How Is CBD Oil Made? CBD Extraction Process

How is CBD oil made?

How is CBD oil made? Many people know that Cannabidiol, or CBD, is sourced from hemp, but not everyone knows how hemp goes from a plant to an oil. The CBD extraction process can take many forms. Depending on how it is done, there can be a difference in potency, terpenes, and overall consumption experience. If you are interested in learning more about your favorite CBD, or if you want to find out more about how they are is made, looking at the extraction process can tell you a lot.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is the base of all CBD products, whether it be edibles, drinks, pet treats, or even CBD topicals. CBD oil has been widely studied for its role in easing symptoms from many common health conditions. These conditions can include neurological and sleep disorders, anxiety, arthritis, and much more. CBD oil has also been known to aid in heart health as well as treat common types of pain. CBD is a choice supplement for those who do not want to feel the full blow effects of THC.

What is the CBD Extraction Process?

There are several different types of CBD extraction methods. Some can be done at home by a hobbyist, and others require sophisticated lab equipment. The best CBD extraction method may vary depending on the end-product purpose. Ultimately, CBD extraction is the process of pulling the beneficial compounds from cannabis. After going through this, they can then be further winterized and refined into a usable product. For information about how cannabidiol affects the human body, please read the article, How Does CBD Work?

CBD Extraction Methods

Top Five CBD Extraction Processes

With all of this in mind, it can be helpful to know the different ways of how to extract CBD. That way, you can make more informed decisions when looking for Cannabidiol products for sale, and become more aware of how those products are made. Below are the five most popular CBD extraction processes.

  1. Solvent/Ethanol Extraction
  2. CO2 Extraction
  3. Olive Oil Extraction
  4. Dry Ice Extraction
  5. Steam Extraction

Solvent/Ethanol Extraction

The Solvent CBD extraction process often requires food-grade ethanol. After harvesting the hemp, the plants are soaked in the solvent to draw out the compounds needed to make CBD. Once the plants have been soaked and the ethanol contains the necessary compounds, the product is further distilled, separated and further isolated.

This CBD extraction process requires much less equipment than other methods and is less expensive and time-consuming than others. While this process is fairly accessible and creates a good end product, it can also be dangerous because it is quite combustible. It also is very difficult to remove all of the solvents after the extraction, which is also unsafe to consume. While this can be an effective method to create CBD, it is not recommended for the at-home CBD maker.

CBD extraction process

CO2 Extraction

Carbon Dioxide extraction is one of the most effective methods for CBD extraction. It can only really be done in a professional lab setting. However, this method is ideal for controlling the outcome of the product. It allows for more options and often more effective results — which is why it has become one of the most popular professional methods. According to the Cannabis Business Times,

“Prior to creating any new CO2 extraction protocol, it’s important to consider the desired outcome. Is the goal to extract all the desirable compounds from the biomass as quickly as possible? Is terpene preservation or oil fractionation (a separation process) important?”

There are two types of CO2 extraction — supercritical and subcritical – both of which are used for different outcomes. Supercritical CO2 extraction is done by using Supercritical CO2. to pressurize the hemp plant and break it down. What results is the separation of the oil from the leaves. The CO2 gas then evaporates and leaves only the pure CBD oil from the plant. Subcritical CO2 extraction is similar, but a little more complex. The goal of subcritical CO2 extraction is to maintain the essential oils, potentially valuable chemicals, and different kinds of terpenes in CBD. This method, however, takes longer to complete and has a much lower yield.

Olive Oil Extraction

Olive oil extraction is a favorite among at-home CBD makers because it is safe and easy to get started with. It is similar in process to solvent and ethanol extraction. While it does not produce the strongest or highest-quality end product, it can be fun and effective to make and use. It is done by heating the ground hemp plant in olive oil, allowing the compounds to enter the oil. By heating the hemp in fat, some of the acting chemicals within can become more potent. After this is done, the oil goes through the winterization process, where the fat is removed, and you are left with the CBD. While this is a very accessible, and easy-to-tackle method for extraction, it does tend to have a low yield and short shelf life.

Dry Ice Extraction

A method that is a bit different from heat-treated extraction is dry ice extraction. So, how is CBD oil made with dry ice? Through this process, the ground hemp is flash-frozen and the trichomes are then removed. After that, they are added to an oil or alcohol. Following this process, the cannabis can be filtered and ready to use. While dry ice extraction may seem complicated, it is actually one of the quickest and simplest at-home methods of producing Cannabidiol. Many people choose to start with this method when trying to make their own CBD.

Steam Extraction

Steam, or vapor extraction, is another great method for hemp extraction. How is CBD oil made through this process? It requires applying heated air to the hemp plant, creating an infused vapor. That vapor is then condensed and processed into a concentrate. The benefit of this method is that it requires fewer additional chemicals, which can affect the flavor of the product. With steam extraction methods, many believe that the terpene profile is more pronounced and purer. It can lead to a more enjoyable experience when consuming CBD.


Winterization is a vital step in the CBD extraction process. This step removes undesirable elements from hemp that comes out of extraction. Removing the unwanted lipids, fats, and waxes allows the leftover CBD to be clean and consumable. Without this important step, the final CBD product will become cloudy, dark, and bitter to the taste. After winterizing, the CBD oil is frozen overnight and then filtered again, to remove any remaining cloudiness.

How is cannabidiol extracted?

How is CBD Oil Made?

So, how is CBD oil made? The CBD extraction process requires many steps. After the initial extraction, there is also processes like winterization where the fats are removed from the extracted compounds. These extraction methods can create several different products by adding the resulting compounds to a carrier oil, alcohol, CBD cream and beyond. They can also be further refined to remove additional compounds and isolate the CBD into one single cannabinoid. This is called an isolate, which contains absolutely no THC and it is an extremely pure type of CBD. Learn: How to choose the best CBD isolate.

Benefiting from CBD Production

While some of these methods can be done from home, the process can get a bit arduous, expensive, and sometimes dangerous. For those wondering how CBD oil is made, they should keep in mind that it requires a lot of time and research. Now that CBD is federally legal in the United States, people can have easy access to high-quality CBD online and in stores. Since its legalization, more people have been able to benefit from its medicinal effects, and more research has been conducted to demonstrate its results.

The Entourage Effect

While CBD works well as an isolate, it functions in the body better when it contains multiple other cannabis compounds. The hemp plant contains more than 100 different terpenes and cannabinoids that react with your body’s endocannabinoid system. The entourage effect is a term used to describe the enhanced output of CBD when more than one compounds work together synergistically, as opposed to alone.

Finding the Right Products & CBD Extraction Processes

Finding the right CBD products for your needs may include looking into the CBD extraction methods. Depending how they are processed, they may have different potencies, terpene profiles and general experiences. If you are unsure where to start when it comes to selecting a great tincture, Leafz has several varieties of pure CBD oil for sale. Simply browse through the Leafz CBD online store to select the best products for your needs.

If you are interested in learning more about how CBD oil is made, getting comprehensive CBD shopping guides, how finding out how to choose the best see our CBD news and

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