By Shirley Mistry
Amongst those dabbling with alternative health solutions, CBD—especially CBD oil—is extremely popular for its many perceived health and wellness benefits. In fact, a 2020 survey by SingleCare found that 33% of all Americans have used CBD, and primarily to address discomfort, sleep, and stress.
When you choose to add a CBD product, such as CBD oil, to your lifestyle, the options can be overwhelming, to say the least. For maximum benefits, you want to pick a CBD oil that is pure, of high quality, and has no solvents and impurities. In turn, to be able to pick a good CBD oil, you must first understand how it is made. This will help you research brands better and ultimately pick a quality product.
How is CBD oil made?
Broadly speaking, these are the steps that are involved in the making of CBD oil.
#1 The hemp plant is grown to maturity, harvested, and dried.
#2 The floral parts of the hemp plant are stripped from the stalk milled to optimize the output of CBD oil.
#3 One of the many extraction methods are used to draw out the CBD and cannabinoid-rich oil.
#4 The CBD oil is mixed with a carrier oil.
To distinguish a good CBD product from a superlative one, take a closer look at each step.
It all starts with the hemp plant. In fact, certain varieties of hemp are grown specifically to produce CBD oil. Typically, these contain very low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. For CBD oil extraction, producers focus primarily on the flowers of the hemp plant. This is because the concentration of cannabinoids is highest in the resin glands present in the trichomes of female hemp flowers.
The next step is carefully drying the crop. The flowers are dried in a methodical manner, away from harsh sunlight or heat, to preserve the cannabinoids. The drying or ‘curing’ process, as it is often referred to, takes anywhere from three to four weeks.
Stripping the plant
Once the hemp flowers have been cured or dried, they are stripped from the stalk or milled. Milling is a process where the biomass is cut into small, evenly-sized pieces. It is necessary because it allows for easier, more effective extraction of CBD oil.
This stage is key. The method used to extract CBD oil determines its purity and safety, to a great extent. Most often, one of the following three methods is used.
In this method, ethanol or isopropyl alcohol is used to draw out the CBD oil. This is one of the simpler, more affordable ways to extract CBD oil. Here, the solvent is passed through or mixed with the milled hemp to draw out the cannabinoids and dissolve the waxes. Then, the solution is heated until the alcohol evaporates, leaving behind CBD oil. When manufacturers opt for this method of extraction, they also remove the chlorophyll that can lend the final product a bitter taste. A notable flipside is that the solvents used are highly flammable, making the process extremely dangerous. Moreover, in some cases residues of the solvent and certain impurities may remain in the product, making it less than ideal for human consumption, depending on the solvent used.
This is the simplest, most rudimentary method. Also one of the oldest ways to extract CBD oil, this process involves soaking the milled hemp in a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. But before this, the hemp is decarboxylated. This is nothing but heating the dried hemp to the temperature at which its chemical compounds are optimally converted from their acidic form found in the floral material (like CBDA) to their non-acidic form (like CBD). Then, the hemp is mixed with the oil, soaked, and heated for a couple of hours, during the course of which the olive or coconut oil is infused with cannabinoids. Thereafter, it is filtered to remove any sediments or impurities.
While it is a gentle, fuss-free, and safe extraction method, the amount of olive or coconut oil required is significant. This means that the final product isn’t potent and neither is it shelf-stable. You have to consume it fairly quickly. Additionally, a lot of the cannabinoids in the plant are left behind, since mere heating does not effectively extract all the CBD present.
This is the gold-standard method of producing CBD oil. Not only is it gentle and safe, but it is also the process that ensures a pure, high-grade product. This sophisticated extraction process leverages carbon dioxide’s ability to exist as a liquid as well as a gas. In a nutshell, first, the system cools, compresses, and pressurizes CO2 into a liquid state. This CO2 is then passed through a tank that contains the dried, milled hemp. As the carbon dioxide makes its way through the tank, it draws out the cannabinoids. At this point, the carbon dioxide is still in liquid form. Once it makes its way to a third chamber, the CO2 is manipulated such that it returns to a gaseous state. As it dissipates into a gas, it leaves behind CBD oil. The CO2 is then routed back to the first chamber and reused.
Next, the crude CBD oil undergoes two processes known as winterization and short-path distillation. These steps are critical, as they draw out the undesirable fats, waxes, and excess plant material from the CBD oil to create the final product.
While carbon dioxide extraction yields the purest product, controlling the equipment and the state of carbon dioxide is an exact science. If it is not done correctly, it can result in an inferior product. It is also an expensive and time-consuming method, especially when compared to ethanol or other solvent-based extractions, which is why only select manufacturers use it. However, the output quality is unmatched!
- Creating the final blend
To facilitate easy absorption and create dosages, pure CBD oil is mixed with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. These carrier oils help carry the CBD oil throughout the body, improving absorption. Some manufacturers even add a fruit’s essential oil to give the product a hint of flavor and neutralize the natural grassy or bitter taste that CBD oil has or better yet, add the blend to soft gels or capsules providing no taste at all!
Choosing the right CBD oil
If your budget allows for it, pick a CBD oil carried in hempseed oil or olive oil for optimal results. To be doubly sure that you’re getting a product that is safe, and clean shop at Anavii Market, where we do all the heavy lifting to ensure the CBD oil is a quality oil.
At Anavii Market we proudly stock only Farm Bill compliant, high-quality CBD oils that are third-party verified for you to enjoy! Do contact us to learn more about the products we carry, and for help with selecting the right CBD oil for your needs.
Anavii Market only sells safe, lab-tested CBD & hemp
Anavii Market only sells fully legal CBD and full-spectrum hemp extract products. We verify third-party lab tests for every product we sell to ensure they’re free of dangerous impurities.
Have questions on CBD & hemp? Contact us:
- Call – 502-209-8808
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Message us on social media – @anaviimarket