CBD oil, also known as Cannabidiol has a history of use in as back as 2737 BC and it has been widely used for many ailments since ancient times. Even there is evidence that Queen Victoria used to aid her menstrual cramps by CBD oil.
This magical oil is extracted from marijuana plants or, nowadays, many industrialists are making CBD oil from hemp. CBD is probably the safest and intoxicating chemical compound which is known to maintain homeostasis of the body while keeping you awake. Unlike other chemical compounds derived from this cannabis plant e.g. TCH, it doesn’t make you high and doesn’t interrupt with your everyday work routine.
It’s so safe that it doesn’t have any adverse effects and is even known to have a very rare side effect profile. It’s good for all ages and all ailments.
Researchers have found that it doesn’t primarily cure the disease but it maintains the normal homeostasis of the body and thus helps the body system to regulate which in return becomes beneficial in healing the ailment. This is why it is effective for almost all ailments including depression, anxiety, and even epilepsy.
Moving on, let’s put some light on its history so we can know more efficiently about its making process. Before diving deep into the details of how to make CBD oil, let’s take a look at the history of CBD to make a proper base of understanding.
History of CBD:
Probably in 1942, an American chemist, Roger Adams, was the first person who made history when he successfully isolated the very first cannabinoid, Cannabidiol (CBD). In his research, he also extracted another most important compound of Cannabis named as Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
After that, in 1963, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam made the very first breakthrough towards an explanation of the effects of individual cannabinoids and he successfully identified the chemical nature of CBD.
A year later, in 1964, Mecholam made another breakthrough and discovered the chemical nature of TCH. This was the time when he disassociated CBD as a mind-altering compound as he now knew that it’s TCH, not CBD.
In 1978, as a result of any further advance studies, CBD was legally recognized as a medicinal compound.
Adding on, a huge study was conducted by Dr. Mechoulam and his team in the 1980’s which revealed its potential application for the treatment of epilepsy, especially for childhood epilepsy.
Let’s discuss how to make CBD Oil…
How to make CBD Oil
CBD is an ancient compound that has been used by many physicians and herbalists for ages. Extraction of medically beneficial compounds from Cannabis sativa plant has been made through many processes up till now. It was always extracted from Marijuana plants which is the main source of cannabis, but extractions made from marijuana plants were found to impose more mind-altering effects as these extracts contained other chemical compounds like THC which are actually responsible for mind-altering or ‘High’ effect.
In today’s age, Hemp plants are used to extract cannabinoids as they are known to have lesser amounts of THC which is a mind-altering compound and causes sedation.
From the Hemp plant, CBD is extracted in its purest form known as Cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) which then undergoes the process of Decarboxylation ( removal of a carboxyl group from the chemical structure and release of CO2) and get converted into CBD. This CBD than undergoes a few more processes before ending up as a magical CBD oil.
CBD is not only a highly beneficial and non-toxic compound but also, it’s quite easy to harvest and extract followed by easy methods of extraction. CBD has a generous nature which provides its handlers, manufacturers, and user with convenience and ease in all aspects. Also, it can be manufactured using any solvent depending upon the preferences of the manufacturer without affecting its benefits and nature.
Manufacturing processes have been widely evolved wit changing times and we are able to extract CBD while making sure that there are not even traces of other compounds that possibly could alter the effects of CBD. Even the isolated or purest forms of CBD are now also available in the market especially for those who are allergic to other traces like TCH or remnants of waxes, mold, etc.
The extraction process is continuously changing with time and even basic steps of extraction are also different in different cultures and societies. The development of new technologies and new machinery also promotes changes in the extraction process.
We are going to explain the major three extraction processes that are being commonly used worldwide for the extraction of CBD. These methods are:
- CO2 Extraction Process
- Ethanol Extraction Process
- Oil Extraction Process
As the name indicates, these methods use CO2, ethanol, and oil as a medium of extraction respectively.
Let’s discuss the processes in detail.
CO2 Extraction Process
As the name indicates, this method uses Carbon dioxide gas as a medium of extraction. This CO2 extraction is conventional and probably most popular among manufacturers as it allows complete control over CBD’s concentration.
Step I: The process starts with choosing a solvent. A solvent is basically any compound that dissolves or mixes up the resinous fluid coming out of the plant to carry it to the industry for further processing. This extraction uses carbon dioxide as a solvent that dissolves aromatic terpenes and active cannabinoids from the organic material.
Step II: The next process is carried out in the manufacturing unit where the mixture with solvent undergoes many chemical reactions to yield the desired compound. The next process starts by heating CO2, which is currently holding extracted terpenes, at a specific temperature under a controlled environment.
CO2 is basically a gas but when it get treated at a specific temperature under a controlled environment, it turns into a supercritical state of matter which is somewhere between being a liquid, gas or solid.
Step III: CO2’s supercritical rich in cannabis mixture is then placed into a separate vessel. High temperatures are released and the supercritical form starts reforming to its natural state and as soon as it stabilizes into its gas form, it releases the active cannabinoids. These released active cannabinoids are saved and forwarded to the next step.
Step IV: These cannabinoids now undergo a special process known as Winterization, which is used to remove any fat or bee’s wax which has been separated out from the plant along with required compounds. Freezing or winterization helps in removing all the unwanted fats and waxes to ensure purity.
Step V: After winterization, now that we a mixture of different cannabis which is pure of external impurities, Short Path Distillation is followed. Thankfully, we already know that every cannabinoid has its own unique physical and chemical properties and hence each of them has a different boiling point.
Using this concept, via Short Path Distillation, the mixture of cannabinoids is treated at different boiling temperatures which yield a pure form of any desired cannabinoid, free of traces of other cannabinoids or impurities.
When a CBD specific boiling point is applied, the mixture yields a pure form of CBD.
Step VI: This purest yielded CBD is soon mixed with any oil carrier to convert it into a final dosage form or to produce CBD oil.
Although CO2 based extraction is quite simple because it involves biological processes like winterization and distillation, it requires professionally trained personnel to carry on the process. Also, keeping in mind that this process can yield purest of CBD, the skills of personnel along with the quality of apparatus and controlled environment are the factors that decide the quality and purity of extracted CBD oil.
Ethanol Extraction Process
Another method of extracting cannabinoids and making CBD oil uses ethanol as a solvent. Ethanol is basically a form of alcohol and also serves as a solvent in many extraction processes due to its purity and volatile nature. It’s a volatile, flammable and colorless liquid that has a mild characteristic odor.
Process: The general process of extraction using ethanol involves steeping or soaking the hemp plant into the ethanol for a specific time period. This steeping releases all the beneficial cannabinoids from the plant into the ethanol.
After creating biomass that contains all the cannabinoids of the plant, it then passes through centrifugation which separates out and removes all the dewatered biomasses present in the solution.
Later, the rest of the material that still has impurities is sentenced to either centrifugation again or winterization. Both these methods are quite helpful in removing all the fatty nature substances including fats and waxes.
The remnant is then filtered and is now ready for downstream processing followed by, same as above, carboxylation, distillation, and fractional or short path distillation. These three steps purify the cannabinoids and then individual compounds are separated out on the basis of their boiling temperatures.
The final product of CBD by ethanol extraction is then infused with any type of suitable carrier oil like coconut oil.
Why Ethanol: Ethanol extraction has the capability of producing cannabis that is up to 99 percent pure which is undoubtedly a great achievement. This extraction process not only yields a high-quality end product but also is much less expensive and far more efficient than other extraction processes.
Extracting CBD Using Oil
Extracting CBD using oil as a solvent is probably one of the most popular and easiest DIY kind of process. Hobbyists or DIY’ers can make their own CBD oil by the use of some easily available apparatus but definitely this extracted CBD won’t be pure enough as other industrial made CBD.
CBD can be made via this process by using different types of oils that are convenient and suitable for the user but the thing that should be kept in mind here is that every carrier oil results in different quality, shelf life, and taste of the product.
Usually, Olive oil and Coconut oil are used as carrier oils for making CBD oil via the Oil extraction method. Among all, Olive oil is a great choice as it has the potential to neutralize the distinct flavor of CBD which may overpower some people and it also ensures high-quality CBD products as compared to other oils.
Process: Making CBD at home is simpler and easier if you owe to follow some basic steps with proper care while maintaining hygiene.
Step 1: For making CBD oil, the first thing you need is definitely a high-quality Hemp plant or cannabis plant. Usually, you can find those miraculous buds in stores or dispensaries which will be a convenient thing but you should choose strains that are trusted to have a high content of CBD.
As we already know by the previous 2 methods, bud or extracted resin needs to be heated to get converted into CBD from CBDA, so for this, absorb the buds on a baking sheet and heat them at 230oF for about 30 minutes.
Step 2: Now use any carrier oil of your choices like olive oil or coconut oil. But you should keep in mind that oils have different natured and different properties so they should be treated accordingly to ensure a fine end product. For example, Olive oil burns quickly during the process so you should wisely choose the type of stovetop to be used during the steeping process.
In a saucepan or any other suitable pot, mix olive oil and water at an equal quantity. Now add previously treated cannabis buds in to it and set the heat at low settings. Keep on stirring time to time to ensure the mixture is heating up equally and lower buds are not burning. Keep on increasing the heat gradually until it nearly reaches the boiling temperature. Now lower the heat and maintain a low boil. Here, ideally, the temperature should be near 200oF. Keep on stirring and heating for about 30 minutes until it simmers and almost all of the water evaporates.
Step 3: Now let this heated mixture to cool down at room temperature before proceeding to the next steps. Once it cools down and achieves room temperature, strain it through a fine-mesh or cheesecloth to make sure that no air bubble or solid material passes through the strainer and we have pure and perfectly textured oil as an end product.
Now strain and save the freshly made oil infusion into an airtight jar or any other container that can keep the oil impurity-free for a longer run and store it in the refrigerator for minimum two hours and maximally overnight. Due to freezing temperatures, olive oil will be hardened and it would be quite easy to separate the dense layer of CBD-rich oil from the water at the bottom.
The thing to keep in mind here is, choose freezing temperature wisely. The temperature should freeze out only oil, not water, otherwise, the process will go wasted and you’d still have water in your product which is not good for its shelf life.
Step 4: Now when you have separated oil from water, allow the oil to return to its liquid form at room temperature or by very mild heating if necessary and your final product is ready to be stored for later use.
Try to choose a storage container that can maintain the purity of your oil like a mason jar.
Major uses of CBD Oil:
CBD is quickly gaining momentum among people for health and fitness as now some scientific studies have also confirmed that it’s capable to treat many ailments. Some major uses of CBD oil are:
- Analgesic or Pain Relieving Oil: Probably it’s the most common use of CBD, as it interacts with the ECS of the human body. CBD helps to relieve pain by attaching to the receptors of the ECS system and blocks pain signaling, thus reduces inflammation & pain.
- Anti-depressant: Psychiatric illnesses are commonly found ailments but unfortunately are tough to target and treat. Even their treatments are stressful and tiring. Patients who seek herbal aid for their psychiatric illness are found to have a huge benefit from CBD oil.
- Acne reduction: CBD has healing, anti-fungal, and antibiotic properties. This is why the topical application of CBD can help in covering up even the most chronic type of acne.
- Other health benefits: Along with being a Neuroprotective agent and CVS (cardiovascular system) health managing compound, it also has shown strong evidence of posing symptomatic treatment of cancer.
Major Side Effects of CBD:
Although a lot of research articles and hundreds of studies along with consumer’s trust have proved that CBD is probably the safest drug that heals and cures but never makes you feel high and also, doesn’t show any side or adverse effects. But still, some people can face some disturbances associated with CBD usage.
Major side effects of CBD may include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
- Rash or lesion
- Redness of the skin
- Signs of liver injury
- Decreased appetite
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Altered liver enzymes
The Bottom Line:
CBD, a magical compound from Cannabis family, is a trusted compound that has been used by locals and herbalists for hundreds and hundreds of years. It can benefit you regardless of what ailment are you suffering from because it has a magical capability of maintaining your body’s natural homeostasis. It can be manufactured via 3 commonly known methods whereas the purest of CBD can be extracted via Ethanol extraction.
Although it can never harm, still, you should seek proper medical help before starting on a CBD for the first time. Ask your physician or read thoroughly on your own so you can benefit maximally from a CBD’s oil.