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How to Extract CBD from Marijuana plants

Have you ever wondered how to extract CBD from marijuana plants? Depending on the purification stages after the first extraction, different types of extracts are possible. There are many ways of preparation, here are the most popular.

CBD CO2 extraction

Carbon dioxide is a versatile gas with many commercial applications, including the extraction of compounds from plant matter. 

Handling the high pressures resulting from liquid CO2 requires a more advanced unit. CO2 extraction begins with a solid fragment of CO2 which pumps into a second chamber containing cannabis material. The chamber maintains at an exact pressure so that the CO2 remains in a liquid state and absorbs the oils and flavorings of the plant. The CO2-cannabinoid mixture is then pumped into a third chamber, where the CO2 permits to return to a gaseous state, leaving behind the plant oils and flavorings.

This process also includes a freezing and decarboxylation process. The first one uses to separate the CBD from the wax and lipids that may remain, while decarboxylation activates the CBD.

Ultrasonic method

Ultrasonic extraction is a well-known and long-established method for extracting valuable compounds from botanical. Ultrasonic processing is the ideal method for producing high-quality CBD oils. Through precisely controlled ultrasonic cavitation, plant cells perforate and the solvent inserts into the cell where it absorbs intracellular compounds such as cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, etc.

During the low-pressure cycles, minute vacuum cavitation bubbles build up over several pressure cycles. When the bubbles cannot absorb more energy, they explode violently during the high-pressure cycle. The bubble burst characterized by intense cavitational forces, including microvolbulents and liquid flows with velocities up to 100 m/s.

The extreme conditions of ultrasonic cavitation disrupt cell walls and membranes allow wider penetration of the solvent into the sample. Ultrasonic extraction prevents thermal degradation of biologically active compounds and is superior to other methods such as conventional solvent extraction or hydrodistillation, which destroy heat-sensitive molecules.

The homemade way to extract CBD

Even though the previous two methods are available at home, it requires expensive equipment and experience using it. There are easier ways to extract CBD at home.

In order to dissolve marijuana plants you need an oil, organic unfiltered coconut oil or its analogues would be ideal here. Since this is a homemade recipe, there are no exact grams here, but you can use 1/4 oz (7 g) or 1/2 oz (14 g) of marijuana per cup (about 240 ml of oil). It’s worth noting that the result will be CBD oil with THC as 10 mg CBD with 1 mg THC. If you want to use pure CBD, you will need to filter and purify the product to get rid of the THC. The second way is a longer decarboxylation.

So, before you start making it, the herb needs to decarboxylate. This is necessary to get the CBD and THC activated in the herb. To decarboxylate, the herb needs to crumble on a baking tray and heated in the oven for time. If you want to keep THC, recommend that the herb be heated to 120°C for 25 minutes. To increase the concentration of CBD and remove the THC, the oven needs heating up to 135°C for 45 minutes. The herb should then be covered and cooled in the refrigerator.

Add one tablespoon of lecithin to the oil for better absorption of CBD. The oil mixture should then be poured into the dried herb so that the oil covers it completely. The resulting herb mixture is placed in the multicooker at the lowest temperature of about 70-80°C. It should simmer for 4-24 hours and stir periodically. After the time is up, you need to strain the mixture through gauze, wrap the weed through the gauze and squeeze well. The result will be a liquid oil, which should be cooled immediately in the refrigerator, otherwise it will get moldy. The oil must be consumed within 6 months.