How to Extract CBD from Cannabis: A Guide That You Need to Know

How to Extract CBD from Cannabis

In recent days, most people have recognized the health benefits of CBD. To be precise, 26% of US adults have tried CBD already. A good percentage of these people have put it open that they use CBD products daily. On the flip side, some people are yet to try out CBD, the target group for this article.

In case you are new to CBD, you need to understand several aspects. For instance, you need to know different CBD products available in the market and what works for you.

The main target is educating readers on how to extract CBD from cannabis. Still, we shall dig deeper into other aspects. Ready? Keep reading so that you can have a complete comprehension of everything that pertains to CBD.

A Short History of CBD Oil

Knowing some history about CBD oil will help us understand how to extract CBD from cannabis. When looking to buy CBD oil with the notion that it is a whole new revelation, you need to think again. From the early days, the hemp/ cannabis plant has been in existence.

All parts of this plant have been in use for so many years as medicine. Evidence that the plant has been in use as a medicine dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. In ancient China, cannabis has been extensively used for food, fiber, and medicine.

Even with its extensive use in Asia, a surgeon known as Dr. William O’ Shaughnessy discovered the medical benefits of marijuana. He managed to treat a 6-week old baby who suffered from convulsions. Luckily, the infant responded perfectly and became convulsions-free in a matter of days.

It is also known that between the years 1837 and 1901, Queen Victoria got a cannabis tincture prescription from her doctor for menstrual cramp pain. Before getting banned in 1928, cannabis served as a treatment for more than 100 diseases and illnesses.

Unfortunately, cannabis got a bad reputation where it was claimed to be a recreational drug instead of offering medicinal values. In the 19990s, researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system in humans and animals. In that discovery, endocannabinoids also got discovered.

These control so many body functions. Luckily, the cannabinoids found in the hemp/ cannabis plant helped regulate and manage this endocannabinoid system.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD is among the many compounds (cannabinoids) that exist in the cannabis plant. Researchers have been keen on the possible medicinal uses of CBD and how to extract CBD from cannabis.

The main compounds that have been under scrutiny by researchers are THC and CBD. It is worth noting that the 2 cannabinoids have very different effects.

Just until recently, the only known cannabinoid in cannabis was THC. This is the highly active compound that leads to psychoactive effects. It brings some mind-altering effects when used in cooking or when smoked. The reason for that is that THC breaks down when introduced in the body.

On the other hand, CBD is not psychoactive at all. It will never change an individual’s state of mind when used.

All the same, it can make significant changes in an individual’s body. The good thing is that CBD has significant medicinal benefits. We will learn more about CBD s we try to seek how to extract CBD from cannabis.

What is the Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil?

People always confuse hemp oil with CBD oil. There are three main ways to tell the difference between CBD oil and hemp oil.

CBD oil has many potential benefits– hemp seed oil has some minerals, vitamins as well as essential fatty acids.

In this regard, it offers primary nutritional benefits. The essential fatty acids support heart health in different ways, like lowering blood pressure.

However, it is essential to note that hemp seed oil does not have the potential therapeutic benefits like CBD on the other hand.

For instance, CBD has shown some promise to relieve stress, offer a good night’s sleep and alleviate joint pains.

The products are made in different ways- there is also a distinction regarding how hemp oil and CBD oil are made. Hemp oil is produced by simply cold-pressing the hemp seeds.

This creates a thick and dark oil that is rich in nutrients. On the other hand, CBD oil is made in different processes like CO2 extraction or ethanol extraction. The end product, in this case, has several beneficial plant compounds such as terpenes and cannabinoids.

The FDA views differ- hemp seed oil is cleared by the FDA. In this case, it means that CBD is legal to sell and buy anywhere.

For CBD oil, the laws become trickier and will always vary from one state to the other. The general rule is that CBD is only legal when its THC contents remain below 0.3%. The FDA is yet to evaluate CBD products formally.

Types of CBD Oil

In the pursuit of learning how to extract CBD from cannabis, we need to understand the different types of CBD oil.

If you have ever thought of trying CBD oil, you might have heard terms like CBD isolates, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum on several products.

These are generally the types of CBD oils. We discuss each of them below so that you can have a better understanding;


This is the most common type of CBD oil. This basically means that the oil contains more than CBD only. In this case, there are terpenes and some other cannabinoids like CBA and CBG with a few traces of THC.

You should never be worried about trying the full-spectrum CBD oil due to the presence of THC. For it to be legal, full-spectrum CBD oil must have less than 0.3% THC content.

The good thing about this type of CBD oil is that all these cannabinoids work together to bring the best therapeutic effects.


This has a close similarity to the full spectrum. It also has more terpenes and cannabinoids other than just CBD. The only difference is that all THC has been removed chemically from this oil.

In short, there are no traces of THC at all. Even though this seems good news, especially for people who would not want any THC in their oil, it is relatively harder to realize the entourage effect.

All the same, even without THC traces, the other cannabinoids present will help CBD in delivering its effects.

CBD Isolate

What is the purest form of CBS oil? This is a question that most CBD oil users ask themselves. CBD isolate differs from the two types of CBD oil discussed above in that this one is pure CBD oil.

This means that it is completely free from all the other cannabinoids and terpenes. What makes it better than the rest is that it is very powerful and that only a small amount is needed to gain desired effects. Since this is natural CBD oil, it is ideal for people suffering from insomnia.

Rather than making you feel tired after consumption, it helps you to sleep even better.

How is CBD Oil Made and Extracted?

There are different ways of taking CBD oil.

Below, we discuss how to extract CBD from cannabis:

CO2 Extraction

This is the commonly known method of extracting CBD oil. CO2 has unique properties that allow it to work in different states of matter. This method uses closed-loop extractors. It begins with a solid CO2 piece that will pump into the second chamber with cannabis material.

This chamber will retain the pressure needed for CO2 to stay in its liquid state. In this case, carbon dioxide will absorb oils as well as the flavors of this plant.

Later, the mixture of CO2 and the cannabinoid is pumped into the third chamber, allowing CO2 to turn into the gas state. This leaves behind the oils as well as the flavors from your plants.

Oil Infusion

This is a traditional method of harvesting CBD oil. Most home growers still use the method to date owing to its simplicity. You must decarboxylate the original pant material or heat it to some temperature that will activate the compounds.

Later, you will be required to add some oil, such as olive oil, to act as the carrier oil. Heating that at 100 degrees Celsius for about 2 hours should evaporate the carrier oil out of your CBD oil.

Liquid Solvents

The whole idea of using liquids in absorbing CBD oil does not end up with CO2. Substances that are in their natural liquid state are also deployed. These include ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, and butane. The process has a close relation to CO2extraction.

Even though liquid extraction is cheaper and more comfortable, it does not lack its downsides. Different solvents will come with impurities like the plant chlorophyll that leads to a bitter taste.


If you are looking to end up with quality and pure CBD oil, winterization is the way to go. The reason for that is that this process removes unwanted substances from your CBD oil.

In this case, this is the method that harvests CBD isolate. After extracting the oil, you need to combine it with some 200-proof alcohol and leave it to freeze overnight.

In the morning, make sure to run it through the filter to remove fats and similar materials. When the oil attains your desired quality, heat the mixture to the alcohol’s boiling point and leave the oil to boil off.


If you are looking to get further refined oil, you can simply run it through the distillation process. The process takes advantage of the fact that different CBD oil compounds have different boiling points.

To get the purest CBD oil, one is advised to boil the distinct compounds whose boiling point is lower than the oil. Distillation begins with slow heating of the CBD mixture till the extraneous substances begin boiling off.

Vapors from this process travel through the distillation tube till they get to the cooling coils for condensation. After that, these vapors drip down in a different collection container. The process repeats itself till you get pure CBD oil.

What are Some of the Most Popular Forms of CBD Oil?

There will be a CBD product for everyone out there. All the same, these products are not all similar.

Below are some of the most popular CBD oil forms:

CBD Oil Tinctures

Arguably, these are the most common CBD products in the market. Their popularity is that they are easy to use, effective, and give value for money.

All you have to do is fill your dropper and hold the oil under your tongue for about 60 seconds before swallowing.

CBD Isolates

These come in crystal, wax, and powder form, making them versatile. This is nothing but purified CBD. It is, therefore, possible to use isolates to make edibles, tinctures, and waxes.

CBD Topicals

These range from lotions and shampoos to deodorants and bath bombs. As opposed to other CBD products, these ones do not enter the bloodstream. Instead, they will interact with the receptors on the skin.

CBD Capsules

The benefit of these is that you swallow your CBD is serving discreetly the same way you take the morning vitamins. These products arrive in tablets and soft gels. They are easy to use now that they arrive at precise dosages.

CBD Edibles

These are CBD-infused products that are also very easy to use. They are ideal for people who dislike the taste of CBD. These products include gummies, mints, baked goods, gum, chocolates, energy chews, and beverages.

CBD Patches

These are similar to topicals, only that these penetrate the skin layers better. They offer a prolonged-release, meaning that they will last longer than other products. The only disadvantage is that they must be placed near the veins.

CBD Vapes

Adding CBD oil to the vape cartridge makes it CBD vape oil. This cartridge attaches to the battery like the e-cigarette. CBD vape oil is consumed through inhaling.


This is also known as dabs or shatter, which is a concentrated and fast-acting product. As is the case for isolates and CBD wax, this one is also purified via the CO2 method. You can consume dabs through ingestion or inhalation.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have learned how to extract CBD from cannabis, which is the best extraction process. For the best quality CBD oil, most companies and consumers use CO2 extraction.

This one is safe and will create little waste for the company responsible for its production. In this regard, it will have no harsh chemicals and contaminants.

When looking for the best CBD oil, you should insist on companies that use the CO2 extraction method.

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