CBD is taking over the world. From celebrities to athletes to grandparents, it’s used by countless people for its relaxing effect on the body and mind. Found in more than just CBD oil, CBD is sold in capsules, CBD gummies, CBD coffee, skin care products, and more. For those who want to make their CBD dose a true experience, CBD is also available in a wide variety of flavourful and fun vaporizers.
But what exactly is CBD, and how is it made? Let’s take a look.
What is CBD?
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is one of the many chemical compounds known as “cannabinoids” found in the hemp plant. Over the years, CBD has become increasingly popular because of its various medical benefits, and is widely known for its calming, relieving effects. But this compound is far from new: one of the world’s oldest cultivars, evidence points to the hemp plant being used for therapeutic use for millennia.
When most people begin researching hemp, their most common question is: Will CBD oil get you high?
Short answer, no. THC, another cannabinoid, is the substance that produces a “high” feeling. In CBD oil, the percentage of THC is zero to 0.3%, which is not enough to get you high.
What methods are used to make CBD oil?
CBD producers use a few main methods to extract CBD oil from the hemp plant.
- carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction
- liquid solvent extraction
- oil infusion
Let’s break them down!
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction
Using CO2 to extract CBD oil is one of the most popular production methods, and is often called the “gold standard.”
We start with adding CO2 to the first extraction chamber. In this chamber, the pressure is increased, while temperature is decreased. This converts the solid CO2 into a liquid state. After this, the pressure and temperature are slowly increased again until the CO2 reaches a state between liquid and gas. This type of substance is known as being “supercritical.”
In the second chamber, the supercritical CO2 then passes through the hemp. In this process, the oil and plant material separate from each other.
The CO2 and separated oil then travel to the third chamber. Here, the CO2 evaporates, and all that’s left is your CBD oil!
Liquid Solvent Extraction
For this method, a solvent such as ethanol, butane, or propane is used. The plant is soaked in the solvent, which will extract the cannabinoids and desirable compounds.
The soaked mix will then be refined and the solvent removed, leaving you with concentrated CBD oil.
In this ancient method, natural solvents like olive oil can be used to extract CBD oil. We start by decarboxylating (heating to a specific temperature) the raw hemp. After this, oil is added and the hemp heated again to extract the cannabinoids.
This method’s downside is that the olive oil will not evaporate and instead stays in the CBD oil, making it less concentrated.
Distillation, specifically short part distillation, is another popular method to refine CBD oil. This method can produce substances that are 99% pure!
Distillation begins by slowly heating the extract material, then waiting for the proper substances to boil off. The formed vapor is then cooled and condensed by traveling through the distillation tube and reaching the cooling coils.
As it cools, the concentrate will drip down into a collection container, until all that’s left is pure CBD oil!
What method does my CBD product use?
Different producers all have their own favorite extraction method for creating their CBD oils. If you’re curious about where your specific CBD product comes from, try looking in the descriptions of top brands like Canna River, Pacific CBD Co., Moon Mother, and many more!