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Where Does CBD Come From? How Is It Made?
CBD Education

 

Where Does CBD Come From? How Is It Made?

The world of cannabinoids is a vast and endlessly fascinating realm, with a plethora of compounds that have the potential to reshape our understanding of health and wellness. Among these compounds, cannabidiol, or CBD, stands out as a particularly intriguing and promising substance.

This non-psychoactive compound, found in the hemp plant, has garnered much attention in recent years for its potential therapeutic benefits. However, despite the proliferation of CBD products on the market, there remains a great deal of confusion surrounding the cannabis plant, CBD, its general history, and its applications.

In this article, we will delve into the hemp plant's intricacies, CBD oil's extraction process, its applications, and the regulations and standards that ensure the quality of the final product. Join us as we explore this exciting and rapidly evolving field and discover the wonders of CBD oil.

 

What Is the Hemp Plant?

Hemp is really any Cannabis sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC by dry weight, and it has long held the fascination of scientists, historians, and cultivators alike.

The earliest evidence of hemp cultivation can be traced back to 2800 BCE in ancient China. The plant's fibers, renowned for their strength and durability, have been utilized in many industrial applications throughout history, including textiles, paper, rope, and a host of other goods.

In addition to its utilitarian properties, hemp has been a therapeutic agent for millennia, with its components forming the cross-cultural bedrock of traditional Eastern medicine.

In modern times, the versatility of hemp continues to make it an invaluable resource. Applications range from the production of building materials such as insulation panels and flooring made from hemp hurds to its presence in popular health foods like hemp seed oil and protein powder.

However, the phytochemical profile of the plant, particularly its cannabinoids like CBD, has sparked a renewed interest in scientific research as the potential health benefits of these compounds continue to be explored.

The legal status of hemp cultivation varies globally, with some countries imposing a complete ban on the practice while others permit farmers to cultivate specific varieties under strict regulations. Despite its past associations with cannabis, hemp remains a fascinating botanical specimen, rich in history and potential, that warrants further investigation and exploration.

 

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid in the hemp plant. Unlike its more well-known cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not produce the "high" associated with marijuana use.

Instead, it is believed to possess many therapeutic properties that may benefit the body and mind. CBD oil is made by extracting the CBD compound from the hemp plant, typically through CO2 or ethanol extraction.

The extracted CBD is then diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil, to create a liquid form that can be easily consumed or applied to the skin.

It's worth noting that CBD oil is different from hemp seed oil, which is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant and contains only trace amounts of CBD. While hemp seed oil has its own set of benefits, such as being rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s, it should not be confused with CBD oil, which is extracted from the plant's flowers, leaves, and stalks — components that contain higher concentrations of CBD.

Hemp seed oil, however, contains only trace amounts of CBD.

 

What Are the Different Types of CBD?

CBD is available in three main forms:

 

    • Isolate: CBD isolate is a pure form of CBD that is free from any other compounds. It can be used to make other products such as tinctures, capsules, and topicals.
    • Broad-Spectrum: Broad-spectrum CBD contains all beneficial compounds, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids,except for THC.
    • Full-spectrum: Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all compounds found in the hemp plant, including trace amounts of THC.

 

 

How Is CBD Extracted?

CBD extraction is the process of isolating CBD from the hemp plant. There are a few ways to go about this, but two methods are the most commonly used: CO2 extraction and ethanol extraction.

CO2 extraction is considered the gold standard because it uses pressurized carbon dioxide to separate CBD oil from the plant material and is known to produce a high-quality product with minimal impurities.

Under the umbrella of extraction methods, there are three main processes: ethanol extraction, supercritical C02 extraction, and subcritical C02 extraction:

 

    • Supercritical: Supercritical extraction uses pressurized carbon dioxide that has a temperature and pressure above its "critical point." This allows the CO2 to exist in both liquid and gaseous form and dissolve the plant waxes, oils, and cannabinoids from the hemp.
    • Subcritical: Subcritical extraction also uses pressurized carbon dioxide but at a lower temperature and pressure. This results in a more gentle extraction process that preserves the desired compounds — like terpenes — while allowing others to remain in the plant material.
    • Ethanol extraction: Ethanol extraction uses high-proof alcohol to extract CBD from the hemp plant. While it is less expensive than CO2 extraction, it can result in a lower-quality product that may contain more impurities and require further purification.

 

After the extraction process, the CBD oil is usually diluted with a carrier oil, like coconut or hemp seed oil, before it's packaged and sold. It's important to ensure that the extraction process used is safe, efficient, and suitable for the product to ensure that the final product is of high quality and purity.

 

How Can CBD Be Used?

Once extracted, CBD is an immensely versatile product that can be found in various forms. Some of the most popular CBD products include:

 

    • Tinctures: CBD tinctures are liquid extracts taken under the tongue using a dropper. Tinctures are a convenient and easy way to take CBD, and they come in various flavors.
    • Capsules: CBD capsules are similar to tinctures, but they come in a pill form. They are easy to swallow and are a great option for people who prefer not to taste the oil.
    • Topicals: CBD topicals, such as creams, lotions, and balms, are applied to the skin and are used to soothe irritated skin and provide localized relief.
    • Vape: CBD can be used in a vaporizer, which allows the user to inhale the CBD oil. This method is fast-acting and is a popular option for people who already vape.
    • Edibles: CBD can also be found in various edibles such as gummies, chocolates, and baked goods. These products are a great option for people who want to enjoy the benefits of CBD while satisfying their sweet tooth.

 

Each of these CBD oil products confers unique benefits, and it's important to consider your preferences and needs when choosing which form of CBD oil to use. It is also important to keep in mind that not all CBD products are created equal, and it's crucial to purchase from reputable sources that have undergone third-party lab testing.

 

What Quality Standards Is CBD Held to?

When putting anything into your body, you want to ensure it is of the highest quality and safety possible. The same applies to CBD oil, as many potential contaminants can affect the purity of a product.

Here are some of the quality standards you should look for when selecting your CBD oil:

 

    • Third-party lab testing: Look for products that have been tested by an independent lab for potency, purity, and the presence of any contaminants, such as pesticides or heavy metals.
    • Certificates of Analysis (COA): Reputable companies will provide a COA that provides information on the product's potency, purity, and presence of contaminants.
    • THC content: Check if the product has been tested for the presence of THC, and ensure it does not exceed the legal limit set by the FDA if you’re not in a state where recreational cannabis is legal. If you’re hoping to avoid THC, broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate may be preferred over full-spectrum.
    • Organic and sustainable farming practices: Confirm if the hemp plants used to make the CBD oil are grown using organic and sustainable farming practices, which will ensure that the final product is of the highest quality.
    • Extraction process: Confirm that the extraction process used to obtain the CBD oil is safe and efficient, such as the C02 extraction discussed above, to ensure you're getting the best of the best!
    • Purity: Confirm that the CBD oil is pure and free of impurities, additives, or preservatives. Common contaminants affecting purity include solvents and heavy metals such as trace amounts of lead, arsenic, and mercury. Solvents are often used during the extraction process and can be dangerous if not purged properly. Popular solvents used for extraction include hexane, acetone, and butane, all of which may cause health hazards if not eliminated from the final product.
    • Labeling: Check that the product's labeling is accurate and includes a list of ingredients and the amount of CBD per serving.
    • Quality control: Check if the company has a quality control process in place and if they have a good reputation for producing high-quality CBD oil products.

 

 

Wrapping Things Up

The potential of CBD oil is truly remarkable, and its multitude of applications ensures its presence in the health and wellness industry for years to come. Yet, despite its prevalence, there remains a great deal of confusion and uncertainty surrounding this fascinating compound. From the hemp plant's cultivation to the extraction process used to obtain CBD oil, every step in the production of this product is essential in ensuring its safety and quality.

Therefore, it is important to be mindful when selecting a CBD product and to look for those that have been third-party lab tested and certified for purity, potency, and the absence of impurities. With the right product, the wonders of CBD oil can be experienced both safely and effectively.

Muscle MX adheres to strict quality control standards and offers our customers reliable CBD oil products that are rigorously tested for safety and efficacy. Our third-party lab adheres to a strict chain of custody procedures and provides Certificates of Analysis for each product upon completion of testing.

When you’re looking for high-quality CBD products to support everyday wellness, Muscle MX can help.

Sources:

US Hemp History | Hemp Industries Association

Processing and extraction methods of medicinal cannabis: a narrative review | Journal of Cannabis Research

The Evolution of Ethanol Extraction Methods in Cannabis | Cannabis Science Tech

 

 

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