Does CBD Originate from Real Cannabis Strains?
Cannabidiol is also known as CBD. This is a natural substance that is used as a food supplement and as a means of relaxation, especially for people who live in very high stressed environments. While it will soon be available at CVS and Walgreens in the USA, it is currently available at any UK based pharmacy now, CBD entails several benefits. Let’s have a detailed look at what CBD is and how it is made.
The Origins of CBD
In the cannabis world, there are two main plant categories— the male plant hemp and the female plant marijuana . As a general rule, the hemp plant category is taken to mean all those hemp plants that are grown for their fiber content as well as their seed oil. On the other hand, the ‘drug plant’ category includes several strains of both euphoric THC-rich plants as well as non-euphoric CBD-rich plants. Here the major difference between the hemp plant varieties and their “drug plant” counterparts has a lot to do with their overall resin content. The hemp plant is basically a ‘low resin’ or “low THC” plant, while the drug plant is a high resin producer.
In order to answer the question of “Where exactly Does CBD Come From?” we have to look at the source of the many different hemp varieties.
Your average industrial hemp variety is generally sourced from its very own category of a low resin agri-crop that is typically grown from its own pedigree seeds. The average yield is around 100 tall, skinny plants crammed into one square meter. These plants are machine-harvested and also manufactured into many different types of useful products.
“Drug Plants” or Marijuana
The cannabis ‘drug plants’ are widely considered to be ‘high resin’ horticultural crops. They are typically grown from an asexually-reproduced clone. Generally speaking, only one to two plants per square meter are grown in order to ensure optimal growth. They are harvested by hand, sun-dried and then trimmed and cured.
The sticky and gooey cannabis resin oil is found within the heads of very tiny, mushroom-shaped trichomes that are found mostly on the plant’s female flowers (or buds). Resin traces are also found on the leaves of the plant, but their extraction value is almost negligible.
How is CBD Made?
The very first step in making CBD oil is to harvest the plants that actually contain very high concentrations of CBD. The oil is extracted almost exclusively from those cannabis varieties that have an abundance of the CBD compound and are low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The latter is a psychotropic chemical that gives the ‘high’ that is generally associated with cannabis use.
The CBD Extraction Process
Once the plants have been successfully harvested, they are now ready for the laborious extraction process. Multiple extraction solvents have to be used that can separate and subsequently help to collect the essential oils and compounds from the various stalks and other parts of the plant. Ideally, producers use a supercritical carbon dioxide process that utilizes the non-toxic CO2 in fluid form as a solvent.
In order to extract all of the CBD from the cannabis, the solvent has to be forced through the finely ground plant fibres repeatedly. This process pulls out the CBD oil and all other important chemicals from the plant. Finally, the fluid-based solvent is removed, leaving rich CBD oil in its wake. CBD is readily available online in the US as well as at any high-end UK based Pharmacy.