CBD oil is rapidly becoming one of the most popular cannabis products on the market, with everyone and their mother seeking the extract to manage some medical condition or other. The CBD market is wide open, with almost no regulation across all of North America. On one hand, this keeps CBD products available and inexpensive almost everywhere — but on the other hand, it means many users don’t necessarily have access to reliable information about the products they are using.
If you use CBD oil, did you know that it can cause you to fail a drug test? Did you know that some CBD oils have been found to contain heavy metals, like lead and arsenic, or else other toxic components, like formaldehyde? Before you buy another bottle of CBD, you should know a little more about how CBD is made, different kinds of oils and where to buy CBD oil safely.
How CBD Oil Is Made
Admittedly, there are a few different methods for making CBD oil. By far the most common method for extracting CBD from hemp is with a liquid solvent, which strips away the plant fiber and leaves the good stuff behind. Though alcohol was used as the solvent in the past, and though carbon dioxide seems to be a viable solvent for the future, most extract manufacturers nowadays use affordable and reliable butane, or slightly less often propane.
Extraction is a complex process that requires the right equipment and plenty of technical know-how, but here are the basics:
- Dried cannabis material, either bud (nug runs) or leaves and stems (trim runs) are packed into a column of the processing machine.
- Cold butane washes over the plant material, dissolving the cannabinoids, terpenes and other important compounds. Usually, the plant material is washed several times.
- The solution might be winterized, which means chilled for the solidification of any fats collected through washing. Solid fats are separated from the concentrated solution.
- The concentrate is then purged, or heated to remove any residual butane, which returns to the system to be used in subsequent washes.
- Finally, the concentrate is prepared for use, often with the addition of a carrier oil but sometimes whipped to form a buttery, waxy consistency or dried into a glass-like consistency.
The process of extraction is incredibly dangerous given the combustibility of the solvents, so it isn’t advised that you make CBD extracts at home. Instead, you should always buy high-quality extracts from a trustworthy seller like Godbud.
You can DIY infused CBD oil by placing CBD-rich bud in the neutral oil of your choosing, though there are drawbacks to this method. For one, it is a lot of work, requiring a lot of expensive bud that will essentially go to waste. For another, because you can’t further purify the infusion, you end up with only one type of CBD oil — speaking of…
Different Kinds of CBD Oil
Though most CBD extracts are created through butane (or propane) extraction, there are at least three distinct kinds of CBD oils:
Full-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD is what you would get if you infused CBD oil at home: all the cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils and other elements found within the cannabis plant material used. Full-spectrum oils do not strive to eliminate any element of what is naturally available in cannabis. This can be useful, ensuring that CBD benefits from the presence of other cannabinoids which boost its effectiveness. Still, full-spectrum CBD does contain THC, meaning it will make you feel high and cause you to fail marijuana drug tests. What’s more, full-spectrum CBD oil is only available for purchase from licensed dispensaries.
Broad-spectrum CBD. Broad-spectrum CBD is filtered to remove THC but retain terpenes and other less impactful compounds within cannabis. Thus, broad-spectrum CBD oil offers the benefits of the entourage effect without the risk of psychoactive effects. Thanks to its lack of THC, broad-spectrum oil tends to be more readily available to all adult consumers, even those in states where marijuana remains illegal.
CBD isolate. As the name suggests, CBD isolate is pure CBD, without anything else. CBD isolate undergoes extreme amounts of processing to strip away the cannabinoids, terpenes and other compounds, and all that extra work tends to make this CBD oil much, much more expensive than the other two types. Despite its price, CBD isolate tends to be the most attractive oil to those who are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with marijuana — especially those who regularly undergo drug testing or who have sensitivities to other cannabinoids. Like broad-spectrum CBD, CBD isolate is more easily attainable in places with tight drug restrictions, but you should be discerning and research CBD brands before you buy.
There is more to CBD oil than meets the eye. Anything you put in your body has the potential to cause harm, even a natural-seeming compound like CBD. You should strive to gain a better understanding of where your favorite CBD products are made and how, so you can be sure what you are getting with every dose.