CBD Extraction Methods: Which One Is The Best And Why?

CBD Extraction

Cannabinoid oil, commonly known as CBD oil, is as popular as ever today. As one of the various components that make up the cannabis plant, the oil is used as a natural remedy for many physical and mental ailments, ranging from anxiety and depression to pain relief. Due to its many uses, itís no surprise that many people are turning towards CBD extraction.

Once CBD is extracted, it is used to create many CBD products, such as gummies, capsules, edibles, and vape oils. Additionally, CBD oil is mixed with carrier oils, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil to create tinctures. It can also be mixed with essential oils, aloe vera, waxes, and shea butter, to create topicals, such as waxes and creams.

Due to the many ways CBD can be extracted, it becomes difficult to decide which method would work best. All extraction methods differ based on their difficulty, the cannabis oil extraction machines used, and the concentration of the resulting product.

Knowing how CBD is extracted is something you should know, even if youíre purchasing CBD oil off the shelf. It is essential to find out which extraction methods different companies use since this is a crucial indicator of the value and quality of the products.

So, how can you make an informed decision on which CBD extraction method would work best for you? Read on to find out about the three most popular ways to extract CBD.

CO2 Extraction Method

Extracting CBD through CO2 is one of the best ways to carry out the process. As the most advanced and latest method, this extraction process ensures a result thatís potent and safe. This extraction method isnít just limited to CBD as it is also used in decaffeinating teas and coffees and to extract essential oils for perfumes.

CO2 extraction is the priciest method and highly complicated. The process uses supercritical carbon dioxide to extract CBD and exposes it using a series of pumps and pressurized chambers. Once the CO2 is exposed to low temperatures and high pressure, its presence breaks down the hemp held in the chamber. This process separates the oil from the plant after which the CO2 and oil are pumped into a third chamber, where the gas evaporates and leaves behind pure CBD oil.

While this extraction method isnít light on the pocket due to its heavily specialized machinery, CO2 extraction is a widely preferred method for CBD extraction due to its ability to create high concentrations of CBD oil. The concentration level can also be changed by adjusting the pressure and solvent ratios.

Liquid Solvent Extraction Method

Another popular way to extract CBD is by running a liquid solvent, such as alcohol, ethanol, isopropyl, and ethanol through the cannabis plant. First, the cannabis plant material, which includes the trims and flowers, is held in a container. Then, your preferred liquid solvent is poured through the vessel to strip the cannabinoids from the material. Once the liquid is mixed with the cannabinoids, the solution is evaporated to leave behind CBD oil containing cannabinoids.

The most preferred liquid solvent is ethanol since it works best to extract the most cannabinoids and terpenes. Another popular option is butane, which, while being a stronger solvent, does result in an oil that contains contaminants, which are harmful to your lungs. Due to this reason, ethanol is considered the safest option for the liquid solvent extraction method.

This particular CBD extraction method is a relatively cheap option since itís easy and fast. However, itís also quite dangerous since all solvent options are flammable. Additionally, the liquid solvent tends to destroy the waxes of the cannabis plant, which have their health benefits.

Lastly, the method also extracts chlorophyll, which results in a bitter taste in the oil. If CBD is used through topical means of capsules, the taste doesnít matter. However, if itís inhaled or eaten using vape oils, gummies, and tinctures, the flavor could be a huge problem.

Olive Oil Extraction Method

Using olive oil to extract CBD is a popular method amongst CBD enthusiasts. Perhaps the oldest method, it has been used for ages to extract CBD and avail its health benefits.

The raw cannabis plant is, first, decarboxylated and heated at a specific temperature to trigger the various chemicals found in cannabis plant material. The material is then mixed with the oil, after which it is exposed to heat once again to separate the cannabinoids. You need to ensure the oil does not evaporate during the process.

While olive oil extraction is relatively safe, simple, and inexpensive, the resulting CBD oil is not of the best quality. The lower concentration requires higher ingestion on the part of the user. Additionally, the CBD oil is also perishable and, hence, needs to be stored in a dark, cool place.


Apart from these extraction methods, other methods such as steam distillation and natural solvent extraction can also be followed. However, these processes often do not yield high-quality results and have different risks involved.

While each CBD extraction method comes with its advantages and disadvantages, CO2 extraction is often the most preferred method due to the high concentration of CBD it results in. Since CBD oil is often used for its health benefits, it is vital to conduct extensive research to find out what would work best for you.

Do you have any experience with CBD extraction? Let us know in the comments below!