis and removes non-essential acids.
The main catalysts for this process are heat and time. Drying and curing will partially decarboxylate cannabis. Smoking and evaporating will immediately release the groups of cannabinoids like THC that react to extreme heat, making these compounds more potent and effective. Decarboxylation can happen before or after CBD oil extraction.
With oil infusion, glycerin bases like olive oil, petroleum, or any other similar carrier oil, will be added to the extracted hemp oil. Mix the oils and heat at 100 degrees Celsius for an hour or two and stir occasionally. The carrier oil will not evaporate so the downside to oil infusion is taking your CBD oil together with its glycerin base.
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CBD Oil Extraction Methods
With many emerging new and efficient production methods, it is important to know which process creates the right type of cannabidiol you are after. For those looking to use CBD isolates, winterization is an important part of the extraction process.
When making CBD, winterization refers to the removal of undesirable substances from hemp oil like lipids, fats, and wax. It retains only pure cannabidiol. You can’t use winterization for full-spectrum and broad-spectrum formulations because it removes other cannabinoids in the process.
The short path distillation method takes advantage of the fact that different compounds in cannabidiol oil each have their own boiling point. Other compounds in the cannabidiol oil boil off through a distillation tube until only pure CBD remains.
The vapors go through a distillation tube to cooling coils. It is in these coils where they condense. From there, they drip down into a different container. The process goes on until only pure hemp distillate remains.
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CO2 Extraction Method
CBD is made with various methods. One of the most popular extraction methods involves the use of supercritical CO2. The term “supercritical” refers to CO2’s unique properties of solid, liquid, and gas states of matter. A series of pressurized chambers and pumps obtain oils with high amounts of CBD concentrate.
To begin the extraction process, one chamber holds carbon dioxide, while a second chamber will hold plant matter that contains high amounts of CBD. The CO2 undergoes high pressure. Then they pump it from the first chamber into the second.
The CO2 dissolves the hemp present in the same chamber, causing the extract to separate from the plant matter. Finally, both the CO2 and distillate go into a third chamber. The gas eventually evaporates and leaves pure CBD oil behind.
Many legit cannabis companies have used the CO2 extraction method for many decades. It is one of, if not the safest, and most quality-producing ways of extracting hemp oil. This process can have up to a 90% extraction efficiency.
Supercritical CO2 extraction requires expensive equipment and licensed operators. It results in more expensive products. Nevertheless, they guarantee quality.
Much like using CO2 as a solvent, substances that are more naturally in a liquid state are also effective. This includes ethanol, butane, hexane, or isopropyl alcohol. Likewise, the ethanol method of hemp oil extraction works pretty much the same as the CO2 extraction.
Compared to CO2 extraction, ethanol extraction is a more cost-efficient method. Consequently, more companies use this method compared to others. Though there are certain downsides to using this extraction method, you can still make high-quality CBD oil with a few more post-extraction methods to ensure purity and potency.
The ethanol method utilizes an alcohol solvent. Ethanol is the most common solvent for extraction. As a food-grade preservative and additive in many products, the FDA refers to ethanol as “Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS).”
One of the effects of using ethanol as a solvent for extraction is that it also extracts chlorophyll from the plant matter. Moreover, the common result of an ethanol-extracted CBD oil is a dark-colored substance. It has a strong bitter and grassy aftertaste. However, manufacturers may remove this using post-extraction filtering methods.
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When creating distillates, there are many methods of extraction from which cannabinoids. These methods can extract cannabidiol and other chemical components like terpenes, flavonoids, vitamins, and minerals from the vegetative material of a cannabis plant.
How do retailers make their CBD? For licensed and legitimate cannabis companies like BlosumCBD, they do not only use the safest and most quality-producing hemp production method. Moreover, all their products also undergo rigorous third-party laboratory testing for potency and purity, as well as the color and taste of their CBD products. This is to meet high-quality standards from consumers.
Using a chromatography technique in their state-of-the-art extraction facility located in Colorado, BlosumCBD’s purification and extraction method makes use of only pure, organic, and home-grown cannabis strains. Using their unique technology, it removes unwanted chlorophyll and high amounts of THC, leaving behind the full benefits of phytocannabinoid-rich hemp oil that is GMO-free and safe for everybody.