how is cbd oil made

How is CBD Oil Made? Explore the Process

By Meredith Summers   |   June 28, 2018

Understanding how CBD oil is made can be useful for multiple reasons. Staying informed on what goes in and on your body and how it has been processed can help you feel more comfortable and confident in your choice to buy and use a product. Let’s jump right in to what you need to know about how CBD oil is made.

CBD oil is made by extracting cannabidiol, or CBD, from the hemp plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like vegetable, olive, or hemp seed oil. CBD continues to gain popularity in the wellness industry, since it has many touted health and wellness benefits.


What is CBD Oil Made From? 

While you may know that CBD oil is all-natural and non-psychoactive, you may not know very much about how CBD oil is made. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant family. The amount of CBD found in cannabis varies plant to plant. The plants that CBD is typically extracted from is hemp that has high levels of CBD and low levels of THC. 

In order for the human body to utilize and process CBD, these plants are often processed and made into an oil for consumption. There are different methods and multiple steps manufacturers use in order to produce reliable CBD oil. These processes can be tedious and have to be performed carefully to produce a consistent quality of CBD oil.  


Hemp Plant Potency Levels 

The first step manufacturers do to produce CBD oil is find a source that naturally contains high levels of cannabidiol. Industrial hemp plants contain different potency levels due to their lack of THC; therefore, it’s important for CBD manufacturers to find a reliable hemp source in order to extract high-levels of CBD. Plants that naturally contain high levels of CBD are ideal to use for CBD oil since the oil will already contain the correct levels without human intervention. These plants also return a high yield of oil for the producer and a better quality for consumers. 

Here at CBD American Shaman, we grow and harvest our own hemp plants to ensure consistent quality. We also grow our hemp responsibly for a healthier, cleaner product.


Extracting the CBD 

The next step is to extract the CBD oil from the plant. This can happen in a few different ways. Some manufacturers use pressurized carbon dioxide in cold temperatures to pass it through the plant and then isolate the CBD, some use olive oil or grain alcohol to coax the CBD from the rest of the plant. Each method comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks, whether looking at it from a production or a health standpoint. 


CO2 Extraction 

One method of extracting CBD oil from hemp is called carbon dioxide, or CO2, extraction. CO2 is used to isolate the CBD from other waxes, fats, and compounds that aren’t desirable to have in CBD oil. Liquid CO2 and the ground hemp plant is placed in a high-pressure chamber where the CO2 absorbs the CBD oils and terpenes from the plant. Terpenes are naturally-occurring in all plants and are what gives the plant its smell, color, and flavor. Including all the cannabinoids and terpenes in CBD oil is what makes a full-spectrum oil. 

After the CBD and terpenes are extracted with the CO2, the mixture is released into another high-pressurized chamber where the CO2 returns to a gaseous state and separates from the CBD oil. Carbon dioxide extraction is quick and efficient while leaving terpenes intact for full-spectrum CBD oils. 


Oil Infusion 

Oil infusion is another method for extracting CBD from hemp. The plant is heated to a specific temperature to activate the plant’s compounds, this is called decarboxylating the plant material. The plant material is added to a carrier oil like olive oil and heated to 100°C for a couple of hours which infuses the CBD from the plant with the carrier oil. Even though this method is one of the oldest techniques for extracting CBD, it is not as effective as other methods because the oil to CBD ratio is difficult to measure and monitor during the process. 


Grain Alcohol Extraction 

Another method to isolate CBD from hemp is called grain alcohol extraction. Soaking the plant in a solvent such as grain alcohol will yield CBD oil once the solvent evaporates. Some people believe that removing or breaking-up the wax of the plant during grain alcohol extraction will yield a better product than other methods. No matter which method a producer chooses, they need to be incredibly precise when it comes to producing CBD to ensure a quality product for their consumers.  


Refining the CBD Oil 

Reputable CBD manufacturers use CBD nanotechnology to refine and break up the CBD oil compound into smaller particle-sized CBD molecules. This helps the body absorb the CBD more easily and quickly for faster, more effective results. At CBD American Shaman, we use proprietary nanotechnology that breaks down the CBD to particle size to create water-soluble CBD. Nanotechnology used by other manufacturers removes the terpenes naturally found in CBD, which results in a non-full spectrum CBD. Our proprietary nanotechnology doesn’t remove any terpenes and leaves our CBD oil in a full-spectrum state while also in its most bio-active state. 


Final Product  

After CBD is extracted and refined, it’s a thick, sticky, bitter substance. This is not a desirable way to utilize or consume CBD, so manufacturers combine the CBD with a carrier oil, water, food product, or cream. The most common and safe carrier oils are hemp seed, sunflower, coconut, palm, olive, grapeseed, and avocado oil. These oils typically don’t contain harmful chemicals or additives which make the final CBD oil product safe for consumption. This is especially the case with natural carrier oils. 


Testing for Potency  

All CBD oil should be tested for purity and potency before distributing. The potency levels are tested to make sure the CBD oil contains the amount of CBD listed on the label. The potency for THC is also tested to make sure the CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC to comply with the legal limit. This level of THC will not make consumers high or experience any psychoactive side effects. It is important to make sure the CBD oil you purchase is tested not only by the manufacturers but also by a third-party tester to determine if the CBD meets purity and potency regulations.


The Preferred Method for Best Results

Medical professionals who believe in the benefits of CBD oil recommend whole-plant extraction and full-spectrum CBD oils. However, the research is still lacking when it comes to understanding which strains are helpful to users and why it appears that whole-plant extraction yields the best possible results. These medical professionals believe that the broader the spectrum of CBD oil is, the more likely it is that the body’s cannabinoid receptors will respond to the oil. The more the body’s cannabinoid receptors are activated, the more likely it is that the user will see the results of the product.

When it comes to choosing the right CBD oil for you, there are a few things you should look for on the label. First, make sure the CBD product is tested and certified to contain the listed ingredients. Second, read the ingredients to make sure the CBD contains ingredients you know. Third, make sure the hemp is grown in the United States, better yet, responsibly grown hemp. U.S. grown hemp contains fewer chemicals, pesticides, and harmful toxins than hemp from different parts of the world. 

CBD American Shaman only uses the purest of plants. We support responsible farming not only to help sustain the environment but also because we care about our customers and their health.   

The content on this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While research has shown that CBD has the potential to help provide beneficial outcomes for several complaints, it is advisable to seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health care provider when you have questions regarding any medical condition and when starting, augmenting or discontinuing any existing health routine. 


Recommended Readings 

Real CBD Oil vs Fake CBD Oil: Know How to Tell the Difference

Science and Technology: Leading the CBD Industry into a New Decade

Can Someone Be Allergic To CBD? 

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