CBD is being discussed in various contexts and the term has grown so popular in recent years. For those who don’t know what CBD is, it is a cannabinoid in cannabis plants known to have various medicinal properties.
So, what is the reason for the popularity of CBD in recent years? Well, cannabis plants have been used in medicine since thousands of years ago but the plant and the compounds were subject to strict regulations. In 2018, the US government passed the US Farm Bill that legalized CBD products, provided their THC percentages were kept below 0.3%. Before the Farm Bill, cannabis and all of its compounds were regarded as controlled substances in the US.
In this article, we focus on CBD oil, one of the most popular CBD products.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is made by infusing CBD extract in a suitable carrier oil. Hemp seed oil and MCT oil is the carrier oils commonly used to make CBD oil. Various methods of extraction with varying purity percentages are employed to obtain CBD extract from hemp plant matter.
What Is The Legal Status Of CBD?
As per the legal guidelines, CBD products derived from hemp are only regarded as legal. They too will be deemed illegal if their THC percentages are more than the 0.3% limit. THC is an intoxicating compound and that is why the US government is particular about the allowable THC percentage in CBD products.
Marijuana is another cannabis plant that contains CBD but it has THC as its major cannabinoid. Hence marijuana-derived CBD products will contain more than 0.3% THC. Their production, sale, and possession are dealt with according to the marijuana laws of the specific US state.
How To Make CBD Oil?
The CBD extract that has to be infused in the carrier oil (to make CBD oil) has to be extracted using a suitable method. Here are some popular CBD extraction methods used by CBD manufacturers:
It is a high-quality CBD extraction that offers a high level of purity. There are three different variants of CO2 extraction; subcritical, mid-critical, and supercritical CO2 extraction. Of the three, supercritical extraction is mostly used. In all of these methods, CO2 is used as the extraction solvent.
Subcritical CO2 extraction involves low temperature and low pressure. When compared with supercritical CO2 extraction, subcritical extraction produces a lesser yield and takes more time for completion.
Supercritical CO2 extraction involves CO2 in a state between liquid and gas. The state involves high pressure and low temperature. Mid-critical CO2 extraction requires pressure and temperature that range between that of supercritical and subcritical CO2 extraction.
Ethanol extraction is another popular CBD extraction method that has appreciable efficiency. In this method, ethanol is used as the extraction solvent. Although the method succeeds in extracting the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes of hemp, it extracts chlorophyll that is undesirable in the final product. You will have to filter the crude extract to remove chlorophyll from it. The process will reduce the potency of the extract.
Several other solvents like butane and propane can be used to extract CBD but the toxicity of these solvents might affect the quality of the final product. Even the slightest traces of these solvents remaining in the final product have to be removed, lest the CBD extract will turn toxic.
How To Consume CBD Oil?
CBD oil is mostly consumed sublingually where you place the CBD oil (usually measured using a dropper) under the tongue, hold it for a minute and then swallow it. While you hold CBD oil under your tongue, the contents of the oil are absorbed by the sublingual glands and they enter the bloodstream.
CBD oil that reaches the stomach is processed like all edibles. CBD oil is also used to make CBD capsules that are taken like any conventional pill.
What Factors Decide The Quality Of CBD Oil?
Several factors influence the quality of CBD oil. They include:
The quality of hemp plants used to derive CBD oil influences the quality of CBD oil a lot. Hemp is a hyperaccumulator that tends to absorb all of the soil contents including toxic ones. Hemp plants grown in contaminated soils absorb the soil pollutants and hence, CBD oil derived from those plants will have a poor purity profile. Always ensure that the CBD oil you have selected is obtained from hemp plants grown in pure soils.
The quality of the extraction method influences the quality of CBD oil. Reputed CBD manufacturers often use CO2 extraction.
When you purchase CBD oil, study its product label thoroughly to find out the percentages of its contents. Ensure that the product has third party lab certification and study the same in detail. A third-party lab certificate provides information about the purity and ingredient profile of a CBD product.