CBD can be extracted from marijuana or industrial hemp plants. For legality purposes, many CBD products are extracted from the stalks and stems of industrial hemp plants which are cannabis plants with .3% THC or less so they qualify as Industrial Hemp.
Once cultivated, cannabis plants are lifted from the ground and brought to an extraction facility. Ethanol and C02 extraction are two commonly used methods for extracting CBD and are two of the cleanest ways to extract CBD for human consumption. CO2 extraction, a popular extraction method typically used when extracting smaller quantities of hemp, involves filtering plants through a series of chambers that control temperature and pressure. When different temperatures and units of pressure are applied to cannabis plants, this sophisticated system is able to isolate cannabinoids at a 90% efficiency.
An alternative method, is ethanol extraction which involves introducing the solvent ethanol to the hemp plant in order to separate and isolate cannabinoids. Unlike CO2 extraction, one is able to produce a very high volume of full spectrum extract with this method.
Ethanol also removes unwanted components such as chlorophyll from dried hemp.
Once extracted, hemp undergoes an additional step known as chromatography, a mechanism used to remove unwanted plant phytochemicals from the desired cannabinoid.
Cannabinoids like CBD have a strong interaction with chromatography media, thus traveling slower than unwanted plant material like chlorophyll which has a weak interaction. Once divided, cannabidiol and other terpenes can be isolated and undesirable plant material can be disposed of.
Many CBD oil products also undergo what is known as decarboxylation. This involves heating the cannabinoids into a form that allows the cannabinoids to immediately interact with the endocannabinoid system making the compound more usable throughout the body.
When the extracted oil is decarboxylated it is converted from CBDA to CBD, thus removing the acid form so it’s readily bio available.
Once decarboxylated, the oil can be consumed directly, however it may not have a favorable taste. Instead, this oil can be mixed with a carrying oil such as hemp seed or coconut oil, turned into capsules, or hardened into an isolate form for consumer use