CBD stands for Cannabidiol, it’s a naturally occurring compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD is a key component of medicinal marijuana and has significant therapeutic potential.
CBD is one of 113 other cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemicals which act upon certain receptors in the human body and brain, known as cannabinoid receptors.
The oldest known written record on cannabis use comes from then Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C., Ancient Greeks and Romans were also familiar with cannabis, while in the Middle East, use spread throughout the Islamic empire to North Africa. In 1545 cannabis spread to the western hemisphere where Spaniards imported it to Chile for its use as fibre. In North America cannabis, in the form of hemp, was grown on many plantations for use in rope, clothing and paper.
CBD oil is a concentrated extract from the cannabis plant, coming from its flowers or buds, and is completely different to Hemp oil. When cannabis is extracted it can be used for many different products such as creams, balms, oils etc. They also come in different strengths and strains.
There are many ways to extract CBD oil and as a customer it is very important for you to know which way of extraction method each company uses, because different ways effect the direct impact of the quality and safety of the final product. As a customer you need to be cautious of CBD oils that are extracted using toxic solvents. Look for suppliers who use CO2 extraction or ethanol extraction and test their products for contamination, as they are stronger and better quality.
CO2 extraction: This method uses very expensive equipment, carbon dioxide (CO2) is pressurised until it becomes liquid and heated to specific temperatures to extract the different cannabinoids from the cannabis plant material. Low temperature (sub critical) extraction is used to extract temperature-sensitive materials in the plant, before the same material is exposed to high temperature (super-critical) extraction to draw out the remaining desired cannabinoids and compounds.
While CBD oil can be extracted using only the high temperature method, some suppliers combine both extraction methods (total extraction process) in order to create a more, full spectrum CBD oil (better quality).
This method is considered to be the safest and most efficient method of extraction for CBD and other cannabinoids.
Alcohol extraction: This method uses the whole plant at once at first it soaks the cannabis plant material in grain alcohol. Evaporating the remaining liquid results in an oil that contains CBD and other cannabinoids. Given that ethanol is used as a preservative and additive in foods, it is considered a safe method of extraction.
Using ethanol is cheaper than CO2 extraction, but there are some disadvantages. First of all, the process used can reduce the potency of the oil, as it can damage certain waxes in the plant, therefore the strength of the CBD isn’t as strong as it could be. Also, unwanted chlorophyll is co-extracted from the cannabis, which results in the oil having an unpleasant flavour. Removing the chlorophyll adds on additional cost and reduces the potency of the CBD oil even more.
Olive or coconut oil extraction: this is a safe and very accessible way to extract cannabis. It is made by heating an oil and filtering it through the cannabis plant material. This method is popular when extracting at home, however this method requires users to consume more for the same affect as this method results in the product been less potent. Also, olive and coconut oil extraction is perishable and that means the product must be stored in a cool, dark place.