CBD-rich cannabis flowers
The most important thing for CBD extraction and production is the quality and freshness of the flowers. The cannabis should be grown under biologically controlled conditions. Only if the raw material is of good quality, the CBD can be produced properly. Flowers with enough CBD are best for this.
Hemp is used for the production of CBD products and isolates. The catalogue has over 63 different varieties approved for cultivation in the EU. However, the CBD content varies between 0.5 and 4 percent – and that is quite little. Some large hemp-based companies breed their own varieties, which do not exceed the maximum value of 1% in THC content. So the
Sweet Star flowers
from Qualicann have 26% CBD.
Here the flowers of the female cannabis are used, as is the case with normal marijuana. The trichomes contain the cannabinoids and terpenes that are of interest for the extraction of CBD. You can tell by the white coating. Often small leaves near the flowers are also affected.
The cannabis plant needs a clean, nutrient-rich soil. This is how the quality of the CBD product can be guaranteed in the first place. Toxins, pesticides and others are difficult to filter in later processes and would not pass an official quality test. Therefore, there are regulations that also test CBD products below for purity. This tells if the extraction of CBD has been done cleanly, but also if the cultivation is “organic” in some way.
Allow to dry
The harvested flowers are hung up and air-dried. For CBD extraction, the flowers must be completely dried. This process takes about a week. An acceleration by oven-drying is usually not done, because volatile substances of the cannabis are lost by this. Especially with
Full spectrum oil
is trying to extract as much cannabis as possible, in addition to the CBD.
With many CBD growers, there is a flushing process. This involves adding pure or distilled water to the plants a week before harvest, which flushes out fertilizer or unwanted flavors. Some say this has a big impact on the taste of flower and CBD oil.
Especially the legalization in some states of the USA and Canada ensure that always new isolates appear. Among them optimized methods for CBD production and extraction. New products are constantly being developed which also influence the market in the EU. Many of these techniques have been developed for industry, as the initial cost is simply too expensive for the home. But some you can try at home. Here we want to present the best methods of CBD extraction.
Dry Ice Extraction
The resin of the trichomes contains the desired cannabinoids and terpenes, as mentioned. The dry ice is able to freeze the resin on the flowers. The initially sticky resin freezes and detaches from the flower.
In addition to dry ice, which is CO₂ gas, you’ll need gloves and a bucket with a filter bag. You can also use a pad with a filter and place it on the table. The pollen is sieved through the filter. Use a fine pore filter, otherwise frozen plant debris will contaminate the pollen. The filter bag can be placed in the bucket. Then shake vigorously.
As with hash, so here too: The shorter, the purer. It is possible to repeat this process 2 to 3 times with the same flowers. We recommend separating the resin obtained in each case and sorting it according to quality. You can also process the pollen directly into CBD hash.
Evaluation: Extraction by dry ice is inexpensive and easy to do at home. The CBD-rich resin can be extracted very pure and will not be contaminated. With adequate safety precautions with safety glasses and gloves, this method is also safe. The yield is also better than extraction by fat or oil, see below. However, the resin obtained in this way may be contaminated with frozen plant residues and lose quality. This is quickly noticed by the bitter aftertaste, which can be explained by too much chlorophyll.
Extraction with solvent
Another popular, but not entirely harmless way to extract CBD is through solvents. These include various alcohols such as ethanol, isopropyl and butane gas. These bind the important ingredients of the cannabis plant and are released again by heating. These solvents are highly flammable, so you must be very careful. Even though butane is the best way to bind the CBD almost completely, it is also very harmful to your health if it is not properly removed from the isolate. Ethanol is the preferred solvent for both private and industrial use.
The flowers are usually decarboxylated beforehand, because gases and alcohol already start to evaporate at temperatures well below 100°C. The activated flowers are thrown into the solvent and stirred regularly. A strainer will help you separate the plant debris from the liquid. The CBD (and more!) is now dissolved in the alcohol, which is obtained by evaporating it from the solvent. The alcohol content in schnapps and spirits boils at about 80°C. Take random samples to make sure that there is really no solvent left at the end. The finished extract can be mixed with a vegetable oil of your choice for preservation.
Evaluation: Solvent is also a very effective method of isolating CBD. It is not only feasible privately, but is also very popular in industry. Ethanol extracts many parts of the cannabis, as well as the chlorophyll and terpenes. The taste is usually more intense and bitter. The
Entire CBD Oil
is extracted by ethanol, for example, for exactly this reason. However, if not done correctly, residues of the solvent may remain. This can have harmful consequences for your health. So definitely pay attention here.
Supercritical CO₂ extraction
A very safe, but very expensive way to isolate CBD is with CO₂. This closed chemical system must withstand a pressure of up to 80 bar in order to convert the CO₂ into the so-called supercritical aggregate. Privately, an acquisition makes little sense because it is very expensive and a use also requires chemically trained expertise. Nevertheless, it is a very sustainable and incredibly precise way to isolate CBD. We would just like to explain how this works.
Carbon dioxide is used almost everywhere. It’s not just a hot topic in climate science, it’s also widely used in the consumer industry. Sparkling water bubbles, for example, due to CO₂ being dissolved in water to form carbonic acid. Carbon dioxide is also used in coffee to extract the caffeine. CO₂ is a very versatile compound that is able to very accurately extract the substance of choice. Through this method, it is possible to isolate pure CBD, for example. However, you need certain equipment that can work under extreme pressure and temperature with the highest accuracy. They are not cheap.
Supercritical CO₂ extraction is the manipulation of the CO₂ aggregate. Under enormous pressure and expansion, liquid CO₂ with the same density becomes a gas. It occupies two states of matter at the same time. In the process, it moves in a gaseous form and binds the CBD, for example, like a liquid. The then so-called scCO₂ travels through the flowers and absorbs the CBD. By releasing the pressure, the CO₂ enters a catch basin and returns to the bottle. The CBD separates from the gas and is trapped. This is how CBD oil is made from pure CBD, like that
Pure CBD Oil
Assessment: When properly installed and used, CO₂ extraction is probably the most sustainable, efficient and safest method. The CO₂ is reused and does not lose its quality. In addition, it is possible to work with large quantities. The isolate can be precisely determined or planned by temperature and pressure regulation. This is why CO₂ extraction is often used in the CBD industry. But this method is not optimal for the budget, because the proportions are not correct. The installation consumes a lot of space and flowers per run and is not profitable at all for private households.
Even though CBD production through solvents or CO₂ is very successful, this thing is not at all harmless for private households. There’s a lot of chemistry knowledge involved. Even YouTube tutorials are often not enough or too incomprehensible. Again and again serious cold fires and explosions occur during hobby experiments, which is why we advise against any danger.
Professionally extracted CBD oil is and always will be the best because you can’t just replicate it without knowledge and a lab. But if you’re interested in making your own CBD, here are a few examples:
Make CBD Olive Oil
As an ingredient for your savory dishes, we highly recommend a CBD olive oil. All you need for this is your usual skill at the countertop. In addition, it is a lot of fun and gives you the joy of experimenting, because you can try different dosages.
You have to activate the flowers in the oven beforehand and heat them in a water bath with the oil for a certain time. The olive oil is able to bind the CBD. But also much more, like terpenes and other cannabinoids. This gives the olive oil that hint of cannabis that will make your next salad dressing irresistibly delicious.
For the exact recipe and procedure we recommend our
CBD Olive Oil Blog Post
Making CBD butter
Who does not know it – the cannabutter. As a basic recipe for CBD brownies, butter is number one for the sweet pastry.
The procedure is similar to that for olive oil, except that butter hardens again at room temperature. This way you can do without a water bath and prepare everything in one pot.
Read in our
CBD Butter Blog
what you need for the preparation.
There are different ways for CBD production. Some are easy to replicate, with CO₂ extraction, for example, being virtually impossible to do in-house. It can also be ruled out that good quality can be achieved without laboratory experience or a basic understanding of chemistry. But you can learn everything! We hope we’ve been able to provide you with a basic understanding. If you are interested in learning more about the methods of CBD extraction, we hope you enjoy it.