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What CBD Extraction Method is Best?

In order to get CBD from the cannabis plant, it must first be “extracted.” Different brands and products use different methods of extraction so you may be wondering, “What is the best extraction method for CBD oil?” 

We’re here to help.

Let’s dive into the details on the types of extraction methods, and what extraction method is best for CBD oil. 

What is CBD Extraction?

Extraction is the process that removes CBD from the plant flowers in order to package CBD oil into easy-to-use products like tinctures, topicals, and more. 

CBD isn’t a by-product like fruit or nuts from a tree. Rather, CBD is an oil that can be removed from the hemp flower with careful and specific methods.

You may be familiar with other extracts found in the grocery, such as vanilla extract, which is similar in regards to how it is processed. The oil of vanilla must first be removed from the bean in order to be added into a solution of alcohol, or other type of oil which then can be used for cooking or other uses.

There are multiple methods of extracting CBD from hemp, which we will take a look at further in this article. Let’s look at the history of the different CBD oil extraction methods used and discuss which extraction method for CBD oil is best today.

How is CBD Oil Made and Extracted?

Alcohol: The First Extraction Method

The primary method originally used to extract CBD was through the use of alcohol. Like many other types of medicinal plants, soaking certain materials can change their biochemistry, or their structure and character. Alcohol extraction has been used for centuries, primarily to create herbal tinctures for early medical use in ancient civilizations.

Think of alcohol extraction as a type of cooking. For instance, when you use a raw and powerful force like heat in your kitchen’s oven to bake something like cookies, the beginning and end product are vastly different. You start with a flexible dough and end up with a crisp, warm disc-shaped delicious food. For someone who has never seen the process of baking cookies, they might find the cooking method quite mysterious and odd, with the before and after products vastly different. The same is true with hemp.

Instead of heat, when alcohol is applied and left for a certain amount of time, it draws out the cannabinoids like CBD and other beneficial compounds in the plant. Alcohol extraction typically uses a base of ethanol, a high-proof grain based alcohol. The high proof allows minimal damage of the cannabinoids, while also suspending them in a liquid that prevents them from damage like oxidation or the possibility of going rancid.

How to Choose the Best CBD Extract Method

CO2: The Journey Towards Clean & Complete Extraction Methods for CBD Oil

As technology advances, and more research is completed, the industry will become more efficient at extracting CBD from hemp. Currently, the most advanced and widely used method of extraction is CO2 Extraction. CO2 extraction is arguably the best extraction method for CBD oil and is the method used in the majority the products we sell at Anavii Market.

Carbon Dioxide, or CO2, is a by-product that all mammals create simply by exhaling. We consume energy in the form of food, and then it is paired with oxygen that we breathe from the air. Our cells turn that into energy and create both water and carbon dioxide as a by product. After the nutrients are created, the carbon dioxide is exhaled.

There are two main types of CO2 extraction: subcritical and supercritical.When a product is extracted using subcritical CO2 extraction, you will simply see "CO2 Extraction" listed. When a product is extracted using CO2 at a temperature higher than 88 degrees Farenheit, and 1083 PSI in pressure, then it is considered supercritical CO2 extraction. In these extreme temperature and pressure conditions, molecules of a higher weight and character can be extracted that otherwise would remain in the plant.

What does this mean for you? Supercritical CO2 allows you to get a completely different product with more terpenes, resins, or cannabinoids to add further health promoting properties. Go science!

As you can imagine, there is no shortage of CO2 for us to utilize. So, manufacturers and researchers have gotten creative in using carbon dioxide for extraction purposes. Using liquid CO2, heat, and various tools, hemp manufacturers are creating CBD oil that is extremely pure and incredibly powerful. Here’s a video that previews the process:


Basically, not only is CO2 extraction cleaner because it uses no chemical solvents, it actually can draw more cannabinoids and their abilities out of the hemp plant overall. As our extraction techniques get better, we will actually be able to harness the power of the hemp plant to a greater extent. 

What CBD Extract Method is Best?

Overview of CBD Extraction Methods

Research and technology are always moving forward and as far as the best extraction methods for CBD oil. There will always be room for improvement. In the past several months, we have started to see the use of water or vapor-extracted CBD, as well as the use of ice. We will also potentially begin to see other forms extraction, like sonficiation, which uses ultrasonic sound waves to extract cannabinoids from the flower! 

Generally speaking, manufacturers will continue to move away from using specific substances like alcohol to extract CBD, as the consensus continues that the cleaner the process (fewer by-products or additives) and therefore the cleaner the product, the better.

CBD Extraction Methods: 

Ethanol extraction

Perhaps the oldest type of extraction, CBD can be removed from the hemp plant by soaking the flower in ethanol or a high proof alcohol.

Water Extraction

Some manufacturers have begun using water, water vapor, or even ice to extract cannabinoids from hemp.

CO2 Extraction

Using liquid CO2, both CO2 and supercritical CO2 extraction provide a clean and efficient way to remove CBD from the hemp flower.

Experimental Extraction

As we move further into the future, new methods of extraction will emerge, providing even purer CBD products.

Anavii Product Listings

We know that the information out there is overwhelming. It can be tough to know the details about products that you purchase. As the consumer, you deserve to know everything about the CBD you purchase. This is exactly why we at Anavii Market, list the extraction method, the cannabinoid breakdown, as well as the laboratory testing information on every product page.

Take for example this Bluebird Botanicals CBD Oil Tincture:

Not only are the details about serving size and concentration important, but the quality and purity of your CBD is a priority to us as well.

Product Breakdown

For those of you interested in our products and the types of extraction methods, here is a full breakdown including which products fall into which type of extraction:

Ethanol extraction:

CO2 Extraction:

Super Critical CO2:

We hope this overview of what extraction method is best answered all of your questions. Remember, ethanol extraction is the most conventional and perhaps most common type of extraction, while CO2 extraction, both CO2 and supercritical CO2, help to extract specific cannabinoids in a cleaner method.

As we move into the future, we will see methods like the use of water, ice, vapor, and ultrasonic waves begin to take the place of older types of extraction.

Looking for CBD Products? Contact Anavii Market Today!

Still have questions about what extraction method is best? We are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality, premium verified CBD oil. We know you may still have questions about what extraction method is best for CBD oil and we are always happy to discuss. Please feel free to call us at 502-209-8808, email us at or contact us here.


How Can I Tell if My CBD is Working?

Did you know that 1 in 7 Americans use cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant? ...

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