The major demand within the current CBD market is based around concentrated oil. Concentrates allow for a variety of different ways to get CBD into your body such as ingestion, topical treatments, and vaporization. The most common form of CBD oil is packaged in tinctures, which is what the following will touch on. There are many different ways to extract CBD and produce tinctures, so I’ll just be covering a rough outline of the method we use at the laboratory that I work in.
Extracting the CBD into a crude oil is the first step to making tinctures. Although there are solvent-less techniques, this is typically done by using solvents such as butane, pentane, hexane, propane, and isopropyl alcohol. When run through a pressurized extraction system, these solvents essentially attach to the flower’s present cannabanoids (CBD), and pull it from the plant matter. There are many factors that processors must confront to pull this off effectively, but going into detail would be an information overload and most likely require a whole separate blog series.
After the CBD infused crude oil is produced, this is ran through a series of distillation techniques involving heat and vacuum pressure to pull the leftover solvent from the product. From there, the refined oil is typically mixed with a high-fat vegetable oil. The fat lipids attach to the CBD molecules and activate them, making the end product safe for human consumption.