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A Guide To CBD Oil: All About Extraction

9 mins read

CBD oil, possibly one of the most popular ways to get that daily dose of CBD in your system, has been making its name within the health and wellness world. 

With CBD oil being a creative, delicious and effective way of getting your CBD supplementation, there’s never been a better time to refine your search for the best-extracted CBD oil. As with all things health and wellness related, discovering the origins of your CBD is one of the best ways to determine the quality of the CBD you’re putting in your body.

Where is CBD Extracted From?

Typically, cannabidiol (CBD) is extracted from the hemp plant – this is because hemp tends to hold the highest amount of cannabidiol to THC. This is unlike other cannabis strains, which tend to have very little cannabidiol present as this isn’t what they were selectively bred for. 

Hemp is also environmentally friendly, easy to grow and can prove more than a little versatile – hemp fibre, hemp seeds and even hemp milk are some of the things which we can derive from the hemp plant, making it a very strong contender for cultivation. With the rise of CBD demand, we can see how growing more hemp can prove a really useful plant in the long run.

When we actually get to extracting CBD from the hemp plant, we need to consider some factors. Is the extraction process:

  1. Environmentally friendly;
  2. Affordable;
  3. Efficient.

Here are some popular methods of CBD extraction – considering the factors above, we’ve ranked them from ‘worst’ to ‘best’.

Olive Oil Extraction

, A Guide To CBD Oil: All About Extraction, ISMOKE

This is, perhaps, the most inefficient method to extract CBD from the hemp plant – making it the least likely for reputable companies to use. A lot of people at home like to extract their own CBD from hemp plants via this method – and, while we don’t recommend trying it, we can say that a company that uses the olive oil extraction method to get their CBD might be best avoided.

In this extraction method, a decarboxylated hemp plant (this is where the carboxylic acids of a plant have been removed) is used for the CBD extraction to occur. When we say that the hemp plant has been decarboxylated, it has been heated to such a degree that all the acidic cannabinoids within it get activated as a result. The decarboxylated hemp plant then has olive oil run through it. The activated cannabinoids, which include CBD, THC and so forth, absorb into the oil. Many people like to leave it at that and have themselves a nice face oil infused with CBD. To extract the cannabinoids from the oil, the mixture is filtered- this leaves behind the cannabinoids. 

This means of CBD extraction is pretty safe, environmentally friendly and simple- it can also be done anywhere and, while it tends to be laborious, has a high success rate. However, it’s not the best means for commercial extraction of CBD – which is why we can’t place it as a legitimate form of CBD extraction. The olive oil method is fun to play around with, but the yield is too unpredictable and long-winded for it to produce CBD that is worth selling from a worthwhile company.

The Solventless (Solvent-Free) Extraction Method

In this method, friction, heat, water and strong pressure are applied to the hemp plant, which is frozen. This produces a sticky, cannabinoid-rife sap called rosin, which has been squeezed out of the glandular trichomes of the hemp plant via sheer force. 

When it comes to the sticky sap rosin, for those who don’t want to extract and separate the CBD, this method of extraction can be very valuable. In fact, rosin has been making a name for itself in the cannabis world for some years now – and, much like the olive oil method, enthusiasts are finding their own way of making rosin at home. However, for those who want pure CBD from rosin (big companies and brands who want CBD for wholesale purposes, for example), this method proves difficult and excessive for larger yields. Often, a rosin press machine is used? which exhibits just the right heat and pressure to extract the cannabinoids from the sap without degrading the terpenes and other phytocannabinoids. Correct pressure must also be used to compromise for less heat. 

While this is a relatively cheap way to extract cannabinoids from the original hemp leaves, it can also be long-winded, technological and low in purity. Likewise, this method can waste energy, making it bad for the environment. 

The Solvent-Based Extraction Method

This method involves a liquid solvent running through a decarboxylated hemp plant extract. Usually, these solvents will be butane, hexane or ethanol – these are safe to evaporate post-extraction and leave behind a full spectrum of cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, CBN, etc., ready to be used. , A Guide To CBD Oil: All About Extraction, ISMOKE

While this method is cheap and efficient at producing high yields of CBD, it’s not very good for the humans who are working behind the extraction process. Working with solvents, such as ethanol and butane, can be harmful- the solvents are typically quick to burst into flames and can be dangerous when inhaled for a prolonged period of time. Likewise, the high temperatures involved in the extraction process can prove bad for the environment while also potentially harmful for the actual cannabinoids – since high temperatures can damage the compound structure of the cannabinoids, rendering them futile. This process is also expensive, to boot.

As a result, while this extraction method produces a great deal of yield, it has health hazards that can be risky. 

The Supercritical CO2 Method

Last but not least, the supercritical CO2 method – which is the best method for producing great levels of CBD with the least amount of effort, resources or impurities. This is when CO2, in either gas or liquid form, is pumped through raw hemp material to strip away all the required cannabinoids. This is the ‘gold standard’ method of CBD extraction.

While this method is expensive and requires close monitoring, many businesses and brands choose it for the low temperatures, environmentally-friendly approach and, above all, efficiency in producing high, pure yields of CBD.


When considering the CBD oil best for you, it’s imperative to look at the different methods of extraction that may be used. Take care, do your research, protect the environment and, above all, happy CBD-hunting!

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