How is CBD Oil Made?

As an industry-leading CBD company, Bluebird Botanicals takes pride in sourcing only the best, highest-quality hemp from Colorado for our extracts and maintaining strict standards for every part of the hemp harvest and extraction process. In fact, as CBD becomes more popular, many people are now wondering how it is even made. While we can’t speak for other manufacturers, we’re happy to share the story of how we make our CBD oil here at Bluebird!

CBD Oil Comes From Hemp

It all starts in the field. CBD oil is made from hemp plants; hemp is a member of the cannabis genus. Horticulture has rendered several different sub-species of cannabis, though, so it’s important to know that hemp is not the same as marijuana, the other variety of cannabis that produces the “high” or altered mental state. Hemp differs from marijuana specifically because it contains 0.3% THC or less, as mandated by federal law. This is the hemp that fabric, plastics, rope, and other industrial products are made from, in addition to hemp milk, hemp flour, soap, and a wide variety of hemp-based supplements.

It’s important to carefully choose your hemp supplier. Due to the current high demand for hemp and still very limiting federal allowances for growing the plant, many businesses cut corners on their hemp sourcing. This results in an extract that is low potency and possibly contaminated with heavy metals and other chemicals. Here at Bluebird, we make CBD oil that is carefully tested by multiple third parties to prove that we won’t allow anything but the best, most pure oil to reach your home.

hemp farmingHarvest

Hemp is planted from seed and allowed to mature to the point where it contains the ideal ratios of cannabinoids for medicinal use. Often, this takes about 16 weeks, but can vary from region to region. The hemp is harvested using a combine that is specially designed for this type of plant, then mechanically stripped and separated into flowers, leaves, seeds, and stalks. The plant material is then ground up to prepare it for extraction.

Decarboxylation

For our Classic extraction, we heat the plant matter in advance to convert the cannabinoids to more active forms via a process called decarboxylation. Many cannabinoids in the raw hemp plant are in a chemical form that is not as active in the human body when raw. By heating the plant matter gently, it releases the extra molecules, known as a carboxyl group, and makes the cannabinoids more bioavailable. Our Complete extract, however, is made only with raw hemp plants for those who prefer that form.

Extraction

Whether decarboxylated or raw, the plant matter is then ready for extraction with a solvent. At Bluebird, we do not use petroleum or toxic chemicals for our solvent. Instead, we use either supercritical carbon dioxide at low temperatures or pure ethanol alcohol to separate cannabinoids, terpenes, and phytochemicals from the cellulose and other inert plant matter. Some manufacturers may use butane or other chemicals to separate the plant matter and medicinal chemicals, but we opt for the more natural route.

The carbon dioxide or alcohol is then evaporated away to leave behind a pure, full-spectrum hemp CBD oil containing a wide variety of nutritious compounds:

    • Amino acids
    • Carbohydrates
    • Vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D)
    • Fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6)
    • Trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium)
    • Beta-carotene
    • Chlorophyll
    • Flavonoids
    • Ketones
    • Nitrogenous compounds
    • Alkanes
    • Glycosides
    • Pigments
    • Water
    • Terpenes

Final Steps in the Lab

This hemp oil can now become the basis of many of our products. In our Classic and Signature blends, the CBD oil is combined with hemp seed oil from Canada. Our Complete is mixed with organic extra virgin olive oil, as well with as additional steam-distilled terpenes.

For some of our other products, we take the hemp extract back to the laboratory for further distillation via vaporization at precise temperatures. This isolates single cannabinoids like CBD from the other materials in the extract for use in our vape liquid or for purchase as our powdered CBD distillate.

hemp extraction

Testing and Packaging

All our products are batch tested by a third party once the process is complete. This is proof of our commitment to purity, verified by independent testing agencies. Testing certificates are available for all our products on our website that show there are no pesticides or heavy metals and that the potency is as promised.

Finally, we bottle or package our hemp CBD extractions. Once bottled, we prepare them for shipment. Hemp-based CBD can be shipped nearly anywhere, contrary to what some may have heard from the news media. You can come to us in Colorado, we’ll send our products to you.

Clean and Pure CBD

This is how CBD oil is made here at Bluebird. From harvest to extraction and beyond, we’re committed to producing the most potent, pure, and natural hemp extracts. Unlike many CBD oil manufacturers, we use third-party testing and responsible sourcing to ensure that any of the products we make can be trusted and used daily to keep you as balanced as can be!

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