Expertly engineered and built, Apeks Supercritical CO2 cannabis oil extractor systems are high-performance machines CBD oil can be expensive. Is it possible to make CBD oil at home? What ingredients do you need and what does the process look like? Read this article to find out! MedXtractor small-scale CO2 Extractors provide high-potency, high purity cannabis extracts. LEARN MORE TODAY by visiting medxtractor.com.
Apeks CO2 cannabis oil extractors for cannabis oil concentrate.
Designed by staff engineers with expertise in industrial automation and 17-plus years’ experience building cannabis oil extractors. Apeks Supercritical CO2 extraction systems efficiently extract pure, high-quality essential oils. While any botanical material can be extracted, the majority of our customers use Apeks equipment to extract oils from cannabis and hemp to produce CBD and other products.
Our customers are producing some award-winning oils with Apeks systems which feature simple fractional extraction and cold separation processes to preserve volatile oils for higher-quality and higher-quantity yields. When plant matter is exposed to too much heat or cold, terpenes (scent) and flavonoids (taste) are impaired (thermal degradation). We take every precaution to avoid this, which is why our systems are water jacketed.
High output Apeks Duplex® System – optimized for low pressure/low temperature subcritical extractions
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Cannabis oil concentrate (Hemp)
Apeks machines are designed to extract cannabis oil concentrate. The new Duplex® system pulls oils very quickly in a subcritical extraction, which means less post processing work needs to be done because not many undesirable materials were extracted (fats, waxes, etc.). The Duplex® also allows for quick processing during supercritical run, if you’re wanting the entire extract. The quality of the cannabis oil depends on what you put in. If you put high quality cannabis in, for example with a 20% THC content, you’ll get 20% THC in return, but it will be concentrated. The base material is important – you can’t expect to put poor quality material in and get high quality oil out.
Controlled decarboxylation and greater yields of THCA.
TCHa is converted to THC via a chemical process using heat called decarboxylation. Apeks thermally-sensitive extraction equipment allow processors greater control over the decarboxylation of their extractions because cold separation does not decarboxylate (or very minimally) the extracted oils in the separator as most competitor systems do. Therefore, processors can produce on average a 20% greater yield of THCa. This is important because converting THCa to THC by decarboxylation activates the psychotropic elements of cannabis which some processors and end-users don’t want. Some prefer non-psychotropic cannabis concentrates to put in medical cannabis products aimed at children, or for patients who want the medicinal benefits, not the intoxicating effects.
Old Faithful – Hemp and cannabis extraction equipment.
Apeks systems have rightfully gained the reputation among processors and extraction experts as being solid performers, built to last. Knowing they’ll be working with their machines for many years, customers are known to affectionately call them by name like Old Faithful, The Workhorse and The Beast.
Apeks systems use carbon dioxide as a solvent, which is safer, purer, and cleaner than alternative extraction methods. The CO2 is pumped through a closed loop system, converting CO2 from gas to liquid, and back to gas again. Using high pressure, the gaseous CO2 is pumped through the extraction vessel where it becomes liquid and extracts the oil. Then the liquid CO2 and oil flow to the separator vessel during which the CO2 is decompressed, converting back to gas. In the separator vessel the CO2 separates from the denser, heavier oil which drops down into a collection cup. The CO2 then continues its loop and is recovered in the gas cannisters. Approximately 90% of the CO2 is recovered during an extraction.
The systems work best with ground up, dried cannabis (or other) plant material. The plant material should be dried thoroughly. CO2 extraction doesn’t like water in the source material so drying the cannabis properly beforehand is essential. Customers in humid climates sometimes use freeze dryers to remove water from the plant. Once dried, the material should be ground to coffee-ground consistency before loading into the extraction vessel. CO2 is pumped through it, extracting the oil. The CO2 and oil move to the separator vessel where the denser, heavier oil drops down into a collection cup. The CO2 then continues its loop and is recovered in the gas canisters.
DIY Guide: How to Make Your Own CBD Oil From Hemp
People use CBD oil to reduce pain, ease anxiety, combat inflammation, and improve their response to daily stressors. With so many benefits, as well as advanced technology involved in making CBD oil, commercially available products can be expensive.
And you know what?
You can easily make CBD oil at home if you want to save money.
While it won’t be crafted with the same precision as professionally extracted CBD oils, a homemade batch of sublingual drops is still safer than some of the untested and mislabeled products sold in vape stores and head shops.
If you’re looking to make CBD oil at home, you’ll need just two ingredients: high-CBD hemp flower and a carrier oil such as MCT oil, hemp seed oil, or olive oil. Alternatively, you can use alcohol as the solvent, which we’ll also cover in the article.
The Benefits of Making CBD Oil at Home
People take CBD in various forms, but oil is one of the staple products. People usually buy their CBD oil online or in dispensaries, but ultimately it depends on where you live. Some states will spoil you with choice, whereas others will offer limited options. That’s why we always recommend getting your CBD from a trustworthy online retailer.
More to the point, those with far fewer options may want to consider making their CBD oil at home to save time on browsing hundreds of products and comparing different brands. If you have the know-how, what can go wrong?
Not only that, but you’ll also save money on your monthly supplementation. High-quality CBD oils can be expensive, especially when coming from reputable brands.
If these two aspects are your priorities, then making CBD oil at home is a viable option.
Let’s take a look at these few simple ingredients that can yield great CBD oil straightaway.
What You’ll Need to Make CBD Oil at Home
First, you need to consider your extraction method and check if you can get some quality hemp flowers somewhere near you. If not, look for high-CBD strains online; there’s a lot of great companies shipping their flowers to all 50 states.
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at how to pick the right strain for making CBD oil at home.
Strain Selection: Selecting a High-CBD Strain
CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana.
While all hemp strains grown for CBD oils contain higher than average CBD levels, this isn’t the case for marijuana plants.
Marijuana is typically higher in THC, but you can find some high-CBD hybrid strains obtained through selective breeding. If you can find these somewhere near you — provided that you live in a place where marijuana is legal — making CBD oil at home from this type of cannabis is fine.
If you want a product that’s legal in all 50 states, we recommend that you look for high-CBD hemp flower online.
Decarboxylation: Activating the CBD
If you want to make CBD oil, you need to make sure that the CBD has been converted from its inactive precursor CBDA. CBDA is an acid that has many health benefits of its own, but it doesn’t have the properties of CBD.
Yes, you’ve read that correctly. There’s no CBD in raw, unprocessed hemp plants. If you want to extract CBD from hemp, you need to activate it through heat before combining the plant material with the solvent of your choice.
You can activate CBD through other means of heating. The most common decarboxylation method for making CBD oil at home is the oven method. Some people use a slow cooker, which is another inexpensive way to activate CBD. However, these methods are also imprecise and may not activate your cannabinoids efficiently.
If you want to perform decarboxylation properly, you’ll need a decarboxylator, also known as a precision cooker. This device can maintain optimal temperatures needed for the full activation of CBD and trace cannabinoids without destroying terpenes. Using a professional decarboxylator is a worthwhile investment for anyone who makes CBD oil at home regularly and is looking for a consistently good product.
What Alcohol / Carrier Oil Are You Going to Use?
If you’re ready to make CBD oil at home for the first time, you’ll first have to decide which method you want to use. Amateurs have two options to choose from: food-safe alcohol or carrier oil.
Alcohol extraction requires you to soak the hemp plant in alcohol until it strips all the beneficial compounds from it. The process also requires patience because the extract gains potency over time. The longer you let the product sit, the stronger it will get. This is how cannabis tinctures are made.
The second method involves using natural plant oils as carriers due to CBD’s fat-solubility. It’s a gentle process for which you can use hemp seed, olive, and coconut oils.
There’s also a third extraction method. However, this one is reserved for professionals, as it involves the use of pressurized CO2. This method requires a lot of space, extremely expensive equipment, and scientific knowledge to perform properly. It’s by far the best method to produce CBD oils, but since it can’t be performed under home conditions, let’s stick to the first two.
Extraction Methods: Different Ways of Making CBD Oil at Home
In this section, we’ll focus on making CBD oil at home using the two methods discussed above.
1. Make CBD Oil Using Alcohol
- 30 grams of ground hemp flower
- High-proof, food-grade alcohol
- Mixing bowl
- Parchment paper
- Baking tray
- Catchment container
- Double boiler
- Wooden spoon
- Plastic syringe
- Fine strainer
- Decarboxylate your plant matter by grinding it up to an even consistency and placing it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Place your hemp flower in a preheated oven at 225 F (110 C) and let it bake for one hour.
- Place your decarboxylated flower in the mixing bowl and submerge it completely in the alcohol. Use the wooden spoon to stir the decarbed buds for up to 10 minutes. During this time, the alcohol will extract the desired compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes. Stirring the mixture speeds up the process by shaking off the trichomes that produce these compounds.
- Separate the CBD-infused extract from the plant matter. Strain your liquid through a piece of cheesecloth into a collecting container below. You’ll notice that the solution has a dark green color. Repeat this process until your extract becomes more clear.
- Set up a double boiler. Pour the alcohol tincture into the top of the boiler and apply steady heat. High-proof alcohol is highly volatile and will evaporate at low temperatures. If necessary, turn the heat on and off. Make sure that you have a decent ventilation system, and if not, perform this extraction outdoors. The vapor from alcohol is highly flammable and poses a risk of explosion.
- Once all the alcohol has evaporated, the extract will have a viscous, tar-like consistency. You can draw it up into a large syringe while it’s still warm or keep it in a bottle with a glass dropper.
2. Make CBD Oil Using a Carrier Oil
- 30 grams of high-CBD hemp flower
- 450-500 ml carrier oil (hemp seed and coconut are the best)
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- Herb grinder
- Double boiler
- Glass jar with lid
- Decarboxylate the hemp flower using the same method as in the recipe above.
- Now it’s time to combine the flowers and oil to start the extraction process. Place the two ingredients in the double boiler, feeling the bottom container with some water, and bring it to a light simmer. It’s important to ensure that it’s not a rolling boil because if you get the mixture past 150 C, the majority of terpenes will evaporate. The simmering process takes up to 3 hours, with the end product looking slightly darker than the unprocessed oil.
- Carefully remove the top of the boiler. Take your jar, place the cheesecloth over the top, and pour your mixture into the container. Make sure you have strained as much oil as possible from the hemp plant, then dispose of the flower.
- Seal the container and store it in a cool, dry place. You can use it as is or add it as an ingredient in your food recipes.
Tips for Making CBD Oil at Home
- Choose high-CBD flower
- Use high-quality, healthy carrier fat
- Be precise
- Store your CBD oil as you would any other herb-infused oil
- Try adding natural flavorings to the oil to improve its flavor.
Advantages of Professional CBD Oil Extraction
Now that you know how to make DIY CBD oil at home, you’re probably wondering how it turns out when compared with professionally manufactured oils — those obtained through CO2 extraction.
As written earlier, CO2 extraction is the golden standard in the industry. This method yields safe, top-shelf products, but it requires an expensive triple-chamber machine, large amounts of flower, and an experienced professional to oversee the process. Using CO2 extraction guarantees pure and more potent products than any homemade method. If you’re looking for a superior product, CO2-extracted CBD oil is your best bet.
Final Thoughts on Making CBD Oil at Home
Making your own bottle of CBD oil at home is a good option to kickstart your CBD routine if you want to save time and money. In the meantime, you can do your research on the CBD market and compare different brands online to get a decent deal on quality products. Many premium companies offer reward programs, discounts, and bulk pricing on their CBD oils. But as you do your research, you will already have a bottle of safely made CBD oil to test your body’s response to this compound.
Still, we recommend you purchase a professionally extracted CBD oil if you attempt to ease a specific condition. Commercial products are not only precisely crafted but they will also have the exact ingredients and potencies listed on the bottle.
Have you tried to make CBD oil at home? Let us know in the comments!
Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.
Hi Jim, First Run Complete. Thanks for your Help. The quality of the CO2 oil far exceeded my expectations. Brad, Ontario.
Hi Jim, things are great! The machine is performing great and we would be glad to recommend your machine. Florida is cultivating and we may be getting contracts to process for farmers. Your machine started it all. Tina, FL
I purchased the 16oz. Disruptor a few weeks ago. From the first phone inquiry to present I have been treated with a degree of respect and professionalism that is hard to find these days. The International purchase was made as easy as possible, unit arriving complete and in good condition. The operators manual is thorough. System design and quality are best. I work in a field dealing with process control and the standard to which I compare is industrial/medical etc. After you have done a few processes you will really appreciate the ease and simplicity of the Medextractor system. Al Block is a wealth of information (have pen and pad ready) and seems to be always available for questions. With his tips and reminders I was off to a running start. Congratulations to Medextractor for developing this amazing product for a reasonable cost. I have found it to meet all the quality and production claims and have received five star customer service.” D.C. San Diego
“Hi Jim, just wanted to let you know the MedXtractor D-16 is doing beautifully! We’re so pleased! Hope to do business together again soon!”
Tina and Daniel, Florida
“A few months ago I purchased the MedXtractor Disruptor 16 and I wanted to let you know that I am very happy with my purchase, it was an excellent investment.
The Disruptor 16 works great, silent, and produces an excellent extract. The shipment arrived after a few days of purchase, and everything was in the box as described. Best of all, the customer support is quick and reliable, the information provided was accurate and helpful, all my questions were answered in a timely manner.
Thank you Jim, I am looking forward to a long term business relationship with you and MedXtractor. “AA
“Good afternoon Jim. Let me tell ya you have two very excited guys up here. Last nights run went off without a hitch. Things are coming together nicely.” GH
“Hello Jim! Just a quick note to let you know how we are doing. We are achieving as high as 16 gms. Needless to say I am quite happy with that!
– Robert M (2oz extractor)”
“The dabs were fantastic, the flavor was very prominent, the effects were fantastic and came up slowly and faded slowly as well. I’m quite impressed with it! Thanks. Mona”
“It should not be understated!…this extractor WILL make a silk purse from a sow’s ear, remember this today at the show. Feel free to give my # if you have a serious customer that wants some testimony! Get pumped Jim…you have a great system!”
”Wow Jim. I’m so very happy. Finished the extraction late last night and I’m just trying it now. Very nice. I also did another extraction today. I wanted to see how much less of a yield I’d get if I didn’t decarboxylate the material first… definitely enjoy the terpene tastes I got from the second extraction more, but the decarboxylated version is pretty good as well.”
“There was a comment made in a review about “Making a silk purse from a sow’s ear”. Totally accurate assessment! First and foremost, you need to understand Co2 extraction. This is not Butane or other methods. This is a high pressure Co2 extract system. Truly as good as it gets. No Hydrocarbons etc. You will be producing the same product as the $100,000 plus co2 machines. Medical grade extract is produced. The Medxtractor method is incredibly economical when compared to other personal extract systems. The 2oz size is perfect for one or two people. When using this system the waste is minimal in all aspects. This goes for the raw material as well as the Co2. If you are familiar with extraction, you rarely get 60% of the essential oils out. While true this must be factored with; you use nearly 100% of your raw material. This changes the yield significantly. It also decreases handling during raw material picking and curing. The end product is always the same, just pure 100% extract. Instead of “garbage in garbage out” you will have varying amounts of extract based on the quality of the raw and your personal process capability. Depending on how good you get at it, more is always going to be there. This is with 2oz of pretty “sows ear” raw. This is not an “anybody can do it” “Turnkey” operation without forethought. I recommend watching all the videos. You will need to be comfortable with your expectations, theory of Co2 extraction, equipment and process. Our first try was spent tweaking the equipment, learning the process and testing. A few calls to Medxtractor and reading. We tightened any leaking fittings learned how to use timers, received a crash course in thermal dynamics etc. Even with that, on the first try the extractor produced 3ml of thinned extract that function perfectly. It indeed met ALL expectations. This will be much better than what you may have purchased that has been mass produced. Think of it as a “Craft” as opposed to “National Brewery”. Used with a neutral terpene thinner, it is nearly tasteless, odorless and 100% chemical free. On a final note, after my long career of customer service, I can say this company stands firmly behind their product. The most important part of this endeavor for me was the involvement of the company. A phone call away (at sometimes bizarre hours) if I didn’t receive an immediate answer, I received a rapid call back or email. Medxtractor displayed a willingness to walk you through it. Parts replacement and, general help were always right there. While learning how to do this I never felt I picked the wrong company. Super Job! Great price for what you can do.”