What is CBD oil? CBD oil is a product made by essentially made up of two components: a carrier oil and CBD. Producers call it a ‘carrier oil’ because it’s essentially the vehicle that brings CBD to your system. This oil can be anything from olive oil to vegetable oil.
When people consume CBD oils or tinctures by administrating one or two drops beneath the tongue. After putting the drops under their tongue, people should hold them there for a few minutes to feel the effects. Why underneath your tongue? Well, that area of your mouth is rich in capillaries like tiny veins that absorb substances very quickly. So, by placing the CBD oil underneath your tongue, you can make sure it is absorbed. As a result of placing CBD there, you will experience the effects faster and last longer.
A Quick Look Into CBD Oil
CBD oil has many mental; and physical health benefits, including lowering inflammation, controlling mood swings, and lowering anxiety!
But how does it work? In the case of CBD oil, the body absorbs CBD through the capillaries, as we mentioned earlier. On the other hand, the body absorbs CBD capsules in the stomach once you swallow them.
However, the CBD itself works in the same way. In a nutshell, CBD works with your Endocannabinoid System (or ECS). ECS is the system that regulates many necessary bodily functions such as appetite, mood and sleep. The ECS works by creating endocannabinoids that go up to your brain receptors to regulate these bodily functions. After that, it sends up enzymes to break down the endocannabinoids once they’ve fulfilled their purpose.
However, due to many factors like stress and immune-compromising illnesses, the ECS can begin to malfunction. One of how it fails is by sending up the enzymes too early, so they break down the endocannabinoids too quickly. They don’t have the desired effect of binding with the brain receptors. This can cause many issues, including varying appetite levels, frequent mood swings, and lack of sleep.
This is where CBD comes in to save the day! Because CBD is a cannabinoid, its chemical structure is almost identical to the endocannabinoids that your brain naturally produces. So, when you consume CBD with a carrier oil (which is why it’s sold in oil form), it keeps the enzymes from breaking down the endocannabinoids too quickly so that your body can reset itself.
How CBD Oil is Made: Best Extraction Methods Explained
CBD comes from the cannabis plant, which can be found in many tropical areas around the world. Companies extract CBD specifically from the plant and then put it into other products.
On the other hand, companies make CBD oils or tinctures by extracting CBD oil from the hemp plant. After extracting the CBD oil, sellers mix the oil with a carrier. Extraction methods vary greatly, so be careful with what you buy.
Supercritical CO2 Extraction
CO2 extraction is a little more expensive than other methods but much better in the long run. Manufacturers liquify CO2 to turn it into a solvent. Afterward, they also use the resulting chemical to extract CBD from the cannabis plant. After that, it is much easier to remove completely, ensuring the consumer’s health and safety. CO2 extraction is also better for the environment since it leaves behind a much smaller carbon footprint.
This is why you should always check the website that you’re buying the CBD from so you can make sure it uses CO2 extraction, which is better both for you and the environment.
Hydrocarbons are some of the best chemicals to extract CBD oil. Hydrocarbon extraction is perfect for manufacturers since you can create many different products with it since the process is very versatile.
Consumers and others have expressed concern over using hydrocarbons like butane or propane in the processing of products. Still, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes butane and propane as safe ingredients within certain limits.
In conclusion, while it’s not the safest extraction method, it is beneficial.
CBD manufacturers prefer this extraction method for many reasons. The reasons for manufacturers to choose ethanol extraction are safety, simplicity, and effectiveness.
Manufacturers use high-grade gran alcohol to separate the desired cannabinoids and CBD from the hemp plant.
In addition to the before-mentioned reasons, there are other benefits of this method. One of such benefits of this method is that manufacturers can use it without care of the climate. Manufacturers can use this method whether it’s under cold or warm conditions. Furthermore, manufacturers have found out that this method is more efficient when it takes time.
Oil Infusion Extraction
This extraction method is one of the most used and oldest CBD oil extraction techniques in the world. As oil infusion is simple, amateur growers use it. The first step you should take when using oil infusion extraction is to decarboxylate the hemp plant. After decarboxylating the hemp plant, you can start with the oil infusion extraction process.
As another option, you can heat the plant and activate the undesired compounds. Once the plant is heated and the compounds have activated, add a carrier oil and heat it at 100 degrees Celsius for an hour.
Manufacturers don’t often use this particular kind of extraction since it requires a lot of oil to work. However, it is completely safe and has been used for decades.
Carbon Dioxide Extraction
Similar to CO2 extraction, this extraction method turns CO2 into a liquid solvent that removes everything except CBD. Liquid CO2 may sound scary, but it’s a hundred percent safe for humans, and it is better for the environment. This method is also much safer as it eliminates all the CO2 in comparison to chemical solvents.
Liquid Solvent Extraction
This is one of the most controversial extraction methods. It uses chemical solvents like ethanol, butane, hexane, and some natural oils, like coconut oil or olive oil, to separate the CBD oil. While this method is cost-effective and provides a higher yield of CBD oil than other extraction methods, it is controversial since it’s tough to remove solvents from the final product. These chemicals are not safe for human consumption.
In this extraction method, companies use alcohol as a natural solvent. The alcohol strips strip the oil from the cannabis plant of anything but CBD. Rest assured, as no traces of alcohol are left in the products when companies use this method. Using alcohol in the extraction process won’t create products that intoxicate you with alcohol.
Secondary CBD Oil Extraction Methods
CBD manufacturers use other extraction methods other than the ones mentioned before. Here are two of these such methods.
What we call winterization is a process in which we remove unwanted compounds from the hemp plant. So, what are these unwanted compounds we mentioned? The unwanted compounds would be lipids, fats, and waxes. The only downside is that manufacturers will only use this method if the oil is exposed to high pressure or temperatures.
Similar to CO2 extraction, distillation as an extraction method has been used for centuries in alcohol production. Now, some manufacturers have started using distillation to extract CBD oil. In actuality, distillation might sound complicated, but the process is pretty simple. In distillation, manufacturers use steam to remove the unwanted compounds from the hemp plant. During this process, a vapor is produced that contains the desired compounds. As a result, you will need to cool and condense the vapor to acquire the desired compounds. The last step missing will be to separate the oil from the water resulting from the condensed vapor.
Which Method is The Best Used for CBD Extraction?
While all methods have their worth, Supercritical CO2 extraction is the most recommended. This method is much safer than chemical solvent methods since it puts CO2 in a supercritical state, allowing it to act just as effectively as any other solvent. Then, manufacturers apply the CO2 to extract the CBD from hemp and use it in various products.
How to Make CBD Oil at Home
To make homemade CBD oil, you just need to account for two steps: decarboxylation and infusion. Decarboxylation, what a scary-sounding word, isn’t it? While decarboxylation can scare you, it is, in fact, a simple process. You will just have to heat the plant to activate the compounds in the hemp plant. The second step is also an easy one to follow, infusion. In this step, you should mix the compounds acquired from the heating with a carrier oil. The process is easy and great as carrier oils make it easier for your body to absorb the compounds.
Place the parts of the cannabis plant in a pressure cooker so that the heat can isolate the CBD from other chemicals and activate its beneficial compounds. Then, choose a carrier oil to mix with the CBD oil and use when needed!
When buying CBD oil (or any kind of product, really), it’s always important to do some research on how it’s made. While the extraction method may seem trivial, it actually has a great impact on how the final product comes out and whether or not it’s safe to consume after long periods.
The next time you’re buying CBD oil. Make sure to check which extraction method the company uses to understand its safety and quality better. You need to take care of yourself and your body, and part of that process is figuring out what you put in it. Like any other medicine, CBD comes with its own sets of risks and side effects, so make sure to read up on those too before you buy any products.