Water Vapor Extraction for CBD: What it is & The Benefits

The water vapor extraction process is a simple method used to produce CBD oil. By utilizing the steam from boiling water, hemp compounds are volatilized, condensed, and then collected in a flask.

How Water Vapor Extraction Works


• The process requires the following equipment: a boiler, distillation tank, condenser, pipette, and collecting flask with an inlet and an outlet.

• The inlet of the glass flask should connect to a glass container, underneath the plant flask, which has boiling water. The outlet should connect to the condenser tube. It should roughly look like this.


• As the water boils, steam from the hemp plant will travel into the plant flask and separate oil vapors that contain CBD substance.

• Then, the tube captures those oil vapors which will cool and gradually condense into hydrosol and other volatile oils.

• The mixture of hydrosol and volatile oils captured in the tube need time to separate out into CBD oil and other oils. Because of their differing densities, the mixture will have distinct layers of water and oil (much like when salad dressing separates) on top, a pipette can be used to collect the oil.

Why It Is Important

• This process is simple, and it has been carried out to extract other essential oils for centuries.

• Water vapor extraction process can be performed in small scale production using basic chemistry equipment.

• Additionally, this method can produce CBD oil without terpenoids, flavonoids, and other contaminants, such as residual solvents and pesticides.

• Overall, it is generally safer than the solvent extraction process which uses alcohol or heat-sensitive oils.

Benefits of The Extraction Method

• Water vapor extraction is inexpensive because it requires chemistry equipment that is readily available and water.

• While other CBD oil  extraction methods require other separation steps, this method is both brief and straightforward.

Possible Harmful Effects

• CBD oil derived from this method may be less effective due to CBD oil’s sensitivity to high temperatures. 

• People who consume CBD oil produced from water vapor extraction may experience tiredness, decreased appetite, gastrointestinal problems, and altered liver enzymes. However, these side effects can vary from person to person and depends on the amount taken.

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