How CBD is Extracted from Hemp

Cannabidiol (CBD) exists in both marijuana and hemp – two different forms of the cannabis plant. Marijuana is less favored for making CBD oil because it contains THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. Industrial hemp plants are preferable because they are widely legal and bred to emphasize high CBD content. The CBD in these plants can create concentrated oils via extraction. Do you wonder how CBD is extracted? The process of separating cannabidiol from other plant material effectively is both complex and expensive, requiring professional equipment. Here are the most common ways of extracting CBD from hemp.

Oil Extraction

Oil extraction is the method of choice for many home extraction projects. It’s a simple extraction method whose use dates back thousands of years. Oils like olive oil soak hemp plant for up to a couple weeks at a time. After soaking, heating the mixture helps remove any remaining compounds from the plant and get them into the oil. Since infused oil is delicate, it must be kept in a cool, dark place. The imprecision associated with this method makes it hard to establish the exact concentrations of active compounds in the finished product.

Solvent Extraction

In the solvent extraction method, plant material resides in one chamber with a liquid solvent. Ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, butane, and hexane are examples of the solvents this process can employ. They mix with plant matter to suspend the active cannabinoids in solution. The liquid then evaporates away from the mixture, leaving only a concentrated oil. This method requires minimal equipment. It’s a cheap and simple way of extracting CBD, but there are some downsides to keep in mind as well. One of these is that the solvent chosen can remind behind in the oil. This extraction method is affordable, but is less desirable because of the solvents it leaves behind. The right solvent and meticulous processing can reduce this residual content slightly, but the process is not flawless.

Carbon Dioxide Extraction

Carbon Dioxide Extraction employs a closed-loop extractor, a machine with 3 chambers. One pressurized chamber holds solid carbon dioxide, or dry ice. Another chamber contains the dry plant material, and the final chamber receives the extracted product. The solid carbon dioxide moves into the second chamber with the plant material. Temperature and pressure change inside the second chamber to turn the carbon dioxide into a liquid. The liquid CO2 runs through the dry plant material and separates cannabinoids from unwanted plant material. The mixture then moves into the third chamber where it exists at a higher temperature and lower pressure. This change lets the carbon dioxide turn back into a gas and rise to the top of the chamber. The CBD oil extracted from dry plant material stays at the bottom of the chamber.

This method eliminates the need for a lengthy evaporation process. Consequently, impurities are unheard of. Because this method leaves no solvents leftover and creates a pure CBD product, it is our extraction of choice for all of our CBDEase Products. You can learn more about both of our lines at the following links: PetEase Products and PeopleEase Products.