CBD, or Cannabidiol, in an oil base suitable for oral ingestion, has many cannabinoids and terpenes, as well as a range of flavonoids. In recent years, it has become extremely popular as a supplement, however, because until recently it has been closely associated with the psychoactive component of the marijuana plant, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), many Governments have decreed that it must be “controlled”, too.
Across the world, laws appear to be relaxing, and in many countries CBD oil can now be purchased at a reasonable cost. But in some countries, it is still too expensive for many people to afford.
Why is CBD oil still expensive?
Despite a colourful history of cannabis being used as far back as 10,000 B.C.E. for medicinal purposes, it was made illegal in 1937. Since then, everything associated with cannabis has been frowned upon, therefore creating negative publicity surrounding hemp and hemp extracts.
Cannabidiol, having been recognized in most jurisdictions now as “harmless”, has had many restrictions on its use removed. The problem is that there are still many restrictions on sales, advertisements and banking for CBD companies, which helps to keep the prices high.
Generally speaking, if you cannot afford CBD oil, you can now buy CBD Isolate (a purified solid form) and make your own CBD Oil at home.
You can also perform your own extractions from cannabis. Here is how those processes work…
Making your own CBD Oil
Cost is a large factor for many people, so the least expensive alternative for obtaining CBD oil is to make it yourself. There are two primary methods that can be accomplished by the do-it-yourself (DIY) home chemist. There is the “pure” method, and there is the “full-spectrum” method, and they involve considerably different levels of effort. We’ll start with the Pure form.
Method #1 CBD oil From Isolate
You will need:
Eyedropper equipped bottle
A fluid transfer syringe for accuracy
A scale to weigh the CBD Isolate, if you are making small/partial batches
This method requires that you first to obtain some CBD Isolate, which is available at quite a reasonable price from many suppliers. The important element here is to make sure that your supplier is reputable, and is subject to certified third party laboratory testing. This is where you can rely on the online community to inform you regarding the reputation of the supplier.
Ideally, you are looking for purity of 99% or higher, but you can go down to as low as 95% if you’re economics dictate that this is necessary.
Quality CBD Isolate closely resembles very fine table sugar, being clear or white and crystalline. As the colour approaches brown, you know it is no longer Isolate, because it is contaminated with other substances lending it the colour.
Obtain an appropriately sized container that includes an eyedropper and decide what blend you wish to end up with. If (for example) you were to add 1000 mg (one gram) of CBD Isolate to the bottle, and 100 ml of carrier oil, your final ratio will be about 10 mg per ml, (if using 99.9% CBD Isolate—lower purities will affect your end result, of course).
50 ml of carrier oil will result in a 20 mg/ml blend, or for a much stronger blend, reverse those numbers and use just 20 ml of oil with 1 gram of CBD Isolate to render 50 mg of CBD per millilitre.
As implied, put the desired amount of CBD Isolate into the bottle and add the measured amount of good quality MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) carrier oil. These can be found in any health food store, from sources like coconut oil. The CBD is dissolved in the oil, and disolves.
If you try higher concentrations such as the 1000/20 ratio mentioned above, it might take some time to dissolve. This process can be speeded up by sitting the bottle in warm water for a minute, then agitating it, then warming again, and agitating. At some point, you are going to reach the saturation point and no more will dissolve. Add a bit more oil to absorb the last few crystals, and you’re done.
Method #2 for Making Your Own CBD oil
Complex and requiring more equipment, this is ambitious and there are potential hazards involved. Give due consideration before attempting this method.
You will need:
High CBD samples of Cannabis leaves and bud, finely chopped, which is notably cheaper than those with significant THC content
Ice cold ethyl alcohol of purity greater than 60%
Clean kitchen strainer
Large sturdy Plastic spoon
Two larger glass bowls, one which fits the strainer
5-8 cm Pyrex bowl
Water Distiller (worthwhile investment @ £100), or a solid top hotplate and an outdoor location.
Put the bud & leaves in one large bowl, and cover with alcohol. This is a very fast process, so stir and agitate constantly for three minutes. Strain the alcohol and bud mixture into the second bowl using the kitchen strainer. The liquid now has your CBD, many additional terpenes [tur-peens] and other cannabinoids [can-na-bin-oids] in solution. You can press the leaves in the strainer with the spoon back to get all the liquid.
The mash is now just cellulose, so you can toss it in the bin. There is nothing useful left to be had there. The alcohol, on the other hand, contains your CBD in dilute form.
Open the top of your coffee machine, insert a fresh filter and strain about 200-250 ml of liquid and let it drip into the pot. Change the filter and do the next 200 ml of alcohol. Repeat until all the alcohol is in the coffee pot. If you’re curious, look in the filter papers and your see the remaining plant matter, of course, but you’ll also see the now-empty trichomes. Into the bin with it!
Choice (A): If you have a water distiller, good on you! You can place the filtered alcohol into the unit, turn it on, and place a large measuring cup under the spout. You will get back about 60-75% of your alcohol which you can then re-use, saving you significant money.
Choice (B): Alternatively you can place your alcohol solution in a small pot, on the solid-top hotplate, and place it outdoors on very low heat (about 75° C) so that the alcohol can evaporate. Keep an eye on it, and when the bubbling stops that indicates most of the alcohol is gone.
Whichever method you chose, place the resulting liquid concentrate in the small Pyrex bowl, and place it directly on the heating element of your coffee pot. It should maintain a temperature in the range of 100-110° C. Turn on the coffee pot, and leave the concentrate for about 24 hours. If you have one of those coffee pots that automatically shuts off after three or four hours, you will have to go and turn it back on each time.
This exposure to heat causes decarboxylation, which essentially translates to mean that it causes the chemical breakdown that turns the precursor acids into the cannabinoids you actually want. The resulting concentrate can now be mixed with MCT carrier oil (or raw hemp oil, if you want the full experience) using the weight and volume formulas mentioned earlier. You’re done!
Both methods result in much more economical CBD oil. The second method uses alcohol so no electric mixers (sparks inside!) or metal mixing containers and spoons. Evaporation must be done outdoors or with excellent ventilation like a laboratory hood. Please consider a Water Distiller, since it both saves money on alcohol and is much safer.