The Ultimate Guide to CBD Manufacturing Process

The CBD manufacturing process is an extensive field that is not just limited to one method.

Usually, these methods may differ according to the use of the compound and you may also be limited by the requirements of some methods.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound derived from the hemp plant. CBD was legalized as a prescription drug in the United States and is used to treat seizures. It is also used for other various purposes including; lotions, capsules, cosmetics, oils, and some food products.

Molecular Structure for Cannabidiol
Molecular Structure for Cannabidiol

Different CBD Products Manufacturing Process

Best Extractions Process for CBD Oil

Different methods of extraction can be used to harvest CBD from the hemp plant. These methods include

Using Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide is a versatile gas that can be functionally utilized in all forms, that is as a liquid, gas, and solid. Closed-loop extractors are the most commonly used devices when carrying out this method. It results in the best quality cannabidiol. This method is also referred to as supercritical carbon dioxide extraction where the CO2 is subject to high pressure and very low temperatures to extract the CBD.

Extraction Process

Extraction of CBD oil using CO2 is carried out in the following steps;

  1. The first step is to dry freshly harvested hemp, it is important to ensure that the plant is fresh.
  2. The extractors use carbon dioxide in its gaseous state and run it through a closed chamber
  3. Carbon dioxide is subjected to high pressure and very low temperatures turning into a liquid
  4. Liquid carbon dioxide is taken through a cold exchanger to ensure that it retains its liquid state.
  5. It is then subjected to high pressure of 300 bars and then it is heated up to 33°C. This results in the formation of a supercritical liquid which is a state between liquid and gas.
  6. This liquid is taken to the dried hemp compartment during which the trichomes that have a high amount of resin
  7. Pressure is then reduced and the liquid CO2 returns to its gaseous state.
  8. The resulting material is subjected to low temperatures that eliminate all other compounds leaving CBD oil.
Extraction Process for Cannabidiol
Extraction Process for Cannabidiol


  • The resulting CBD from this method has one of the best qualities in the market. It is rich in flavor and phytonutrients.
  • This method involves does not require the use of any toxic material making it safe for you to work with.
  • There are no traces of solvents in the finished product.


  • This method takes a longer time to accomplish
  • The equipment required to carry out this procedure is expensive

Using Ethanol

Using grain alcohol of a high quality is another extraction method. It is a colorless and flammable chemical derived from plants through fermentation. This method is simple and effective and is the most commonly used method of extraction. Ethanol can be used to dissolve both fat-soluble and water-soluble compounds within a short amount of time.

CBD Extraction Process

  1. Health hemp plants are harvested and trimmed into a container
  2. The high-grade ethanol is then poured into the plant matter and allowed to soak for some time.
  3. Ethanol dissolves the compounds from the plant leaving behind the organic plant trimmings
  4. The mixture is sieved to filter out the large plant matter left behind
  5. After sieving the remaining solution is heated slowly to evaporate the ethanol leaving behind the extract.


  • This method helps conserve energy
  • It is cheap and simple to execute
  • Ethanol helps conserve beneficial components of the plant.


  • The process is time-consuming
  • The resulting product requires further processing to remove chlorophyll and obtain pure CBD
  • CBD can be denatured if the process is not correctly carried out.
Using Ethanol for Manufacturing Cannabidiol
Using Ethanol for Manufacturing Cannabidiol

Using Oil

This is a more traditional method of extracting CBD and one of the earliest methods. It involves using ingredients and equipment that you can easily find in your home.

Extraction Process

The extraction process is very simple. It involves the following steps

  1. Bake the harvested hemp plant to decarboxylate or activate the CBD
  2. The plant matter is then mixed with oil. You can use coconut oil, olive oil, or butter.
  3. You then heat the mixture in oil using low or medium heat for a few hours
  4. Sieve the mixture to remove the plant materials
  5. The resulting oil will be infused with CBD


  • It is simple and cheap to extract
  • You can extract CBD from the comfort of your home


  • It does not produce pure CBD instead results in CBD-infused oils
  • Uses a lot of oil as the oil does not evaporate
  • It is only good for home or small-scale production
Cannabidiol Oil Filtration
Cannabidiol Oil Filtration

How to Make CBD Isolators

CBD isolators are a term used to define CBD that is pure. CBD extracted using methods such as carbon dioxide and ethanol can be processed further to obtain pure isolates by removing every other compound.


This procedure is usually carried out following extraction by carbon dioxide. It involves the use of alcohol and extremely low temperatures. The CBD isolate is obtained using the following steps;

  1. The first step is to mix the CBD extract with 200-proof alcohol.
  2. Stir the mixture vigorously to ensure that the mixture is evenly mixed. This will remove any undesirable components of the extract by coagulating and freezing them.
  3. Sieve out the coagulated part leaving behind a thinner solution
  4. Freeze the solution at below zero and allow it to set overnight
  5. The resulting product should be cloudy in appearance
  6. Strain the mixture using a paper filter. The solution from the filtration will be a mixture of alcohol and CBD
  7. Heat the mixture under low heat to evaporate the alcohol, leaving behind CBD isolate.


This process involves subjecting the CBD extract through heating and cooling to isolate the CBD compound. The distillation process is pretty simple.

  • The CBD extract is boiled to remove other compounds such as THC found in the crude extract that have lower points.
  • CBD evaporates at 160 to 180° Celsius. Once this temperature is obtained the vapor is then vacuumed through a distillation tube
  • The vapor cools in the tube forming condensation that is collected.
  • If other compounds are still present, this procedure is carried out again until you get the CBD isolate.
How CBD Isolator Is Made
How CBD Isolator Is Made

Making Full Spectrum CBD

Full-spectrum CBD is an extract that contains other compounds such as phytochemicals, flavonoids, terpenes, and cannabinoids that are present in the plant. The full spectrum CBD also contains small amounts of THC which is the compound used to induce the intoxicated feeling. Regular methods such as using ethanol, oil, and CO2 can be used to obtain this product without needing to isolate the CBD.

Broad Spectrum CBD Making Process

Broad spectrum CBD is similar to the full spectrum CBD. The main difference between the two extracts is that THC. In this type of CBD, THC is removed leaving behind CBD, cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. Chromatography is used to eliminate any traces of THC without interfering with other compounds.

Broad Spectrum CBD Extraction
Broad Spectrum CBD Extraction

Testing of Extracted CBD & Quality Control

It is important to take your extracted CBD through laboratory testing to ensure that only the required compounds are present. Third-party testing is a recommended final step to ensure that the CBD produced is of high quality.

Testing extracted CBD will provide you with an accurate profile of your CBD indicating all the compounds present. These profiles will also allow you to categorize your CBD extract according to the present contents


CBD oil has many health benefits as it helps ease pain, seizures, and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. It is important to know the type of CBD extract there are to allow you to make informed decisions based on your health requirements.

More Resources:

Uses of CBD – Source: CBD Machinery

CBD Manufacturing Operations – Source: Brahmin

Cannabidiol (CBD) – Source: Harvard Health Publishing

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