As cannabidiol/CBD becomes more popular across multiple industries, the means of producing it is gradually more accessible. While extracting CBD oil with high purity may be best left to the professionals, extracting cannabinoids from the cannabis plant is fairly straightforward.
Extraction uses agents that strip the plant matter of its cannabinoids, terpenes, and other phytocannabinoids.
CBD oil is extracted from hemp flowers and strains of cannabis that have less than 0.2% THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is a psychoactive phytocannabinoid, so it is important to use hemp strains of cannabis.
Benefits of CBD Oil
A high-quality full-spectrum CBD oil can be a great addition to your health and wellness routine. CBD and other cannabinoids act on your body’s endocannabinoid system, instilling an overall sense of wellness and relaxation. CBD also helps reduce inflammation, which in many cases can be a leading cause of chronic pain. Additional possible benefits of CBD include ease managing stress and relief from intense physical movement.
Several CBD products are used in different ways to promote certain health benefits. CBD oil can be ingested directly, put in balms and salves to use topically, or used as a base for other CBD products. In order to derive CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes from the hemp plant, it must first go through an extraction process.
There are a few primary extraction methods used to extract phytocannabinoids. The first uses a solvent such as alcohol, butane, or hexane to strip the plant matter of nutrients and extract the CBD.
Once this is done, the solvent is purged from the oil, which can be a difficult task, and dangerous is not done right or thoroughly. This method produces high-content CBD oil, but must be done carefully since you are working with volatile and dangerous chemicals.
The purest and highest yield way, and what has become an industry-standard in CBD extraction, is supercritical CO2 extraction. CO2, in its supercritical state between liquid and gas, is introduced to the plant matter, extracting all the cannabinoids.
As the gas is pumped into the next chamber, the CO2 evaporates, leaving behind a clean, high-quality CBD oil. The equipment and tools for this are very expensive, so it is quite a cost-prohibitive process.
However, the last method is one that can be used to make a homemade CBD oil. This method uses common carrier oils such as coconut oil, MCT oil, or olive oil to extract the cannabinoids from the plant. You only need a few ingredients, a kitchen, and some time to make your own CBD oil at home. Here is a step-by-step walkthrough of how to make your own homemade CBD oil.
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Homemade CBD Oil Extraction Process
Prepare the plant material by either grinding or crushing it down, or by decarboxylation. Decarboxylation involves heating the plant material slightly, at about 120°C. Almost a pre-step, this activates the cannabinoids and prepares them for extraction.
Choose the carrier oil you want to use. Popular options are coconut oil, MCT (medium-chain triglyceride) oil, or olive oil. Olive oil is often used due to its pleasant flavour. MCT oil has a positive effect on energy and brain function and is often used in nootropics and ‘smart’ coffee. Coconut oil also has positive benefits on energy and regulating blood sugar.
Steep the prepared plant matter in a pot with equal parts of your oil of choice and water. Heat on low until your mixture reaches 95°C, and gently let simmer. Some may opt to use a double boiler here, which involves placing a pot inside another of boiling water to heat the mixture. This is a safer way to heat the mixture.
After stirring and simmering for about 30 minutes, turn off the heat and let the entire mixture cool to room temperature. Once cooled, strain into a sealable jar. You can discard the plant matter and place the sealed strained mixture in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
The mixture separates, leaving a layer of water on the bottom, and a hardened CBD oil on top, which melts at room temperature. Separate the oil from the water and you are done.
You can use this oil to ingest directly or add into tea, coffee, smoothies, and more. As this is not a scientific extraction, the CBD dosage is not exact, so start with a small amount and add as needed. Users report feeling effects of CBD about 20 minutes to an hour after taking it, but factors such as metabolism, body weight, and tolerance can also play a role.
As hemp becomes more legal and culturally accepted, we will see many innovations on how CBD is used. Medical research is still incomplete, and while some health benefits of CBD may have scientific backing, much is based on reported user experiences and the similarities between them.
As CBD makers improve their production and lab testing becomes more integrated into such processes in the industry, over the next few years we can expect to see many of the plant’s benefits become supported by scientific and medical claims.
The process of extraction is an important one, and how we derive CBD from hemp determines its overall taste, purity, potency, quality, and effect. When purchasing a full-spectrum CBD oil, make sure you are buying a clean, third-party tested high-quality CBD product.
Trusted companies like Canzon CBD use high-quality organic solvent extraction to produce a natural, safe product. To learn more about their tinctures and other products, browse their online catalogue.