How Is CBD Oil Made?

Hemp Oil Being Poured in a Glass Container | Veritas Farms

CBD (cannabidiol) is just one of many chemical compounds found in hemp plants. With CBD’s many health benefits, it is no surprise that there are many companies extracting this valuable compound out of hemp plants for people to use for its various benefits. As of 2020, a third of American adults have tried CBD at least once, making CBD a popular product in the U.S. market.

With the popularity of CBD increasing, it is no surprise that consumers are curious to know how CBD oil is made from hemp plants. Let’s dive into how CBD oil is made.

The CBD Oil Extraction Process

After hemp plants are harvested, they are dried to help preserve the flavor and smell of the hemp. Removing the moisture also helps prevent mold and mildew formation on the plants. At this stage, the hemp is still full of CBD, but most CBD products don’t contain the whole hemp bud or flower. Instead, CBD is extracted from the plant into an oil, which is then used in CBD products like capsules, tinctures, and gummies.

Cold Ethanol Extraction

Cold ethanol extraction, the CBD extraction method that we use here at Veritas Farms, begins with putting the raw hemp plant into a vessel where it can be thoroughly soaked with cold ethanol (between -22°F and -40°F) for a specific period of time. This soaking causes the cannabinoids to solubilize, or dissolve in the liquid.

After the soak, the plant matter is removed from the ethanol solution, which may require some filtration. At this point, processors need to remove the ethanol from the extract that includes the CBD. This can be done using either vacuum distillation or falling film evaporation. The distillation process helps remove the remaining alcohol from the liquid, leaving it safe for consumers.

CO2 Extraction

CO2 extraction, also called supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, is a common method for extracting CBD from hemp plants. In this method, producers use a closed-loop extractor, where dried hemp is placed in a chamber that is filled with carbon dioxide. Then, pressure is applied to the chamber, turning the carbon dioxide to a liquid. As a liquid, the carbon dioxide absorbs the oils and flavors from the hemp. This liquid, containing both carbon dioxide and CBD, is put into another chamber where the carbon dioxide is turned back into a gas, leaving just liquid CBD oil extract.

Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction is also used to extract essential oils for perfumes and food additives because it is safe and efficient.

Close Up of Hemp Leaves Before Processing | Veritas Farms

Alcohol Extraction

Alcohol extraction is carried out by soaking the hemp plant in high-grain alcohol, such as isopropyl, to extract the CBD oil. The process starts with soaking hemp in a container or running the solvents over the plant. After this, the liquid undergoes an evaporation process where heat removes the cannabinoid concentrates from the leaves in the form of an oil.

Using this method, the solvents used to extract CBD oil can linger after the process is complete. For example, after the alcohol dissolves the plant waxes, a bitter taste can be left behind. Tests have been conducted on these solvent residues that have found traces of petroleum and other chemicals that are harmful to humans.

While this method is a cheaper option, it is often much more dangerous because there are highly flammable chemicals used in the process. A filtering process can be used to take the chlorophyll out of the mixture to help reduce the potency of the oil, but these chemicals are often incredibly dangerous to accidentally ingest if they aren’t removed from the oil completely.

Oil Infusion Extraction

Oil infusion extraction is a very popular method of CBD oil extraction from DIY’ers and those who want to make their own CBD at home. With the oil extraction method, hemp is heated and cooked in a carrier oil, such as olive oil, which helps to extract the desired cannabinoids from the plant. Using this method is great for those making their own CBD, but the oils are perishable and must be consumed rather quickly, which puts a lot of limitations on commercial CBD manufacturers.


Distillation is a secondary process that CBD oil undergoes to get rid of the compounds that aren’t wanted in the CBD oil. Since CBD oil compounds each have their own boiling point, distillation is used to remove the unwanted compounds by slowly heating the CBD oil. The contaminants, terpenoids, and flavonoids can all be boiled out. Then, a vacuum separates the vapors that have a lower boiling point. The vapors are pulled through a distillation tube until they reach cooling coils that condense the air. The pure CBD oil then drips down into a collection container.

CBD Oil Testing

The extraction process isn’t the end of the line when manufacturing CBD products. CBD oils need to be tested to ensure that they are safe. The testing process also verifies the cannabinoid content, which can be subject to degradation, damage, and contamination. This is all done prior to the products hitting the market to ensure that the CBD is safe and reliable for consumers.

At Veritas Farms, all of our products undergo strict third-party testing to ensure that our customers are consuming only the best products we can possibly make. You can see all testing data using our COA Finder.


Another step in the process of making CBD oil is called decarboxylation. This is a heating process that turns CBD into something that the human body can easily use via the endocannabinoid system. Most CBD oils have to go through this process after the extraction and distillation processes.

Should you be interested in trying safe, effective CBD products made with full-spectrum hemp oil, check out Veritas Farms. You can learn more about how to take our products with this handy guide.

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