CBD Oil is a hemp extract rich in Cannabidiol, and widely used as an ingredient in manufacturing CBD infused medicinal products for therapeutic use.

What is CBD Oil

Hemp derived CBD Oil is a CBD rich hemp oil extracted from hemp flowers or other plant material rich in Cannabidiol, and other therapeutically active cannabinoids and terpenes.

What is CBD Oil Used for?

CBD Oil is used in the manufacture of medicinal CBD hemp products such as CBD Oil tinctures, CBD oil vapes and other products. CBD Oil can also be further refined to produce other CBD concentrates such as CBD Distillate and CBD Isolate

Types of CBD Oil

CBD Oil can come in a range of different types due to stage of manufacture and the type of manufacturing process.

CBD Oil is typically named by the type of extraction method and solvent used.

Types of CBD Oil – Extraction Method 

  • CO2 extracted CBD Oil
  • Ethanol extracted CBD Oil
  • Butane extracted CBD Oil

CBD Oil is also classified by the stage of processing, from crude oil through to refined products. For most manufacturing and medicinal use refined CBD Oil, or CBD Distillate or isolate are used.

CBD Oil – Stage of Processing

  • Crude CBD Oil
  • Winterised CBD Oil
  • Refined/Clarified CBD Oil
  • CBD Oil Distillate
  • CBD Isolate

How CBD Oil is Made

CBD Oil is extracted from hemp plant material using a solvent such as ethanol or supercritical CO2. CBD and other cannabinoids are found in the resin produced by Cannabis plants on the flowers and the leaves.

The best quality CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, followed by sugar leaves (part of the flower head, often trimmed off), fan leaves, and finally from stems and roots. Hemp stalks and seeds contain negligible CBD and are rarely used for extraction if higher quality material is available. In some regions the flower is discarded and oil is only extracted from “stalk and seeds” resulting in low quality oil with greater risks of contamination with toxic compounds. The CBD in this oil comes mostly from remnant leaf and flower material – not from the stalk and seed.

CBD Oil is sometimes said to be “Whole plant” – this typically refers to the use of flowers, leaves, stems and other materials ground or milled for extraction. The roots are rarely used, as they are typically dirty and contain no cannabinoids (but they do contain other medicinal compounds).

CBD Oil Extraction from Hemp

CBD Oil is extracted from hemp using a solvent such as ethanol, supercritical CO2 or a hydrocarbon. The solvent is passed through the flower and other plant material and the hemp extract recovered and revined to produce a CBD rich hemp extract.

Several stages of purification and refinement are completed to increase the CBD content and remove impurities. It may also be further purified using distillation or chromatography to produce highly potent CBD concentrates such as CBD Distillate or CBD Isolate

CBD Oil Extraction Methods

CBD Oil is classified by the extraction method and solvent used. Most CBD oil is extracted using alcohol, CO2 or Hydrocarbons. There are many variations on equipment, solvents and processing method which impact the final product. For example the temperature and pressure of CO2 or hydrocarbons will change the composition of the extract.

  • CO2 Hemp Extraction
    • Subcritical CO2 Extraction
    • Supercritical CO2 Extraction
  • Alcohol Hemp Extraction
    • Ethanol Hemp Extract
    • Isopropyl Alcohol Hemp Extract (aka RSO Rick Simposon Oil)
  • Hydrocarbon Hemp Extraction
    • Butane Hemp Extract
    • Propane Hemp Extract
    • Etc

Most Commercially available CBD Oil is produced by CO2 or ethanol extraction.

The extraction method has an impact on the composition of the CBD oil. For medicinal use oil rich in CBD, other cannabinoids (such as THC, CBG, CBC and others) is desirable.

CBD Oil Processing Steps

CBD Oil Extraction from hemp is a multistage process which turns harvested hemp flower and other plant material into a potent CBD oil able to be used in medicinal manufacture.

CBD Oil Processing Steps

  • Hemp Selection
  • Hemp Assessment
  • Analytic Testing
  • Drying
  • Grinding
  • Decarboxylation
  • Hemp Extraction
  • CBD Oil Winterisation
  • CBD Oil Refinement
  • Solvent Recovery
  • Packaging

Read more about CBD Oil Processing Steps


As a medicinal product, CBD oil should be manufactured following GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). In the USA, this is often referred to as cGMP – current Good Manufacturing Practice.

Read more about GMP CBD Oil.

CBD Oil Refinement

CBD Oil is a pluripotent product which can produce a wide array of manufacturing ingredients.

After extraction and initial refinement, CBD Oil can also be further refined through distillation to produce CBD Distillate.

CBD can also be further purified using chromatography and crystallisation to produce purified 99%+ cannabidiol crystals known as CBD isolate.

Read more about the entire manufacturing process for CBD Isolate from Hemp.

CBD Oil THC Removal

An increasingly popular requirement is for full spectrum CBD products with low levels (or near-zero levels) of THC.

THC Free CBD Oil is relatively uncommon and difficult to produce. It is possible to remove most of the THC from CBD oil using chromatography. This process is expensive and requires toxic chemicals such as pentane or hexane, but makes it easier to market and distribute CBD oil products. THC Free CBD Distillate and CBD Isolate are other options where a low THC level is required. It is difficult to remove all THC to the point that these products won’t show up on drug testing of products or people, so care should be taken when using these products in certain situations.

THC Free CBD distillate is produced through similar methods and is more readily available. CBD Isolate also has negligible THC but lacks the other medicinal compounds present in CBD Oil or CBD Distillate.

CBD Oil from Medicinal Hemp vs Industrial Hemp

The best quality CBD Oils and hemp extracts are produced from high CBD medicinal hemp grown for resin production, as opposed to from waste material from industrial hemp plants. Read more about industrial hemp vs medicinal CBD Hemp Flower.

CBD Oil Whole Plant Extract

CBD Oil is sometimes classified as “Whole Plant” or “Flower Extract” or “From Seeds and Stalks”.

Whole Plant CBD is often used in marketing to differentiate high CBD full spectrum hemp extracts from CBD isolate produced from low grade hemp waste such as stalk and seeds.

These types of terms are often used loosely and are more a marketing term than a scientific or technical term.

Theoretically, a whole plant hemp extract will have more therapeutic value than a CBD-only product.

In practice, most of the therapeutic compounds in CBD oil are the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and other compounds found in the flower and to a lesser extent in the leaves.

The use of the whole plant in hemp extraction often has more to do with the difficulty of legally shipping high CBD hemp flower, because it is often high in THC.

By blending hemp flower with the whole plant – by milling or grinding stalk, leaf, stem and flower together, it can keep the THC level below the legal threshold and qualify for industrial hemp status.

The type of plant material (eg: from flower, whole plant, etc) and the variety of hemp are other important factors in the quality and composition of a CBD oil product.

Note that the CBD content of an oil varies with the source material – high CBD (>10%) flower will produce the best quality CBD oils. Low CBD (<5%) will produce lower quality CBD oils which require further refinement to produce a premium product. For this reason, CBD isolate is widely produced where product quality is poor. Because CBD isolate lacks the other cannabinoids and terpenes found in CBD oil it does not provide the same medicinal effect (see the Entourage Effect).

When choosing CBD oil for medicinal use look for high quality products from the flower or whole plant.

CBD Oil quality depends on the type of plant material processed. Different parts of the plant have

  • CBD from hemp flower
  • CBD oil from flower trim
  • CBD oil from whole plant
  • CBD oil from stalk, stem and seed
  • Etc

Medicinal Compounds in CBD Oil

CBD Oil is further classified by it’s composition, particularly the presence and ratios of cannabinoids.

In addition to CBD, CBD Oil will often contain CBDA, the acidic (un-decarboxylated) version of CBD, along with THC, CBG, CBC, CBDV and their acid analogues.

Most of these cannabinoids have unique therapeutic effects, and appear to be synergistic by way of the Entourage Effect. 

Terpenes also have therapeutic significance both directly, by way of synergies with cannabinoids, and as absorption modulators which modify how readily CBD is absorbed into the body, brain or other target areas.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil

CBD Oil is often described as being “Full spectrum”, which implies the presence of a range multiple cannabinoids including CBD, THC and others along with terpenes and other medicinal compounds.

Water Miscible CBD Oil Products

CBD Oil is inherently hydrophobic – it resists being mixed with water. To improve it’s usefulness for some uses, it can be manufactured into a water soluble liquid or water soluble powder. These products are typically a stabilised emulsified CBD product. This allows the oil to be mixed evenly with water based liquids.

CBD Oil Products

Refined CBD Oil is used in the manufacture of CBD Oil products such as as CBD Oil Tinctures, CBD Oil Capsules, CBD Oil Gelcaps, CBD Oil Gummies, CBD Oil Vaporisers, CBD Oil Powders, CBD Oil Suppositories, and other CBD Products.

CBD Oil can also be infused into other oils, foods and beverages to produced CBD infused edibles.

The most popular CBD Oil products include:

  • CBD Oil Tinctures
  • CBD Oil Gelcaps
  • CBD Oil Capsules
  • CBD Oil Vaporiser Cartridges
  • CBD Oil Vape Juice
  • CBD Oil Suppositories
  • CBD Oil Water miscible powder
  • CBD Oil water miscible liquid
  • CBD Oil Pain Salve (for topical use for musculoskeletal issues)
  • CBD Oil Cream (for topical use for dermatological issues)