CBD oil is a major ingredient in nutritional, medicinal, and beauty products. It is, in fact, the one ingredient that makes a product more sellable (and more buyable). Amidst all the different types of CBD products that you can buy in India, CBD oil remains the most popular. But how is CBD oil made? Let’s learn.
Featured Read: 11 Types of CBD Products You Can Buy in India Online
Before diving into the science behind CBD oil, let’s briefly understand its many uses.
A Nutritional Supplement
CBD hemp oil is widely used as a dietary supplement. That is because CBD is a rich source of omega-3s, essential fatty acids, and vitamins—all crucial for our health. CBD stimulates good metabolic function and elevates mood. It is also an effective stress reliever.
Among the limited clinical trials that are allowed on CBD-based drugs, the majority show promise in treating multiple illnesses where conventional treatment has failed. These include childhood-onset epilepsy, ovarian cancer, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s.
CBD oil when massaged onto the body aids in reducing inflammation and battling chronic pain. CBD’s interaction with the human brain also makes it a promising medicine for psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.
As a Beauty Supplement
CBD oil has the ability to improve the elasticity of the skin. For this reason, it is an important ingredient in beauty products. It works wonders on the skin and can reduce wrinkles and acne. CBD oil has natural anti-ageing properties and can moisturize the body well.
How is CBD oil made?
So, we know there is this wonderful product that can work miracles for us. But what do we know about how it’s sourced? Where is it coming from? And how?
Manufacturers use CBD sources to extract CBD oil. There are 4 ways to extract CBD. But before that, there is a very imperative step.
Selection of hemp source
The hemp variety of cannabis plants is a major source of CBD. So, the producers begin by selecting the finest hemp source. They usually settle on a plant that is naturally potent in CBD. Such a source elevates both the quality and the yield.
Featured Read: The Ultimate Guide to Hemp in India
Process I: Whole Plant Extraction
The most beneficial and least quality-compromising extraction process is whole plant extraction. In this process, the plant’s potentially therapeutic compounds are retained as much as possible. This method is typically used to extract full-spectrum CBD oil, which ends up providing substantially more benefits than an isolate product.
The process of whole plant extraction is as explanatory as the name suggests. The whole hemp plant is part of the extraction process. The scientific community supporting this process believe that it yields a broader spectrum of cannabinoids.
A whole-plant hemp extract contains all the available cannabinoids which are used to create products. Legally, whole plant CBD extracts must contain a THC volume less than or equal to 0.3% by weight. Anything more than that is considered to be marijuana.
A 2015 study by Israeli scientists says that whole-plant extracts of CBD are superior to the other ones. Their experiments indicate that the anti-pain and anti-inflammatory effects of whole plant CBD are better and thus it is more suitable for clinical use.
Another good thing about this process is that it synergises CBD and THC. Research shows that CBD can effectively enhance the medical effects of THC without stimulating its harmful effects. When their mutual anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, and anti-analgesic properties are synergised, they make a healthier supplement.
Together, THC and CBD have the ability to:
- Affect multiple targets within the body
- Improve the absorption of active ingredients
- Overcome bacterial defence mechanisms
- Minimize adverse side effects
Featured Read: A Quick Guide to the Effects of THC & CBD
Process II: Isolates Extraction
A CBD isolate is a pure, crystalline powder containing 99% pure CBD. CBD isolates contain only CBD. This process removes all the other plant matter. Unlike the full-spectrum (whole plant) CBD, CBD isolate contains absolutely no traces of THC. Isolates are more extensively refined than whole plant extracts.
CBD isolates are already decarboxylated which is to say there is no need to vape them. It can easily be ingested and it will get to work. It works well for medical patients since small doses of CBD isolate yield CBD concentration.
CBD isolates work great for people allergic to THC or who don’t want THC revealed in a drug test. They are one of the most versatile ways of using CBD.
Since it contains CBD and CBD alone, it has a better potential for many diseases such as pain, inflammation, anxiety, depression, and even diabetes. CBD isolates lack flavour which is a plus for some people.
Process III: Alcohol Extraction
The process of alcohol extraction for cannabis is fairly common. Many believe it to be the original extraction method. In the process, the alcohol combines with dried plant material. Mostly, the process uses either ethanol or isopropyl.
It works as a solvent and pulls the THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids from the plant. After the process, the extractors further separate the solvent and the extracted components. This creates a pure, finished cannabis product or concentrate.
Alcohol extraction usually occurs in two ways:
- Soaking in Alcohol: where the extractors soak the source plant in alcohol. After extracting the cannabinoid, we evaporate the solvent (alcohol). The product that’s left is CBD oil which is ready to be consumed.
- Roto-Vap: where the plant is first soaked in ethanol and then run through a Roto-Vap process. This process heats the ethanol solution to speed up evaporation. The process captures the ethanol. This ethanol is reused later. The CBD oil is left behind in a container.
When done correctly, alcohol extraction can eliminate the need for winterization or dewaxing of CBD oil. This method works great for creating a full spectrum CBD extract or tincture. The storage limits with alcohol extraction are less lenient and therefore allow for extracting large volumes of cannabis at once.
Process IV: CO2 Extraction
The last process forces carbon dioxide through the plant to extract the oil. This process is more complex than the other three since it requires a series of CO2 extraction chambers. It is the most expensive and most effective extraction method in the world.
Carbon dioxide can act as a solvent at certain temperatures and pressures. The chambers control the pressure and temperature forcing the CO2 to react with the cannabinoids and then separate. When the cannabinoids separate, the different chambers collect them differently. This gives the extractor a choice to choose the cannabinoid they want to use for their product(s).
Types of CBD Oil
A core purpose behind using different extraction processes is to obtain different types of CBD oil. Presently, there are three types of CBD oil used widely:
- Full-spectrum CBD Oil: an extract that contains all the chemical compounds that are originally present in the source plant. This type of extract contains CBD along with other cannabinoids (including THC, in the amounts it will naturally be present in the source plant), terpenes, flavonoids, etc. When compared to the other two types of CBD oil, full-spectrum extract offers a better and more wholesome relief.
- Broad-spectrum CBD Oil: an extract that contains all the chemical compounds that are originally present in the source plant except for THC. Because THC is the compound that causes the high when people consume cannabis. However, in the hemp plant, the amount of THC is naturally low and does not cause any intoxication. Still, for users who do not want to experience THC at all but want to reap the benefits of cannabinoids other than CBD, broad-spectrum CBD is the ideal choice.
- Isolate CBD Oil: an extract that contains only and only CBD. CBD isolates are the purest way of experiencing the benefits of CBD. It is also most suitable for beginners as there is only one chemical compound working on the body.
Featured Read: Types of CBD Oil: Full-spectrum vs Broad-spectrum vs Isolate
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