There are many CBD products from companies. The final product of CBD oil depends on the extraction method. This article explains the process of CBD oil production, from planting and harvesting to extraction.
CBD products have become common in the market and available in different forms, powder, vape, gummies, and the most popular being tinctures and oils. Different companies manufacture CBD oil, and one can make their own CBD at home. Where does CBD come from? How is it made? What are the processes of manufacturing CBD oil? What is required if one wants to make it at their home? Is it safe to use? This article discusses CBD, how manufacturers make the oil, and how one can make their own at home.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, CBD is one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. These compounds are known as cannabinoids. Species like hemp and marijuana contain these compounds extracted and used for different things. Other cannabinoids include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabichromene (CBC).Compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids. Raup-Konsavage et al. (2020) showed that, unlike THC, CBD does not have an entourage effect when consumed.
Planting and Harvesting.
Adesina et al. (2020)explained that it had been traditionally planted and used to produce fiber, textiles, and ropes. Since being legal in the US, farms can grow hemp on a large scale to produce CBD for commercial use. The ground is prepared, and hemp seeds are planted. The plant is known to sprout and grow quickly. Once grown, the plant is tested to confirm its quality and follow the set regulations. Hemp plants should contain less than 0.3% of THC to be legal. The plants are then harvested and dried in a well-ventilated place. After drying after a few weeks, the flowers and buds are stripped of the plants and proceed for CBD extraction.
CBD Oil Extraction
Extraction of CBD from the plant allows for it to be made into products for oral or topical usage. CBD oil is extracted from hemp flowers and buds. The method of extraction varies with manufacturers. These methods are explained below:
Carbon Dioxide Extraction
Rochfort et al. (2020) revealed that this method uses carbon dioxide and closed-loop extractors to extract CBD oil. The process began with a solid piece of carbon dioxide in a chamber and pumped into another chamber that contains cannabis. The second chamber contains pressure that keeps the carbon dioxide as a liquid that absorbs the cannabis plants' oils and flavors. This mixture of carbon dioxide and cannabinoid oil is pushed into another chamber, where the carbon dioxide is turned back into a gas, leaving the oils and flavors in liquid form. This method can produce pure forms of CBD but is costly in terms of equipment and cost of production.
Ethanol extraction is one of the popular ways used by manufacturers. This method is safe and effective. High-grade ethanol is used as a solvent to separate CBD from other cannabinoids in the plant.
Liquid Solvents Extraction
Lazarjani et al. (2021) pointed out that manufacturers can use other liquid substances to extract CBD besides carbon dioxide and ethanol. These liquids include butane, isopropyl alcohol, and hexane. These processes run the same as the ethanol and carbon dioxide extraction methods. However, not all liquid solvents can remove all impurities from the plant, with some of the plant's chlorophyll remaining in the CBD, giving it a green color and bitter taste. These liquid solvents are also highly combustible and can be hazardous.
This is a common and oldest form of extracting CBD oil. Most commonly used by home hemp growers and producers. It is also an easy method to make their own CBD at home. Gruschow (2020)explained that this method involves two processes. Decarboxylation and infusion. The cannabis plant must first be decarboxylated or heated to activate the compounds. This requires one not to exceed a certain temperature since cannabinoids tend to oxidize at higher temperatures. The decarboxylated cannabis is then added to carrier oils such as olive, coconut, or sunflower oils and heated at 100 degrees Celsius for 2 hours or more.
Gibbs et al. (2019) stated that some of the methods of extraction used could produce CBD with impurities. Manufacturers further use different processes to purify the oil. These are winterization and distillation.
This is a process used to remove unwanted material from the oil to produce pure CBD. The extracted oil is mixed with alcohol and stirred to mix completely and thin it out. The wanted parts of the oil will mix with the alcohol while the unwanted components will free and be filtered out. The alcohol and oil mixture is placed in a freezer at temperatures below zero. It is then left to freeze overnight and taken for filtration. Vessels with paper filters remove materials such as other frozen particles. CBD oil and alcohol mix is then heated to evaporate the alcohol, which has a lower boiling point than CBD. This leaves pure CBD behind.
A purification process known as short path distillation is used to refine CBD oil. This process uses the fact that different CBD compounds have their boiling point. The process starts by heating CBD oil slowly until the unwanted compounds boil off. This can eradicate compounds such as terpenes, flavonoids, and other contaminants. A vacuum is used to separate these compounds at each boiling point. The vapors formed during heating are passed through a distillation tube to cooling coils and are transferred to different containers. The process goes on until pure CBD remains.
Lab Testing and Packaging
After manufacturing, CBD oil undergoes third-party testing to ensure purity and potency. Potency refers to the strength and total CBD percentage in the package. CBD oil can be available in natural form or added to other flavors and tastes. CBD oil is stored in dark bottles to avoid oxidation.
Types of CBD Oil Products
The end product after extraction determines the type of CBD oil produced. CBD oil is grouped into 3 Depending on the extraction method: Full-spectrum CBD, Broad-spectrum CBD, and Isolate CBD oil.
Full-spectrum CBD Oil
This type of CBD contains all the natural compounds of the cannabis plant. This means that full-spectrum oil contains CBD, THC, flavonoids, terpenes, and all the other compounds.
Broad-spectrum CBD Oil
This CBD oil has all the other natural compounds present, except THC.
This CBD oil has passed the purification process and contains pure CBD with all the other compounds removed.
CBD oil is available in the market and has been used for different reasons. CBD is a natural compound present in the cannabis plant. Manufacturers use carbon dioxide, ethanol, and oil infusion methods to extract CBD from the plant. This is then refined using distillation or winterization to produce pure CBD oil. These extraction methods determine the final type of CBD oil produced. Manufacturers should ensure that their final products go through third-party testing to ensure quality.
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Gibbs, B., Yates, D. A., & Liebling, J. (2019). CBD In The UK. London, UK: Centre For Medicinal Cannabis.
Gruschow, A. (2020). A Comparison Of Antioxidant Potential, Total Phenolic Content, And Cannabidiol (CBD) Content Of Cannabis Infused Hemp, MCT, And Olive Oils.
Lazarjani, M. P., Young, O., Kebede, L., & Seyfoddin, A. (2021). Processing And Extraction Methods Of Medicinal Cannabis: A Narrative Review. Journal Of Cannabis Research, 3(1), 1-15.
Raup-Konsavage, W. M., Carkaci-Salli, N., Greenland, K., Gearhart, R., & Vrana, K. E. (2020). Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil Does Not Display An Entourage Effect In Reducing Cancer Cell Viability In Vitro. Medical Cannabis And Cannabinoids, 3(2), 95-102.
Rochfort, S., Isbel, A., Ezernieks, V., Elkins, A., Vincent, D., Deseo, M. A., & Spangenberg, G. C. (2020). Utilisation Of Design Of Experiments Approach To Optimise Supercritical Fluid Extraction Of Medicinal Cannabis. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-7.