How CBD Oil Is Made
CBD oil has become popular over the past few years, with plenty of options to choose from: from lining supermarkets to your favorite specialty stores. You might wonder how to distinguish between the different types of CBD oil and what makes each of them unique. A common question you might ask yourself is, “How is CBD oil made?” Today, we’re going to share some of the common ways that CBD oil is made so that you can make more informed choices about the products you’re using and consuming.
Where Does CBD Oil Come From?
CBD oil comes from the Cannabis sativa L. plant species; the specific variety is industrial hemp in most cases. Industrial hemp was a commodity fiber in the United States until the mid-1930’s when it was banned as an illegal crop. Laws started shifting back to pro-hemp in 2014 with the 2014 Farm Bill, but still strictly regulated. Fast forward to present day, more bills have been passed that allow for the federally-regulated growth of industrial hemp as long as it has less than 0.3% concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
How Is CBD Oil Extracted?
CBD oil extraction happens in a variety of ways. Two of the most common types of extraction are CO2 and Ethanol. Each has its own positives and drawbacks, and each is popular depending on the user and their needs. Let’s take a look at these CBD oil extraction methods and break them down a little bit.
C02 Extraction Of CBD Oil
C02 extraction is one of the most common methods of extraction. Typically known as supercritical C02 extraction, this method involves carbon dioxide put under very high pressure and extremely low temperatures. Slight changes in pressure or temp allow room to fine-tune the extraction of CBD and other plant compounds. When utilizing a CO2 extraction method for obtaining CBD oil, a waxy, CBD-rich substance starts to separate from the gas, which is then collected in a vessel. This gold-in-color oil goes through a process called winterization, where it is purified and refined, producing some of the highest-quality cannabinoid extracts available.
While this is one of the more popular extraction methods, there’s a lot of room for error. The equipment for CO2 extraction is expensive, and there is a steep learning curve. You’ll notice that many luxury or boutique CBD brands have mastered this extraction technique, and people are willing to pay for it.
Supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 extraction is a method that involves using carbon dioxide that is under extremely low temperatures and very high pressure to strip hemp flowers of all cannabinoids and terpenes. CO2 extraction is highly precise and can produce some of the cleanest cannabinoid extracts when done correctly. However, this is not always the case because of the high cost of equipment and the steep learning curve.
Ethanol Extraction Of CBD Oil
Ethanol has been used to extract plant compounds for centuries. It is another extraction method that is extremely popular in the CBD world. It has a low barrier to entry, which is a benefit for some and comes with its own set of drawbacks. Ethanol extraction is relatively simple, safe, and straightforward, especially compared to more volatile methods like hydrocarbon extraction that use solvents like butane, hexane, or propane — which are highly flammable and neurotoxic.
Ethanol extraction uses high-grade grain alcohol (ethanol) as the solvent to separate all of the cannabinoids like CBD from the plant itself. This process can be done using both warm or cold conditions. The drawback of this method of extraction is that a decent amount of ethanol is needed to complete this process, which can run into compliance and safety issues for the final product. To ensure there aren’t any issues with the final product, expensive equipment is needed, especially in large-scale operations. While it is a more efficient and timely process compared to CO2 extraction, over the long term, it’s not always the ideal solution for those making the CBD oil or for those buying it.
What Are The Types Of CBD Oil?
When shopping for your CBD products, you may notice different labels and verbiage that say things like “full-spectrum,” or “broad-spectrum CBD oil,” or even “CBD isolate.” It’s important to know what these different types of CBD oil mean so that you can make an informed decision about what you’re consuming. One of these may contain higher amounts of THC, and some lack all the beneficial plant compounds that contribute to the entourage effect.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil
Full-spectrum CBD oil is great, depending on what you’re after. With this type of CBD oil, you’re getting whatever plant compounds existed in that specific plant that was processed—hence the full-spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and so on. This also means that, depending on the plant, there may be trace amounts or more of THC in the oil, which might not be a problem for some, but could definitely cause issues for others based on their needs and occupations.
Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad-spectrum CBD oil is what you’ll find in all HempFusion products. Broad-spectrum CBD oil is somewhat in the middle of full-spectrum and CBD isolate. It’s a nice blend of all of those juicy cannabinoids and beneficial compounds, but without the THC, that may cause issues with compliance. When purchasing broad-spectrum CBD, it’s important to support brands that are clear in their 3rd-party testing and transparency. The potential downfall of broad-spectrum, just like full-spectrum, is the possibility of the small amounts of THC building up in your system over time. When you purchase from a reputable brand, you’ll know precisely what cannabinoids are in your broad-spectrum oil and have peace of mind that the products are fully compliant with THC regulations.
CBD isolate is sort of how it sounds—isolated CBD. CBD isolate is just the CBD completely separated from all of the other plant compounds. These isolated compounds are then used in different products like tinctures, capsules, and gummies. The drawback of CBD isolate is the lack of other beneficial plant compounds. Many companies infuse certain compounds back into the CBD formula, but this process takes the final product far from its roots. At HempFusion, we never isolate the CBD from its sibling plant compounds. We like to keep things as close to nature as possible.
What To Look For In High-Quality CBD Oil
When you’re looking for a high-quality CBD oil, you always want to start with the brand’s values and processes. If you can’t find information on the brand, it’s safe to walk away and seek out a brand that isn’t afraid to stand up and be clear about its business practices. A high-quality CBD oil will contain a variety of industrial hemp plant compounds, mindful and transparent growing, manufacturing, and testing practices, and an accessible brand behind the product that can offer you peace of mind through test results and education.