The demand for CBD oil continues to grow steadily, but how many of us know anything about how it’s made? Well, let’s find out.
The Right Genetics
Producing high-quality CBD oil starts with selecting the appropriate cannabis strain. Whether you’re creating CBD oil from marijuana or hemp plants, it is important to select a strain that is naturally high in CBD.
The most successful CBD producers have put a lot of resources into developing their own signature cannabis strains, which is what gives each brand its unique appeal. CBD can be extracted from pretty much any strain, but starting with something that is naturally high in CBD will increase yields and quality.
What’s Your Type?
CBD oil products on the market will generally fall into one of two categories. Some of them are “whole plant” extracts, while others are isolates.
Whole plant means pretty much what one would think – the entire plant is used for extraction. This method is popular in the medical community because it is believed that a wider spectrum of cannabinoids is captured during extraction. The cannabinoid spectrum is important because it encourages the “entourage effect”, which stimulates the endocannabinoid system.
CBD isolates, on the other hand, are “pure” CBD. The effectiveness of these isolates will depend solely on the potency of the CBD and ultimately the quality of the genetics used to obtain it.
The kind of oil being made will determine the extraction technique used.
The “original” CBD oil is a whole plant oil famously created by a man named Rick Simpson. It is made by soaking the plant material in a solvent, such as alcohol. Once the material soaks, the remaining liquid is full of CBD, along with other cannabinoids. From there, the solvent is evaporated and the remaining oil is ready for use.
The Rick Simpson method was scaled up by larger corporations in order to meet commercial demand. This led to the development of a method involving ethanol, which is most commonly used today. The plant material is soaked in ethanol and the resulting alcohol solution is run through a rotary evaporator. This heats the alcohol solution, causing it to evaporate. Instead of releasing the evaporated ethanol into the air, however, the rotovap reclaims it for later use. The CBD oil is left behind in a separate compartment, free of the solvent and ready for consumption.
Another popular method for extracting CBD from cannabis is with CO2. This process requires a bit more skill and a lot more equipment than the alcohol method. CO2 extraction involves a series of chambers that control temperature and pressure. To put it simply, these chambers force CO2 through the plant material.
The temperature and pressure in the chambers create a reaction that causes the cannabinoids to separate. As the cannabinoids separate, they are collected in different chambers, allowing for the production of isolates.
These are not the only methods for extracting CBD from cannabis, but they are certainly the most popular today. Extracting CBD is only part of making CBD oil, however.
Flavouring & Dilution
Freshly extracted CBD oil isn’t exactly delicious – not to most people anyway. CBD oils have become part of a daily regimen for many consumers, so producers are working hard to make their products palatable. Producers are also “diluting” their raw CBD oils in response to an increasing demand for different levels of potency.
As a consumer, it’s important to know what goes into the production of CBD products. You want to be sure of what you’re putting into your body.