How is CBD oil made?

What is CBD oil, and how effective is it? How effective is CBD oil, and what are some of the side effects? How is CBD oil manufactured and produced? This article explains how CBD oil is manufactured.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is among the marijuana or hemp plant’s chemical compounds. CBD oil has many extraction methods like carbon dioxide and alcohol. Notably, these extraction methods affect the quality and safety of the end product.

Cannabidiol oil is extracted from the buds and flowers of these plants through alcohol or carbon dioxide extraction methods. Most individuals incorporate this product in various products, including gummies, drinks, lotion, and lip balm. The cannabis plant is categorized as either marijuana or hemp depending on tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) amounts, a chemical responsible for high effects. Hemp contains below 0.3% THC, while marijuana exceeds this limit. Currently, the cannabidiol oil extraction method is ambiguous to many CBD customers. Individuals should understand the mechanism to discover the end product’s efficacy and purity, not be affected.

Growing the Hemp Plant

Before farmers plant seeds, the soil is examined for herbicides and contaminants. Individuals plant hemp with a moderate spacing, promoting a huge harvest with low land utilization. Also, the crop is appropriate for regenerative farming since it encourages crop rotation to restore soil nutrients, and hemp yields high biomass quantities. Ghosh et al. (2021) stated that hemp falls between May (third week) and June (first week), and after planting, the hemp develops instantly, propagating in two months. Some regions where hemp is farmed include Minnesota, Oregon, North Carolina, Kentucky, Colorado, and Montana.

Harvesting Hemp Plants

The plant’s trichome resin glands contain high cannabinoid concentrations causing farmers to harvest flowers first. According to Summerscales et al. (2010), hemp plants are harvested approximately October, although it depends on State’s climate. Before official harvesting, every crop sample is examined and verified by State’s Agricultural Department. It ensures the farm complies with federal regulations by maintaining its hemp plants below 0.3 percent THC. For example, Populum coordinates with farmers around Eastern Colorado. The agency confirms whether farmers comply with standard farming regulations and tests for heavy metals and pesticides near plants. After harvesting, the plants are treated or stored in ventilated places. This treatment process spends about 21-30 days. After drying, the flowers which contain high cannabinoid concentrations are removed from crops and then transported to brands that manufacture these compounds.

Extracting the Cannabidiol from Dried Hemp Flower

Boyar (2021) stated that the extraction involves stripping cannabidiol extract from hemp plants to generate a usable formulation for topical or ingestion applications. Each extraction technique produces a slightly distinct end product. However, raw extracts contain an oily texture (thick) with an extreme black hue depending on the extraction method. There exist several extraction methods, although they have their advantages and disadvantages.

Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most popular CBD oil extraction method. The process utilizes the principle of carbon dioxide functioning as liquid, solid, and gas and uses closed-loop extractors. The process begins with a solid carbon dioxide being placed into a chamber. After that, it gets pumped into another chamber with cannabis substances. While here, the pressure is regulated to ensure carbon dioxide remains in liquid form to absorb the plant’s flavors and oils. Then, the carbon dioxide-cannabinoid blend is forced into another chamber which converts CO2 into gaseous form, thus, eliminating the plant’s flavors and oil. This extraction method is accurate and generates the cleanest cannabinoid formulations precisely.

Nevertheless, it changes sometimes due to the sharp learning curve and high equipment cost. After accomplishing this, carbon dioxide extracted cannabidiol oil becomes the cleanest CBD product. But, some errors arise when performed below optimal conditions.


The ethanol extraction method is popular for its effectiveness, simplicity, and safe. Manufacturers use high-quality ethanol (alcohol) as a solvent in this technique. For this reason, it strips cannabidiol and various cannabinoids from an individual plant. Alternatively, ethanol extraction is performed under cold or warm conditions. Therefore, it saves time compared to different cannabidiol extraction methods such as carbon dioxide. The cannabidiol oil produced through this technique is utilized for vape pen cartridges. Nevertheless, this method denatures cannabis herb waxes, which might contain therapeutic benefits that certain manufacturers favor.

Liquid Solvents

The philosophy of utilizing liquids to absorb cannabidiol oil from cannabis plants does not end with ethanol and carbon dioxide methods. Choi et al. (2021) explained that naturally liquid compounds are utilized, including isopropyl alcohol, hexane, or butane. The process functions are similar to ethanol or carbon dioxide extraction methods. In this regard, a liquid solvent is passed via decarboxylated hemp to eliminate terpenes and cannabinoids. In addition, this method is a simpler and cheaper way to extract cannabidiol oil.

Furthermore, it can increase commercial production, although it contains some disadvantages. Notably, not every solvent can extract contaminations, and the plant chlorophyll might stay in this oil, offering it a bitter taste and greenish tinge. A cannabidiol trademark should regulate the process accordingly to avoid contaminants. Most liquids have high flammability meaning this method is more hazardous than others.

Oil Infusion

Although Oil infusion remains the oldest CBD oil extraction method, most producers and growers employ it today. Its operation is straightforward yet contains some disadvantages. Before beginning oil infusion, plant substances should undergo decarboxylation or heating at certain temperatures to stimulate particular compounds. According to Saiful Yazan et al. (2015), plant substances are incorporated into carrier oils like olive oil and heated for a significant period at 1000 C. However, olive oil cannot evaporate from cannabidiol oil. Thus, excess oil is utilized compared to the liquid solvent utilized.


Cannabidiol oil is obtained by extracting CBD from hemp or cannabis plants. It constitutes a high cannabidiol quantity and might have insignificant or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) contents. Cannabis plants are categorized into hemp, which contains below 0.3 percent THC, and marijuana with above this THC limit. CBD oil extraction method determines the end product’s quality and safety, thus influencing medicinal properties. Carbon dioxide is the standard CBD oil extraction method and produces the cleanest products. However, it uses expensive equipment, and products might be affected when the set conditions are interfered with. Other methods include ethanol, liquid solvents, oil infusion, and liquid solvents.


Boyar, K. (2021). Cannabis Microbial Testing: Methodologies and Considerations. In Recent Advances in the Science of Cannabis (pp. 131-160). CRC Press.

Choi, Park, & Park, (2021). Possibility of Benzene Exposure in Workers of a Semiconductor Industry Based on the Patent Resources, 1990–2010. Safety and health at work12(3), 403-415.

Ghosh, Krishnan, Choudhury, & Basu, (2021) Can google trends search inform us about the population response and public health impact of abrupt change in alcohol policy? A case study from India during the covid-19 pandemic. International Journal of Drug Policy87, 102984

Saiful Yazan, Yap, Wan Nor Hafiza, How, & Abdullah, (2015). Thymoquinone-loaded nanostructured lipid carriers exhibited cytotoxicity towards breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) and cervical cancer cell lines (HeLa and SiHa). BioMed Research International2015.

Summerscales, Dissanayake, Virk, & Hall, (2010). A review of bast fibers and their composites. Part 1–Fibres as reinforcements. Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing41(10), 1329-1335.


Charlotte Cremers

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