There are various ways to produce and manufacture CBD oils. There is still no uniform manufacturing process. Each extraction method comes with it's own pros and cons.
Each manufacturer therefore decides individually which production process is best for making the oil.
The CO2 extraction process, or carbon dioxide extraction process, which is used for example by the manufacturer CBD Vital, has become particularly well known.
There are two possible types of CO2 extraction methods, supercritical CO2 extraction and subcritical CO2 extraction. Cannabis Tech do a great job of explaining the differences
Tip for buying: Sellers must show how much THC is in the oil. If they do not openly offer a certificate themselves, you should request one from the manufacturer. This is one area where serious providers stand out from the crowd.
In order to produce CBD oil, the manufacturer generally uses only the parts of female hemp that meet the applicable standards.
These parts tend to have both a naturally high CBD content and a very low THC content. Since the CBD is only present in the form of CBDA acid in a hemp plant, an extraction and subsequent conversion into pure CBD must be carried out.
The CO2 extraction process
One way that CBD oil is extracted is through the efficient CO2 extraction process.
In the first step, all substances, including cannabinoids, of the processing plant are released in their structures.
The second step is the called decarboxylation where the substances obtained from step 1 are heated again (alternatively, enzymatic catalysis can also be carried out). This is where the CBDA acid is converted into active CBD acid.
This process makes it possible to produce a CBD oil as efficiently as possible. A nice side effect is that the entire plant substance spectrum is retained in the extraction process, so that in addition to the CBD, other cannabidiols such as CBN or CBC are contained in the cannabis oil. Some of the CBD oils also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and various vitamins.
For this reason, oils that are produced by this process are also called 'full oils' or 'full spectrum extract'. What's more, the valuable entourage effect can be caused by the interaction of the active ingredients contained in the oil.
What is the entourage effect?
Researchers working on the cannabis plant believe that an interaction of different cannabinoids can be more effective and helpful than just an isolated substance.
In some cases, it is emphasised that a combination of CBD and THC would be an advantage, especially for more severe conditions. But the presence of terpenes in CBD products also has a positive effect on anxiety or acne.
So it seems that the substances interact with each other and support each other's effects. Therefore, it is of course worthwhile considering using CBD oils use full-spectrum extracts in order to achieve the greatest possible effect.
Are there any other extraction methods?
There are of course numerous methods for extracting CBD. Here's a few:
Liquid solvent extraction
Liquid solvent extraction also uses liquid to absorb CBD oil, much like the CO2 extraction method. Liquid substances such as ethanol, butane, or isopropyl alcohol are be used. This is an easier and cheaper extraction method.
One disadvantage of this method however, is that some solvents can carry impurities, including chlorophyll, from the plant, this can affect both the colour and taste of the final product.
With the above CO2 extraction method, the CO2 is used as a solvent to extract the oil. This method does not carry the same impurities that the liquid solvent extraction does. This is why the CO2 method is often preferred, because no residue or contaminants remain.
An alternative, and more traditional, way to make CBD oils is by alcohol extraction. This is where the dried plant material is boiled down in alcohol.
However, the problem with such alcohol extraction is that it is more difficult to control how much CBD is extracted from the plant matter, which makes the entire manufacturing process less precise.
Isolation of CBD crystals.
In this method, the cannabidiol is isolated from the hemp plant and purified.
Those crystals usually have a very high proportion of CBD (99.9%). In order to produce a CBD oil, the CBD crystals are dissolved in an oil or in alcohol.
Because of the special manufacturing method, the products are finally called CBD crystals or CBD isolates.
It should be noted, however, that the crystals in this production variant are not rich in other cannabinoids or other terpenes. As a result, the otherwise valuable entourage effect is lost.
CBD isolates do offer other benefits though. For example, it contains 0% THC. This can be useful if people are required to pass a drugs test.