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CBD Guides

How is CBD oil made ?

A girl showing how to use an ULU CBD oil bottle with a pipette

CBD, otherwise known as Cannabidiol, is a natural remedy for ailments that is quickly growing in popularity around the world. Everyone is talking about CBD, from Hollywood celebrities to the people on your street. Derived from the Hemp plant family,  Cannabidiol treats pain, helps with anxiety and depression, provides insomnia relief, reduces acne and so much more. Whether you’re always on the go or not, you can find the right CBD product to suit your lifestyle. Found in gummies, vape juice, face serums, and more, Cannabidiol is more accessible than ever before. We explain how CBD oil is made.

However, despite its availability and multiple health benefits, CBD is widely misunderstood. Most of us don’t even know how CBD oil is made! The methods can differ greatly, making it difficult to know who to trust before making a purchase. So, to help you make an informed decision, we are going to explain how CBD oil is made and what to look out for when making a purchase!

What is CBD (Cannabidiol) Oil? hemp-leaves

 

One of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids, CBD is found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. It is made using an extraction process. The CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant before being diluted with a carrier oil like hemp seed or coconut oil. There are many different methods depending on the provider and production stage.

The most common question that arises on the topic of CBD oil is, will it get me high? This is understandable as the cannabis plant CBD is extracted for was made famous for its recreational use. However, CBD is quite a different substance to the one that gets you high.

THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is the THC that causes the sensation of ‘getting high’ that people commonly associate with cannabis. In contrast, CBD is not psychoactive, making it a popular option for those looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects.

Where Does CBD Oil Come From?

CBD oil comes from an herbaceous species called Cannabis sativa. It was first discovered in the 1940s, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that scientists began studying its medicinal benefits. Quite simply, CBD is a compound that is extracted from the flower of the Cannabis Sativa L. plant.

CBD or Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that is working wonders in the world of medicine. People around the globe are using CBD oil to help heal their ailments. Whether you have issues with arthritis, skin problems, aches and pains, or problems with sleep, CBD oil can help it all.

Because CBD is extracted from Hemp, it contains less than 0.2% THC. This level is considered by medical experts to be so small that it cannot get you high. Due to the legal status of cannabis in the UK, you cannot legally buy cannabis oil with a THC level higher than 0.2%.

How is CBD Extracted from the Plant?

A bottle of CBD being dispensed into a glass jar

There are multiple CBD oil extraction methods. After hemp plants have flowered and been harvested, it’s time to extract the valuable cannabis compounds from the plant and into an oil called crude extract. There are several ways Cannabidiol can be extracted, so we thought we’d explain a couple of them so that you can get a better understanding of what it’s all about.

CBD Oil Extraction: Hydrocarbon Extraction

Hydrocarbon Extraction uses a light hydrocarbon solvent to carry out CBD oil extraction. This method of extraction is affordable and easy, but it comes with a variety of issues that make it non-ideal. Because the resulting oil contains a lower concentration of terpenes and cannabinoids and a higher concentration of THC, this extraction method can be dangerous. Therefore, it is rarely used by commercial CBD companies today.

Pros

  • Storage limits are more lenient, allowing facilities to extract and store large amounts at one time.
  • If carried out properly, ethanol extraction can eliminate the need for winterization.
  • The process is beneficial for full spectrum hemp extracts and tinctures.

Cons

  • Ethanol pulls more water-soluble components from the plant, such as chlorophyll.
  • Post processing is far more labor intensive than hydrocarbon extraction and requires the use of multiple methods of refinement and filtration

Extracting CBD Oil Using Lipid Extraction

Lipid extraction is one of the lesser-used CBD oil extraction methods. The process uses fats or ‘lipids’ to absorb the hemp-produced compounds. It is common to find organic coconut oil being used in this CBD oil extraction process, eradicating the need to use any harsh solvents or CO2.

This technique is a toxic-free way to separate the compounds with very little need for processing. The process involves applying pressure, heat, and time to encapsulate the plant compounds in fats like coconut, olive, or MCT oils. Lipid extraction is popular because the method is a simple one and it preserves the beneficial nutrients of the CBD oil with minimal processing.

Pros:

  • Maintained the integrity of the whole plant.
  • More environmentally friendly and less energy and labor intensive.
  • Reduces the entourage effect which happens when CBD is ingested alongside other compounds from the cannabis plant.

Cons:

  • Shorter shelf life compared to other CBD extraction methods.
  • Reduced efficiency.

How to Extract CBD Oil Using Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol Extraction is perhaps the most popular method employed to extract CBD. Ethanol extraction is safe, simple, and effective. The process works by using high-grade ethanol as a solvent. The ethanol helps to separate the CBD and other cannabinoids from the plant. The extraction can be carried out in hot or cold conditions and is very quick, compared with other extraction methods.

Pros:

  • Reduces the need for winterization.
  • Less solvent is needed to extract, meaning more storage space.
  • The extraction process only requires an energy consumption of 20%

Cons:

  • 80% CBD extraction purity is difficult to achieve because of its polar nature.
  • There are more steps needed to get pure CBD extract after ethanol extraction is complete.

CBD Oil Extraction Using CO2

cbd extraction equipment

The CO2 extraction method takes a little bit longer, but it can produce some of the purest quality Cannabidiol extracts when carried out properly. Using carbon dioxide, CO2 extraction is carried out under a combination of extremely low temperatures and high pressure. This combination strips the hemp flower of all cannabinoids and terpenes.

If this process is not carried out with precision, it can cause errors. Due to the high cost of equipment and how tricky this process is to achieve; CO2 extraction is largely used for boutique brands and luxury consumers.

Pros:

  • The CO2 extraction process is incredibly safe because CO2 is used in many popular foods and beverages in the form of an additive.
  • CO2 extraction ensures purity.

Cons:

  • The equipment needed is costly.
  • It takes a lot of specific knowledge to carry out.
  • CO2 extracted CBD products are more expensive.

Solvent or Chemical Extraction

Solvent extraction is where a solvent is used to separate the CBD oil from the plant material instead of water. This chemical extraction leaves a resulting mixture of CBD oil and the solvent. The solvent then evaporates to leave the pure CBD oil behind. This chemical extraction process is simple but effective.

Pros:

  • Chemical extraction is affordable.

Cons:

  • The solvent residue can be toxic.
  • The resulting oil sometimes has an unpleasant taste.

The Decarboxylation Process

Most CBD oil products undergo decarboxylation. This is a heating process that transforms the cannabinoids into a form which is easily used by the body. When cannabinoids are decarboxylated, they are able to immediately interact with the endocannabinoid system’s cannabinoid receptors.

The decarboxylation process involves applying heat to an extract so that the acid module is removed, and the active compound is produced. The higher the temperature, the faster the cannabinoids are activated!

The Winterization Method

Winterization works by purifying the extract and removing unwanted components. The process consists of thoroughly combining the CBD extract in 200 proof alcohol and freezing it overnight. The next morning, the cloudy mixture is ready for filtration, which is carried out by running it through a paper filter into an extraction jar.

The filtered end-product has the alcohol removed through warming until it evaporates. This is only possible because the alcohol has a lower boiling point than the oil. The result of winterization is a full-spectrum extract that is free from unwanted plant materials but still rich in cannabinoids and terpenes.

The Different Types of Cannabidiol

When buying CBD for the first time, it is important to do your research. Many people are easily confused when it comes to the different types of CBD that exist. This confusion is often caused by industry terms like isolate, broad spectrum, and full spectrum. Most first-time consumers don’t know what these terms mean. So, to help you find what you’re looking for, we thought we’d break it down for you.

CBD Isolate

cbd-isolate

CBD Isolate is the purest form of Cannabidiol available for sale. Isolates only contain CBD, which means that they are very popular for first time buyers, as well as those who don’t want to risk additional content, like professional athletes.

Full-Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum simple means that you get an array of cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant your CBD was extracted. While this does mean this method includes all the compounds usually stripped out of isolate-based products, it usually includes traces of THC. However, the level of THC in full-spectrum CBD products is not enough to get you high.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD products are somewhere in the middle between full-spectrum CBD and isolates. CBD broad-spectrum products remove the THC molecules from the mixture, creating a perfect Cannabidiol hybrid.

Of course, there is always a risk that all the THC has not been entirely removed from broad-spectrum products. This means you could test positive in a sensitive drug screening.

As with most extraction methods, there is always the issue of consistency to factor in. While one batch of broad-spectrum CBD may be higher in cannabinoid, the next batch may be higher in CBN content. Because CBD is extracted from a plant, the results can fluctuate. Which is why there are some companies who have created specialized formulas by merging the best parts of broad-spectrum and isolate-based products.

What You Should Look for When Buying CBD Oil

Now that we have covered how CBD oil is made, the various extraction processes, and a few things to be aware of, let’s talk about what to look for when making a purchase! We believe there are three essential things to be aware of before making a purchase:

Cannabidiol Production

How and where is the CBD you are looking to purchase produced? While this may seem a bit extreme to ask if it’s your first-time buying CBD oil, different extraction processes do deliver different results. Finding out where and how CBD is produced is one of the most important things you need to know before making your purchase.

It is also important to be aware that there are many CBD companies cutting costs by purchasing hemp extracts from overseas. This is risky as the level of quality control around hemp farming in other countries cannot be guaranteed. This means that there could be residual pesticides or solvents in the finished product that haven’t been entirely removed. So, it is best to do your research.

CBD Oil Testing and Transparency

Anyone can claim that their product is the best, but how can you be sure they’re telling the truth? Lab results! That’s how. Any CBD oil company of high repute will be very transparent when it comes to their lab testing processes. This generally means they will have a Certificate of Analysis freely available on their website. This keeps companies honest and gives you peace of mind that you are purchasing a safe, clean, and effective product.

Cannabidiol Customer Satisfaction Reviews

Just like when you purchase anything else online, your first line of defense against buying a rubbish product is to check the reviews. Reading the honest reviews of satisfied (or not so satisfied) customers is one of the best ways to understand product quality. Real customers are always honest. So, be sure to check the reviews before clicking that ‘buy’ button!

The CBD Testing Process

While CBD lab testing standards tend to vary between manufacturers, ideally CBD oil will be examined in lab testing for cannabinoid content reliability and safety prior to being sold. Experienced companies and technicians should test for degradation damage, or contamination in the oil to ensure that consumers receive only safe, reliable products.

The Best CBD Options Available for You

After reading the above, I am sure you’re keen to find out more about the products available to you. But before you browse our shop, it’s important you know that not all CBD products work in the same way. Each CBD product is for a specific use and you need to understand what each one does to find the best fit for you.

CBD Oil Tinctures

ulu-cbd-oils-with-business-cards

CBD oil tinctures are a great introduction to the world of CBD products. The only ingredients in CBD oil tinctures are carrier oil (MCT). This means you must adjust to CBD oil slowly, altering the serving size to suit your comfort level until you find what works best for you.

To use CBD oil tinctures, place the drops under your tongue and allow them to rest there for at least 30 seconds before swallowing. This allows the CBD to enter your bloodstream so that it can get to work quickly, and you can experience results faster.

CBD Gummies

Another popular CBD product is CBD gummies. These are an easy way to take CBD and ensure you get a pre-measured amount every day in a fun, flavorful way. Gummies are a favourite for many people and work as a great on-the-go product, making taking CBD fit into your schedule with ease.

CBD Sleep Products

ulu @19 The Harley Street Hospital CBD 5% Gaba Amino Honey 30ml

Many CBD products are taken throughout the day, but CBD sleep products are specifically made to help you sleep better. These products typically include beneficial ingredients like melatonin, valerian root, and chamomile. The combination of these ingredients helps you fall asleep faster and also achieve that deep sleep quality you long for! Read our article Can CBD help you sleep ?

CBD Topical Products

CBD works extremely well as a topical product and many people find it gives relief to their aches and pains, skin problems, and more. Unlike the products above, CBD topical products don’t enter directly into your bloodstream. Instead, they work using additional compounds like menthol and arnica to penetrate the skin and provide pain relief. If you need fast-acting, topical support, our CBD topical products are a good place to start!

CBD Bath Bombs

If you like relaxing in the tub at the end of a long busy day, CBD bath bombs will be right up your street. Quite a recent addition to the world of CBD products, these bath bombs have become extremely popular. The combination of warm water and high-quality CBD makes it impossible not to feel well-rested and relaxed after a busy day.

Get Shopping for CBD Oil Products

I hope this article has helped educate you on CBD oil, how CBD oil is made, what to look for when making a purchase, and the products available. At ULU, we believe knowledge is power and we are committed to helping people just like you harness control of their health and their bodies.

We hope you will browse our shop full of high-quality CBD products and that our CBD oils will help you find the relief you’ve been looking for!

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