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Does the extraction method affect the quality of CBD?: What’s there to know? 

Have you ever wondered how CBD oil is extracted from hemp?

We look at the popular CBD extraction methods and how/if they affect the quality of the extracted CBD oil.

What is CBD?

CBD (cannabinoid) is a chemical compound that occurs naturally in the hemp plant.

While it has a range of different formulation methods, the CBD itself is typically extracted from hemp plants containing less than 0.3% THC before it is processed and turned into a variety of products including oils, tinctures, creams and edibles. 

What are the therapeutic benefits of CBD?

The CBD industry is flourishing because of the growing therapeutic role of CBD oils and products.

As more research continues to be conducted on this chemical compound and its efficiency is witnessed among users, here are its proven benefits:

  • Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant because of the effects it has on the brain.

  • Pain and inflammation management.

  • Controlling or reducing seizures and spasms.

  • Enhances brain health thanks to its neuroprotective properties. Consequently,
    it has opened a new study area on how beneficial it can be for Alzheimer’s and
    dementia patients.

  • It helps in lowering blood pressure.

  • Appetite control and managing the side effects of treatments such as chemotherapy
    that lead to nausea and pain

How to extract CBD from cannabis?

With the many therapeutic benefits of CBD, it is not surprising that its popularity keeps growing by the day. Still, many people are curious about the extraction methods of this hemp-derived oil and whether these methods impact its quality.

There are different CBD extraction methods popularly used by manufacturers today. It is worth noting that each extraction method has its pros and cons.

If you are still wondering about CBD extraction process, here are the most popular methods:

  1. CO2 Extraction

This is the most expensive method of extracting CBD oil as it requires specialized machinery that can support the process. It takes advantage of the supercritical properties of carbon dioxide that allow it to be used in solid, liquid, and gas states.

The entire process revolves around altering the states of CO2 at different pressures and temperatures until the CBD oil extraction is complete. Depending on the temperature of CO2 used, this extraction method can be categorized as:

  • Supercritical CO2 Extraction

  • Subcritical CO2 Extraction

  • Mid-critical CO2 Extraction

Note: CO2 extraction is only safe when done by professionals.

  1. Solvent Extraction

This is one of the oldest CBD extraction methods. It uses solvents such as; hexane, ethanol, and butane to dissolve and isolate CBD before the solvent is evaporated.

Since most of the solvents used are flammable, it is an extraction method that needs to be carefully handled using the right equipment. The solvent concentration is also bound to affect the extraction process and purity of the final extract.

  1. Olive oil extraction

This is also another popular traditional way of extracting CBD from hemp. The primary difference with solvent extraction is that it uses natural olive oil for extraction.

It also requires the hemp flowers to be heated first (decarboxylation) before olive oil is added to the mixture. It will be further heated to temperatures of 215 degrees Fahrenheit for 120 minutes before extraction occurs.

  1. Steam distillation

Another extraction method that has been used for decades is steam distillation. Here, steam is used to separate CBD compounds from hemp flowers before the resulting vapor is cooled and condensed.

Compared to other extraction methods, steam distillation best works when you have a lot of hemp flowers. It is also a process that needs to be closely monitored as the steam can get too hot and alter the fragile CBD compounds.

How long does CBD extraction take?

CBD extraction is not a five-minute process, as most people assume. Instead, it is a process that takes hours to be completed with the exact duration depending on the extraction method used.

After extracting CBD oil, you do not have a final product as other processes are required to refine the crude CBD oil. These processes are:

  1. Winterization

This is the process of removing impurities and unwanted elements from crude CBD oil using alcohol. It involves mixing the crude CBD oil with alcohol before freezing it overnight and later filtrating it.

  1. Short-path distillation

This refining process separates pure CBD oil from other compounds based on their different evaporation points. It involves heating the crude CBD oil to isolate the compounds.

How does this method affect CBD oil quality?

Generally, the purity, quality, and potency of the derived CBD oil depend on how well each extraction method was followed and the subsequent refining processes.

Quality CBD from superior extraction and refining processes

CBD products are now widely available, but that does not mean that every product containing cannabidiol is good for you. Avoid taking chances when you buy CBD products by limiting your purchases to top-rated CBD companies that value your safety and well-being.


In the end, the quality of CBD products is dependent on the excellence of the extraction and refining processes used. Since these are not elements left to chance, you need the assurance of quality-controlled production processes before making that purchase.


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