CBD oil is the stuff people across the UK and around the globe can't seem to get enough of. Sadly, there are a lot of cheap imitations of the real deal when it comes to CBD oil. This is because some processors use inferior quality ingredients, and some skip vital steps for producing quality CBD oil. Luckily the majority of CBD brands out there strive to give their customers the absolute best product possible.


When a processor wants to make the best possible CBD oil they can craft, they often chose CO2 extraction. The cold temps of this method of extraction help avoid pulling lots of chlorophyll from the plant material. At the same time, it also helps to preserve the terpene profile, hence a more flavourful end product. This doesn't mean that CO2 extraction is better than alcohol extraction. Some people don't like the taste profile of CO2 and prefer alcohol extracted CBD products.


No matter if you ingest your CBD oil in a drink, capsule, or if you chose to vape it, taste matters. CO2 extraction produces a CBD oil that is free from residual impurities like those present with alcohol extraction. Even after CBD oil is extracted using CO2, there are other steps in refining it to a finished product. Let's look at those steps and see just what they do to make the CBD oil that so many people love.




The process of winterization sounds like it might involve snow and ice, and in a way it does. During the winterization process, CO2 extracted CBD oil is mixed with alcohol. This mixture is then rigorously agitated and placed into a deep freezer overnight.


The mixture will start to become cloudy. After it becomes cloudy, it is time to strain the mix of CBD oil and alcohol. The mix is poured through a special micron filter that catches the waxes, fats, and lipids that are in the oil. These impurities can cause an unpleasant taste and are generally not wanted in CBD products. Not to mention, they act as unnecessary fillers in products that have not been through winterization.


The next step of the winterization process is precisely the opposite of what one may think it is. This final phase of this process involves heating the CBD oil to a boil and is called short path distillation. Alcohol has a different boil point than the oil, one that is much lower. During this final phase, all remaining alcohol that is left is evaporated off, leaving behind a clean final winterized product.




The distillation process is very easy to get confused with winterization for those who aren’t familiar with it. Just like the final phase of the winterization process, distillation calls for applying heat to the CBD oil. Since different molecules have different boiling points, they can be separated during this process.


A trained professional is then able to remove CBD that is free from impurities. This product is called CBD oil distillate. Many times, but not always, CBD distillate is added to other CBD products to increase the potency of the product.


The process of distillation creates consistent results allowing CBD manufacturers and brands to maintain product consistency. After the winterization process has been completed, the step of distillation gives CBD oil that finishing touch.


Which Is Better, Alcohol Extraction, or CO2 Extraction?


There is no real answer to this. Some people will swear by alcohol extraction and others by CO2 extraction. It all boils down to what you prefer as far as taste, consistency, and potency. When it comes to CBD and how it works with the body, we are continually learning new things. There is a myriad of studies on CBD that can be found on the NCBI.


Some of these studies suggest that CBD works with the endogenous mammalian endocannabinoid system in different many different ways. Studies are showing promise that CBD holds a solid place in modern medicine. Hemp, a once widely misunderstood plant, is becoming a daily part of millions of lives.


Now that you know a little bit more about the winterization and distillation processes, you can pass this knowledge along to the next person. Knowing about how CBD oil is extracted and processed gives you the power to make informed purchasing decisions when it comes to buying CBD oil.