How are CBD products made?
There is understandably a lot of interest in how CBD is made and its relationship to the cannabis plants and other substances such as marijuana. Here we’ll break down where CBD comes from and how it is made.
Industrial hemp plants vs. cannabis plants
We can extract CBD from either cannabis or industrial hemp plants. To ensure compliance with local laws, many CBD products are extracted from the stalks and stems of industrial hemp plants. Industrial hemp is a cannabis plant with 0.3% THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) or less. In the UK, CBD products must contain 0.2% THC or less, making industrial hemp an excellent source material.
The most common extraction methods
Once a cannabis plant has been cultivated, it will be raised from the ground and brought to an extraction facility. The most commonly used methods involve ethanol and CO2. These are among the cleanest methods to extract CBD, making them good choices for products designed for human consumption.
Extraction using CO2 involves filtering plants through a series of chambers that control pressure and temperature. As the plants are subjected to different temperatures and units of pressure, cannabinoids can be isolated with 90% efficiency. This method is generally used when extracting smaller quantities of material. It is more expensive than other means but produces the cleanest results. All CBD Porter products are made using CO2 extraction.
In ethanol extraction, solvent ethanol is introduced to the hemp plant in order to separate and isolate cannabinoids. This approach is able to produce a very large volume of full-spectrum extract. Another benefit of ethanol is that it removes unwanted components from dried hemp, like chlorophyll.
Once hemp has been extracted, it undergoes another processing step called chromatography. It’s a mechanism used to rid the desired cannabinoid (CBD, in this case) of unwanted plant phytochemicals. Those unwanted chemicals, like chlorophyll, have a weak interaction with the chromatography media, while the cannabinoids have a strong interaction, causing them to move slower. This extraction process allows cannabidiol and terpenes to be divided and then isolated.
Decarboxylation is a process many CBD oils also go through. It involves heating cannabinoids into a form that allows them to immediately interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. That makes the compounds more readily useable throughout the body.
CBDA is converted into CBD once the extracted oil is decarboxylated, and the acid form is removed making it more readily used. Once decarboxylated, the oil is safe for direct consumption, although it arguably has an unpleasant taste. As a result and to make it more palatable, the resulting oil is often mixed with coconut oil or hemp seed, hardened into an isolate or turned into a capsule.
In putting together our product range we have visited the world’s leading CBD manufacturing facilities. All our brands used the safest and most controlled processes on the market. When you buy from CBD Porter UK, you can buy knowing our products are made with some serious care and attention!