Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant phytocannabinoid in the cannabis plant after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD oil is more than just a CBD cannabinoid. This is a broad term covering different CBD extracts; broad-spectrum CBD oil, full-spectrum CBD oil, CBD isolate. Similarly, it can be used to generally mean marijuana CBD oil or hemp CBD oil.

In this article, we focus on CBD oil, how it is extracted, different extracts, the differences between marijuana and hemp CBD oil, and more. Let us get started.

Extraction of CBD Oil

There are several methods used to extract CBD oil from a cannabis plant. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are the main methods used;

Carbon Dioxide Extraction

This is also called supercritical fluid extraction because supercritical CO2 is used to separate CBD oil from the rest of the plant materials. Supercritical here is used to mean CO2 having both gaseous and liquid states.

Several pumps and chambers are involved where CO2 is exposed to low temperatures and high pressure. In the beginning, one pressurized chamber holds the cannabis plant and the second one holds pressurized CO2.

The pressurized CO2 is then pumped into the chamber containing the cannabis plant. The high pressure breaks down the cannabis plant already in the chamber which separates oil from the plant.

The solution now containing CBD oil and CO2 is pumped into the third chamber. Evaporation is used to remove CO2 leaving pure CBD oil extract. Later in this article, different extracts are discussed.

Steam Distillation

As the name suggests, steam is used to separate CBD oil from the plant. The cannabis plant is placed in a special glass containing an inlet and an outlet.

The inlet is connected by a tube to another glass container with water on it ready boiling and the outlet is connected by a tube to a condenser where the resulting solution will be cooled.

The water is heated to produce vapor which breaks down the plant separating oil and the plant materials. The solution, now containing CBD oil and water, travels to the condenser for cooling. After cooling, fractional distillation is used to remove the CO2 leaving behind CBD oil.

Solvent Extraction

This method uses a similar procedure to the one used in steam distillation. However, here a solvent is used in place of water for separation. Natural solvents or hydrocarbons are used which later evaporate leaving behind only CBD oil.

Solvent extraction is less expensive and more efficient than steam distillation. Hydrocarbon extraction capitalizes on the uses of petroleum, naphtha, propane, or butane as the main solvents. These solvents are toxic when taken into the body since they increase cancer risks. It is usually very difficult to eliminate them 100%.

To avoid exposure to these toxic substances, you can use natural solvents like ethanol and olive oil since they work just like the other solvents.

Natural solvents too have their cons; firstly they don't evaporate fully from the solution and again, they may end up extracting chlorophyll together with the CBD oil. Chlorophyll has an unpleasant taste. When the CBD oil extracted through this method is ingested in the form of gummies and tinctures, the taste is felt in the mouth.

Benefits of Using CBD Oil

CBD is non-intoxicating and therefore not best when used for recreational purposes. Over the years, it has been used to alleviate several medical conditions and their symptoms.

It was discovered around 1940 and since then, research has been conducted to fully understand it and its benefits. It may not necessarily cure the stated infections but does play a great role in relieving their severe symptoms. Below are some of the benefits that come as a result of using CBD oil;

Relieves Chronic Pain

Cannabis use to relieve pain dates back to around 2900BC though there was no scientific proof. It is recently that CBD and other cannabinoids have been discovered to perform this action.

The body is made up of systems that regulate different functions, for example, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which helps to regulate appetite, sleep, and how the immune system responds. The immune system also performs its own functions.

Studies suggest that CBD works by binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system to alleviate pain and Inflammations. The body releases endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters) which work by binding to cannabinoid receptors.

There are several conditions that are accompanied by chronic pain like arthritis and multiple sclerosis. CBD oil containing some THC is used to relieve this pain.

Reduce Depression and Anxiety

Depressions and anxiety are mental health disorders that are generated by day-to-day activities. Depression is an advanced form of stress.

According to a recent study by the world health organization, depression is the topmost contributor of total disabilities worldwide and anxiety comes in the sixth position.

Pharmaceutical drugs are used to treat these two conditions, but the drugs do have side effects like headache, sexual dysfunction, drowsiness, insomnia, and agitation.

Recent research indicated the potential of CBD oil to relieve both conditions. It does this by calming down the brain which is the epicenter of these conditions.

For this reason, CBD oil can also be used to relieve post-traumatic stress disorder among children. Its ability to bind to brain receptors responsible for releasing serotonin regulates behavior and mood.

Has Neuroprotective Properties

The ability of CBD to interact with the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate neurological functions. As a result, it helps to mitigate neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.

The anti-inflammatory properties also help to prevent neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

Reduce Acne

Acne is a skin-related condition affecting approximately 9% of the total population worldwide. It is commonly caused by bacteria, overproduction of sebum, underlying inflammations, and genetics.

In research conducted on the ability of CBD to reduce Acnes, it was discovered that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and helps regulate the production of sebum by the skin.

This study was backed with the ability of CBD to penetrate the skin into sebaceous glands which are responsible for producing sebum where it also applies its anti-inflammatory properties.

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