CBD oil can be manufactured through a wide range of methods, including oil infusion, ethanol extraction, CO2, winterization, and more.
Although oil infusion is an ancient technique for harvesting and manufacturing CBD oil, it is becoming increasingly popular in recent times. It is a straightforward method that comes with minimal drawbacks. For this method, one must first decarboxylate the plant material or heat it up to activate the compounds. Olive oil or another suitable carrier oil is then added and heated at 100 Degree Celsius for an hour or two. Because olive oil cannot evaporate out of the CBD oil, manufacturers may need to use a lot of oil to achieve the same effect. One of the reasons why there is a rise in popularity of this method is due to the additional benefits of the nutrients in the oil. Additionally, it is free from unwanted residues.
Ethanol extraction involves extracting CBD oil via high-grain alcohol. This process, however, may damage some of the beneficial natural oils from plants. Because this is considered a lower-cost method, many CBD oil manufacturers continue to use ethanol. With adequate expertise and proper post-extraction processes, it is possible to create high-quality extracts through this method. It is useful to note that ethanol is Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That’s why alcohol solvent can be used as a food preservative and additive.
Ethanol is a polar solvent that mixes well with water. It can dissolve water-soluble molecules and desired cannabis compounds. When cannabinoid filled oil is extracted, it often has a dark-colored appearance because chlorophyll is co-extracted. Fortunately, chlorophyll can be removed from the oil via post-extraction filtering methods. To maintain the CBD oil product’s quality, some manufacturers may use cold extraction temperatures to mitigate the potential loss of cannabinoids.
CO2 is another popular method for manufacturing CBD oil. Closed-loop extractors are typically used to push carbon dioxide through the plant at low temperatures and high pressures. This way, CBD oil can be extracted in its purest form. This process is recognized as the safest option to cleanly extract CBD; it helps remove substances like chlorophyll and eliminate unwanted residues.
CO2 extraction often begins by pumping a solid piece of CO2 into a second chamber that contains cannabis material. The pressure in the chamber is set to enable CO2 to remain in its liquid-like state. This way, the medium can absorb both the flavors and oils of the plant. A CO2-cannabinoid mixture is then pumped into a third chamber where the CO2 returns to a gas state. This process leaves behind the flavors and oils from the plants.
Winterization is an excellent way to remove lipids, waxes, fats, and other undesirable elements that were extracted from the plant. This manufacturing process is only used when the oil was extracted at high temperatures (supercritical) or high pressures. Intense extraction can pull everything from the plant and cause unwanted materials to remain in the final product. In most cases, the extracted oil will need to be refined as well.