The world is talking about the many health benefits of CBD oil. The recent legalisations of industrial hemp have boomed the sales of CBD products. This is inspiring the manufacturers to expand the variety of products they offer. And among all of that, CBD oil remains the most popular.
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).
CBD oil as 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 the mood. It is also an effective stress reliever.
CBD oil as Medicine
Among the limited clinical trials that are allowed on CBD-based drugs, 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 in the human brain also makes it a promising medicine for psychological conditions such as anxiety and depression.
CBD oil 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-aging 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?
Read on to learn.
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 plant 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.
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 way the extracts end 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, the whole plant 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 over 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. Researches show 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
Process II: Isolates Extraction
A CBD isolate is a pure, crystalline powder containing 99% pure CBD. CBD isolates contain only and 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 it. It can easily be ingested and it will get to work. It works good for medical patients since small doses of CBD isolate yields CBD concentration.
CBD isolates work great for people allergic to THC or 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 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 the 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).