How to Extract CBD

How to Extract CBD

By now, many people are aware of CBD and its potential benefits. You can find this compound in the cannabis plant, and it could have some beneficial effects on your health when taken each day. If you have ever taken CBD, you might have found yourself staring at the bottle of oil and wondering how to make it. It’s easy to start pondering over how to extract CBD from the cannabis plant without bringing the other compounds along with it, or how to make CBD oil once you have the extract.

In this article, we will run you through the various methods of obtaining CBD extract. And, you might start to understand why it can be on the pricey side!

How to Extract CBD from Hemp

There are multiple ways to extract CBD from industrial hemp, but only a couple are viable options for manufacturers producing on an industrial scale. You might be surprised to learn that CBD extraction is not always highly scientific and complicated. Although big brands may require an extraction machine, you can make CBD extract at home using olive oil!

If you heat plant matter in olive oil at high temperatures, the results are a ready-made CBD oil that you can use as soon as it is cooled down. Keep in mind, however, that CBD oil made this way will be low-quality, low-strength, and extremely easy to degrade. It’s much better to use a professional method or buy from a reputable seller. Plus, in most states, you have to have a license to process hemp and make CBD products. Unless you can afford the license, it’s not worth the risk.

Aside from olive oil extraction, the easiest method is probably to use ethanol extraction systems. The popularized Rick Simpson method also uses solvents like ethanol, and it is the one recommended to people starting out with cannabinoid extraction.

Below, we cover three of the most widely used methods for extracting CBD from plant Matter.

CBD Extraction Methods

The ethanol method is quite similar to olive oil extraction. You place the plant matter in a solvent such as butane, ethanol, or low-grade alcohol. These are all solvents that sap the cannabinoids out of the hemp, resulting in an extract. It is then heated until the liquid evaporates, leaving behind a powdered cannabinoid extract. You should note that this extract will also likely contain chlorophyll and some unwanted compounds, which should be filtered out. Furthermore, you need to be extremely careful when evaporating the solvent. Solvents are incredibly flammable, and you want to make sure the entire thing is gone so that there are no toxic compounds in the resulting powder.

The most common method for making CBD oil is to use CO2 extraction. CO2-extracted CBD oil is popular with big brands because it is a cost-effective method that results in the highest quality CBD products. This method requires a lot of expensive extraction equipment, though, so it’s not something you can perform at home.

It works using supercritical CO2. This is carbon dioxide heated to a particular temperature and pressurized until it becomes supercritical. In this state, it acts somewhat like a liquid and somewhat like a gas, meaning you can use it as a solvent. Manufacturers place the plant material in an extraction chamber and pass the supercritical CO2 over it, leeching out the cannabinoids. These are collected in a collection chamber. A significant advantage of the CO2 method is that the carbon dioxide can be repeatedly recycled.

A final method, perfect for producing CBD concentrates, is to make steam distillation cannabis. The steam distillation process uses heat, pressure, and steam to extract the cannabinoids, resulting in a super-concentrated extract.

How to Extract CBD: Final Thoughts

There are many ways for manufacturers to perform CBD extraction. Methods include using supercritical CO2, solvents, steam distillation, and even olive oil. By far, the most popular method for extraction is CO2. Big brands see this method as financially viable, environmentally friendly, and safest for their consumers.

People generally consider CO2 extraction to be the best method for making CBD products. If you want high-quality CBD, you should look out for a product that has been CO2-extracted.

So, there you have it. Now you know how to extract CBD. If you want to try making your own at home, the olive oil method is the cheapest and most straightforward to perform. You have to be extremely careful when handling hot oil, though. Furthermore, you should make sure you stay on the right side of the law by obtaining a proper hemp processing license if you intend to sell the oil. The cost of these licenses can counterbalance the low price of olive oil.

Now, when you see a brand bragging about their CO2 extraction methods, you know why. Not only is the oil of the highest quality, but it takes some specialized expertise to operate the equipment. The specialist equipment and knowledge is the reason why some CBD products are so expensive. So don’t despair if your CBD oil is on the pricey side, you can just enjoy the knowledge that it’s high quality.

How to Extract CBD FAQ

What is Hemp CO2 Extract?

Any CBD hemp product that says ‘CO2 extraction’ on the label has undergone a particular extraction process. Manufacturers use either subcritical or supercritical carbon dioxide, heated to a specific temperature and pressurized into a unique state. The carbon dioxide behaves as a solvent, extracting cannabinoids from raw plant matter.

Many people consider CO2-extracted CBD to be the highest quality on the market. Products with this label tend to be safe because they are solvent-free. Plus, this extraction method is one of the most environmentally friendly. However, it can make products a little more expensive than those extracted using other methods.

How to Extract CBD Crystals?

CBD crystals are a form of CBD isolate. In other words, it’s a pure CBD substance containing no other cannabinoids or plant compounds. Manufacturers make crystals by extracting the CBD as usual and then filtering the extract until it becomes a pure isolate. There are multiple types of CBD isolate, including powders, crystals, wax, and shatter. Each manufacturer makes them in a slightly different way.

You don’t extract the crystals from the plant themselves. You can use CBD extract to make CBD crystals through various other processes. At the end of the day, you can use CBD isolates in similar ways, so it just depends on the type of consistency you prefer.

How to Make CBD Oil without THC?

Generally, CBD oil comes from industrial hemp. By definition, this plant contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight. When you extract CBD from hemp, the resulting extract contains only trace levels of THC – nowhere near enough to cause a high. However, traditional extraction methods will result in small amounts of THC in the extract.

To remove THC, manufacturers put the extract through various filtration processes. When you filter the extract it ensures that you remove certain compounds, while the CBD is maintained. This is the process that manufacturers use when making a CBD isolate.


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