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CBD’s Journey from Plant to Package
By Brandless

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As our customers become more familiar with how CBD can be used to support a healthy lifestyle, more questions get asked. And one of the things we’re realizing is that not everyone has a solid understanding of where CBD comes from. How does the compound transform from hemp plant to wellness product, and what are the processes it needs to go through to get there? Let’s find out.

Where Does CBD Come From?

CBD’s journey from plant to package can be distilled into three simple steps:

Step 1: Hemp is Planted and Harvested

The CBD in your favorite tinctures, lotions, and balms comes from the hemp plant. You’ve probably seen it before: it’s tall and thin with narrow, spiky leaves and looks similar to marijuana. Which brings us to our next point: the ongoing confusion between hemp and marijuana, and where CBD fits into it all. 

Both hemp and marijuana are common names to describe varieties of the cannabis plant. “Hemp” is the term most often given to the varieties that are grown and harvested for industrial uses and typically contain less than 0.3% THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol, the plant’s psychotoxic compound), while “Marijuana” is the term given to the those with greater levels of THC. Remember to research the CBD laws in your area to find out what products have been cleared for use.

Now, let’s take a quick look at how the plant is cultivated. Hemp can grow from seeds or clones (small cuttings from a previous hemp crop); it takes a particular type of soil, a certain amount of sun and water, and careful disease and pest control to ensure the plant thrives. Once the hemp has been harvested, it’s cured (usually by hanging it upside down to air dry for several weeks) before being processed.

Step 2: CBD is Extracted from Hemp

After the plants have been dried, it’s time to get the CBD oil out. There are a variety of methods used to extract CBD from hemp, and each has its own pros and cons. The method used, for example, is often responsible for the price of the product you’re purchasing — a more time consuming or elaborate process will result in a more expensive price tag. 

We prefer CBD extraction methods that have been conducted with both sustainability and wellness in mind. CO2 extraction — one of our personal favorites — is costly. But it’s also the most efficient and cleanest process, producing the highest concentration of CBD with little to no toxic residue. It’s important to look into what extraction method has been used to create your products, as it can tell you a lot about the quality. 

In addition to CBD, these methods extract a variety of other compounds (such as THC, terpenes, and phytonutrients) from hemp, resulting in what’s known as full-spectrum CBD. Sometimes, however, more pure forms of CBD (known as isolates) are preferred, which requires additional processing. 


Read more about the differences between full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate CBD.

Step 3: CBD is Incorporated into Your Wellness Products

Once CBD has been extracted, it can be incorporated into a number of different self-care products. It may be added to a carrier, like coconut oil, to create a tincture or combined with essential oils and natural butters to make CBD creams and lotions. It might even be filled into capsules or used in other ingestibles. After being thoroughly tested, these products then make their way into your homes — setting up camp everywhere, from the nightstand to the kitchen cupboard to the medicine cabinet — so that you can start to use them as part of your wellness routine.


There you have it. CBD’s journey from plant to package is really quite simple: hemp is planted, harvested, dried, and processed. Then CBD oil is extracted and added to tinctures, drops, balms, creams, lotions, bath bombs, and a bunch of other good stuff. Browse our curated collection of CBD products to find the one that’s right for you — you can trust that we’ve tracked our CBD’s journey from beginning to end to make sure you’re getting the very best.


Not intended as medical advice. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. If you have specific healthcare concerns or questions about the products discussed, please contact your licensed healthcare professional for advice.


Photos:  IRA_EVVA / Shutterstock, Andris Tkacenko / Shutterstock,  Matevz Kosterov / Shutterstock

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