Your concise guide to CO2 extraction, the most detailed introduction

In an industry that has been described as similar to the "Wild West" due to the lack of regulation, it pays to learn and understand as much about cannabis as possible. One of the most important considerations when looking for a cannabis brand is the extraction method it uses.

Companies with dubious reputations are likely to cut corners and utilize chemical solvents such as lighter fluid (butane) and n-hexane. In addition to cheating customers out of valuable terpenes, chemical solvent extracts can result in harmful residues in the product. Do you feel comfortable ingesting more chemicals?

If the answer is "no", you need to buy CBD and THC from brands that only use CO2 extraction! This process kills harmful bacteria and ensures that more terpenes and cannabinoids end up in the CBD product.

This process is becoming a popular one and the science backs it up. a study by Jin et al. published in the March 2010 issue of Natural Products Letters looked at supercritical CO2 extraction of a Japanese cypress tree. The research team was able to determine the essential oil composition of the leaves and trunk of the tree.
What is carbon dioxide extraction?

Carbon dioxide extraction uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract as much of the desired cannabinoids from the cannabis or hemp plant as possible. It involves taking out the basic waxes, cannabinoids and terpenes of the plant. In the end, CO2 oil is a healthy looking amber oil that you can use as a tincture or vaporize.

Manufacturers use CO2 because it is a versatile, "tunable" solvent. It acts as a solvent within a specific temperature and pressure range. However, it has none of the hazards associated with solvents. As a result, consumers benefit from a quality, clean oil without toxic by-products.

Did you know that CO2 extraction is the standard extraction method for the herbal supplement and food industries? For example, if you drink decaffeinated coffee, you are already using a product that relies on carbon dioxide extraction to remove caffeine from the coffee beans. In addition, this gas is also used as an extraction solvent in the production of essential oils.

These companies realize that the traditional process of extracting different ingredients from food has limitations regarding waste, flammability and solvent toxicity. Prior to the use of supercritical CO2 extraction, brands relied on solvents such as ethyl acetate, methylene chloride, and trichloroethane for decaffeination!
What is supercritical CO2 extraction?

While there are other methods, supercritical CO2 extraction is widely considered to be the gold standard in the industry. CO2 has the most reliable connection to the process, which is supercritical fluid extraction. It is a process that uses a supercritical fluid to separate one component from another. Carbon dioxide is the most common fluid used in this process, although it is occasionally altered by co-solvents such as methanol or ethanol.

Scientists know that carbon dioxide is presented as a gas at standard pressure and temperature. Supercritical carbon dioxide, on the other hand, is a fluid state of the gas that occurs above its critical pressure and temperature.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to Supercritical CO2 Extraction Machine

The extractor takes the CO2 in gaseous form and passes it through a chamber. At this stage, it is subjected to high pressures and temperatures down to -70 degrees Fahrenheit.
The gas becomes a liquid.
It is in this state that carbon dioxide, once reheated and pressurized, exhibits its unique properties. A supercritical fluid has properties that lie somewhere between those of a gas and a liquid. For example, it maintains the density of a liquid while filling space like a gas.
The special fluid passes through a chamber containing the raw material of cannabis or hemp.
The fluid passes through the raw material and dissolves the membrane of the trichomes. As a result, the process captures a significant percentage of the active compounds.

According to the February 2010 edition of Chemical Engineering, the critical temperature of carbon dioxide is about 89.78 degrees Fahrenheit. Its critical pressure is 73.8 bar, equivalent to 7.38 million pascals, or 1,070 pounds per square inch.

A study by Peach and Eastoe, published in August 2014 in the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry, discussed supercritical carbon dioxide, describing it as "a solvent with a difference." The study explores how supercritical carbon dioxide is an important aspect of the green chemistry movement.

In case you're wondering, there's also subcritical CO2 extraction. It is not as common a method as its supercritical cousin, mainly because it takes more time and produces less material. Subcritical is a similar process to supercritical, except that it requires lower pressure and lower temperature.

Although it is a longer and less efficient process, it provides a high quality product because it retains terpenes, cannabinoids, and essential oils.