It’s no secret the CBD industry has created a name for itself. CBD’s holistic, medicinal benefits attract a plethora of consumers but many CBD users would probably not be able to answer the question “where does CBD come from?” It may seem like a silly question to ask but it’s actually a fascinating one.
With hundreds of CBD products on the market and many CBD farms entering the industry around the United States, it’s important to know how we get our products and where they come from. Today we are answering the question “where does CBD come from” and diving into how it gets from farm to product. Let’s check it out.
Where does CBD come from?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is derived from the flower of the Cannabis Sativa plant that contains 0.3 percent or less THC content. In common terms, CBD is derived from hemp, a subspecies of the plant family Cannabaceae.
What’s the difference between hemp and marijuana?
Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants. Besides legality, the only difference between hemp and marijuana are THC concentrations. Marijuana has higher concentrations of THC which will give a “high” effect while hemp has too little THC content to do so.
What made CBD legal?
In 2018, President Trump passed The Farm Bill which made it legal to grow industrial hemp or cannabis with a THC level at or below the threshold of 0.3 percent. Individual states have their own laws regulating marijuana recreationally and medically, but The Farm Bill opened doors for the CBD industry to boom across America.
How is hemp grown?
Traditionally, hemp has been grown outdoors in large fields. The rise of producing CBD and health products with hemp has led farmers to transition growing their hemp in a greenhouse rather than a traditional large field due to a greenhouse enabling farmers to grow hemp year round. Both farming methods are still used today to produce high-quality CBD and CBD products. It really is up to the farms discretion as to which method they are going to use.
Both farming methods require proper germination, soil PH levels, and fertilization. After four months, hemp is typically ready for harvest. All harvested hemp is hung upside down in order dry which usually takes 3-10 days. After drying, the plant is trimmed and prepared for extraction.
How is CBD oil extracted?
Hemp is extracted in a laboratory setting with high-tech machines and trained professionals. There are two different methods for extracting CBD, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extraction method and solvent extraction method. Experts find the CO2 extraction method to be best for producing premium oils as they are more potent and have a longer shelf life.
During the CO2 extraction method, carbon dioxide is compressed in a chamber until it becomes a liquid. The CO2 liquid is then poured over the hemp to extract cannabinoids such as CBD. After extraction, the CO2 is then reverted back into gas through evaporation, leaving the CBD extracts behind.
The solvent extraction method involves washing the hemp plant with liquid butane, propane, or ethanol to extract cannabinoids. The solvent is then heated or cooled to separate the solvent from the extract compounds.
After extraction, the process of winterization begins. Winterization removes impurities that made it through the extraction process such as fats, lipids, and waxes. The process essentially creates a purified oil. After winterization, further purification known as short-path distillation may occur to create the purest possible CBD oil.
After extraction and winterization, the CBD oil can be crystallized to make CBD isolate and other powdered forms.
CBD products come in all types of forms and require different forms and concentrations of CBD to make. Products can be made using CBD oil or CBD isolate. Below are just a few examples of how CBD takes form in different products.
CBD oil and CBD tinctures are not the same product. Unlike CBD oil in its purest form, CBD tinctures have an alcohol base and are mixed with ingredients such as sweeteners, melatonin, water, essential vitamins and more. While the products are different, both forms can be taken sublingually. In comparison to tincture, CBD oil can be vaped while tinctures cannot.
Edible CBD products such as gummies, baked goods, and gum can be produced from both CBD oil and CBD isolate. The same can be said for creams and topicals as well.
CBD For Consumers
CBD has proven to be a lucrative market since The Farm Bill passed in 2018 with an estimated revenue of 23.6 billion dollars by 2025. As the industry continues to grow, consumers must educate themselves on CBD and where their products come from.
This article serves as an educational tool to understand where CBD comes from. In addition to our educational resources and blog, other companies such as Charlotte’s Web have resources on their websites helping their customers understand CBD and find the right product.