Home Safety Apparel How is CBD oil extracted from Cannabis?

How is CBD oil extracted from Cannabis?

CBD or cannabidiol has been making its way around the wellness community for a while now. It’s a chemical compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant, familiarly known as marijuana. Maybe you’ve come across CBD chocolate, gummies, teas and even CBD infused foods. Unlike THC (9-tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD isn’t psychoactive, therefore it doesn’t get you ‘high’. So, how is CBD oil extracted from the plant, and what is it used for?

How do you extract CBD?

CBD is extracted using a few methods, you can even extract CBD right in your home kitchen. For commercial or large-scale extractions however, more refined methods are required.

Extraction using the CO2/Carbon Dioxide

This method requires the use of a pressurized chamber or a closed-loop extractor. Carbon dioxide gas is compressed in the chamber until it turns liquid. This Co2 liquid is then pushed over the cannabis plant materials to strip away the compounds that make up cannabinoids like CBD. Following this step, the mixture of CO2 liquid and cannabis plant material is heated and brought back to temperatures that allow the carbon dioxide to revert to gas and evaporate. What’s left is the CBD extracted from the plant material.

Solvent method

This process uses a cheaper alternative to carbon dioxide for extraction. Butane, ethanal and propane can be used in its place. With the same closed-loop system in place, the butane, ethanol or propane is forced over the cannabis plant materials to release the CBD, terpenes and other cannabinoids.

After this is completed, the solvent used must be heated or cooled in order to separate them from the plant material and the extracted oils without damage. These solvents are highly flammable and do require mush more care and expertise and properly equipped laboratories to be handled. The downside of this method is that it can affect the taste of the end-product, leaving an unpleasant flavor.

DIY home extraction

For a DIY home extraction method, all you need is a slow cooker, MCT oil (liquid fractionated coconut oil) and at least 1oz of low THC or no THC cannabis flowers which have been cured, dried and finely chopped.

Place your plant materials in the slow cooker (must have a low heat setting). Cover the cannabis plant materials with the MCT oil and set to cook. Let is simmer for three hours before opening to stir and check the temperature (it should reach 80 degrees Celsius). After this you should wait every few hours to briefly stir and ensure the oil and flowers are evenly distributed and infused. It can then be left overnight to continue the process. After 24 hours, you can then unplug the slow cooker and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Strain the concoction using a cheesecloth into a glass jar and the finished product can be used in doses or in recipes.

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