The vapors formed travel through a distillation tube until they reach cooling coils, where they condense and drip down into a separate collection container. The process continues until only pure CBD oil is left in the original container.
Before starting oil infusion, the plant material must first be decarboxylated or heated to a specific temperature to activate the compounds. The plant material is added to olive oil or a similar carrier oil and heated at 100 degrees Celsius for a couple of hours. The olive oil can’t evaporate out of the CBD oil, so one of the primary downsides is that a lot more oil is used compared to the amount of liquid solvents used in their processes.
As some of the above processes result in impure CBD oil, many manufacturers choose to use one or both of the following secondary processes in order to further purify their product.
Liquid solvent extraction is a less expensive and easier way to extract CBD oil and is easy to scale for commercial production, but it has its downsides. Not all solvents can remove all impurities, and the chlorophyll from the plant may remain in the oil, giving it a greenish tinge and a bitter taste. A CBD manufacturer must adjust the process as needed to avoid impurities. As many of the liquid solvents used are highly flammable, this method can be considered more dangerous than others.
For further CBD oil refinement, it is run through a process called short path distillation. This secondary takes advantage of the fact that different CBD oil compounds each have their own boiling point. Short path distillation starts by slowly heating the CBD oil until the unnecessary substances such as terpenoids, flavonoids, and contaminates, begin to boil off. Sometimes a vacuum is also used to separate the vapors with a lower boiling point.
When this is done well, CO2 extracted CBD oil is some of the world’s purest, but there is ample room for error when done in less-than-optimal conditions. That potential for error is why subcritical CO2 extraction is used mainly by more “boutique” CBD brands.
There are many ways to extract CBD from a plant, and they vary in safety and efficiency. It’s important to know the difference since how CBD is extracted affects the final product’s purity and efficacy. This article will explain the different methods of how CBD oil is made. If you’d like to learn more about the business side of CBD, you can check out our article on how to start a cannabusiness.
Extraction is the process of removing the CBD extract from the hemp plant to turn it into a usable form for ingestion or topical application. Each extraction method results in a slightly different end result, but depending on how it’s extracted, the raw extract will have a thick oily texture with a very dark, almost black, hue.
First, before diving into how CBD is made, let’s clear up the confusion between hemp and marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana are forms of cannabis, but in order for a plant to be classified as “hemp” it needs to be grown under a hemp program and is required to contain less than 0.3% THC. Contrarily, “marijuana” plants contain more than .3% THC and are grown in recreationally or medically legalized states.
Before the hemp seeds are sowed into the ground, the soil is prepared and tested for herbicides. Hemp is a pretty wonderful plant because each crop can be planted very closely together – as close as four inches! This allows for a greater yield with less land use. Hemp is an excellent resource for regenerative agriculture because it can be used in crop rotation to help put nutrients back into the soil. Hemp produces high quantities of biomass (a matter which returns to the soil and decomposes, feeding nutrients back into the ground).
Step 4: Creating CBD Oil & Topicals
Populum uses a two-step extraction methodology that combines Food-Grade Ethanol Extraction and a Fractionalized Distillation. This method cleans the oil of all waxes, lipids, and chlorophyll, to create a true full-spectrum oil that includes both high levels of cannabinoids and terpenes.
For instance, Populum works with farmers in eastern Colorado that are licensed by the Colorado Dept of Agriculture and follow organic farming standards, which ensures that no pesticides or heavy metals are present near the plants.
It all starts with the flowers of the hemp plant. The cannabinoids are most commonly concentrated in the resin glands of the trichome of the plant.
Populum undergoes third-party testing with each of its batches of CBD. A sample from each batch is sent to a lab, where it is tested for purity and potency. Third-party testing is the differentiator between good quality CBD products and products that could be anything labeled as CBD. This extra process in production makes all the difference when it comes to making a quality product.
Even so, there are online shops that claim to sell CBD oil in Australia. While they probably are selling some sort of CBD, it’s not legal.
After harvesting, the cannabis or hemp is placed in a container where the cannabinoids are extracted. The plants are either soaked or have the solvents run through the materials, stripping the cannabinoids from the plant. Once complete, the liquid is then put through an evaporation process where it’s heated and leaves the cannabinoid concentrates in an oil form. In some cases, solvent residue exists post evaporation. These residues can be harmful to humans, and some studies have found traces of petroleum and other nasties in CBDs from solvent extractions.
For example, hemp plants have very low levels of THC to begin with, usually .035% or less in Australia. So, for individuals who want to avoid THC, CBD from hemp may be a better option. Hemp also has a different spectrum of compounds which means that the therapeutic benefits may be different from other plants.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a natural and non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and is abundant in hemp. CBD is one of cannabis’s non-psychoactive compounds. There is clinical evidence documenting the value that CBD has in treating some neuropsychiatric disorders (i.e. epilepsy, anxiety and schizophrenia). There are also hundreds of thousands of cases, real-world evidence rather than clinical evidence, where CBD oil and other CBD products are said to have helped people (and pets) with numerous other medical conditions.
From a medical standpoint, doctors can prescribe CBD only medication, CBD and THC medication and THC only medications. A THC only medication is not CBD oil.