What is CBD Oil?

by | Aug 13, 2019 | CBD Oil Education

CBD Oil is a viscous liquid that contains concentrated extracts of cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound secreted by cannabis flowers.

CBD is the second most common cannabinoid out of the 113 that make up the genetic structure of hemp and cannabis plants. Oil concentrations change depending on the manufacturer’s intent and state sales laws. Some oil labels specialize the concentrations with terms like full spectrum or broad spectrum.

A full spectrum oil will contain all naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes present at the time of extraction. Broad spectrum oil’s make up changes depending on additives and carrier oils. Cannabidiol is also non-psychoactive.  Meaning, you will NOT experience the infamous, euphoric type of high that is associated with cannabis oils rich in THC.

Learn More: CBD Laws By State

Our “CBD Near Me” page, provides a one-stop informational resource to all your state-specific CBD and marijuana needs.

How is CBD oil made?

The hemp plant is part of the cannabis sativa family generally chosen for CBD extraction because it produces high volumes of the cannabinoid. Hemp plants are also coincidently very low producers of THC. Plant quality selection is very important, the less processed the plant is the more its natural properties are preserved.

When CBD is sold in oil it is either pure extracted cannabis oil or isolated powder which is then often combined with a carrier oil like coconut or MCT. The extraction method for CBD varies significantly, and below is a short overview of the most common processes.

CO2 Extraction

This style of extraction uses “supercritical,” a state of combined semi-liquid and semi-gas, carbon dioxide to pull the plant’s phytochemicals. This supercritical state is ideal because it allows the carbon dioxide to move and dissolve plant material in both forms. The process generally follows this method using a specialized machine.

First, the carbon dioxide is prepared by rendering it with intense pressure and cold then raised to supercritical with heat. Then the CO^2 passes through the sourced cannabis plants and collects extracts. Last, this extract combination is exposed to low pressure which separates plant extract from the CO^2, which yields the finished cannabis oil.

This process tends to produce oil that is very safe for consumption if done in a sterile environment. It also is very exact in its manufacturing. As a vendor, it is important to be aware that this is a very expensive process and machine which requires advanced chemist expertise.

Solvent Extraction

This extraction method is very basic, it’s so simple it can be done even from home. Using a base solvent, the most popular being ethanol, harvested cannabis plants are exposed and left to stir and marinate. This time of marination allows the base to slowly dissolve the plant materials and bind with them.

This mixture is then drained and slowly turned over heat until the ethanol evaporates leaving the oil. Beyond being relatively straightforward, this production method is very cost-effective. The main concerns, however, are that a base like ethanol is very flammable and that overheating cannabinoids can denature them.

Dry Ice or Ice Water Method

This form of extraction creates a powder resin commonly referred known as “bubble hash.” This method has been improved upon and varied from expert to expert, but the steps are generally the same. First, the harvested cannabis plant pieces are finely cut and then added to ice (or dry ice).

Next, water is added and the mixture is sieved through micron mesh bags to weed out impurities and plant byproduct from the forming extract multiple times. Lastly, the water is drained and the product is left to dry. This process produces relatively large amounts of plant extract but is labor intensive.

Oil Extraction

This method of making CBD is becoming increasingly popular. It entails the use of carrier oil to extract CBD oil. Currently, olive oil is commonly used during the process. The method is becoming increasingly popular because of the added benefits of the olive oil nutrients and the fact that it eliminates the unwanted residues.

This technique’s results are different than the other mentioned extraction methods. The process will produce infused oil, not pure cannabis extract. Cooking oil, usually olive oil, is combined with the cannabis material being used and is warmed for hours then strained. The only drawback to this process is that the CBD will be consequently diluted.

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