Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the most promising compounds to hit the health scene in recent years. This unique cannabinoid has provided quick and safe relief for thousands of people around the world, easing pain and discomfort while dealing with a host of other symptoms.
Of course, most people who use CBD know that it comes from the hemp plant. But have you ever given thought to how CBD oil is extracted? Read on to find out!
CBD oil is the product of an extraction process that utilizes any of several methods. During CO2 extraction, CO2 is used as the solvent that separates the oil from the hemp extract. This process is considered one of the most efficient extraction methods, resulting in cleaner and purer CBD oil with hardly any residue left behind.
But extracting the oil is only the first part of the process. Isolating the individual compounds–one of which is CBD–requires subjecting the extracted oil to a two-step distillation process.
Winterization. This is the first step of distillation. Winterization removes the unwanted elements that were present in the hemp plant. Among these are fats, lipids, and waxes.
Winterization is only necessary when oil is extracted with high pressure and high temperatures. Under these conditions, the extracted oil often includes materials that you don’t necessarily want to ingest or rub on your skin. Winterization essentially transforms the crude extracted oil into refined CBD oil.
After the oil is extracted, it is mixed with 200-proof alcohol. After stirring the mixture thoroughly, it is allowed to freeze overnight. The mixture will take on a cloudy appearance by morning, which means that it is ready for the filtration process.
Filtering the fat and other unwanted elements from oil requires running it through filter paper into a jar. This is often done with the use of a Buchner Funnel.
After the oil is filtered and the impurities are removed, the process of removing the alcohol begins. Applying heat to the extraction causes the alcohol to evaporate because its boiling point is lower than the boiling point of the oil. The alcohol could then be used for the extraction of another batch of oil.
Short path distillation. This process further refines the extract and isolates the CBD. The process is similar to the way winterization works, with a heat applied to the extract. Because each element has a different boiling point, they can all be extracted separately from the mixture.
Not all products branded as CBD oil are extracted directly from hemp. Many commercially available products are distilled from hemp seed oil, which comes from the seeds. Because of its high omega-3 fatty acid content, hemp seed oil can be very beneficial to the skin. However, it contains no phytocannabinoids and doesn’t provide nearly the same benefits as CBD oil.
CBD oil is made from hemp extract, so there are phytocannabinoids present. Because the extract comes from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, you get all the phytocannabinoids that make CBD such a potent and effective medication.