How is CBD Oil made?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical found in nature. It is in almost every type of cannabis plant, including:
- Cannabis plants containing tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the psychoactive chemical that makes you feel "high"
- Cannabis varieties specifically bred to be high in CBD and low in THC
- Industrial hemp plants that contain no THC and have no psychoactive effect.

There are a number of ways of extracting CBD from any of these varieties of cannabis. The process is relatively simple and requires little equipment if the plant you start with contains only CBD (like industrial hemp). All extraction methods are to separate CBD from other cannabinoids.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as a solvent extraction

Usually done with a piece of equipment called a "closed-loop extractor", solid CO2 is pumped from one part of the extracted into the second with the plant material. The second chamber is kept at a very specific pressure and temperature which causes the CO2 to behave differently - like a liquid. This supercritical CO2 runs through the plant material and extracts the chemicals and flavours. The CO2 and CBD mixture is pumped into a third and final chamber where it is kept at low pressure. CO2 returns to its natural gas state and rises to the top - allowing for the CBD to be extracted separately.

Liquid solvents

In this method, plant material like flowers and trim are put into a container. Liquid solvent (usually butane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, or ethanol) is run through the plant matter to strip it of cannabinoids and flavours and transfer them into the liquid. Then, the liquid is evaporated away from this mixture to leave only concentrated chemicals and flavours in the form of an oil.

Oil extraction

The oldest and most traditional method. Humans have used oils such as olive oil to extract CBD for thousands of years.

The cannabis plant material must be heated for a certain length of time to activate the chemicals within. The plant material is then combined with olive oil and heated to around 100°C for 1-2 hours to extract the cannabinoids. You are then left with a olive oil and cannabinoid mix - which you consume. It doesn't have a very long shelf life and must be stored in a cold dark place.

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