How is CBD oil made? Extraction process explained

How is CBD oil made? Extraction process explained


  • Naturecan's CBD oil is extracted from USA-grown hemp using advanced purification technologies. 
  • All our CBD is 100% plant-based, containing non-detectable levels of THC
  • We follow a rigorous six-step testing process to ensure the safety and purity of all CBD products. 

With 1.3 million people using hemp in the UK, most people at the very least know about CBD and its many benefits. But the thought of CBD coming from the same plant that´s known for its intoxicating effects can still make many people feel unsure - and rightfully so!

Although the FDA hasn't approved CBD yet, the WHO recently confirmed that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”.

Research has shown that CBD has numerous potential health benefits. It does this by supporting our endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which is one of the main systems keeping us alive. Our ECS helps regulate many vital body functions, such as sleep, stress, appetite, mood, and pain management. If our ECS is weakened (due to a lack of sleep, high-stress levels, a poor diet, alcohol, etc.), problems may arise.

Our body naturally produces a molecule very similar to CBD, called Anandamide. It helps our ECS communicate with the rest of our body and adapt to any changes. When our body is under stress, it starts breaking anandamide down excessively, which weakens our ECS. Since CBD is similar in structure, it essentially imitates Anandamide and gets broken down in its place.

CBD is a natural way to give our ECS a helping hand in doing what it already does: keeping us balanced.

Check out our other article on "What is CBD'' for more on this. But first, how is CBD oil made for our Naturecan products? 

Where does CBD come from?

CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the Cannabis Sativa plant, which is one of the first-ever cultivated crops on earth, being traced back to over 12,000 years! Over time, two main types of cannabis emerged: hemp and marijuana. We´ve all heard of marijuana, but what is hemp and how is it different?

Hemp is a non-intoxicating species of cannabis. While both contain CBD, marijuana-derived CBD is intoxicating, and hemp-derived CBD isn´t. All Naturecan CBD is derived from hemp. But just as with wine, not all hemp is of equal quality. The environment in which hemp is grown plays a huge part in determining its potency and quality as hemp absorbs any compounds from the soil it's grown in.

All of our hemp comes from Oregon, USA, which is one of the highest-quality hemp-growing regions in the world. Oregon has a nutrient-rich volcanic soil and temperate coastal climate, making it the perfect place to cultivate hemp. 

what is cbd?

Cultivation and Harvesting

Before we plant our hemp seeds, we make sure to test the soil for any impurities.

Once the soil is up to our standards, we plant our seeds in spring and can harvest the plants once they´ve reached their highest cannabinoid levels around late summer.

Once we´ve harvested all of our hemp, we let it cure or air-dry for about a month before shipping the dried hemp off for the CBD extraction process.

how is cbd extracted

CBD Extraction Process

Growing environment is only half of what makes great CBD. The other half is how it's processed. While there are many ways to extract CBD from hemp, they all deliver different results. How is CBD oil made in our CBD extraction process?

Naturecan follows a three-step CBD extraction process. Here's how we process our CBD and why we believe it makes for the purest CBD in the market:

1. Supercritical CO2 Extraction

By exposing CO2 to high temperatures and high pressure, it acts as a safe solvent that´s ideal for extracting CBD without damaging any other active plant compounds. The pressurized carbon dioxide is then passed through raw hemp material, stripping away its phytochemicals, and leaving behind a safe-to-consume CBD concentrate.

While most other CBD brands stop their process here, we have two more steps for creating our broad-spectrum CBD oil.

2. Chromatography

To further remove any impurities and detectable THC, we use an advanced purification system developed by RotaChrom, called Centrifugal Partition Chromatography (CPC). This technique is highly scalable and adaptable which makes it the most reliable method for extracting large amounts of high-quality CBD.

While there are other chromatography techniques, these use more solvents which can contaminate the extracted CBD, whereas the CPC method that we use is more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Once purified, we're left with a CBD concentrate with non-detectable levels of THC.

3. Distillation

Distillation removes any unnecessary compounds left in the concentrate while still retaining other minor cannabinoids which can make the CBD oil more effective through what's known as the “Entourage Effect”. This is where the behavior of each individual compound changes in the presence of other compounds, boosting its natural effects.

Once the oil has been distilled, it contains between 90-95% CBD and at least 5% other minor cannabinoids such as CBG, CBC, and CBDA, which makes it more effective than isolated CBD.

You might be wondering, how is CBD oil made into an oil? We use organic MCT oil as a carrier oil for our CBD concentrate. Not only does it give our CBD oil a slight coconut taste, but it also increases its bioavailability - more on that later!

Other Extraction Methods used in the Industry

Ethanol Extraction

One of the cheapest and most popular CBD extraction methods is soaking hemp in high-grain alcohol to extract CBD oil. However, this pulls a wider range of unnecessary plant compounds into the final product, making it less potent.

Oil Extraction

One of the oldest CBD extraction methods is heating hemp in a carrier oil to extract a wide range of cannabinoids. It's a fairly simple process but this method creates a far less pure oil with a short shelf-life.

cbd extraction

Why is Naturecan's oil different?

We deliver the highest-quality broad-spectrum CBD oil and can prove it. All of our CBD products are 100% plant-based without any synthetic material.

We´ve created CBD that offers you the best of both worlds - all the benefits of minor cannabinoids, terpenes, and other valuable ingredients, but without the intoxicating effects of THC.

We make sure of this by testing all of our products from start to finish.

Check out our article explaining what makes Naturecan´s CBD Oil different from other brands here: "Why buy CBD from Naturecan?"

What does High Bioavailability of CBD mean?

The bioavailability of CBD determines how much of the CBD you've consumed actually reaches your bloodstream where it can take effect. Since not all of the CBD you take makes it into your circulation, you´ll only be getting a fraction of its effects.

All Naturecan CBD is extracted in a way to ensure a high bioavailability, which means you'll be getting more for less.

Testing Process

How is CBD oil made to maintain our quality standard? To ensure the CBD we use in our products fits our quality standards and is 100% safe to consume, we follow a rigorous six-step testing process:

Before harvesting our hemp, the Oregon Department of Agriculture tests a sample of our hemp for THC and pesticides. Once passed, IAH Oregon conducts three separate tests using an independent third-party lab after every stage of our CBD extraction process to ensure no THC is detected.

After this, Naturecan tests the final CBD distillate for pesticides, microbiologicals, and dangerous heavy metals, which could otherwise contaminate the product. In the USA, we test the final product´s potency and THC levels again, and in the UK we test each batch of our CBD oil to confirm that all labels are accurate.

Since the FDA doesn't fully regulate CBD manufactured in the USA, it's always important to check for a Certificate of Analysis (COA), a document from an independent accredited laboratory listing all the ingredients in a CBD product. A 2017 study found that more than 70% of tested CBD products in the USA were mislabeled, containing either more THC, less CBD, and in some cases no CBD at all!