Different Methods of Extracting CBD


CBD or cannabidiol has experienced a surge of popularity because of the wonderful health benefits that it offers to everyone. CBD is the most beneficial chemical compound from the cannabis plant. CBD has been widely studied and researched by scientists and medical researchers and has been found to be capable of preventing all types of ailments known to man. The medical community is still currently finding more ways to benefit from CBD. Having more knowledge on how CBD is extracted would help you have a clearer understanding on this amazing chemical compound.

Why are the Hemp Extracted CBD Products Better?

If you come to think of it, CBD or cannabidiol, can be extracted from all types of cannabis plants. However, the best CBD products should be extracted from the hemp plant. It is because the other cannabis plants have a higher THC or tetrahydrocannabinol content. THC has psychoactive and addictive effects. The CBD oil that is extracted from the hemp plant has only less than 1% of THC content. It means that you won’t have to worry about having a positive result on drug tests.

Below is a list of the most popular ways of extracting CBD:

Liquid Solvent Extraction Process

In this extraction method, flowers and plant trimmings are placed inside a container. Liquid solvents such as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, butane, or hexane are usually run through the plant to strip off the cannabinoid and flavors. It is then transferred into the liquid. Next, an evaporation technique is done to extract the oil that has very concentrated chemicals and flavours. Among the extraction methods, the liquid solvent method is the most inexpensive way to extract CBD because you only have to use a few materials. However, there are some downsides. A considerable amount of impurity on the finished product will be present. The taste of the CBD oil that has been extracted by using solvents also does not taste tolerable because it is quite bitter.

Olive Oil Extraction Process

The olive oil extraction process might be the most ancient form of extraction. It has been used by the traditional doctors in Asia and Europe hundreds of years ago and is still currently done by CBD enthusiasts. Just like the liquid solvent extraction, this is inexpensive and is definitely easy to conduct. However, after you have extracted the CBD oil, you have to keep it in a cool, dark place because it has a much shorter shelf life compared to other CBD oils. For this reason, many commercial CBD oil producers don’t use this method of extraction. In the olive oil extraction, the cannabis plant will initially be decarboxylated. To activate the chemicals in the cannabis, a specific heating temperature will be set for a specific amount of time. After which, the extracted materials will then be added to olive oil and heated once more for the extraction of the purest form of CBD. It is vital for the olive oil to remain as it is, and must not be evaporated. The CBD oil extracted from this method is not as concentrated as the other methods.

Butane or Hexane Extraction Process

This is also called as the Rick Simpson’s method because he was the one who formulated this CBD oil extraction process after he constantly suffered from tinnitus and dizziness. Different hydrocarbons such as acetone, hexane, pentane, butane, and propane were utilized during the extraction process. The said hydrocarbons will have to undergo in a low boiling point at a specific time frame. It has been said that the purest form of CBD oil can be extracted in this process. Just like the liquid solvent extraction process, this also has a downside. The chemicals that will be used for this extraction process are very susceptible to fire.

CO2 Extraction Process

This, by far, is the most complicated yet reliable extraction process. Unlike the earlier extraction methods that don’t need equipment, an expensive piece of equipment called “closed-loop extractor” is required. Carbon Dioxide or (CO2) is a unique molecule that can function as solid, liquid, or gas. Its state of matter, however, depends on the temperature and pressure it is kept under. The “closed-loop extractor” equipment is needed because the pressure and temperature have to be kept in a very specific manner.

The machine that is used for the CO2 extraction process has 3 chambers. The first chamber contains the solid or dry ice particles. The second chamber contains the dry plant materials (cannabis). The third chamber is mainly used to extract the finished product (CBD oil). The first chamber is pumped into the second chamber. The second chamber is set on a specific temperature and pressure, then the CO2 turns into the liquid state, which is known as the “super critical CO2”. Then, the CO2 and cannabinoid mixture on the second chamber is then pushed into the third chamber, where it will be kept under a lower pressure, but on a higher temperature.

So which extraction method is the best?

The best extraction method is the CO2 extraction method because it is the safest method, without any downsides. However, the equipment used for the CO2 extraction process is expensive. That is why only professional CBD producers use this method. Also, the CBD oil from hemp or any other cannabis plant that is produced from this method has the lowest THC content, making it the most beneficial CBD oil for consumption.