With all the recent and rapidly growing hype surrounding CBD oil, there is an overwhelming amount of information on how CBD works and what it can be used for and all the benefits to gain from the use of CBD. You can even read about how CBD oil is made, but unless you have some degree in science or chemistry, the process can feel foreign and confusing.
There is plenty of information on what CBD actually is, what it is not and how it works on our endocannabinoids system to bring dozens of benefits to the person using CBD oil, but the information on the exact process of extracting CBD and how it goes from a plant to a tincture… it all gets very hazy.
When we dig deep into various articles, studies and available documentation we found on online libraries, we realized, it’s not actually THAT scientific, but there are very clear steps to take to get CBD oil. But, for most, it’s still a question. So, we decided to simplify the process and explain it in a way that makes sense.
Because, how DO you get an OIL from a plant? For those of you more scientifically inclined – this may seem like a dumb question, and you might be right. So we asked around to various people to try and gauge the general thought and ideas on the process.
We posted a poll on our Facebook Page and on our Instagram story and the result were that most people had an idea – but no true knowledge. A lot of people didn’t care much, just happy to have it in their lives now. But we are the type of company that wants to empower our customers with as much knowledge as possible about what they are putting into their bodies.
So, let’s take a look.
First, a little clarity:
The plant cannabis sativa can be classified as either hemp or what we traditionally refer to as cannabis or “weed.” If that particular plant contains less than 0.3 percent THC, it is technically “hemp.” If it contains more than 0.3 percent THC, it’s “marijuana.”
For most CBD rich oils and companies that make them, THC is purposely bred out of these plants so they can produce pure CBD oil. We say ‘most’ because there ARE a lot of CBD products that also contain THC, but since Enhanced Health Products do not have any THC in them, we will only speak about the process for CBD pure oil.
The whole process starts with a “Clone”. A clone is a small cutting from a previously planted cannabis plant. Using a clone instead of seeds can make it easier to get a whole crop of the exact type of plant you want (in this case: high CBD and very low THC). Once the clones are ready, they sit in their environment for a week before they are planted. This is so the clones acclimate to their weather, temperature and environment slowly instead of risking damage with a quick change.
After a week, they are planted by hand and are watered through the irrigation system during the season, which is May to October. Watering is as needed and the plants are watched very closely for moisture level in their soil, to keep weeds from growing around them and the PH on the soil is checked regularly.
October is when most farms will harvest. Before they can harvest however, farms need to manage and jump through quite a few hoops with their Department of Agriculture. We won’t get into too many details with this part, but a sample of each crop is taken and tested by the state. At this time, each state may have different strict rules and regulations regarding CBD Oil production.
Once harvested, the plants are placed in an area (greenhouse, barn, etc.) where they’re ‘cured’ – just left to air-dry but with strong ventilation so there isn’t any issue with mold or mildew. In general, the plants can sit for anywhere from 3-5 weeks and cure – sometimes, hanging upside down.
Once the plants are cured, the flower is stripped off and the flower is then put into a processor, which grinds it down to the consistency of coffee grounds.
And then there is the extraction process.
There are a few different extraction processes, one is with cold methanol extraction, where the flower is steeped in methanol and goes through a process that removes any terpenes (the plants distinct scent) that we don’t want. Then, it’s placed through a ‘winterization’ process, where it’s subjected to cold. This process pulls off the fatty acids, lipids – the stuff we don’t want because they can alter the chemical make-up of the oil.
Next, is the ‘distillation’ process when the mixture is submerged into a warm bath and then another distillation process that will clear color and remove any contaminants and then all that is left is the very raw, very pure, CBD Oil.
This is when the oil is tested for quality and strength – usually at a separate lab – to ensure honest, integrity and authentic testing. This is why when you see “Third party testing”, you know it’s the real deal. The lab will then bottle the oil so it is palatable and easily added to products, like lotions, lip balm, soaps, etc.
So, there’s the process incredibly simplified.
Now, just as a sort of side note and as mentioned above, there are three different types of extraction methods. When you research a CBD product you’re interested in, it’s worth noting the extraction process that company uses. Here is just a brief breakdown on each one.
- CO2 extraction. The supercritical (or subcritical) CO2 method uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to isolate, preserve, and maintain the purity of the medicinal oil. This process requires expensive equipment and a steep operational learning curve. But, when done well the end product is safe, potent, and free of chlorophyll.
- Ethanol. High-grade grain alcohol can be used to create high-quality cannabis oil appropriate for vape pen cartridges and other products. But this extraction method destroys the plant waxes, which may have health benefits that are favored by some product-makers.
- Olive oil. Extra virgin or otherwise, olive oil can also be used to extract cannabis oil. This method has been reported to be both safe and inexpensive. However, cannabis-infused olive oil—whether CBD-rich or THC-dominant—is perishable and should be stored in a cool, dark place.
There you have it. Now, you are not just knowledgeable on the benefits of CBD, but the delicate and pain-staking and timely process it goes through before it reaches store shelves, online shops and your hands.
To find the best product for YOU, please visit the Enhanced Health Products Shop.
Here is a fun video that shows you some off the process! Enjoy!
This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.
The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnosis, cure, or treat any healthcare issue.
Our products have not been approved by the FDA and should not be considered for use as a nutritional supplement.
Please consult your doctor or other appropriate medical professional before adding CBD or any of our products to your routine.