The Methods of CBD Extraction

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CBD oil extracted from cannabis-Wellness Connection

With the development of the industrial and mechanical cannabis industry, CBD is now gradually applied to food, drink, facial products, and health care products. Before producers add CBD into their products, the first step is to extract the valuable resource since there are lots of useful stuff in there. This article will present three methods of CBD extraction, and some of these may already have been used for a decade. Firstly, let’s simply learn about what is CBD.

CBD stands for cannabidiol. According to the interpretation from the US National Library of Medicine, CBD is a chemical compound from the Cannabis Sativa plants. The Cannabis Sativa plant has two primary species, known as hemp and marijuana. Both of the hemp and marijuana contain CBD, while with a higher percentage in hemp than marijuana. If you are interested in the relationship between cannabis, hemp, and marijuana, please check out more at

CBD oil extracted from cannabis-Wellness Connection
(Extraction of CBD Oil | Wellness Connection)

Unlike the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is psychoactive and gives you the feeling of being high. Thurs, CBD is an active ingredient in cannabis plants. Products that contain CBD may provide some health benefits.

Now let’s learn about how to extract the CBD from Cannabis Sativa plants. There are three methods are commonly used in CBD extraction (from CBDistellery).

Supercritical CO2 extraction

Carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction is commonly used to make various food, drink, and other products. And now it is widely used in extracting high-quality and pure CBD for various cannabis products.

CBD Extraction Method-Source CBD Hemp
(The Supercritical CO2 Extraction | Source CBD Hemp)

Supercritical CO2 extraction is derived from the Supercritical fluid extraction (SFE), which is the process of separating one component (the extractant) from another (the matrix) using supercritical fluids as the extracting solvent. Carbon dioxide (CO₂) is used the most in the supercritical fluid process. Because in standard temperatures and pressure, carbon dioxide is a gas, but at 60.4 psi, it’s a liquid, and at -78C under standard pressure, it’s a solid (dry ice). When it is heated above 31.10C (critical temperature) and at 1,071 psi (critical pressure) or higher, CO2 is transformed from gas to a near-liquid, which known as a supercritical liquid. This kind of phase change creates an environment to drop out differing weights of components in plants.

Supercritical CO2 extraction is considered as the superior method for CBD extraction. There are three benefits of using Supercritical CO2 extraction:


As already mentioned above that CO2 extraction is a “tunable solvent,” which means the producers and product manufacturers could extract valuable resources from plants by modifying key parameters in the extraction process. The temperature and solvent ratio are two of those examples.


Compared with other methods, which extraction process may contain toxic solvents with potential toxicity or risks, the Supercritical CO2 extraction may be safer than the others. CO2 is an ordinary thing within people’s life, in the air, in the water, and in products like normal foods. The CO2 is regarded as a safe chemical component based on the research of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


According to the CBDistellery, “CO2 extraction preserves the plant terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids without the use of chemicals. Once the extracted plant compounds are heated, or pressure is reduced, the carbon dioxide is released from the extracted oils. Since carbon dioxide can also be used as a sanitizing agent, CO2 extraction improves the shelf life of cannabis oil.”

Steam distillation

Steam distillation is used for alcohol products as well as extract essential oils from organics and already used for centuries. The extraction process of steam distillation is usually less complicated than the Supercritical CO2 extraction. The benefits of steam distillation:

  • Relatively easy to operate
  • Low cost

Solvent extraction

This method is also an old method used for a long time in various industries. Its complexity and efficiency are between the Supercritical CO2 extraction and Steam distillation. In fact, the principle of how Solvent extraction works similar to the CO2 extraction.


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