Extracting CBD oil from hemp


CBD oil is a widely used product of the hemp plant. It is believed to hold multiple natural plant benefits and various general well-being perks. It is manufactured by infusing CBD extracted from the cannabis bud or flower with an organic carrier oil such as coconut oil. CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of the multiple beneficial compounds found in the hemp plant. There are several methods used to extract CBD oil from hemp. The method of extraction used determines the quality and integrity of the resulting product. This article explores the various extraction processes and how they impact CBD oil quality and potency.

How to Choose the Best Extraction Method

The extraction process actively determines the quality and quantity of CBD and other inherent compounds in a CBD oil. Poor extraction methods ruin the integrity of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids from even the best quality hemp. Therefore, know how each process works and how much room it leaves for contamination. Moreover, get a pure, concentrated CBD extract that can be effectively used in oils, tinctures, balms, and other useful CBD products. Below are the various CBD extraction methods.

CO2 Extraction Process

The CO2 extraction process is one of the most expensive methods. It is considered one of the best and is popularly used by most trusted CBD product manufacturers. It is also widely used in various non-CBD-related extraction processes, such as decaffeination of caffeine products and spice extraction from host plants. With the CO2 method, carbon dioxide is subjected to controlled temperature and pressure to prompt a change in the state of matter of the gas. The ensuing gas is then run through the hemp plant to remove the needed chemical plant compounds slowly. CO2 is a friendly, inert solvent for clean, uncontaminated CBD extraction. CO2 extraction is categorized into two; the subcritical and supercritical categories. The supercritical method involves applying heat and pressure to carbon dioxide to surpass critical temperature and pressure. This results in CO2 with both liquid and gaseous properties, capable of being compressed in a pressurized container. In this condition, CO2 serves as the perfect solvent to extract CBD cleanly from the plant without affecting any natural compounds. Sophisticated equipment maintains the correct temperature and pressure for high-quality CBD, making the CO2 extraction process quite costly. The ensuing solution is channeled into a separator after running the supercritical CO2 through the hemp. Here, the CO2 is set apart for re-use, and the plant compounds are extracted for further processing into CBD oil.

Subcritical extraction entails subjecting the CO2 to lower temperatures and pressure below the critical point. This method, therefore, takes more time than the supercritical. It also further ensures the integrity and quantity of natural compounds and terpenes found in the hemp plant. The subcritical process typically produces a smaller amount of extract than the supercritical, preserving more fragile natural and residual plant components. The subcritical process essentially sacrifices quantity for quality. Generally, the CO2 extraction method is considered the best for a clean, quality CBD oil extraction.

Olive Oil CBD Extraction

The Olive oil extraction method is popularly used to extract CBD to create CBD oil from home. Olive oil is mainly preferred in this process as it effectively masks the taste of raw CBD and is also quite versatile. The hemp extract is crushed to a fine powder or heated at a specific temperature. This alters the chemical structure of various cannabinoids in the extract, making them easier for extraction. The hemp is then subjected to heat in the olive oil to extract the plant compounds and infuse them into the oil. This method is good for extracting CBD oil at home. Notably, it cannot be used for commercial CBD oil manufacturing, as the end product is insignificantly low yield and has very limited shelf-life.

Dry Ice CBD Extraction

If you can lay your hands on dry ice, this is also a method of CBD oil extraction to use at home. It is a considerably safe and clean extraction method, as no reactive, contaminating solvents are used in the process. Dry ice CBD extraction uses dry ice to flash-freeze the hemp plant extract before sieving the frozen plant cells in a mesh. The resulting product is then infused in an organic, inert carrier oil of your choice to form CBD oil. The dry ice extraction method is random and inconsistent with unreliable accuracy. The quality of the end product depends entirely on the precision of the flash-freezing process and how thoroughly you sieve the trichomes. This is one of the best methods for extracting clean, uncontaminated CBD for creating CBD oil at home.

Solvent CBD Oil Extraction

Solvent extraction is the cheapest and simplest method used to mass-extract CBD or extract it at home without needing any specialized provisions. The CBD oil extracted using this method is always prone to contamination and potential adverse side effects. The solvent extraction method entails running a solvent, mostly alcohol, through the hemp extract. The Phyto-cannabinoids are extracted from the hemp plant into the solvent. The solvent is thereafter evaporated, resulting in an oily solution containing the raw plant compounds. Unfortunately, this method extracts the required cannabinoids and strips chlorophyll from the plant extract. As a result, the CBD oil made from a product of this method poses adverse side effects. It also tastes quite bitter due to the alcohol content. In addition, the quantity and integrity of terpenes and cannabinoids extracted in this method are usually affected, resulting in poor-quality CBD oil. Despite being cheap and simple, solvent extraction is the least recommendable.


The quality and potency of CBD oil depend largely on the extraction process used to extract the constituting CBD. There are several methods of extraction. Some are complex and expensive, while others are cheap and simple. The best method uses an inert and friendly solvent such as CO2 to produce clean, natural CBD extracts through controlled temperature and pressure. Methods that use volatile solvents such as alcohol result in a poor quality end product with degraded compounds. CO2 extraction is the best method for quality CBD extraction, while Solvent extraction is the cheapest, low-quality extraction method available.

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