How to extract CBD
It’s no secret that CBD is taking the world by storm; from wellness products to dog treats, this hemp sourced ingredient is growing in demand. Deriving from the leaves, flowers and stalks of hemp plants, CBD is a chemical compound found in the plant. The hemp variation comes from a strain of cannabis plants, however, it’s non-psychoactive, so will not produce intoxicating effects. CBD, also known as cannabidiol, differs from its relative THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the primary compound found in marijuana. When the extraction processes follow the right safety procedures, CBD will not contain any illegal THC levels and therefore, will not have the same psychoactive effects.
In the last year, we have seen a huge spike in the industry. With many players on the field and little scientific research being carried out, it is essential to know the process to make cannabis oil. Knowing the different marijuana extraction methods and how to extract THC from the product is essential to making a high-quality and legal oil.
As CBD oil comes from a strain of cannabis plants, there are many varying laws around its legality.This causes issues around the world with conducting research and the varying extraction methods.
It’s important to look for a company that is transparent about its CBD oil production. Because it’s likely it’ll be a higher standard and a safer method. With a variety of CBD and THC extraction methods on the market, the different processes will produce varying qualities of CBD oil. To ensure your product is of high quality, it is imperative to know how CBD oil is made.
How is CBD Oil Extracted?
What are the Various Extraction Processes?
CBD oil is made, firstly, by growing hemp plants using the Cannabis Sativa L. growing process – the same process used in ULU CBD oil. This is a cloning method where the farmer will seek out a hemp plant that contains high levels of cannabinol. The best hemp plants will be high in CBDa, CBD and contain low THC levels; meaning the strain of hemp genetics stays legal and has a low risk of psychoactive effects. To clone them, the farmers harvest the seeds or use a section of the plant tissue.
Grown outdoors, the plants are spaced well apart and have access to lots of nutritious sunlight. In this way the plants can grow to their full capacity and will be rich in cannabinol. This process means the farmers can quickly produce large quantities of the hemp plant and guarantee the same quality across all products.
Here at ULU, we pride ourselves on our high-quality CBD oil. Our plants are free from pesticides and herbicides. Meaning we do our bit for the planet and deliver natural, organic CBD oil. During our CBD oil extraction production, we use ultrasonic CBD extraction, which is at the forefront of the industry, resulting in rich, premium pure CBD.
How to Make Cannabis Oil
In the process of making CBD oil, the manufacturers must ensure the level of THC is below the legal limit. In the UK, anything above 0.001% of THC is outside the legal requirement. That’s why here at ULU we guarantee our CBD oil contains less than 0.0005% of THC – virtually zero. Alongside THC extraction, the chosen extraction method can have huge impacts on the quality of CBD oil, from the smoothness, to ensuring there are no harmful components in your final product.
How to extract CBD oil from hemp?
Extracting CBD using Hydrocarbon Solvent:
Once a hydrocarbon solvent, such as butane or propane, is selected, it gets passed through grounded hemp to filter out any waste product. This by-product is then transferred to a vacuum where the mixture is heated. The solvents have a much lower boiling point compared to the cannabinoids. So as it is heated the solvent evaporates, leaving behind the cannabinoids.
- The solvent method produces good quality oil
- This is a cheap way to extract CBD oil from hemp plants
- During this method, the product loses approximately 10% of cannabinoids, meaning your final product is less potent than other CBD oil production methods.
- Cannabis oil made in this way will be a harsher consistency than the popular, smooth and clear oils on the market.
- The largest drawback of this method is the potential for toxic residue. If safety precautions are not taken, the solvent method can be hazardous and contain contaminants from the plant, such as pesticides.
Carbon Dioxide extraction (Co2) is an innovative method that uses industry-leading equipment to extract CBD from the raw plant. The required plant material is firstly compressed at a low temperature, after which supercritical Co2 is passed through. The process varies between manufactures, with some using gas and others using liquid carbon dioxide.
Supercritical Co2 is held at a high pressure and pressure compared to its standard ‘critical’ state – this is when it becomes a liquid and can be used as a solvent.
There is an extended version of this process that can bring about nearly 0% levels of THC, however, this process takes longer and is considerably more expensive. As this method uses specialised equipment and rids the final product of almost zero percentage THC, it is known as one of the best methods in the industry.
- Co2 extraction methods produce pure oil and contain one of the highest percentages of cannabinoids.
- There is little to no risk of contaminants being in the final CBD oil.
- This is one of the best methods for removing essentially all the THC from your final product.
- The extremely high-quality of this product comes at a cost and is an expensive process. For this reason, you won’t find individuals or a small business using this method in their CBD and hemp extraction process.
- Due to the extensive process and high-quality product, this extraction method takes longer than some of the others.
CBD Extraction with Olive/Coconut oil:
This unique method is one of the oldest and most traditional CBD oil extraction methods and is often referred to as an ‘at-home’ extraction process. To begin this process, the raw plant must, first, be ground down to a fine consistency and decarboxylated, allowing the cannabinoids to be in their most active state. This can be achieved by gently and slowly heating the plant material.
Using a plant-based oil, such as olive or coconut oil, ground hemp is immersed in the oil and the cannabinoids and plant components get absorbed into it. This combination gets heated for two hours before it is cooled and filtered to remove any plant residue.
- As this is an at-home production method, it’s highly inexpensive.
- Due to the nature of the equipment and natural solvent, this is a gentle and simple process.
- Making cannabis oil with this at-home method produces a less potent and diluted product.
- The final product will have large plant particles in and therefore will perish quickly. It must be stored in a cold, dark environment to ensure some longevity.
- The CBD oil will retain any contaminants found in the original hemp plant – including pesticides.
During this CBD oil production method, steam is used to separate the CBD oil from the hemp plant. As water is heated the steam travels up into a flask containing the plant. The vapors that are released from the plant contain CBD and are separated and collected in a separate glass container. This mixture will later be distilled to extract the CBD from the water.
- This is a reliable and safe THC extraction method.
- Making CBD oil in this way is inexpensive.
- There is little to no risk of toxic residue remaining in the final product.
- A downside to this method is that large amounts of plant material must be used to get good results, deeming this an inefficient process.
- This distillation method doesn’t produce consistent results each time. This method makes regulating the CBD difficult as the concentration of CBD is inconsistent.
- If this is not done properly the steam could get too hot and damage the hemp plant, causing changes to the structure of CBD and rendering it useless.
During this CBD extraction, an alcohol solvent, like ethanol, is used because it mixes well with water and will dissolve water-based molecules. During this process the ethanol will extract the cannabinoids and chlorophyll. Resulting in the oil having a darker colour and harsher, grassy taste. The chlorophyll can be removed with further post-extraction methods however this may reduce the cannabinoid and will lower the quality of the CBD. Despite this, it seems to be a popular method due to its cost effectiveness.
- This is a highly cost-effective method
- This method is often favoured because of its fast nature.
- Some people may choose to use post-extraction filtering methods to remove the chlorophyll, which will increase the price and reduce the quality of the CBD oil.
- If using a less experienced extractor, there is room for error and the possibility of solvent contamination increases.
Ultrasonic Cannabinoid Extraction:
This innovative ultrasonic method has taken CBD extraction to new places. While it is more complex than other methods, it has a wild array of benefits. Using ultrasound waves, the solvent mixture is pumped with high and low-pressure sound waves to create millions, upon millions of miniscule bubbles. These bubbles create an environment that breaks through the plant’s robust cellular wall. After which, the mixture is filtered, and the CBD oil is separated from the solvent using evaporation. This method can be adapted to an array of final products from commercial to medicinal use and can be used with many different solvents, from olive oil, H20, Co2, and more. ULU is proud to use this environmentally friendly method for our premium CBD because of its extensive list of benefits.
- Cost-effective. Lower cost than the leading Co2 method, meaning set-up costs are lower for the company and the product is more affordable for the customer.
- Shorter production time. This process can take only minutes, whereas other extraction methods can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to reach a final product.
- Higher production rate.
- Produces high-quality CBD with no toxic residue.
- Environmentally friendly: this method doesn’t require harsh solvents to break down the strong cellular wall of the hemp plant.
- This is one of the newer methods in the industry and still has a way to go for gaining popularity.
Final Word on How to Extract CBD
As we have covered there are a huge variety of CBD extraction methods and we hope this has answered your questions about how CBD oil is made, from the growing process to THC extraction. Environmental impact is important to us here at ULU. Although while we prefer the ultrasonic extraction process, there are benefits to some of the others too. As we have covered, the different methods will affect the quality of the final product. So looking for a company that is transparent about their manufacturing is vital.
What will the future hold for novel extraction methods?
With the wellbeing industry on a rise and the world becoming more vigilant about environmental impact, it is likely to see methods that favour kinder processes and better quality. Methods such as carbon dioxide extraction will continue forward, thanks to the high-quality product that it produces. However, with its high price point, methods such as the Ultrasonic extraction will prevail. Thanks to its less harmful impact on the environment, high-quality CBD oil and low cost.
Here at ULU, we hold our products to a high standard to deliver a premium CBD oil without harming the environment. Which is why we primarily use ultrasonic processes. Because they yield faster results, use less harmful equipment, and produce a CBD oil that is high quality and contains essentially zero THC.