How To Extract CBD From Hemp

Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring compound of the hemp and cannabis Sativa plants. CBD extraction is the process involved in the creation of the sought-after cannabinoids from the plant.

It is important to understand that not all CBD is created the same. Finding a high-quality cannabidiol product relies a lot on the method of extraction.

Likewise, this supplement takes different forms including topical, edibles, and oils. Knowing the source of your product and how it was manufactured will tell you a lot about its purity, quality, and potency.

So, let’s look at how to extract CBD and some of the most popular extraction methods available.

CO2 extraction

The CO2 extraction method has become the topmost advised way of extracting Cannabidiol oil from the hemp plant. This process uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract CBD and other compounds from the plant.

Although this process is quite complex, when done properly, it creates a potent, safe, and solvent-free extraction. Typically, the process involves three chambers, the first chamber contains solid CO2. The second chamber holds dried cannabis plant material and the third chamber separates the extracted end product. What is left is a high-concentration CBD with no toxic residue leftover.

Olive Oil Extraction

This method involves the use of natural solvents like olive oil to extract CBD. Though you can also use other vegetable oils, most people prefer olive oil since it is versatile and has a masking flavor. It is also considered safe, simple, and inexpensive.

Firstly, the raw hemp is heated and dried in a process known as decarboxylation. The decarboxylated plant material is then mixed with olive oil and reheated to extract the cannabinoids.

Note that, the resulting end product may contain oil traces since the olive oil isn’t evaporated. olive oil extraction is not done commercially, but rather by homebrew enthusiasts.

Dry ice CBD extraction

This is another effective home remedy for extracting cannabinoids. The resulting product is usually purer and cleaner since it lacks denaturing solvents. Assuming you have access to dry ice, all you need is to chop the hemp plant loosely then flash-freeze it.

The then frozen trichomes are passed through a mesh bag for sieving. The dry ice taps cannabinoids from the hemp plant material without using any hostile solvents. It is a relatively cheap and simple method of extracting high-quality oil.

Here is the most commonly used equipment for this process; 3 lbs. of dry ice, a putty knife, 3 bags of bubble hash mesh (approximately 73, 160, and 220 microns), a clean 5-gallon bucket, a pair of goggles, and heat-resistant gloves. Read more here

Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol extraction is mostly for small-scale manufacturers since it doesn’t require heavy financial investments. The yields are usefully low as well compared to CO2 extraction.

The plant matter is soaked in alcohol and the solution is passed through extraction to various chambers for further processing.

The resulting solute is then introduced to a solvent removal process where it is evaporated leaving behind a complete and ready to formulate end product. Keep in mind that though effective, ethanol fumes can be toxic if inhaled directly.

Steam Distillation

Steam Distillation

Steam distillation is tested and affirmed the cannabidiol extraction method. It involves the use of steam to strip off cannabinoids from the raw plant material. The process involves a distilled tank with an inlet and an outlet that’s connected to another plant material tank.

When water is heated, the steam moves upward into the plant material tank, separating the oil vapor containing cannabidiol oil. The vapors are then condensed and collected in the condensing tubes. Steam distillation is safe and reliable but may require more plant material per extraction.

Extraction by hydrocarbons

This process involves the use of solvents like propane, ethanol, isopropyl, and butane to tap cannabinoids. It is also very fast and inexpensive. You may want to exercise more caution when handling these liquids since they are highly flammable.

It is also worth noting that this method extracts both the plant chlorophyll and cannabinoids. This explains why cannabidiol products created through this method have a bitter taste. To begin with, the solvent together with the plant materials are mixed in a container, the solvent soaks through the material, removing the desired cannabinoids.

The solvent is then evaporated leaving behind a concentrated cannabidiol oil extract. Click here to read more insights.


Before you opt for a particular cannabidiol brand, think about how it was manufactured. While each of the above methods is effective, they have their pros and cons. Solvent extraction is relatively inexpensive but the liquids are potentially hazardous. Vegetable oils, on the other hand, are safe and inexpensive but will have low yields.CO2 is thought to be the safest method of all and will produce high-quality yields. After extraction, the supplement is then refined to create either an isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum CBD.