CBD extraction is done from an extremely versatile plant. There are many medicinal properties that can be taken from its compounds otherwise known as cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the cannabinoids that are well known and often used in the cannabis industry. CBD is not psychoactive and there are no known side effects that happen to those who use it. It is purported to have many health benefits.

Cannabis extraction to produce CBD extract can be done through various processes and if the extraction process is done in a specific way, will include THC. The process used can affect the quality and purity of the end CBD oil product.


CBD is a cannabidiol which is a chemical compound (cannabinoid) that can be found in the cannabis and hemp plant. CBD is becoming well-known for the range of possible medical benefits that are being studied. It is being looked at in fighting chronic sickness, pain, anxiety as well as for maintaining brain health and aiding in weight loss. CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid system that is a part of the central nervous system which helps maintain balance within the body. CBD can be taken from hemp or cannabis and must be .3% THC or lower if only CBD.

Cannabis Extraction

The extraction method of CBD separates the CBD isolate from the cannabis plant and removes it from the other cannabinoids that are present. There are a few ways that the CBD oil extraction process can be done, and some work better than others do.

The way that CBD is extracted can change not only the quality of the end product but its purity as well. Some CBD extraction processes leave some small amount of various raw material, cannabinoids, and residue that can work against the desired effects, so it is important when deciding how to extract CBD that the process is clean and efficient.

Four Methods of CBD Extraction

Here are 4 methods of extraction when looking at how to extract CBD.

  • The Rick Simpson Method – This process has been named after the man who first used it. It is an inexpensive and easy way to do CBD extraction. In contrast, it is the worst way to isolate CBD. This process uses a hydrocarbon such as butane, propane or acetone. The material from the plant is put into the solvent where it is left to steep.

This process strips the compounds from the plant and leaves them in a liquid state. The hydrocarbons used in this process have a low boiling point, so they are boiled so they evaporate. This leaves CBD oil behind. Care needs to be taken when using these hydrocarbons as they are flammable and can be problematic. The other issue with this method is that it ruins particular plant waxes and may leave behind residue that is harmful. The Rick Simpson method is not recommended over the other ones.

  • Carrier Oil Extraction – This process uses oil to do the extracting. The oil usually used is olive, but it can also be coconut, hemp seed or others. Before extraction begins, the plant material has to be decarboxylated. This is a process where the plant matter is heated to a specific temperature and a set amount of time. It cooks it in a way that will activate the chemicals in the plant substance. Once the matter is decarboxylated, then it is put in the carrier oil and heated for hours.

Carrier Oil Extraction

This process will pull the cannabinoids out of the plant and put them into the carrier oil. It is a cheap way of making CBD oil and does not add any contaminants that can hurt the end-user. However, it is not a great way to extract CBD. The oil that is extracted this way can be perishable without preservatives and it offers lower yields of cannabinoids compared to other methods. It tends to be low potency as well.

  • Alcohol Extraction – Ethanol/ethyl alcohol extraction is a third method that can be used in producing CBD cannabis products. The method is the same as with the other solvent processes, but safer as it does not leave the same residues or other contaminating things. It gives the user a purer form of CBD.

This method starts with decarboxylated plant matter that is put tightly in a container. Ethanol is dripped into that container, so it goes through the plant matter and strips the cannabinoids. As it drips through, it goes into a collection container.

The second way to do this is to soak the plant contents in the alcohol until the CBD and other cannabinoids are brought out. This process has a long purification process so not all CBD products can be done this way.

  • CO2 Extraction – Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the most used and best way to extract cannabis CBD. It is efficient and offers a pure product. Supercritical is the most used method with CO2. It becomes a solvent when it is utilized at the right temperature and pressure. There is no danger of flames or residue.

Special equipment is used for this process as it needs supercritical cold temperatures. It pulls out the cannabinoids by going through the plant matter, pulling out what is needed and allowing for further filtration for cannabis products. The benefit for companies is that CO2 can be reused with the right equipment. It is economical and safe.

Final Thoughts

CO2 is the safest and most efficient CBD extraction method. There is little waste, and the process is simple. There are no contaminants and the product can be used in various formats that are safe and usable. If you are buying CBD products, then try and buy from companies that use the CO2 method, so you are getting the best CBD products possible.

Having good CBD products is important for a company, whether they are being made by your business or being purchased for other marketplace products. Picking the extraction technique that makes people feel safe and confident means not only higher sales, but repeat sales as well. People want a product that is safe for them. CBD extractions that are high-end are going to be great for products who are looking to be branded as high quality.

Scroll to Top