How is CBD oil made and why is it important?
Recent years have been distinguished by the truly exponential growth of sales and public appreciation of all types of CBD products. CBD oil is one of the top five fastest-growing niches of this market. It is easy to use, effective, generally safe, and relatively available — all the best qualities of a great remedy. The current market value of this niche is almost 3 billion USD, whereas experts anticipate a 30-35% CAGR growth until the end of the current decade.
Its popularity differs dramatically in various regions, mostly because of social reasons. Therefore, you don’t have to worry that you missed a new hit — there’s always time to try for yourself! And before choosing it, you need to know what’s the difference between available options. Attentive readers know that the raw materials and the doses are pretty much the same. Thus, it is logical to conclude that the key features are defined by the manufacturing process.
How is CBD oil made? Read this article to learn the answer and understand how it may benefit your health.
How is CBD Oil Made: First Crucial Stages
For starters, let’s consider how is CBD made — cannabidiol is but a 100% natural compound extracted from hemp. The type of hemp plants is very important: in addition to being healthy, they must contain less than 0.03% of THC. The plants grow very fast; usually, they tend to sprout in two months. Before the harvest starts, samples are taken to ensure that the concentration of cannabinoids is within limits.
Harvested plants are dried for almost a month under natural conditions (artificial drying is not recommended). All these terms are of great importance: only mature, healthy, full-sized hemp plants grown outdoors contain enough CBD.
Different parts have different amounts of CBD: the so-called resin glands and flowers accumulate the most of it. Other parts of the plant return to the biomass, whereas those of interest to manufacturers are shipped to the factories where the extraction happens.
Here comes the most crucial step of all — extraction, with each method having its pros and cons. Of course, what is CBD oil made from is always important. For instance, plants must be grown under organic conditions and tested to avoid herbicides and heavy metal pollution. However, it is how is CBD made that determines the purity of the resulting mix.
The existing extraction methods use different types of carrying substances, such as:
- Gases (mostly CO2).
What is CBD oil made from: extraction from the raw materials
Let us look closer at the main three extraction methods.
Liquid Alcohol Extraction
It is pretty common: the plant parts are soaked in cheap alcohol (mostly isopropyl or ethanol), the obtained mixture is heated and evaporated. The oily residue contains the desired CBD compound. That is about it — the principle is very simple. The pros? It is cheap and efficient. The cons? Some traces of chlorophyll and waxes can be found in the resulting solution.
How is CBD oil made traditionally? Well, the first techniques of obtaining CBD use oil infusion. The hemp plants are heated for a long time to remove excess carbon dioxide. Then the dried parts are mixed with oil (typically olive oil) and heated once more.
What are the pros of this approach? Unlike the previous extraction technique that relies heavily on distillation, this method operates with lower temperatures. Thanks to this, most of the potentially harmful organic structures and other nasty things remain in the discarded hemp plants.
The resulting oily extract also contains cannabidiol, although in much smaller quantities. If you have already googled what is CBD oil made of, you know that this is a common method for making such oil at home. The solutions obtained in such a way are called full-spectrum ones because they also have terpenes and traces of THC.
Carbon dioxide purification
Selective CO2 extraction is the last of the main extraction methods. Currently, it is considered a golden standard of the industry due to its safety and effectiveness. Dried hemp plants are mixed with dry CO2, heated until it becomes a gas (approximately 30°C and pressurized). The gas carries away cannabinoids and terpenes. The mixture is then separated.
This method, although much slower and more expensive because of the heavy equipment, has several crucial advantages. Firstly, the produced CBD mixture contains no residues and low-grade hydrocarbons. We remember what is CBD made from — CBD is only one of the hundreds of active compounds of hemp plants. This extraction technique allows us to avoid them all. Secondly, it also disposes of fungi and bacteria, which may remain in the traditionally produced CBD oil. The purest CBD products made via this method are called isolates.
How is CBD oil produced
A typical CBD oil consists of dozens of substances in addition to its main active ingredient. Firstly, it must include ingredients that help your body absorb it in the best possible way. Several types of broad- and full-spectrum hemp oils rely on purified cold-pressed hemp seed oil. Studies show that it contains a great variety of fatty acids, phytonutrients, terpenes, and vitamins (although in low concentrations). Recent studies show that it may have a beneficial impact on your skin: anti-inflammatory and anti-lipogenic effects are rather common.
However, coconut oil is a much more popular choice. People often wonder: why add another oil? Hemp plants contain oil, don’t they? Is it not how CBD oil is made? It must be easier to use oily substances that are produced during the extraction instead of separating terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids and only then mixing them with the oil!
Well, although this method is easier (and much cheaper), it cannot be used to obtain isolates. CBD-isolated oils are preferable for those suffering from allergic reactions. In addition, coconut oil has a well-studied beneficial impact on human metabolism.
In general, your CBD oil would contain one of four oils: raw hemp seed oil, coconut oil, MCT, or olive oil. MCT is just fractioned coconut oil — the abbreviation stands for medium-chain triglycerides. All types are generally safe and easy to use. As for the impact of the medium in which CBD is dissolved, it is far less potent than the healing effect of cannabidiol itself.