At a glance
- Step #1: Choosing the hemp
- Step #2: Planting and farming the hemp
- Step #3: Harvesting the hemp plants
- Step #4: The extraction process of CBD
- Step #5: CBD purification and distillation
- Step #6: Infusing the CBD with a carrier oil
- Step #7: Independent lab testing
By far, one of the most popular ways to ingest cannabidiol is as a hemp-derived oil. CBD oil is versatile and easy to use, making it widely accessible for users regardless of their level of experience dabbling in cannabis products!
Keep reading, and we'll share everything you need to know about CBD oil and how it's made.
Step #1: Choosing the hemp
Cannabidiol, otherwise known as CBD, is one of the primary components of the hemp plant. It is one of many natural cannabinoids found in cannabis, but it is non-psychoactive, unlike THC.
In short, CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from mature, flowering hemp plants. From careful harvesting to rigorous quality control, there are many different steps that must be followed in order to produce high-quality, safe cannabis products.
What's the difference between the hemp plant and the cannabis plant?
Before crafting CBD oil, selecting the right hemp seeds for the job is vital. That's because, in the United States, CBD must be extracted from "industrial hemp." Hemp is considered any part of the cannabis sativa plant that contains no more than 0.3% THC. CBD products are considered legal as long as they contain 0.3% THC or less.
Though cannabis and hemp do come from the same plant, a big difference between the two lies in the varying cannabinoid and terpene profiles of each. The hemp plant that is used for most CBD oils will be carefully grown and cultivated to contain high levels of CBD and merely trace amounts of THC.
Step #2: Planting and farming the hemp
Now that the ideal hemp plant has been picked for your CBD oils, it's time to start the first step of the production process. The soil is prepared and tested for herbicides, and drainage lines are installed to ensure that the plants don't become oversaturated.
Between each annual hemp cycle, there is a different type of plant grown in the same area so that the soil can maintain a high level of nutrients. Hemp itself is actually a great option for crop rotation as it helps reintroduce these necessary nutrients back into the earth by producing high amounts of biomass.
Step #3: Harvesting the hemp plants
Hemp is a fast-growing crop, and it can only take up to four to six months for the plants to fully mature. Harvest season for hemp takes place during the autumn months of September through October, depending on the local climate. When harvesting hemp, the conditions need to be just right in order to ensure the output is high-quality CBD oil.
However, before the plants can be harvested, a small sample from each is tested and cleared by the state's Department of Agriculture to double-check that the hemp maintains 0.3% or less of THC content.
The resin glands of the hemp plant's trichome are where most of the cannabinoids are concentrated. Once the plants are harvested, they're cured or air-dried in a well-ventilated area to help prevent the formulation of mold or bacteria. This curing process can take up to three or four weeks. After that, the cannabinoid-rich flowers are removed from the plants themselves and then used during the CBD extraction process.
Step #4: The extraction process of CBD
The extraction process of CBD oil is where things can get a bit more complicated. There are different extraction methods that can be used. In general, there are three main methods. Let's take a closer look.
CO2 extraction method
This extraction method is used to isolate the cannabinoids in very low temperatures. Carbon dioxide is converted into a half-vapor and half-liquid state and then is able to extract any CBD oil without leaving behind any chemicals or unwanted residues.
Though this method of supercritical carbon dioxide does require some advanced equipment, it also yields high-quality and safe CBD. It's considered one of the best CBD extraction methods and leaves behind very little waste.
Alcohol extraction or ethanol extraction method
Nearly any commercial CBD extraction technique requires some sort of solvent usage. These solvents are able to effectively separate the CBD molecule from the rest of the cannabis plant compounds. Then, they are evaporated and what's left behind is only pure CBD oil.
Ethanol is used as the solvent, in this particular extraction method. Because ethanol is a polar solvent, it is able to effectively remove the water-soluble molecules and fatty compounds found in the hemp flower. This is considered a simplistic extraction method.
Hydrocarbon extraction method
The most common solvents used are ethanol, butane, or isopropyl alcohol. The hydrocarbon extraction method utilizes solvents like propane and butane in order to extract CBD oil from the hemp flower.
This is a cheap and straightforward process, though the CBD oil that is made usually contains a higher amount of THC, meaning the CBD itself is of lower quality. Some tests have shown that some solvent residue might not be fully eliminated during the evaporation step in this case.
Step #5: CBD purification and distillation
Once the CBD oil is extracted from the hemp, it's time to further purify and refine the resulting oil. Purification is an additional step that isn't always required, though it can help remove any excess residue in order to improve the CBD oil concentration.
Other steps like decarboxylation or winterization can occur at this point as well. Distillation typically occurs as a part of the extraction process, and properly refining and distilling CBD oil is what grants users "The Entourage Effect."
Step #6: Infusing the CBD with a carrier oil
CBD extract is often added to a carrier oil when crafting any high-quality product. The most popular choice of carrier oil is medium-chain triglyceride, or MCT, oil. This is made from coconuts, though other common choices of carrier oils include vegetable oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, or olive oil.
Any CBD distillate is likely rich in essential oils, polyphenols, and other compounds, which can increase the volatility of the CBD, causing it to degrade more quickly. Utilizing a carrier oil is essential as it helps to stabilize the pure CBD oil while boosting the bioavailability of the pure CBD extracted.
Step #7: Independent lab testing
One of the last steps in creating CBD oil is third-party lab testing. It's important to ensure that any and all CBD products always adhere to the highest standards and are safe for consumers.
The CBD industry has become highly regulated as CBD products become more and more available. Regardless, it's important for users to find CBD oils that are crafted by highly reputable companies.
Find your high-quality, organic hemp-derived CBD oil here
Clean Remedies' products all undergo rigorous third-party testing by accredited laboratories, and each item comes with a Certificate of Analysis (COA) found via the QR and batch code on the label. All of our hemp is grown under the sun in the state of Oregon and is USDA-certified organic.
Everything we make is also cruelty-free and void of any harmful residual solvents, microbials, heavy metals, or pesticides. We make it our mission to ensure that everyone can enjoy peace and tranquility when using our CBD products without any worries or woes.
From our muscle-soothing and pain-relieving CBD topical roll-ons to our euphoric THC tincture oils, our carefully crafted products always adhere to the highest of standards. Starting with our organic sun-grown hemp and ending with our naturally flavored formulas, there are only good things found in each CBD and THC product Clean Remedies puts out.
Whether you're looking to grow your own hemp or buy your first CBD oil, it's important to understand the processes involved. That way, you can stay educated and fully understand each aspect of the journey you're about to embark on!
Keep Reading: 5 Best CBD Products For Energy And Focus
Clean Remedies is a woman-owned, independent family business that uses USDA Certified Organic Hemp Extract to create products that are free from harmful chemicals, cruelty-free, and made in the USA, meant to benefit your well-being and meet our own high standards of efficacy. For CBD facts, product discounts, and more, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.