The cannabis evolution has, over the last few decades, taken the world by storm. Slowly but surely, numerous countries globally have started easing up on the stringent laws that once surrounded cannabis and its products. In fact, 33 countries have legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes and four countries have legalized recreational use: Canada, South Africa, Georgia, and Uruguay. Within the US and Australia, there are numerous states which have independently legalized cannabis for recreational use.
But why have cannabis and its products become so popular? Research has proven that cannabis can be used to treat the symptoms and ailments of a plethora of diseases and illnesses faced by people. Cannabis is currently being used to treat symptoms related to:
- Joint/muscular pain;
- Anxiety and depression;
- Cancer-related symptoms;
- Acne and dermatological ailments;
- Neurological disorders like Epilepsy and Multiple Sclerosis;
- High Blood Pressure;
So, if you are looking to be a part of the cannabis movement, and start producing your own products, there are a few things that you have to know. We took a look at the basics of making your own CBD oil products.
Know Exactly What You Are Extracting First
The first thing you need to know is that cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids which hold various properties. In fact, 113 types of cannabinoids have been identified in cannabis plants. The two most important for you to know now are THC and CBD.
THC is the cannabinoid that famously gets you high when smoking marijuana. It possesses the psychoactive component in cannabis, whereas CBD does not. Depending on what you want for your product, you will want to have as little THC present, if you want to go into mass production. Regulations indicate that there needs to be 0.3% or less of THC present in cannabis products to be deemed “safe-to-sell”. So, what you are looking to mostly extract is the CBD element which is known for its natural health benefits.
Choose an Extraction Method
There are several extraction methods that you can use to remove everything you need from the plant. The general idea is to pass the solvent through the plant to separate the active components from the plant material. The resulting cannabinoids, terpenes, and other plant compounds like chlorophyll are then collected as oil and can be further processed.
The CO2 Extraction Process
This is the most popular and works by putting carbon dioxide under high pressures in tanks while keeping the temperature low. The pressure becomes so high that they become supercritical. The gas is transformed into a liquid which is then passed through the plant, extracting the right compounds from the cannabis plant. The equipment can be very expensive to buy and needs to be used by professionals, but the end result are high-end CBD products.
The Alcohol Extraction
This is also known as ethanol cannabis extraction as it is the main component used in extraction. It is a lot more low cost than the other methods, and if done correctly, can result in high-end quality CBD products. The process includes the cannabis plant being soaked in alcohol for a period of time. The plant is then removed and the alcohol is filtered. The alcohol is then evaporated to leave behind the desired compounds. This process is used essentially to dissolve the active cannabinoids and extract the chlorophyll element.
The Hydrocarbon Process
This refers to the use of butane or propane in the extraction. It is passed through the plant to collect the cannabinoids and terpenes and then heated. The heat and pressure force it to evaporate the propane or butane which leaves behind the essential extract. This is one of the least popular options as it can be highly unsafe, it leaves behind a large amount of THC and unsafe residue.
Now that you have your oils extracted, there are two more processes that you can choose to do with your product. They are optional, however, recommended as they not only activate the components but remove the unwanted ones, like the fatty acids and waxes. In essence, if you want a completely purified product, this is a step you don’t want to miss out on.
The first step is called decarboxylation, which is really just a fancy word for heating up. This heating up process removes the acid molecule and the active compound is produced. There has been some research proving that the active component reacts differently with your body.
Lastly, there is the winterization process. This is the method of freezing the extract in pure alcohol and either keeping it for a few hours or overnight. You will be left with a cloudy substance that is run through filter paper, into a jar to get rid of the excess fatty acids, plant materials, and chlorophyll that is left behind from the extraction process. The alcohol can then be removed from the final extract through heat, and what you should be left with is a pure CBD product that is ready for use.
Once you have this CBD product ready, there are dozens of things that you can do with it. You can use the oil as it is and drop it under your tongue. But, you can also process it into various products that you can use on a daily basis. Topicals such as lotions, soaps, and creams can be made and have CBD oil added into them for healing properties. You can also cook with the oils, creating baked goods, chocolates and candies. Or lastly, you can add the oils into a vape oil with flavoring, which is one of the most popular ways of consuming CBD daily.