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As the CBD industry continues to grow, so does the importance of safety and quality of what products you choose to buy and where they come from. The choice of CBD extraction method plays an integral role in determining quality of the finished product. There are, in fact, several ways to extract CBD from hemp plants – a list which is constantly increasing. Here is a break-down of the most common CBD extraction methods currently in use.

1. Clean, Solvent-Free CO2 Extraction

This is known to be the safest, most effective and efficient method of extracting CBD and yielding the highest quality of phytocannabinoids. Without boring you over the science, the CO2 extraction process leverages the gas and liquid states of CO2 to isolate phytocompounds from the hemp plant.  

How does it work?

By utilizing low temperatures and high pressure, carbon dioxide is converted into a supercritical state. This simply means that the CO2 possesses properties of both a gas and a liquid, allowing it to pull extracts from the plant and separate itself during a single extraction. 

Why CO2?

Not only does using CO2 deliver a pure, clean, high-quality extract, it also requires virtually no post-processing, which would be necessary in solvent extractions as solvents can often stay trapped in the oil and have to be removed and can present an array of health risks.


CO2 extraction is our favoured method because it provides higher yields, requires low maintenance and delivers a pure, high quality product. Despite the fact it uses CO2, there is virtually no environmental impact when choosing this process. However, it also demands expensive equipment and can take longer than alternative options.

2. Solvent Extraction (Ethanol)

This is a simpler route, involving ethanol, a high-grade alcohol, as a solvent for retrieving extracts from the hemp plant. 

How does it work?

The process entails mixing hemp plant material into an ethanol solution (for a few minutes) and then heating the mixture until all the ethanol has been evaporated, with nothing but the extract left. 

Why Ethanol?

Ethanol naturally dissolves the CBD from hemp plant material. Thus, using this method provides a quick and easy means of extracting CBD. 

Note: One major drawback of using this method (mentioned above) is the fact that ethanol can be found in trace amounts. It is toxic and can remain stuck in extracts, therefore requiring tedious work to purge it out, presenting significant health risks.


Overall, ethanol extraction can be great for creating full-spectrum hemp extracts. Nonetheless, this method tends to destroy plant oils and waxes, for which there are health benefits. Additionally, it requires several stages of refinement and filtration to ensure no residual toxic solvent is left.

3. Olive Oil Infusion

This is one of the simplest methods, which can even be done in the comfort of your own home. 

How does it work?

Here, you use an ingestible vegetable oil tocreate a CBD infused product rather than an actual extract. This version involves heating the plant material in oil for some time (1-2 hours) and then straining it. 

Why Olive Oil?

Olive oil is known to be a healthy source of fat, and has a taste that is extremely favorable for most people. 


Olive oil is both safe an inexpensive way to create your very own hemp infused oil. The yields of CBD, however, are very low compared to most other options. 

4. Dry Ice Extraction Method

Essentially, the process involves the use of dry ice to extract phytocannabinoids from the plant material, usually resulting in a resin known as “hash.” This extraction can also be performed at home, but takes more time and effort than using olive oil. 

How does it work?

The extracts are separated from plant material by mixing it with dry ice.  

Why Dry Ice?

Dry ice is non-toxic and yields a relatively large amount of plant extract if done correctly. 


Although this method may require more work than olive oil extraction, it proves to be a great at-home choice for those who wish to produce larger quantities of plant extract than olive oil.