How To Extract CBD At Home

With the recent growth of cannabis and its products, CBD oil is being recognized for a myriad of apparent health benefits. So why not make your own? Homemade CBD oil is not as pure or strong as professional-made, but it’s certainly cheaper and can be fun to make.

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You can even choose plants low in THC if you’re only interested in the health benefits without the high. The methods work equally well for different purposes. For those looking at how to extract CBD oil at home, we’ve reviewed the different CBD extraction methods, and chosen two clear favorites.

This is how you extract CBD Oil using the methods of Olive oil and Ethanol (alcohol). They’re your cheapest, safest and easiest options.

Extraction Techniques – What Are Your Best Options?

There are a few different ways of making CBD oil, with varying degrees of success. As this is a home project, and you probably don’t intend to make large batches, these two options stand out as the best.

Both options have pros and cons. We’ll run through the details while we go along, so by the time you’ve read through this, you’ll know how to extract CBD efficiently, and why you should be doing it this way!  

How To Extract CBD With Olive Oil

Oil is the easiest means of CBD extraction. It doesn’t have to be olive oil – many prefer coconut, flaxseed, or even avocado oil. But olive oil is certainly the most popular choice out of the ones we have listed, and one of the healthiest.

A Few Things To Keep n Mind Before You Start:

  • If you start with a high-THC flower, you’ll end up with a high-THC oil. Without specialized equipment, you won’t be able to separate the two.
  • If you want to make CBD oil with no high, use hemp flowers rather than marijuana. They’re legal in most countries, but tough to find. Still, it’s good to keep in mind that extracting CBD from hemp works just as well.

Ingredients and Equipment:

30g of CBD flower or hemp flower (depending on the result you’re looking for)

450g oil

Double boiler or crockpot

Cheesecloth for straining

Glass/ceramic bowls

Silicone spatulas

Method:

Heat the oil to 140 degrees Celsius. While it’s heating up, grind your flower. You can also chop it up. But the finer the flower pieces, the more efficient the extraction process.

Lower the temperature to 100 degrees and add the ground flower, cooking for 1 – 2 hours. This will result in the extraction of the cannabinoids!

The important part of this method is keeping the heat low and slow. If it gets too hot or inconsistent, your cannabinoids will suffer for it, and your CBD oil won’t have the desired effect.

When you’re done, strain the oil through cheesecloth into a glass or ceramic bowl, scraping the sides to get everything out – it can be difficult to get al the oil out, but you want to make the most of your new CBD oil!

Finally, decant the oil into a glass bottle or container. After this extremely easy process, you have a CBD oil that will get you high or ease those aches and pains, and cost you little more than the cannabis or hemp. If you’re growing your own plants, even better!

Very safe and inexpensive, this is a great method for someone keen to try out CBD oil extraction for the first time. It’s relatively labor-intensive for its yield, but we prefer to put a little love and attention into the process anyway. It’s half the fun.

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You’ll have to use the oil within a few months, as it is more perishable than other methods. If you find you don’t enjoy the final result, we’ve reviewed different CBD oils here.

A Slightly Alternative Method – Types of Extraction

If time is no issue and you’re interested in changing up the recipe a bit for better quality and a slower cook, you can! Cooking the oil at 80 degrees Celsius for 24 hours produces a really smooth, rich CBD oil. If you choose to use this method, you’ll need a slow cooker. It should take at least 3 hours to reach 80 degrees.

Stir every few hours – not more often, you’ll allow volatile terpenes to escape and reduce your CBD yield. Be sure to leave the lid on, then relax! You can leave it overnight without mixing.

You can also replace the olive oil with liquid fractionated coconut oil. This is, however, harder to find. And while you may prefer the taste, it has no proven health benefits to the finished product.

How To Make CBD Oil With Ethanol

Another good extraction method for beginners is done with alcohol (ethanol). There is one important con here – while ethanol extracts the full range of cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant, making for a stronger CBD oil than the olive oil method, it also extracts chlorophyll. Depending on your body, this may lead to side effects, like digestive problems and itching.

Still, if you don’t know how you react to chlorophyll (many have no negative reaction to the substance), it’s worth a try. Just make a small amount of oil, for testing purposes.

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This method is also very simple. All you need to do is add the alcohol to the plant material – again, with the THC and CBD content which suits your purposes. We prefer ethanol, but you can also choose butane or another alcohol of that nature.

The alcohol will strip away the cannabinoids and flavor from the plant. It will probably also strip it of some of its colour too, so don’t be concerned. Once you have enough liquid cannabinoids, heat the liquid to evaporate it down to the CBD base oil. This doesn’t have to be a specific temperature, like with the oil extraction. Just do it slowly enough that it doesn’t burn to the bottom or lose the actual oil.

Some Things To Consider

Some do prefer this method for its greater yield. You just have to be a little more careful during the process. The alcohol is highly flammable, so you should not take your eyes off it. We’d also suggest you don’t prepare while high.

Another issue to consider is that it’s potentially harmful. If the end product contains chlorophyll,

this extraction method destroys the plant waxes, which may have health benefits that are favored by some.

If you’re after a greater high, without the frequent use of CBD oil for health issues (like 3-times daily for anxiety or insomnia), this is a good method. It’s more of a clean extract than the olive oil method.

If you are intending to use your homemade CBD oil on a regular basis, we recommend staying safe and using the olive oil method, despite its lower CBD concentration.

Image by @bllackdraagon.420

Ingredients and Equipment:

30g of marijuana buds or hemp flower (ground)

Ethanol

Glass or ceramic mixing bowl

Cheesecloth

Glass or ceramic catchment container

Double boiler (a set of two fitted saucepans or pots that are stacked together with space between them)

Wooden spoon, silicone spatula, funnel, plastic syringe

Method

Completely cover the plant material in the mixing bowl with alcohol and stir for 3-5 minutes with the wooden spoon to expel the resin. Make sure that the bowl can easily contain both the raw material and the solvent, and won’t splash around while you’re mixing. In other words, use a pretty big bowl.

When you’re done, filter the liquid through the cheesecloth. Collect this first raw extraction into the catchment container, squeezing out as much of the liquid as you can. You can use gloves here, but if you don’t have, just wash your hands with soap as soon as you’re done. At this point, you can repeat the whole process again with new alcohol to extract as much as possible the plant matter.

Once you’re content, pour the strained liquid into the double boiler and heat it until it starts to bubble. Allow all the alcohol to evaporate at this temperature. The mixture should continue to bubble for about 20-minutes. Continue to stir the whole time, and don’t allow it to get too hot.

This method is a lot more imprecise with the temperatures, which is good if you don’t have a candy thermometer. But you have to pay much more attention to keep things from going wrong. If you don’t have a stove, you can even consider microwave extraction. Just keep a close eye on things.

Once you have your oil, you can even add other things! CBD honey oil is a favorite of ours and makes for a great addition to tea and baked goods.

Image by @mindbyfood

The Best of the Extraction Techniques

There are other methods, like CO2 and dry ice extraction.  But these are expensive and have a steep learning curve. They can also be rather dangerous! They are therefore not ideal for home-making projects. However, If you’re interested in large-scale and long-term production, it may be worthwhile investing in CO2 extraction.

But for our purposes, we definitely recommend olive oil extraction. It’s healthy, safe, reliable and easy. It’s also pretty fun, in an easy-bake-oven for adults kind of way. The pros far outway the cons, and you’ll be happy with the results.

If you’re looking for CBD oil that is a lot purer than what you can make yourself, check out CBD isolate. It’s not as well known as the oil, but can be used for a lot more!

Conclusion on How To Extract CBD Oil At Home

Now you know how to extract your own CBD oil! So if you have a lot of cannabis or hemp flower, this is a great way to preserve it. It’s also lots of fun, and a great way to experiment with cannabis, now that it’s legal to do so.

You can enjoy your CBD oil just as it is, with a few drops on your tongue, or add it to foods and drinks. The olive oil works especially well with food – you can add it to anything.

Have you tried these or any other CBD extraction methods at home? Let us know how it went, and if you were happy with the results.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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