Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most popular cannabinoids, or chemical compounds, derived from the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD has no psychoactive effects (meaning it will not get one “high”). In recent years, CBD use has become increasingly popular due to its wide range of health benefits, and is consumed in a variety of ways. CBD can be consumed through vaporizers, edibles, oils, supplement powders, and ointments/creams. Of these consumption methods, CBD oil is one of the most popular and acts as the foundation for many others.
To make CBD oil, there are a handful of methods. One of the most popular and organic methods is by using liquid solvents. First, plant material (flowers, trim, etc.) must be put into an isolated container. Then, liquid solvents such as butane, alcohol, or ethanal are run through the plant matter to strip and transfer the cannabinoids to liquid. The liquid is then evaporated to make highly concentrated CBD oil. A second common method of making CBD is through CO2 extraction.This method requires a piece of equipment known as a “closed loop extractor,” which consists of three chambers. Thefirst chamber holds pressurized CO2, the second holds raw plant material, and the third collects the finished product. In short, the pressurized CO2 is pumped into the second chamber to extract chemicals and cannabinoids from the plant material. The CO2-cannabinoid mixture is then kept at a higher temperature in the third chamber, to create an oil of concentrated CBD and/or other cannabinoids.
CBD oil can be consumed in a number of ways. One of the quickest and most convenient ways is to dissolve drops of CBD oil under the tongue.This method is particularly effective because it allows for CBD to absorb directly into the bloodstream, and takes anywhere from 20 – 40 minutes to take effect. CBD oil also acts as the base for many other consumption methods, including edibles, vaporizers, and creams/ointments. Simply put, CBD edibles are made by incorporating CBD oil into the cooking process. Certain foods are particularly conducive to being made with CBD, including coffee, smoothies, gummies, cookies, and other baked goods. However, it is worth nothing that CBD-infused foods take longer for the body to absorb, and therefore it can take up to an hour. Similarly, vaporizers heat CBD oil to create a CBD-infused vapor,which is inhaled, the effects of which take place almost immediately. When using vaporizers, one should be mindful of the specific products he/she uses, as some cartridges are known to possess harmful chemicals in addition to CBD. Lastly, CBD oil is available in the form of ointments, balms, and creams. Though CBD ointments are less potent than other consumption methods (as CBD from ointments won’t absorb into the bloodstream), they are a great option for someone looking for targeted pain relief. CBD ointments are also made by blending CBD oil with other ointments such as beeswax or coconut oil.
CBD oil serves as the foundation for just about every CBD consumption option. Furthermore, research surrounding CBD is still burgeoning, which means that even more health benefits of CBD are likely to be discovered in the future.