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Where Does CBD Come From?

Updated: Sep 27, 2021

What used to be a relatively little known substance derived from the cannabis plant, CBD, the non-psychoactive cousin of THC (will not get you high), can now be found just about everywhere, from the gas station to the grocery store.

This growth is impressive and important, as new benefits of CBD use continue to be studied and discovered. But, not all CBD is created equal. The industry is still relatively unregulated, so there’s an important question:

Where does CBD come from?

CBD can be found in members of the cannabis Sativa plant family and is typically extracted as oil for use in tinctures, gummies, and other CBD products. Variations in the growing and extracting process have a significant and essential impact on the quality and potency of the product.

To understand where your CBD is coming from, there are two primary elements to consider:

  1. How is CBD grown?

  2. How is CBD oil made?

How is CBD grown?

Like any crop, there are many ways to grow the hemp plants that produce CBD. Weather, soil conditions, and other factors all affect the plant.

Additionally, not every farm operates the same way—some work using greenhouses and grow lights, while others take a more natural approach. The use of pesticides is another consideration.

Did you know you can (and should) buy CBD that is made with organic ingredients?

Since CBD and THC come from the same plant, the cannabis Sativa (hemp) grown on CBD farms is carefully cultivated to produce low THC levels while maintaining high levels of CBD. Some products will have higher levels than others, but it is possible to get CBD oils with 0.0% THC.

Once the crop is grown, it needs to transform from plant to the concentrated oil most people associate with CBD use.

How is CBD oil made?

Just like the farming process, there are several ways to turn hemp into CBD oil.

One of the most popular and pure extraction forms uses CO2 as a solvent (a liquid that picks up other stuff like CBD). CO2 extraction is precise and efficient, but it is also complex and requires expensive equipment, and there’s a lot of room for error.

Other similar processes use ethanol, oil, or other materials to extract CBD from the plant. These are less efficient but are more cost-effective and require less specialized equipment.

To make up for the impurities introduced in these early processes, many companies also filter the oil once it’s extracted.

Conclusion: Which method is best?

Every CBD product will go through some combination of these processes. There isn’t a single method that works best, as each will produce a different result that might be better or worse depending on the goal for the product.

The important thing is the care and attention put into the process by the growers and manufacturers. When selecting the CBD products for your use, try and find ones made by companies who know who’s completing every step in the process and test regularly to meet safety and purity standards.

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