Checking product labels is one thing. However, if you truly want to hold your CBD vendor
accountable and keep standards high, it also pays to learn how CBD oil is made. Like most industrial refinement methods, there are a number of ways to extract CBD oil
. The method by which CBD oil is made can affect its concentration, quality and yield. For that reason, what works for a commercial producer may not bode well for an individual and vice versa. The following breakdown of CBD oil extraction is made will illustrate all of these differences for you.
Cultivate the CBD Plant
Now that the industrial hemp plant is legal, farmers can cultivate and extract CBD from it in a number of ways. Remember, regardless of the method of CBD extraction, you must not derive it from the actual cannabis plant. Only hemp is legal under the farm bill. The methods of cultivation are not unlike many other agricultural products. Farmers will plant and grow CBD hemp plants and process them. The plant material is usually dried before it is placed in a solvent, which brings us to the varying extraction methods.
CBD Alcohol Extraction
If you want to get all of the nutrients from the hemp plant, you can use one of multiple solvents. The most popular is alcohol.
1. Soak the plant material in alcohol. Once the plant material is completely saturated, the surrounding liquid is packed with CBD and other cannabinoids.
2. Separate the alcohol. Sorry, we’re discussing CBD oil extraction, not CBD moonshine.
Two steps, and it’s done. Yes, it’s that easy. Since alcohol evaporates quickly, this method is cheap and popular. The only downside to the alcohol extraction method, also referred to as ethanol extraction
, is damage to the plant’s natural waxes. All other parts remain intact.
The Rick Simpson CBD Extraction Method
As the name suggests, this method is eponymously named for Rick Simpson
, a man who revolutionized how CBD extraction after being denied a prescription for medicinal cannabis. The extraction concept is similar to alcohol extraction in that the plant is soaked in a solvent that absorbs most of its nutrients. The Rick Simpson method uses chemicals like butane or propane to extract the oil from the plant. While these solvents are also relatively easy to apply and dissolve, the potential for injury is very high since most are highly flammable.
CO2 CBD Extraction
We use the CO2 extraction method
. This method of extracting CBD from hemp plants is also used in the production of coffee, tea, and even perfume. While it is much, much more expensive than the other methods, CO2 extraction yields the highest quality product.
In the CO2 extraction method, the plant material is subjected to super-pressurized carbon dioxide (literally 300+ times the pressure of a car tire). The goal of the pressurization is to get the CO2 to what is called the “supercritical” state. When supercritical, the CO2 behaves like both a liquid and a gas. It then passes through the plant material, during which it cleanly absorbs almost all of the cannabinoids and nutrients. The resulting supplement is extremely pure.
Now that you know how CBD oil is made, you can hold vendors accountable for the manufacturing methods that they or their suppliers use. At the end of the day, it’s best to leave it to the pros – just make sure they are honest and reputable.