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How is CBD Made

The Magic Behind CBD – How is CBD Oil Made

Modified Date: November 8, 2019

Have you ever wondered how is CBD oil made. CBD is one of 104 compounds, known as ‘cannabinoids,’ which can be extracted from any member of the Cannabis Sativa plant family. Because of the need for high levels of CBD to create oil and other products, it is usually sourced from the hemp oil variety of cannabis, which contains less than 0.3% THC. CBD oil benefits are tremendous and therefore the way it is made is intriguing.

The low levels of THC are essential from a legal standpoint. While THC is still illegal, CBD is now legal at the federal level in all 50 states of the US.  Nonpsychoactive and highly therapeutic, this rich, natural chemical can be used medicinally for both humans and animals.

What’s more, historically industrial hemp can be used to make fabric, hemp oil, edibles, paper, building materials, and many other products for the consumer market.  In this article, we will talk about how it is used to make CBD oil. So how is CBD hemp oil made?!

CBD Extraction

If the hemp has been grown as a source for CBD, the most critical part of the process next to a quality growing operation is extraction. Extraction methods vary depending on the crop’s yield and the size of the operation.

If you grow your own plants, you may already be aware of how to extract the oil from the plant. It can be done at home with some basic kitchen equipment and a whole lot of caution.  Typically, olive oil or alcohol is used in this process. It should only be done by someone who knows what they are doing and has taken the necessary precautions, as it can be a hazardous undertaking.

Small CBD operations may also use ethanol extraction to pull the CBD from the hemp. Ethanol is an inexpensive and efficient extraction method and is common in smaller CBD companies who cannot afford costly equipment.

Larger scale operations almost always utilize CO2 extraction. Considered the cleanest and most efficient way of sourcing CBD, it requires expensive equipment and technicians who specialize in running it, but it produces a high-quality oil.

The Hemp Plant

The history of CBD is quite interesting, in colonial America, hemp was a valuable agricultural commodity. It was so vital to the economy that laws were passed requiring farmers to grow a certain amount of it, and for a time, it was even used as legal tender.  When marijuana was made illegal in 1937, hemp was prohibited as well. For many years the two different plants were referred to interchangeably which contributed to some of the common misconceptions surrounding cannabis.

Fast forward to 2019, and hemp is back in style as a cash crop, and the main reason for this is consumer demand for CBD oil products, CBD vape oil, CBD gummies, CBD hemp oil and numerous other products.  Helping in various occasions, from recovery from sports injuries,  to helping in anxiety, and many other situations. But just how does a golden bottle of healing hemp oil come from the humble cannabis plant?

Hemp is quick to grow under the right conditions. First, the feminized seeds of the plant are chosen and can vary in strain from region to region, and even by growers. Once hemp farmers sow the seeds, they then have to give them a really good soak to start the germination process.

After germination, the hemp enters the seedling and vegetative stages where the stems get thicker, and the leaves multiply.

Hemp needs particularly moist conditions to flourish to its full potential. This is why they are most commonly found within the Central and Western United States as opposed to the Southern states, as the states to the south have a much drier climate and it can be challenging to get a good yield extreme heat.

Did you know that an acre of high-quality hemp breaks down to about $60,000 per harvest? It’s a very lucrative crop to grow, but you have to know your stuff to do it well. Hemp does best in certain conditions, like a soil PH level of between 6.0-7.5, and a steady amount of rain. In fact, industrial hemp needs almost 30 inches of rain per year to grow to its maximum potential.

If you play your cards right, you can potentially harvest over 1 pound of hemp per plant at harvest time. Speaking of harvest, hemp can take as little as four months to grow from seed to being ready to harvest. This means that locations with a long stretch of warmer months may be able to see two crops per year.

Extracting with CO2

For the CO2 extraction process, a machine called a ‘closed-loop extractor‘ is used. This machine has three chambers. On one end is the CO2, in the form of dry ice. In the middle is the chamber that houses the plant matter. The CO2 is passed through the plant matter at a carefully controlled pressure, which makes the gas act more like a liquid, in which a similar process to the ‘liquid solvent’ method takes place.

The new CBD/CO2 mixture then moves on to the third chamber, where low pressure and high temperature causes the two to separate, allowing for the extraction of the CBD compound, ready to be mixed with oil. This is also sometimes referred to as cold pressing.

Third Party Laboratory Testing

Any company who wants a reputation for supplying high-quality products will have their raw CBD oil tested to ensure it contains no heavy metals, toxins, pesticides, or herbicides.

Agricultural hemp is a bioaccumulator. As such, it can pick up contaminants from the soil it is grown in. It is imperative that the plant material is of the highest quality before it is ready to enter the supply chain.

Making the Finished Product

Once the pure CBD compound has been extracted and separated from the solvent used, it can then be mixed with oil, most commonly coconut oil, olive oil, or hemp seed oil. This forms the basis of the CBD oil we find on the shelves.

This oil can then be further crafted into CBD sprays, muscle rubs, gummies, cookies, vape products, and a whole host of other products The final steps, of course, are labeling, branding, and packaging, before the product is distributed to retailers.  It is at this point you will find it in a local store or one of many online marketplaces.

In short, you can take a CBD product from seed to shelf in a little over four months. Hemp farmers can make anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 per acre of hemp depending on the yield and the CBD content of their harvested crop.

There will undoubtedly be many more hemp farms popping up across the globe as more people understand the benefits of CBD. This will undoubtedly give rise to even more innovative manufacturing methods and products to choose from in the future.  


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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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