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Beginner’s 101

How is CBD Oil Made?

CBD has been embraced by people around the world for its variety of benefits and incredible natural properties. CBD, otherwise referred to as cannabidiol, is one of more than 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis or marijuana plant. It is non-psychoactive, unlike the other well-known compound in the cannabis plant, THC.

There are a variety of products infused with CBD available on the wellness market today such as oils, tinctures, capsules, and balms just to name a few. It can be difficult to know what is best for your unique body and composition. To make an educated decision, it’s important to understand how CBD is made. In this post, we’ll take a look into how CBD oil is made as well as the different types of CBD.

After reading this article you should have a much better understanding of the making of CBD oil and thus be able to better choose what is the right CBD product for you.

What is CBD Oil Made From

To understand how CBD oil is made, let’s first explore what CBD is exactly, or cannabidiol. CBD is a cannabinoid found in both cannabis, marijuana, and industrial hemp. Along with other cannabinoids found in the plant, it acts on your endocannabinoid system. This molecular system is responsible for regulating many processes in the body like immune response, communication between the cells, metabolism, and much more. Unlike THC, CBD does not get you high since it doesn’t have psychoactive properties.

Ingredients for making CBD oil


  • Cannabis Sativa plant
  • Extraction method (see below)

CBD oil is made from the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is a herbaceous species that has been grown throughout history. The Cannabis Sativa plant has been used for a variety of purposes including recreational reasons. The two main varieties of the cannabis plant include Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. These plants have a couple of differences between them. Cannabis Sativa plants are normally taller than Indica plants. This plant is also more resistant to heat and has longer flowering cycles. Indica plants generally have to be grown in a controlled environment using techniques like growth lights and hydroponic irrigation.

Making CBD Oil from Hemp

You are probably wondering how CBD oil is made from hemp. How does a plant get converted into a potent bottle of CBD oil? When it comes to CBD oil extraction there is not just one process. There are two main types of extraction methods, ethanol extraction, and CO2 extraction.

infographic about how supercritical CO2 extraction is done

Ethanol Extraction

Ethanol extraction is probably the most popular CBD extraction method since its safe, simple, and effective. In this method ethanol (high-grade grain alcohol) is used as a solvent to separate CBD and other cannabinoids from the plant. Ethanol is considered a safe and clean solvent, unlike others such as butane.  Ethanol extraction can be done in warm or cold conditions. It is time-efficient compared to other CBD extraction methods like CO2 extraction.

Supercritical CO2 Extraction

The other main type of extraction process is CO2 extraction or supercritical CO2 extraction. This method involves using carbon dioxide that is under very low temperatures and extremely high pressure to strip the hemp flower of all cannabinoids and terpenes. CO2 extraction is precise and is able to produce some of the purest cannabinoid extracts if it is done properly. Due to the high cost of equipment and the knowledge needed to operate it is not used as often as ethanol extraction.

One of the advantages of supercritical CO2 extraction is that the low temperatures ensure that the full spectrum of beneficial molecules is preserved. It is also considered safe, gentle, and environmentally friendly.

Now that you understand how CBD oil is made, maybe you are curious about how to use it. Check out our article here on how to use CBD oil!

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Feyza Olson

Feyza Olson is Content Manager at Endoca. Her passion for natural products and holistic health inspires her in creating wellness content on cannabis and cannabinoids, for both newcomers to the CBD world and experts. She loves continuing to learn about wellness and health from a holistic perspective and sharing her findings.

Hemp leaves on a light green background


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