How Is CBD Oil Made

CBDISTILLERY

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Have you ever wondered how exactly CBD Oil is derived from the hemp plant? This article will walk you through step-by-step just how CBD comes from hemp. This article explains how the compound CBD is extracted from cannabis plants to create CBD oil. It looks at the different techniques for extraction and purification, such as carbon dioxide extraction, oil infusion, and ethanol extraction.

How CBD Oil Is Made: A Step-By-Step Overview

CBD popularity has exploded. According to SingleCare, 33% of American adults have tried CBD. With over a third of Americans giving the supplement a try, many may wonder where the popular supplement comes from.

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.

Because hemp contains less than .3% THC, it is non-psychoactive. Other than CBD, hemp has traditionally been used for centuries as a material for rope, fibers and textiles. We lay it all out in our History of Hemp article.

Populum’s CBD oil is made from refined hemp extract that has been combined with a carrier oil. Read through this to learn the step-by-step process on how CBD is made.

Step 1: Planting The Hemp Plant

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).

According to Farm Journal, plant hemp typically falls between the third week of May and into the first week of June. Once planted, the hemp grows rapidly, sprouting up in 60 days. Cannabis Reports listed the states with the most hemp produced to be Montana, Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon and Minnesota.

Hemp is not a plant that is limited to just one region of the United States!

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Step 2: Harvesting The Hemp Plant

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.

The plants are usually harvested around October, depending on the climate of the state. Before they can officially harvest, a sample of each crop is tested and cleared by the state’s department of agriculture. This is to assure that the farm is following federal regulations, keeping their hemp at

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.

Once harvested, plants are put up to be cured, or air dry in a well ventilated area. This curing process takes 3-4 weeks. Once dried, the flowers, where you can find the strongest concentration of cannabinoids, are stripped from the plants and then shipped to manufacturers that then extract the cannabinoids.

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Step 3: Extracting the CBD from the Dried Hemp Flower

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.

There are different extraction methods and each has its own pros and cons. Here’s a short list of the top extraction methods available:

  1. Ethanol Extraction:
    1. This method involves soaking the plant in high-grain alcohol in order to extract the CBD oil. Ethanol extraction is now one of the most common methods of today’s high-quality natural extractions and is gaining traction as one of the most effective on the market.
    1. CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide to isolate cannabinoids under extremely low temperatures. Super-cooled and condensed carbon dioxide cools and then extracts CBD oil without leaving any chemicals or residue behind. This process requires robust equipment, but yields a safe and potent end product.
    1. Another method is the oil method, which is popular with at home and do-it-yourself folks. In this method, the hemp plant is heated and cooked in a carrier oil such as olive oil which extracts the desired cannabinoids.

    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.

    Step 4: Creating CBD Oil & Topicals

    Once CBD is in its purest form and extracted from the plant, it is combined with other ingredients such as flavoring and carrier oil. For example, Populum uses a special blend of grapeseed, hemp seed and orange oil. Oils such as hempseed or coconut (MCT) oil make for excellent carriers for full-spectrum CBD. This is due to its natural abundance in saturated fats. Natural saturated fat molecules are easily absorbed by the body and directly through the liver. This allows for the body to get the most CBD absorbed into the bloodstream as possible. Populum also uses cold-pressed orange oil in their CBD oil for a light orange taste, which helps negate the “hempy” or “earthy” taste many hemp oils have.

    Step 5: Lab Testing & Packaging

    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.

    The entire process of producing a quality CBD oil takes several steps, but having a direct and clear supply chain helps yield quality end products. Brands who are transparent about their methods of production and consistently third-party test their products are often the brands providing the best oils on the market. The CBD industry has a long history, but within the past few years the technology advancements have made way for a better end product. Better production methods and continued innovation means CBD oil can make its way to more and more people and bring healing into the lives of many.

    The CBD Manufacturing Process – How CBD Oil is Made

    CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is one of the many chemical compounds found in hemp and marijuana plants. CBD oil is a supplement that can be added to a variety of different products, such as lip balm, lotion, drinks, and gummies. CBD oil is created by extracting cannabidiol from the flowers and buds of hemp or marijuana plants. The plant cannabis sativa can be classified as either hemp or marijuana, depending on the amount of THC, the chemical that creates a high when consumed, in it.

    If the particular sativa plant contains less than 0.3 percent THC, it is technically hemp. If the plant has more than 0.3 percent THC, it’s classified as marijuana. Hemp is generally used more for CBD extraction, as it contains more CBD and is legal in all 50 states. But how is the CBD extracted from the plant? The process varies by CBD manufacturer.

    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.

    Carbon Dioxide

    One of the more popular extraction methods for CBD oil uses carbon dioxide, or CO2. This system takes advantage of how CO2 can function as a gas, solid, and liquid. Closed-loop extractors are most commonly used for CO2 extraction.

    The process starts with a solid piece of CO2 in a chamber that is then pumped into a second chamber containing the cannabis material. The second chamber is kept at such a pressure that the CO2 stays in a liquid-like state and absorbs the plant’s oils and flavors. Then, the CO2-cannabinoid mixture is pumped into a third chamber where the CO2 returns to a gas state, leaving behind the plant’s oil and flavors. CO2 extraction is exact and can produce some of the purest cannabinoid extracts when done correctly. However, this is not always the case because of the high cost of equipment and the steep learning curve.

    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.

    Ethanol

    Ethanol extraction is another popular extraction process, as it is safe, simple, and effective. In this method, high-grade grain alcohol (ethanol) is used as a solvent to separate CBD and other cannabinoids from the plant itself. Ethanol extraction can be done under warm or cold conditions and is considered extremely time-efficient compared to other CBD extraction processes like CO2 extraction. The CBD oil created with this method is often used for vape pen cartridges and other products. However, this extraction method destroys the cannabis plant waxes, which may have health benefits that some product-makers favor.

    Liquid Solvents

    The idea of using a liquid to absorb CBD oil from the cannabis plant doesn’t stop with CO2 or ethanol. Naturally liquid substances are also used, including butane, hexane, or isopropyl alcohol. The process works much like the CO2 or ethanol extraction process, as a liquid solvent is run through decarboxylated hemp to remove cannabinoids and terpenes.

    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.

    Oil Infusion

    Oil infusion is one of the oldest techniques for extracting CBD oil, and many home growers and producers still use this method today. It’s one of the most straightforward ways, but it does come with some drawbacks.

    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.

    Secondary 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.

    Winterization

    Winterization is the secondary process of removing undesirable substances from the oil to result in pure CBD. After the oil is extracted, it is combined with 200 proof alcohol and stirred vigorously until thoroughly mixed. The alcohol thins the crude oil out, as the desirable parts of crude will go into solution with the alcohol while the unwanted parts will coagulate and freeze, allowing them to be filtered out.

    The mixture is then placed in a deep freezer at below-zero temperatures. Once it has time to freeze overnight, it looks cloudy and is ready for filtration. The filter removes the fats and other such materials. The oil and alcohol mixture is placed in vessels that use paper filters. The actual CBD oil remains with the alcohol solution and passes through the filter while the unwanted frozen parts are caught by it. When the oil is of the desired quality, the mixture can be heated to alcohol’s boiling point, which is lower than that of CBD oil, to boil off the alcohol. The alcohol evaporates, and CBD oil is left behind.

    Distillation

    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 contaminants, begin to boil off. Sometimes a vacuum is also used to separate the vapors with a lower boiling point.

    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.

    Conclusion

    Outlined above are the basics of what CBD is and how CBD is made. Following the manufacture of the oil itself also requires manufacturing of delivery mechanisms, which include containers such as vials and bottles, to vape cartridges and other mechanisms. Of course there is a lot more to the manufacturing process such as CBD product packaging. To find more information on domestic commercial and industrial suppliers of custom manufacturing services and equipment on all levels of the supply chain, visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform, where you will find information on over 500,000 commercial and industrial suppliers.

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