CBD Extraction Process: How CBD Oil Is Manufactured

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoids found in hemp and marijuana. Many individuals are using CBD to help with symptoms of anxiety, pain, insomnia, and more. You can find it in vape juice, gummies, oil, and many other methods of administration.

Despite it being so popular, many people do not know how CBD oil is made.  Below is a brief overview of the extraction and manufacturing processes of CBD.

CBD Extraction Processes:

Supercritical CO2 extraction is quickly becoming the favored extraction method in the therapeutic hemp and medical cannabis industries which are typically large-scale operations.  Compared to fossil fuel-based extraction processes, CO2 extraction is:

  • Eco-friendly
  • More efficient
  • Economical
  • Cleaner
  • Less toxic

It also results in a more consistent product.

At standard atmospheric pressure and room temperature, carbon dioxide is a gas and actually makes up 0.04% of the air we breathe. It becomes a liquid at 60.4 psi at room temperature and turns into a solid (dry ice) at -78C (-109F) and atmospheric pressure.

CO2 reaches a supercritical state when it is heated to 31C and pressurized to 1071psi (atmospheric pressure is 14.7psi so this is 73 times more pressure than the air you breathe!).  In this state, CO2 has both gas and liquid properties that allow it to move into small areas of the plant (gas) to extract the cannabinoids (liquid solvent).

Once the extraction is complete, the CO2 is depressurized where the cannabinoids fall out of the gaseous mixture and is collected.  The CO2 itself is recycled back into the process where it begins again as above.  Recycling of the gas, process efficiency, and purity of the CBD product has made supercritical CO2 extraction popular with producers.

Oil infusion is an antiquated technique for harvesting CBD oil that is still popular with some producers and small-scale home growers. It is a very straightforward technique but does come with certain drawbacks.

Prior to starting oil infusion, the plant material must be decarboxylated, or heated to a specific temperature to activate its compounds. Olive oil is typically added to the plant material and is subsequently heated to 100C for a set period of time. One of the downsides of using olive oil is that it cannot be separated from the extracted CBD oil.  As a result, a larger dose of products must be consumed since the CBD is diluted in olive oil and has a lower potency.

Supercritical CO2 and oil infusion are two of the more popular extraction methods used today.  However, there are other natural liquid solvents that are used and include:

  • Hexane
  • Butane
  • Ethanol
  • Isopropyl alcohol

These solvents are used in a similar manner to the CO2 extraction method.

Liquid solvent extraction is a simpler and cheaper way of extracting CBD oil; however, this method also has its downsides. These solvents might carry chlorophyll and impurities from the plant. As a result, the extracted CBD oil may have a greenish hue and bitter taste.

Winterization is an essential part of harvesting high-quality, pure CBD oil, or CBD Isolate. In this process, substances that makeup Full or Broad Spectrum CBD are removed from the extract, leaving behind pure CBD oil, or Isolate.

After extraction by one of the above methods, the oil is combined with 200-proof alcohol and frozen overnight. The next day the oil is ready for filtering, which removes substances like fats. When the desired purity is reached, the solution is heated to the alcohol boiling point which drives off alcohol, leaving behind CBD Isolate.

If a highly refined oil is required, it can be produced using a short path distillation process. This method is efficient as each of the compounds in CBD oil has a different boiling point.  Specific compounds in the mixture are individually boiled off to get the purest form of CBD oil. These compounds typically have a lower boiling point than the CBD oil.

The process of short path distillation begins by heating the CBD mixture slowly until the substances begin boiling off. The vapors formed go through a distillation tube where they reach cooling coils and condense back to a liquid.  The liquid then drips into a separate collection container. The process is continued with increasing temperatures until only pure CBD oil remains.

Because CBD is becoming extremely popular in the national marketplace and it is not currently regulated, it is essential to obtain your CBD products from a credible and reputable source to ensure safety and quality.

What Sets Naturally Restored Apart?

Our products are produced in a highly regulated and audited GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) certified manufacturing facility. Each year our facility is audited multiple times, sometimes by surprise, as part of our certification process.  Third-party certifications from our Halal and Kosher certifying parties, along with GMP and Organic certifications, give our facility a Tier 1 rating.

Because CBD and Hemp products are extremely new and mostly unregulated, there are many brands that attempt to mislead people by offering substandard products with eye-catching graphics or buzzwords on the label. We pride ourselves in making only the highest-quality third-party tested and verified products while continuing to abide by all rules and guidelines set forth by the agencies listed above. Naturally Restored, Inc. offers GMP certified products in a clean manufacturing facility dedicated to producing top tier nutritional and CBD products.

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