Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the three main chemicals found in the trichomes of the cannabis plant, has gained a lot of attention in recent years as more studies show a variety of potential applications for it. You can find CBD in almost every type of cannabis plant including:
- cannabis plants containing THC, the psychoactive chemical that makes you feel ‘high’
- varieties of the cannabis plant specifically bred to be high-CBD/ low-THC
- industrial hemp plants that contain no THC and have no psychoactive effect
There are a number of ways of extracting CBD from any of these varieties of cannabis. If the plant you start with contains only CBD (like industrial hemp or a high-CBD cannabis strain); there are multiple extraction methods which are very simple and require little equipment.
The most common methods use some type of solvent. This can be a liquid solvent, CO2, or an oil solvent. If the plant material you start with contains THC as well as CBD (such as smokable cannabis), the process to separate CBD from other cannabinoids is more complex and generally requires professional equipment. To avoid getting too technical, let’s look mainly at extraction methods for CBD-only plants.