How To make CBD Oil

CBD (cannabidiol) has shown promise in a number of medical applications, with research continuing into the benefits it may allow users continuing as I write this post. “How To Make CBD Oil” is something we are asked regularly.

The ease of taking it, coupled with the fact that it has been used as a herbal remedy and supplement for literally thousands of years make it as in demand today as when it was first introduced into human consumption all those years ago.

If you ever wondered how CBD oil is made? You’re about to find out how now.

Extracting CBD Oil from Hemp or Marijuana

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There are 2 main ways to extract the oil from hemp or marijuana, including using ethanol, a solvent, for separation, or CO2 extraction. CO2 extraction is a purer, cleaner form of extraction because it doesn’t leave any residue. We use this method for our products.

Once extracted you need to either process or filter the oil to remove impurities. The more you process/distill the oil, the more elements are removed. This process can go right on till only CBD is left and you have an Isolate, which is illegal to sell for ingestion in the UK without an FSA certificate.

What Is Filtration:

This leads to a purer Golden oil. Basically you can use a filter press to remove impurities from the extracted raw oil, yet leave alone the Terpene, Flavonoid and Cannabinoid rich elements of the plant. A good filtration process can be expensive and long, yet you are left with the finest Golden oil once you finish. Pricier, yet a lot more valuable to the end user.

What is Winterisation?

This is getting asked by more and more people nowadays. This is the most common practice for processing, removing unwanted elements that were extracted from the plant, such as lipids and waxes in the raw oil. Many other Terpenes and Cannabinoids are also removed as well. It is an alternative to a filtration process that you would get from a Golden oil procedure. It is a further purification process on already extracted oils, designed to maximise the CBD content. However you lose many of the useful nutrients from the Hemp plant the more you process it. It is why we prefer to filter out the unwanted elements leaving a purer, fuller Golden oil instead of overly processing to focus largely on the CBD.

The most common process for distillation involves combining the oil with 200 proof alcohol, (for the most common distillate oils), and stir it until it is fully homogeneous. Then, freeze it for about 12 hours. It should look cloudy after that. Once it does, that means it is ready to be further processed. One way to do this is by running it through a filter paper into a jar. After the unwanted components have been removed to your satisfaction, you can proceed to remove the alcohol. This is done by the use of heat. The extract is heated and the alcohol evaporates because the boiling point of oil is higher than that of alcohol. The alcohol that is removed can then be reused on other raw oil.

Refining it Further

To refine the extract further, you need to perform a process known as SPD or short path distillation. This is similar to the first step in that you heat the extract and then each compound is separated because they all have different boiling points. You isolate each compound this way, and all the compounds can be used separately.  Isolate is created at this point which is not a usable substance in the UK without an SSA certificate. It also has zero Flavonnoid, Terpene and alternative Cannabinoid elements in it.

What Are The Different Ways CBD Is Extracted From The Plant?

Each extraction method has pluses and minuses. There is no perfect method. We’ll provide a brief overview of the pros and cons of the three main extraction methods: hydrocarbon, CO2, and ethanol. We include Hydrocarbon even though it is not used for legal CBD oils/products in the UK or Europe as far as we know.

Hydrocarbon Pros

  • High extraction rates
  • High potency levels
  • Great for crumble, shatter, and other dabbable products

Hydrocarbon Cons

  • Expensive facilities
  • Not tunable or selective
  • Automation is difficult and costly
  • Heavily regulated, often producing illegal products
  • Residual solvent testing needed
  • Strict limits on amount of hydrocarbon allowed at facility

CO2 Pros

  • No residual solvents – great for vape liquids
  • Selective and tunable for different molecular weights
  • Cold separations and extractions great for temperature-sensitive production (ex. terpene preservation)
  • Produces the purest Golden Oil after filtration
  • Easy automation once set correctly

CO2 Cons

  • Manually operated systems are hard to learn
  • Equipment is expensive
  • Low extraction rates with cheaper equipment

Ethanol Pros

  • Very cheap equipment and facility
  • Relatively low power required
  • Easily scalable
  • Very fast extraction

Ethanol Cons

  • Extracts chlorophyll
  • Not selective
  • Requires high extent of secondary processing
  • Flammable

Safety First

When it comes to extracting CBD oil, safety should be a critical concern. Below are some important aspects that need to be addressed with the most commonly used solvents. Fire safety and general carefulness are obviously incredibly important, as is common sense.

Electrical Components

For compressed flammable gases, the electrical components need to be explosion-proof (class and division 1) and class 1, division 2 for alcohol or ethanol. Wash-down electrical enclosures NEMA 4 x are required for non-flammable, electrical solvents.

Pressure For CO2 Extraction

The pressure rating is normally 2000 or 5000 psi for CO2 and 300 psi for hydrocarbon. To protect from over pressure, non-isolable relief valves must often be adjusted to 110% of the highest possible working pressure.

Design and Material

For consumed oil applications, stainless steel must be used throughout. The design of the extraction equipment for distillates should be suitable in terms of the solvent one is using. Common sense is key here. make sure the equipment is able to withstand the pressure or solvents that are being used.

What Is The CBD Purification Process?

It’s like they say: the purer, the better. To achieve maximum purity, the CBD distillates must be separated from the THC and all other compounds completely. The result is an odorless, colorless, and practically quite bland CBD isolate. Ironically the “purer” and more processed the oil becomes, the less elements are able to “stick around for the ride”. This results is a purer CBd related oil/product, yet devoid of many other Cannabinoid, Flavonoid/Terpene elements that are incredibly important for a well rounded product. This distillate is dissolved with a safe secondary solvent, separating all other compounds from the CBD. The CBD molecules crystallize on the bottom of the jar or bottle over at least 72 hours. Isolate is basically pure CBD, though no other Cannabinoids, Flavonoids or Terpenes are present.

Distillate oil, the stage prior to Isolate, is more full spectrum than pure Isolate. It can contain some Flavonoid/Terpene content, yet much is lost due to the increased processing of the oil from its original raw state as we have discussed already.

So What Is The Best Way To Make CBD Oil?

It depends what you are looking to provide once the manufacture is complete:

  • Do you want Purity and the highest quality end product? Then you need to invest heavily in super critical CO2 extraction, with a full filtration set up. This will allow you to remove impurities, yet maintain ALL the goodness the Hemp plant can offer you. The Golden Oil created is basically the finest, most Hemp rich option on the market. You also do not use any solvents which more and more people are beginning to turn away from. A Fully natural extraction/filtration is becoming more important as people begin to understand the whole process of CBD oil creation.
  • If you are looking at getting an oil/product that is cheaper and easier to product then a solvent/ethanol extraction will be the way to go. The distillate oil will still be full spectrum and contain various Terpene and Flavonoid elements. Just not as much as the Golden oil due to the increase in processing the oil will go through.
  • You can always just use raw oil, though with this you are using all the useful elements as well as all the impurities that the above extraction processes will take out for you.

Adding Carrier Oils

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After extracting CBD, you can add a carrier oil to make the product easier to administer, as CBD oil tends to be very thick, and to increase the bio availability of the oil.

Is Hemp the Best Carrier Oil?

That would be hemp seed oil. The hemp plant provides omega 3 fatty acids and has a large number of anti-inflammatory properties. Cold pressing hemp plants is the best way to ensure you’ve preserved all of the healthy qualities of hemp without losing anything important. This is because organic material is prematurely oxidized by heat and beneficial nutrients are lost.

Hemp seed oil’s optimal ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids encourages the growth of good gut flora. It keeps glucose levels low and improves your cholesterol. It can also help enhance your cognitive functions and energy levels. This means that YES we believe it is the best carrier oil as it further enhances the value of the oils we sell with its own goodness and keeps the whole oil 100% Hemp related.

A couple of other popular carrier oils are:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil and other oils consisting of medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are also suitable because they don’t change the color, taste, or any other important properties of the CBD oil. MCTs are directly absorbed by the liver, so the body metabolizes them into the bloodstream immediately, along with the CBD oil. This way, your body is absorbing CBD very efficiently.

Black Cumin Seed Oil

Finally, black cumin seed oil deserves a mention for its antiviral and antifungal properties.

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