How CBD Oil is Made: Best Extraction Methods

Posted by Mallory Klein on August 17, 2021

It’s one thing to do your research to find a reputable CBD oil brand, it’s quite another to delve deeper into how that brand’s CBD oils are made. When you take the time to find out how a CBD oil is created, you’re not only arming yourself with more knowledge about the CBD industry in general, but you’re also confirming that the products you’re buying from the brand you’ve chosen are clean, potent, and effective. 

CBD Oil Extractions: There’s More Than One Way

While there are three main ways of extracting CBD oil from hemp, the CO2 method is the best because it produces clean and potent extracts.

There are three main ways to obtain extracts from hemp. While each method has its own set of pros and cons, not all of the methods are equally as clean and effective. The most common methods to extract CBD oil are carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction, steam distillation, and solvent extraction. The CO2 extraction method is the cleanest method and the one that’s most preferred throughout the CBD industry. Learn more about extraction methods in detail below. 

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extraction Method

In this method, carbon dioxide is used to separate CBD oil from the hemp’s plant material. In the CO2 extraction method, a line of pressurized chambers and pumps exposes the CO2 to extremely high pressures and very cold temperatures. Plant material that’s been ground up to about the size of coffee grounds sits in another chamber. It’s been broken down because this is the best surface area size for the CO2 to pass through. This process results in an extract that contains high concentrations of CBD. 

The process for CO2 extraction is as follows: 

  1. When the extraction process begins, one chamber houses pressurized CO2 while another houses the hemp plant. 
  2. Next, CO2 is pushed from the first chamber into the second chamber. The CO2 then breaks down the hemp plant and causes the oil to become separated from it. 
  3. Lastly, both the CO2 and the oil are pushed together into a third chamber. The gas in this chamber evaporates and what’s left behind is pure CBD oil extract. 

Even though this process requires special machinery, this extraction method is the industry’s preferred way of obtaining CBD extracts. The CO2 extraction method is safe, efficient, and produces a high CBD concentration. This method also is perfect for creating specific concentrations of CBD oil. This way, brands like FAB CBD can simply adjust the pressure and solvent ratios to make a specific concentration of CBD oil. 

The full-spectrum CBD oils at FAB CBD are clean and potent because of the CO2 extraction process that's used to obtain the CBD extracts from FAB CBD's organic Colorado-grown hemp.

FAB CBD uses the industry-preferred CO2 extraction process to obtain all of its potent, pure, and effective CBD oils. These oils are then turned into the premium products that customers know and love. FAB CBD’s full-spectrum oils come in strengths of 300mg, 600mg, 1200mg, and 2400mg, and in smooth, tasty flavors of vanilla, mint, citrus, berry, and natural. And most recently, FAB CBD has added 2400mg full-spectrum CBD+CBG oil to its highly-rated and popular CBD oil lineup. 

Steam Distillation Extraction

Steam distillation is an intricate and intriguing process. In this method, steam is used to separate the CBD oil from the hemp plant. At the start of the process, the hemp plant is placed in a glass flask with an inlet and an outlet. The inlet is connected to another glass container underneath the flask that holds water that’s ready to boil. The outlet is connected to a condenser tube. 

While the steam distillation method is something that’s been regularly used throughout the industry in the past, more brands have moved over to CO2 extraction because steam distillation has been proven to be inefficient. Steam distillation is no longer an ideal way to extract CBD oil because it requires that a huge amount of hemp plant be used, and when compared to the CO2 extraction process, it’s harder to obtain exact amounts of CBD concentrations through steam distillation.

Steam distillation is not as effective as the CO2 extraction method because exact concentration of CBD in the extracts cannot be controlled.

Steam distillation works in the following manner: 

  1. As water is heated, steam moves up into the plant flask, which separates oil vapors that contain CBD. 
  2. The vapors are next collected into a tube that then condenses them into both oil and water. 
  3. Once the vapors are condensed and collected, the mixture of oil and water is distilled so that the CBD oil can be extracted from the water. 

While it may not seem so, this process does have a risk associated with it. If the steam becomes too hot, it can ruin the CBD extract by changing the chemical properties of its cannabinoids. 

Solvent Extraction

The solvent extraction process follows very much the same process that steam distillation does, however, it uses a solvent to separate the CBD oil from the hemp plant instead of water. Solvent extraction creates a mixture of CBD and solvent. As the solvent evaporates, pure CBD oil is left behind. During the solvent extraction process, hydrocarbons or natural solvents can be used. 

Solvent extraction is the least preferred process in the CBD industry because harmful solvent residue can be left in the extracts, and CBD concentrations are not as high as when the CO2 extraction process is used.

Solvent extraction is sometimes found to be more efficient and cheaper than steam distillation. Sadly, some less-reputable brands use this method. And depending on which types of solvents they use, there is the potential for their CBD extracts to be laden with harmful chemicals. For example, solvents used in hydrocarbon extraction include petroleum, butane, propane, and naphtha. The solvent residue from this extraction can be toxic and harmful to customers’ health if they aren’t completely removed during the evaporation phase. 

In order to avoid this from happening, some brands opt to use natural solvents like olive oil or ethanol in their solvent extraction methods. These types of solvents are just as effective as hydrocarbon extraction, and will not leave any toxic residue behind during the evaporation phase. There are, however, disadvantages to natural solvent extraction. For example, when ethanol is used, chlorophyll can also be extracted from the CBD oil, giving the end product an unpleasant taste. Finally, because natural solvents don’t evaporate well, the resulting CBD oils will have a lower potency. 

FAB CBD Wants the Best for its Customers

As we stated earlier, FAB CBD uses the industry-preferred, clean and efficient CO2 extraction process to obtain all of its pure and potent extracts. All of FAB CBD’s organically-grown hemp is cultivated on over 1,000 acres of pristine Colorado farmland. After the hemp is harvested, it goes through the CO2 extraction process where all of its CBD, terpenes, cannabinoids, flavors, and phytonutrients are carefully preserved. 

Not only does FAB CBD use the cleanest organic hemp, but it also uses the CO2 extraction process and other gold-standard methods to create all of its highly-rated full-spectrum CBD oils.

Next, the CBD oil is mixed with natural flavorings that have been created to compliment each strength so that the flavor of the full-spectrum oil you purchase still shines through despite the oil’s potency. Remember, the higher the concentration of oil, the “hempier” it will taste. The entire extraction and creation process is done in FAB CBD’s FDA registered, USDA Organic Certified Colorado lab and facilities.

Once FAB CBD’s full-spectrum oils have been formulated, they are then bottled, capped, and sealed. The final products are next shipped to FAB CBD’s Midwest facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where both shipping and HQ are located. The 200,000 square foot facility is where thousands of orders are shipped out each day with some of the fastest shipping times in the industry. Every single one of FAB CBD’s products is routinely tested by ProVerde Labs, an independent third-party laboratory, for potency and purity. Customers can easily find all of those lab reports right on the FAB CBD website. 

How FAB CBD Oil is Made: FAB CBD Rises Above Industry Standards

Everyone at FAB CBD takes great care to make sure that customers purchase top-shelf CBD products while having the very best experience possible. When it comes to hemp, FAB CBD uses state-of-the-art growing and cloning equipment and practices to ensure that all of its organic Colorado hemp is free from herbicides, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals. The team at FAB CBD knows what it takes to make the best CBD oil and CBD products in the industry. To that end, they understand that the CO2 extraction process is the most effective way to get the cleanest, most concentrated hemp extracts. From growing, to harvesting, extraction, product creation, bottling, capping, and sealing, everyone at FAB CBD follows the best practices in the industry. 

When it comes to crafting premium full-spectrum CBD oils, FAB CBD knows what it takes to keep customers coming back for more.

When it comes to researching CBD brands, always look to see that the brand uses an independent third-party lab to regularly test all of its products for purity, potency, and CBD concentration. While you’re online, dive into specifics on which method the brand uses to obtain all of its hemp extracts. The little details you learn will help you understand the bigger picture about both the brand and its products and whether or not that brand is worthy of your time and money.