How is CBD oil made?

How is CBD oil made? This is just one of the many questions curious CBD users frequently ask. As more and more individuals try out this supplement, the more people pose questions to understand its origin, how it’s used, and any similarities it may have compared with cannabis Sativa.

Before understanding how CBD is made, let’s first know what it is because so many people confuse it with other things (some related, others unrelated to it). CBD is an acronym that stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of the hundreds of chemical compounds you’ll get in the hemp and cannabis Sativa plants. In its original form, you can add to other products to make topicals, edibles, oils, vape juices, and smoking products.

The CBD consumed in the UK is different from cannabis although they are all forms of cannabis. If extracted with all the other compounds from the cannabis plant, CBD should contain 0.03% of THC or less by law. THC is an acronym for tetrahydrocannabinol and is the intoxicating substance found in cannabis (which contains more than 0.03%).

Planting and harvesting the hemp plant

CBD comes from a plant known as hemp. Like every other form of gardening plants, the process begins by sowing seeds into the ground, and just like any other plant – the ground has to be well-prepped to get healthy hemp plants. That means testing the soil for herbicides, adding fertilizer and taking care of the plant as it grows. From the moment you plant to the time you harvest, it will be about two months or so.

Before getting your hemp plant harvested, there are tests for each plant to ensure the chemical compounds is according to the government regulations. Apart from checking for THC levels, these plants are checked to ensure they don’t have heavy metals and pesticides. The plants are then taken out of the ground to be dried in a properly ventilated area for about a month (a process known as curing). The important parts (flowers where there’s a high concentration of cannabinoids) are stripped from the plant for extraction.

How is CBD oil made? The CBD extraction process

At the extraction stage, CBD is separated from the hemp plant into a usable form. This process can happen using different methods. These methods come with advantages and disadvantages. So it’s up to the manufacturer to decide which one to use. Each method results in CBD with slight differences. Here are the most common extraction processes.

Ethanol extraction:

Ethanol extraction is one of the simplest and most effective CBD extraction methods out there. It’s safe as well as time-efficient. The process involves soaking the plant materials into high-grain alcohol (ethanol) to separate cannabinoids from the plant. This method can happen in any temperature condition (warm or cold). The process happens faster than other methods like CO2 extraction. The extraction that comes out of the ethanal extraction process often ends up in people’s vaping devices. Some of it goes into other CBD-infused products.

The downside of the ethanol extraction process is the fact that it destroys the plant waxes which might be useful.

CO2 extraction

As the name suggests, this process makes use of carbon dioxide to separate cannabinoids from the hemp material. It makes use of the ability for CO2 to be useful as a gas, liquid, and solid. This popular CBD extraction process requires extremely low temperatures and so you should have super-cooled extraction chambers to be successful.

This process begins in the first chamber with a solid piece of CO2. This is then pumped into a second chamber that has the hemp plant material. At this stage, CO2 is in liquid form to absorb the flavours and oils present in the plant material. This then flows to the third chamber where CO2 becomes a gas to evaporate and leave behind the flavours and oil.

The CO2 extraction process is considered one of the best because it produces cannabinoids in their purest form. Of course, this happens with skilled hands and specific conditions at work. Unfortunately, this extraction method is not used in most circumstances because the equipment is costly and learning how to use them is quite a journey.

Oil infusion

If you are wondering which CBD extraction method is the most ancient, then oil infusion could be what you are looking for. Most DIYers still use this extraction method and many are successful at it. The process starts by heating the hemp plant material to activate the compounds in it. You then take a carrier oil at 100°C to extract the required cannabinoids. The drawback this method comes with is the use of too much carrier oil than other methods. A lot evaporates as you heat.

Liquid solvents extraction

Liquid solvent extraction is an easy and less costly method of extracting liquid solvents. It’s actually similar to ethanol extraction only that it uses other solvents like hexane, butane, and isopropyl alcohol. The process happens by running a solvent through decarboxylated cannabis material to extract cannabinoids and terpenes.

The problem with this method is that not all liquid solvents can remove impurities. Your extract may also be green(ish) in colour because solvents remove chlorophyll from plants. Also, you need to be careful during the extraction process because solvents are highly flammable and could cause a fire accident.

A green background with the Supreme CBD logo to the right with white text saying "CBD extraction process" with three circular images showcasing the process of extracting CBD.

How is CBD oil made? Secondary purifying methods

Because most of the extraction methods we discussed above don’t produce pure forms of cannabinoids and terpenes, most manufacturers use the following secondary methods to purify their extracts.

Winterization

This process mixes high-grade alcohol with the cannabinoid and terpenes extract. The mixture is shaken thoroughly and left to settle. The alcohol helps to coagulate and freeze the components that are not needed. This then goes under filtration to remove the unwanted parts of the extract. What remains is put in a deep freezer at temperatures below zero for about 12 hours.

Doing this makes it cloudy with substances like fats and similar materials becoming solid. This undergoes filtration to remove the solid parts. The process can be repeated as many times as possible depending on the results.

With alcohol and CBD still mixed, you should heat the solution to the boiling point of alcohol (which is always lesser than that of CBD). The alcohol evaporates leaving behind a purer form of CBD.

Short path distillation

Speaking of boiling points, the short path distillation process makes use of the varying boiling points of the compounds in the extract. This process happens through heating, eliminating the unneeded substances one after the other according to their boiling points. Contaminants, terpenoids, and flavonoids easily evaporate away when their boiling temperature strikes. For compounds with lower boiling points, a vacuum can be used to do the separation.

These vapours go through a distillation tube attached to cooling coils. The evaporated compound reach specific points along with the cooling coils and drip into separate storage cups. CBD often remains in the original container because it has a higher boiling point.

How is CBD oil made?

Once you have your CBD extract, it’s time to make CBD oil out of it. Here, carrier oil and flavouring are combined with CBD to create a CBD oil. Some of the carrier oils in the market include hemp oil, MCT oil, grapeseed oil, among others. These oils can easily absorb into your system, making them a great option as part of this product. Flavourings help remove the earthy taste that is part of most CBD oils. That's how you make CBD oil.

CBD extract can also be used to make edibles, vape juices, and other CBD laced products.

Third-party lab testing and packaging

At Supreme CBD, we ensure all our CBD products undergo third-party testing. This makes sure that the consumer is getting quality products that won’t harm them in any way. Besides testing for purity, we also test for potency. If you are going to use any CBD product, you should ensure the manufacture does the third-party lab tests to be on the safe side.

After proof that our CBD oil is good, we package it in tinted storage bottles to keep away direct UV rays from tampering with the chemical composition. The bottles are properly sealed to make sure no contaminants get in there. Accurate labelling of which CBD is used in the oil, potency, and the amount in the bottle is shown on the packaging.

Final thought on “how is CBD oil made?”

To successfully make CBD oil, you have to follow through with particular steps to get quality at the end of it. We don’t recommend you doing this at home. You are safer buying CBD products from vendors like us who are transparent with our processes and have been consistent at producing exceptional quality CBD products. Reach out to us and order the best products in the UK market.


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