As of 2019, farmers dedicated 128,320 acres of U.S. land to growing hemp plants.
Such a sprawling stretch of American soil is representative of the rising popularity of CBD. In the same year, 14 percent of Americans told Gallup that they used CBD products. That equates to roughly 46 million people across the country.
Perhaps you want to get in on the game — or make some CBD for yourself. Either way, you’ll have to learn how to extract CBD from your plants. It’s not an easy-to-envision process, considering a green, leafy plant becomes an ingestible oil.
We’ve got you covered — here’s what you need to know about this interesting process.
How to Extract CBD
To get CBD oil worth extracting, you have to start at the very beginning of your plant’s life. It requires a well-rounded process of cultivation, care and, ultimately, drawing oil from your healthy plants.
Grow the Right Plants
Take extra care in selecting the source from which you will extract your CBD oil.
Most CBD growers use hemp, as it is naturally high in CBD or cannabidiol. This compound is what we smoke or ingest to create a calm, relaxing feeling.
CBD is a cousin of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a psychoactive compound you’d find in regular marijuana. THC is what causes the headrush that comes with smoking weed. CBD doesn’t do this, though.
So, if you want just the relaxing vibes of CBD, grow hemp plants. Hemp buds take between 120 to 140 days to appear, and that’s when you’ll start the extraction process.
Extract CBD Oil
Once you have your mature hemp plants, it’s time to learn how to extract CBD oil from them.
You have multiple options for doing so.
Carbon Dioxide Extraction
Firstly, one way to make CBD is with the help of carbon dioxide or CO2. Harvesters take advantage of CO2’s ability to exist in solid, liquid and gas forms through this process.
You will need to invest in a cold loop extractor if you want to get your CBD this way. First, a solid piece of CO2 gets pumped into a chamber with your hemp plants inside.
Once in the hemp chamber, CO2 reaches a liquidy state, absorbing all of the CBD from your plants. Then, the liquid pumps into a third chamber, where the CO2 is forced back into a gaseous state. This final step leaves behind CBD oil, ready for Magical intake.
Liquid Solvent Extraction
CO2 extraction can be a relatively pricey method for extracting CBD. So, pioneering growers have realized that other, cheaper liquids can follow the same process as described above.
Butane, isopropyl alcohol and hexane all work similarly to CO2. There are some downsides, though. Some solvents can leave behind a bitter taste, a strange color or both.
Nevertheless, with some adjusting on your part, you can figure out the exact proportion of CBD to liquid and avoid such an outcome.
Extraction by Oil Infusion
For many home growers, this is the best way to make CBD. And it’s a process that has been used for centuries.
Start by decarboxylating your hemp plant. You’ll spread your plant material on a baking sheet and pop it into a 220-degree-Fahrenheit oven for 25 minutes. This step activates the ingredients that make CBD an excellent, calming addition to your daily routine.
Once your hemp has been decarboxylated, you’ll add some oil to it. Most people use olive oil heated to about 210 degrees. Pop your CBD into the oil and leave it for one to two hours.
With this process, you don’t have the luxury of evaporating your carrier oil from your CBD as you do with CO2 or another liquid solvent. So, you’ll have to ingest more of your oil to get the same soothing effects from your CBD.
For a homemade version, though, it’s still a great option.
Further Steps For Great CBD
Some producers aren’t happy with just extracting CBD. They want to make it as pure and potent as possible, which requires a few additional steps.
Winterizing your CBD means you’re removing any substances that aren’t CBD from your oil. This process creates what’s known as CBD isolate. It differs from full-spectrum CBD, which keeps all of the hemp derivatives in the oil.
To winterize your oil, all you have to do is mix it with 200-proof alcohol. You’ll freeze the resulting liquid overnight.
After that, you can send it through a filter to remove any unwanted fats from the CBD. Then, boil it at about 175 degrees to get rid of the alcohol.
You’ll have pure CBD isolate after that.
On that note, you can boil your CBD to get rid of any lingering substances within your oil. All of the different hemp derivatives have different boiling points, so careful heating removes what you don’t want.
You will need to invest in a short path distiller to complete this process. Slowly heating your CBD will remove different layers of your oil. It will send them through a funnel where they condense and drip out of the mixture.
This process will leave you with pure CBD, too.
Now, It’s Time to Try
Making your own CBD is an intensive process, but it can be an extremely rewarding one.
You’ll cultivate your hemp plants, then turn them into something that has benefits for your mind and body. Plus, you’ll be in charge, so you can monitor the quality of the oil you ingest.
All you have left to do is get started — now you know how to extract CBD, after all.
After you do, be sure to check back in with us and let us know how it went in the comments section below.