How Is CBD Extracted?

With CBD and hemp products becoming more and more widespread, many wonder, 'how is CBD extracted'? There are several methods used to extract the compound CBD from the cannabis plant. Some are more effective than others.

Here’s a quick overview of the two most popular forms of extraction:

CO2 Extraction

This method requires special equipment and will generally be limited to businesses with the necessary tools and skills to perform. CO2 Extraction works by converting CO2 from its natural gas form, to a liquid form, thereby allowing the CO2 to function as a solvent. The liquid form of CO2 is able to pull CBD, and other molecules and terpenes from the hemp plant. After this extraction, the pressure is lowered and the liquid CO2 converts back to gas. What you are left with is safe, clean, potent CBD oil.

There are two main methods of Extraction that are used to create this liquid form of CO2. 

Supercritical CO2 Extraction: This method is more common, and utilizes increased pressure and a slightly elevated temperature (31.1C) in order to create a liquid form of CO2. This CO2 then safely behaves as a solvent, pulling desired compounds from the hemp plant, and creating CBD extract oil.

Subcritical CO2 Extraction: A less common, yet high quality method of CO2 extraction. This technique uses pressure and very low temperatures to convert CO2 to liquid form. Again, this liquid CO2 safely behaves as a solvent, and pulls desired compounds from the hemp plant. This method is associated with preserving many of the delicate molecules of the hemp plant when extracted and is thus sought after by those interested in a very diverse full spectrum product.

Ethanol Extraction

This extraction method utilizes ethanol alcohol to pull CBD, terpenes, and other compounds from the hemp plant. After the ethanol extracts this material from the plant, the solution is heated to evaporate the solvent. What you are left with is CBD extract oil. 

This process is similar in some ways to CO2 extraction, but is often criticized for pulling chlorophyll into the CBD extract, and also for potentially leaving residual ethanol solvent in the final product. 

In Conclusion

Fortunately, there are a few companies that take the necessary steps to refine their CBD extract products, With the right precautions, these brands can create a safe, quality CBD product using either form of extraction. We always recommend that customers research the CBD brand that they choose to ensure that they have found a brand that is giving this care into their final product.

Healthy Market utilizes a Supercritical CO2 Extraction conducted in a GMP Certified (Good Manufacturing Practices) and FDA registered facility. After the first round of extraction, our CBD extract is meticulously refined to create a premium CBD distillate which is both potent and safe. Browse our full selection of CBD products here.