Ethanol Extraction

Extraction is where the magic happens! The most common way to extract CBD from plant material in large quantities is to use a liquid solvent, generally ethanol. The biomass is placed in the ethanol solution in order to break down the plants and strip it of cannabinoids and flavors. These elements are transferred into the solvent which is then evaporated away. It leaves behind a sticky thick oil often called "crude oil".


This oil typically contains 50% to 60% CBD. It is then refined further in order to take on the final golden color that is associated with CBD oil. Short path distillation and HPLC are generally used to break the crude oil into its component parts and remove impurities. You can read more about this on the Science page of our website. Once the oil has been refined, it is 99% CBD. This oil can also be turned to a powder form depending on how it is separated in the refinement process. From 1000 lbs of plant material, about a kilo of oil is produced. This number does vary, as the percentage of CBD in the plants can range from 3% to 10%. This means that massive amounts of the biomass are needed in order to produce a large enough quantity to sell in the whole sale market. 

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