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How is CBD Oil Made? What is C02 Extraction?

Small pug mixed dog with glasses on sitting at a laptop

With CBD oil gaining popularity among pet parents today, there are many questions regarding the CBD extraction process. Which CBD extraction method is the best? Today, CBD pet products are being merchandised and labeled according to how their CBD concentrates are extracted.

That said, the method of extraction will demonstrate whether solvents were used, and if so, which ones? This is probably one of the most important considerations to take into account when purchasing any CBD pet product for your furry best friend!

Health-conscious pet parents should ensure that the extraction method used in their CBD pet product leaves no trace toxins behind!

So how do you find out more about your pet’s CBD oil?

What is CBD Oil?

Black spotted dog standing at a fence looking at the camera

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. It is a 21-carbon terpenophenolic compound which is formed following decarboxylation from a cannabidiolic acid precursor, although it can also be produced synthetically,” via The World Health Organization (WHO)

With no “high effect” that results from regular marijuana use, CBD oil has been found to be beneficial for numerous health conditions and ailments to both pets and humans. Research has demonstrated that there is no dependency potential whatsoever!

That said, here’s what the World Health Organization adds!

“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD” via Harvard Health Blog.

Keep in mind that although there are almost no side-effects with a high-quality, CO2 extracted CBD oil, there are many side effects from a low- quality CBD oil, resulting from contaminants and THC high brands.

So not all CBD oils for pets are of the same quality, and that’s why it’s so important to know everything there is to know about your CBD pet product! This is definitely not a pet product that you want to get a deal on!

Natural Doggie NON GMO All-Organic CBD Oil for dogs

Natural Doggie NON GMO All-Organic CBD Oil for dogs


Buying only the highest-quality CBD oil from a reputable CBD pet brand almost guarantees safety. Opting for veterinary-approved CBD pet product ensures the following:

  • You’ll get analytical testing of the final CBD product after the extraction process by certified third-party labs. (very important)
  • You won’t get swayed by awesome marketing strategies (yes, it happens all the time!)
  • You’ll know the exact cannabinoid potency per mg. (ask your veterinarian for the correct dosing for your dog. Discuss CBD product potency and dosage instructions)
  • You’ll have minimal side-effects from a higher-quality CBD oil made and sourced in the USA or Canada.
  • Explore the brand’s customer service, return policy, and educational marketing methods about their CBD products
  • Look for CBD pet product recalls on the FDA website, and read through Amazon customer reviews.

What is C02 and what is C02 extraction?

smal white and brown terrier playing with a purple ring toy

This seems really complicated, yet it’s a process that any pet parent can understand if explained in layman’s terms! There are a few ways that CBD can get extracted, but the most popular and healthiest way for the purest CBD oil is CO2 extraction.

CBD extraction allows for the compound to be extracted in a concentrated form that is safe with minimal damage and minimal contaminants. That said, contaminants from other forms of extraction may include the following:

  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Molds

What are Trichomes and Terpenes?

Cannabinoids and terpenes come from small resin glands in the marijuana plant called trichomes. These are close to microscopic, and look like mushrooms found on the stalk, fan leaves, and bud surfaces. Trichomes are mostly made from the stalk and head with cannabinoids like THC being made in the head of the plant.


Lab Puppy exploring at the beach on a sunny day

This process removes most of the oils which are lipids, fatty acids, and waxes from the plant. Winterization is an optional step that some manufacturers will use. Keep in mind that not all CBD manufacturers do this though! After the CBD CO2 extraction process, manufacturers are left with a thick, gunky oil concentrate that contains healthy phytonutrients from the hemp plant. (full-spectrum hemp oil) This can be processed again through winterization for more purification. Here are the steps:

  • Hemp oil is soaked in alcohol and then frozen. This separates the waxes and terpenes from the oil resulting in a smooth, syrupy colored oil that is free of contaminants, and that is of a higher –quality.
  • Hemp oil is then made into a CBD isolate which is the purest form of CBD with no contaminants and no THC.

Short-Path Distillation

This process involves large quantities of different strains through a continuous feed. This results in better flavors and consistency. By employing high evaporation rates, more distillates can be drawn. It also separates CBD into those batches of higher THC concentrations and CBD distillates.

Subcritical CO2 Extraction Process

Collie walking with a pack in the fall woods

The Supercritical CO2 extraction process is as follows:

CO2 is converted into a liquid when it nears-69 degrees Fahrenheit with a pressure of 75 pounds per square inch. During the extraction process, CO2 temperature and pressure are increased to where it is both a gas and a liquid. In this form, CO2 is used to extract CBD from the hemp plant. At this stage, both trichomes and terpene oil extracted. After the extractor is used, a separator then passes through the solution and separates the parts. Trichome and terpene oils end up in a collection container, with the CO2 being condensed back into a liquid.

The subcritical CO2 extraction process keeps the terpenes, essential oils, and most importantly does not extract chlorophyll or Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s. Subcritical extraction is good in that it does not damage the terpenes.

Many CBD manufacturers will use a combination of both subcritical and supercritical extraction to get a full-spectrum CBD oil. This is the best CBD oil you can get, and has almost no contaminants, and also has minimal THC.

Subcritical extraction is used to draw out CBD oil, with the manufacturer then also using the supercritical pressure to draw out the plant material. This combined extraction method is used in the same plant. Here’s what you get:

  • Safety with almost no contaminants, and is FDA approved.
  • High-quality CBD oil
  • Effective CBD pet products that are free of chlorophyll (nasty tasting)
  • Made in the USA or Canada
  • May be more expensive but is definitely worth the cost.
  • Can change from fluid to critical state without going over 90 degrees.
  • Allows for many biomolecule extractions.

Some other methods for CBD extraction will include the olive oil extraction method, dry ice and solvent extraction method.

What is Canine Anxiety?

Brown and black beagle prancing with a rope toy in the yard

Anxiety in dogs is the anticipation of danger that is accompanied by tension. Dogs that are anxious will pace, have tense muscles, be extra vigilant, and will have increased movement. Numerous health problems in dogs stem from behavioral problems. That said, it’s important that pet parents understand why their dogs are anxious and take the necessary steps to ease canine anxiety.

What Causes Stress in Dogs?

With so many environmental factors coming into play, there are numerous things that can make your dog fearful. It’s important that dog parents be observant and watch their dogs closely in certain situations.

  • Going to the veterinarian
  • Being left alone at home
  • Loss of a canine companion
  • Separation from the family
  • Introduction of a new animal
  • Moving house
  • Children returning to school on Monday or after holidays

What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs?

Benefits of CBD oil for dogs

There are many studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD oil in treating anxious dogs. Today, the popularity of CBD oil for pets continues to grow. CBD oil in pet products contains less than 0.3 % THC, which is the psychoactive component, so dogs don’t get a “high” after consuming it. It is also derived from hemp.

CBD acts on the endocannabinoid receptors and affects the receptors by regulating neural transmissions. CBD oil for dogs is helpful in the treatment of numerous conditions without taking on the intoxicating effect of marijuana. Combining  canine massage and CBD oil to relieve stress may be beneficial to dogs.

We want the best for our dogs, so let’s take an in-depth look at the benefits of CBD oil for dogs.

High-quality CBD products for dogs like Natural Doggie may be used safely when under the guidance of a CBD-trained veterinarian. Prior to purchasing any CBD products for your dogs make sure that you know all there is to know about the product, most importantly dosage instructions.

That said, the potency of CBD oils both in capsule form and in dropper containers is much stronger. These are sometimes more difficult to administer to dogs, most especially if they’re stressed. Dogs that don’t take easily to having CBD oils administered, should opt for CBD dog treats instead.

A few product lines contain phyto-cannabinoids, terpenes and fatty acids which support a huge range of ailments like phobias, anxiousness joint pain, inflammation, digestive issues, mobility, seizures, and anxiety.

According to Veterinary Medicine DMV, 360, “Dogs with conditions such as epileptic seizures, anxiety, acute pain, poor appetite, and nausea could also experience benefits from cannabinoid-infused treats. Preliminary results from an in vitro study looking at the cancer-killing ability of CBD in four different canine cell lines were also recently released.2 In addition, preliminary data from Dr. Stephanie McGrawth’s lab at Colorado State University reportedly showed 89% of canines that received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduced frequency of seizures compared to 43% in the control group. While we don’t have studies for specific conditions other than OA in dogs published so far for companion animals, we do have numerous studies in lab animal models and humans on the efficacy of cannabis products for several conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, in appetence and nausea.”

CBD for Joint Pain and Inflammation

Golden retriever laying in a patch of green grass

With senior dogs, mobility may affect them making it harder for them to participate in dog sports like agility, running on the beach, and even going for a short walk. That said, you may consider consulting with your veterinarian as to the best CBD oil to help with joint issues in your dog. Veterinarians will need to reduce stress and provide all-round care for an effective pain treatment regime. That said, it’s important to always discuss with your veterinarian alternate methods of pain treatment, since traditional methods like opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs), corticosteroids and other drugs may be prescribed as the first option for pain management. With both acute and chronic pain, a combination of drug and nondrug methods may be effective in treating pain.

Hemp CBD may help with the following conditions:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Canine depression
  • Separation anxiety
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Seizures
  • Allergies
  • Lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation

CBD Oil Benefits for Pain, Joint Issues, Arthritis and Other Health Problems in Dogs

Siberian Husky with a red collar standing at attention in a fall field
  • Pain reliever
  • May help with canine depression resulting from pain
  • May provide relief from cancer side effects like chemotherapy and radiation
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat by preventing sebaceous gland cells from secreting too much sebum
  • May provide benefits to dogs with neurological disorders
  • Helps decrease inflammation in dogs
  • May help prevent cognitive decline
  • May be beneficial for cardiac health
  • CBD may be beneficial in preventing tumor growth
  • CBD helps with diabetes prevention by reducing diabetes up to 56% and reducing associated inflammation in diabetic dogs.
  • Digestive issues
  • Blood disorders
  • Fights off free radicals, and may prevent the development of cancer

Small Terrier running through the snow towards the camera

There still needs to be more research done on the benefits of CBD as an effective treatment for the above-mentioned health conditions. Dogs suffering from anxiety or pain issues due to joint problems may benefit from CBD pet products. Here’s what you should opt for when purchasing a CBD product for your dog if he’s in pain:

  • Ask for proper and accurate labeling and dosage instructions.
  • Look at each CBD product and research what each CBD product does and does not contain.
  • Find out where and how it was manufactured.
  • Look at the research and find out more about the potential therapeutic effects
  • Find out more about the risks with the specific CBD product by understanding the exact composition. Just because others are purchasing it, does not mean it’s right for your dog. Consult with your vet first!
  • Look for misleading labels.
  • Look out for harmful contaminants that may be potentially deadly. (Know what to look for)
  • Research the 3rd party labs associated with your CBD product.
  • Make sure that CBD dog products are used responsibly
  • Consult with your veterinarian, and always take your dog in for a consult before purchasing a CBD product online. This will help with all safety issues, and also get you the correct veterinary diagnosis and treatment.

With all the CBD dog products out there, including edibles, dosages will vary according to the brand’s potency. There are capsules, tinctures, treats, topical CBD ointments and more! Dogs will need different dosages depending on the product’s potency, the dog’s weight and medical condition. It’s important to discuss everything with your veterinarian first, prior to purchasing any CBD dog product.

Natural Doggie Hemp CBD Infused Virgin Coconut Oil

Natural Doggie Hemp CBD Infused Virgin Coconut Oil

From $49.99

Holistic Hound Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

Holistic Hound Full Spectrum Hemp Oil


Natural Doggie Hemp Infused Bacon and Cheese Baked Dog Treats

Natural Doggie Hemp Infused Bacon and Cheese Baked Dog Treats


Pet parents should not diagnose their pets themselves instead of taking their dogs to veterinarians. The huge demand for CBD pet products makes this all the more important because sometimes a combination of both traditional and holistic veterinary care works best! After all, your furry best friend does deserve an accurate diagnosis and treatment from a veterinarian!

That said, it’s very important to understand the extraction method used in your product to ensure safety, and to also ensure that you’re purchasing a high-quality CBD oil for your pooch. Full-spectrum CBD oils for pets are what you should always opt for, regardless of the price!

At the end of the day, it’s up to every pet parent to make a well-informed decision about the CBD pet products they want to purchase. CBD oil for pets may have an array of health benefits, but pet parents should be consulting their veterinarians first before making purchases.

For More SitStay Works Check Out

How is CBD oil made By: Claudia Bensimoun

Claudia Bensimoun
Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She's a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/ humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476
  2. https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf
  3. https://www.rxleaf.com/contaminated-cbd-oil-causes-increase-seizures/
  4. https://mhc.cpnp.org/doi/full/10.9740/mhc.2019.03.093
  5. https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/489287
  6. https://www.fda.gov
  7. https://www.who.int/features/qa/cannabidiol/en/
  8. https://www.marijuanabreak.com/cbd-cannabis-extraction
  9. https://www.cannabistech.com/articles/short-path-distillation-101/

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