ROI of Hemp: How Much CBD Is In Hemp Oil?
If you’re looking to begin growing hemp for the purpose of extracting CBD oil, you likely are wondering what the ROI of a single hemp plant is. As you’re starting a business, you need to understand the financial side of your operation in addition to the technical side.
One of the main questions asked is how much CBD oil can be extracted from a single hemp plant, as well as how much CBD oil can be produced from one acre of hemp plants?
The answer is more complex than you might expect, when you take into account the differences between the quality of your plant, what end product you’re looking to achieve, and your method of extraction. Whichever CBD extraction process you choose will impact how much CBD can be extracted from your hemp.
How Much CBD Oil Can Be Extracted from a Hemp Plant?
Answer: On average, one hemp plant can produce approximately one pound of CBD oil.
This pound is in the form of crude oil, which can be used on its own or further distilled into a more refined end product. If you have an acre of hemp plants, you could yield up to 1,500 pounds of flower and extract approximately 200lbs of crude CBD oil worth about $300 per kilo, earning you about $27,300 per acre based on current Summer 2020 market pricing.
Amount of End Product
The amount of CBD oil you extract decreases if you’re looking to produce a more refined end product, like CBD isolate (approx. yield 140lbs per acre) or broad-spectrum CBD distillate (approx. yield 160lbs per acre). If you’re just looking to extract crude oil, you’ll extract a larger volume of oil than if you refine it down further.
Amount Per Acre
If you’re harvesting hemp plants for the purposes of extracting CBD oil, you will need to grow only female plants, which are the ones that flower. The flower (or bud) of the hemp plant contains the trichomes with the highest amount of CBD, making it the best and easiest way to extract CBD oil from the plant. On average, you can grow about 1,500 hemp plants per acre if you’re growing for CBD oil.
Factors that Impact CBD Amount
Of course, these total numbers are just estimates. There are a variety of factors that can impact how much CBD could be extracted from a single hemp plant.
Some of these factors include:
- Quality of plant (genetic potential, length of cultivation cycle)
- Method of extraction (ethanol, carbon dioxide, or hydrocarbon)
- Efficiency of operations (impacted by the skill level of your technicians, familiarity with the equipment, etc.)
As your business grows and becomes more efficient, you’ll likely be able to increase your production and productivity, as you become more familiar with the machines.
Industrial Hemp vs. Hemp for CBD Oil
Hemp plants grown to harvest CBD require different planting techniques than hemp plants that are grown for more industrial or manufacturing purposes.
With hemp grown for industrial purposes, you can grow many more plants per acre—around 400,000 plants. These plants can be male varieties since you don’t need the flower to harvest CBD, and the plants grow much taller, allowing for more volume per acre. Hemp plants grown for the purpose of extracting CBD oil require more space, so you can grow fewer plants per acre.
Precision Equipment for CBD Extraction
Precision Extraction offers high-volume, high-quality ethanol extraction equipment optimized for hemp extraction.
How to Make CBD Oil
Posted: May 12, 2020 · Updated: May 12, 2020 by Jenny McGruther · This site earns income from ads, affiliate links, and sponsorships.
Many people use CBD oil to reduce inflammation, soothe pain, or improve their body’s response to stress. And it’s super easy to make at home, too. Plus you can use healthy fats and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting into your bottle, avoiding the refined oils and additives that commercial producers sometimes add.
If you’re looking to make CBD oil, you’ll need just two ingredients: hemp and a carrier oil like olive oil. The result is a vibrantly herbaceous infused oil with soothing anti-inflammatory properties.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a non-intoxicating herbal remedy made from hemp flower, another is cannabis honey. It is rich in cannabidiol, a type of compound found in cannabis that has strong anti-inflammatory properties. One of CBD’s benefits is that it conveys the beneficial properties of cannabis without the high since it contains little to no THC.
Many people take CBD to help combat inflammation, anxiety, or restless sleep. Some research suggests it helps protect and support nervous system health (1) and may reduce pain (2), while other research suggests it supports gut health and proper immune system function (3).
To make CBD oil at home, you’ll need to follow a simple two-step process: decarboxylation and infusion. While it sounds complex, decarboxylation is a simple process of precision heating that activates beneficial compounds in cannabis. The second step, infusion, releases those compounds into a carrier oil. Infused oils are easy to take, and oil makes these compounds easier for your body to absorb, too.
Activating the CBD
In order to make CBD oil, you need to extract cannabidiol from hemp first. Further, you need to activate through a process called decarboxylation. The compounds in cannabis plants aren’t active or bioavailable on their own; rather, they’re activated through heat which is why the plant is traditionally smoked.
Rather than smoking, you can activate these compounds through other means of heating. Some people bake hemp flowers in a slow oven for about an hour or use a slow cooker. These methods are inexpensive, but they’re also imprecise and may not activate all the CBD.
To activate CBD efficiently and to get the most from your plant material, you’ll need a precision cooker (also known as a decarboxylator) that can maintain the exact temperatures needed for the full activation of CBD and other cannabinoids. With precision heating, decarboxylators extract a higher percentage of beneficial plant compounds than cruder methods and are a worthwhile investment for anyone who takes CBD oil regularly or wants to make a consistently good product.
Where to Find a Decarboxylator. Commercial CBD oil producers use huge decarboxylators capable of activating the cannabinoids in several pounds of cannabis; however, if you’re making it at home, you’ll need a smaller version.
We used the Ardent Flex for making this CBD oil. With multiple settings, you can use it to activate CBD as well as similar compounds. And, you can also use it to make herbal infusions. Save $30 with code NOURISHED.
What you’ll need to make CBD oil
To make CBD oil you only need two primary ingredients: hemp and a carrier oil. Hemp flowers that are high in CBD will yield the best results, and if you can’t find them locally, you can order them online. After decarboxylating the hemp flowers, you can then use them to make a CBD-infused oil.
High-CBD hemp flower
Depending on their strain, cannabis may contain large or relatively low amounts of CBD. When you make CBD oil, choose a strain with a high CBD content so that you can extract the most beneficial compounds into your homemade oil.
Where to Find High-CBD hemp flower. Since hemp flower is non-intoxicating with negligible to no-detectable THC content, it is legal on a federal level. You may be able to find it locally; however, your best bet is to purchase it online from Botany Farms.
Finding the right carrier oil
A carrier oil is an oil that you use for herbal infusions. Coconut oil and MCT oil (which is derived from coconut) are popular carrier oils both in commercial and homemade CBD products. Avoid highly refined, inflammatory oils such as vegetable oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil, and corn oil.
How to space your hemp plants for maximum yield.
Spacing is an important factor to consider before your season starts, as it will determine how many plants are needed of each variety. When you are growing hemp for CBD extraction or smokable flower, you want to grow the plants in rows much like tobacco or Christmas trees. This is much different than food and fiber industrial hemp which is grown like a grain with very close plant spacing and harvested mechanically.
The number of plants you order depends on both row spacing and inter-plant spacing. While you might be tempted to crowd as many plants into the field as possible, there are many considerations in determining how best to lay out your fields.
More space between the plants allows for maximum sun exposure and optimal wind flow. Sunlight and airflow help prevent disease. For optimal flower production, you want direct sunlight to hit as much of the plant as possible. Whether that means plants are more widely spaced to allow the entire mound to get sunlight or the plants are more closely spaced to force the plants to grow together and maximize the sunlight hitting the “blanket” of foliage, different varieties react differently to the range of possible layouts. The more distance you have between rows also allows for easier access to the plants to scout for weeds, pests, and problems and possibly even allows for ATV travel through the field,
One common practice is to allow 6 feet between rows and 4 feet between plants. This can allow row and plant access all season, balanced against plant to plant coverage of the field. Plants that can tolerate closer spacing include smaller varieties, faster finish(early-flowering) varieties, any late season planting and auto-flower types. Auto-flower is very new to commercial cannabis and even newer to industrial hemp. Make sure you ask your breeder for proper spacing on any auto-flower plants you purchase.
Remember that there is no single way to grow hemp that works in every situation. Testing out multiple layout designs with plants spaced further apart or more closely together can help you determine what works best for your cultivation systems. Consider the costs and benefits of a denser planting approach versus a more widely spaced approach in terms of weed-prevention, stability and resistance to wind, etc and make certain that you learn what works for you during the season.
Planting strategy also depends on when during the season you’re planting. Planting earlier in the season (May) allows fewer plants to grow larger and produce a potentially-larger yield. However early planting can put the plants at greater risk of adverse weather, pest and disease pressure. Planting later in the season(mid-June to Mid-July) with less time for vegetative growth means that the option to space the plants more closely together to get the same quantity of flower/biomass. Later planting also reduced risk of damage by early summer storms and reduced the overall crop time so that there are simply fewer opportunities for things to go wrong. The total yield is dependent on multiple factors, but the total yield per acre is still close to 2,000 lbs at 4 foot, 5 foot, 6 foot, and 4 by 6 foot.
For example: a field that was planted late in Colorado with 4 foot by 6 foot spacing. The plants were 5 weeks from harvest which filled in most of the row space, the plants peaked over 4 feet tall, and still left enough of an aisle to get an ATV down.
Closer Spacing (4-5ft)
Wider Spacing (5-6ft)
- Small or fast finish varieties
- Auto- flowering Varieties
- Planting mid-to-late season
- Higher cost (plants, irrigation, labor)
- Tight or no plant access in rows
- Often increases total yield
- Reduced exposure to extreme weather
- Big or late finish varieties
- Planting on time or early
- Less cost (plants, irrigation, labor)
- Open access to plants in rows
- More weeds and access by wildlife
- More exposure to extreme spring weather like hail and strong wind
In our examples below, we use a perfect square to make it easier to understand the spacing and numbers. The acre plot example is 210ft by 210ft and all rows, plants, and mulch are to scale. The plants are laid out in a staggered format in the row to allow for maximum spread of every plant within its row. In the 4 feet infographic below, the center of one row to the center of another is 4ft and the center of one plant to another is 4 foot running down the row. The black rows are 2 feet across, which is common for what a raised bed mulch application would be. You could do a wider spread mulch at 5 and 6 feet row spacing but 2 feet is feasible, common, and cheaper. It also helps keep all these numbers easy to compare.