CBD Extraction Using CO2: How to Extract CBD?


CO2 is mainly a greenhouse gas produced by the air surrounding us. For CO2 to be a solvent, it needs to go under the subcritical or the supercritical phase. In the supercritical phase, CO2 is compressed and heated to make it into the fluid form. And, the lower heat and compression results in subcritical fluid extraction. The technology has been used for a while now; it’s used in coffee, vanilla, types of artisanal extracts, etc. The technology has been around like ten years when extraction of CBD started. Now, people have started looking at its extraction from the Cannabis plant. Here, we are looking after the complete guide to CBD extraction, implementing supercritical CO2.

What Is CO2 Extracted CBD Oil?

There are various primary ways to extract CBD oil, but CO2 extraction from the supercritical process remains the most effective method. It is a process of compressing CO2 gas to remove phytochemicals from the Cannabis plant resulting in CBD oil. During the extraction process, we remove Cannabinoids, waxes, and terpenes from the plant. CO2 is considered as the tunable solvent making a multitude of CBD products by managing heat and pressure.

Even though CBD comes from Marijuana, it does not create high tension of effects from intoxication. Side by side, the growing awareness of Marijuana has helped people to address potential benefits over CBD. The receptor receives the chemicals from the oil, assisting the cells in responding to certain stimuli.


Is CO2 Extracted CBD Oil Safe?

Long ago, we were unaware of the significant advantages of CBD extracted from CO2. Since it’s widely available in the atmosphere, it’s an excellent practice to use CO2 for the extraction of  CBD. Among accessible solvents available, CO2 is considered as the safest available material. The accident caused by CO2 is far more minimal to Butane and propane.

The CO2 extracted CBD is making wellness and healthy momentum. A study confirms it can be used to cure anxiety and chronic pain. There is a minor side effect of the product. Researchers have discovered that the extracted CO2 CBD oil does not allow alteration of THC. CBD then offers excellent therapeutic benefits.

How Is CBD Extracted From Hemp With CO2?

bioMDplus CO2 Extraction Diagram Infographic CBD Oil Processing

The CO2 extraction of CBD from hemp plant includes a supercritical extraction procedure. When the solvent is passed through the extractor, the CO2 breaks down along with the chemicals inside the assembly. In contrast, the fluid property allows them to disengage mixes productively. The specific procedure differs from one manufacturer to another; they either use fluid or the gas state of CO2. Now, with the assistance of some extra heat, CO2 operates as a dissolvable and isolates the chemicals inside the chamber. First, it is treated with a temperature of around -70 degrees Fahrenheit then is passed to another chamber, which liquefies with the trachoma membrane. When done, CO2 is separated from the natural mixes, and manufacturers are left with CBDl. The whole process takes quite a longer time than other extraction.

The whole procedure should be performed with care and safety measures. However, the accident caused by the CO2 method is not that devastating to Butane and Propane. The  method can be performed by any general person at home. Thus, it is by far the most productive strategy to extract CBD  from hemp using CO2.

Does CO2 Extraction Remove Pesticides?

The supercritical concentration of CO2 envies pesticides that are water solvent. CO2 extraction removes all of the pesticides in the plant and stores them directly into the extraction chamber. Since pesticides are the destructive element while extracting CBD oil, it needs to be removed. Likewise, the CO2 extraction method can be more potent than the BHO method with a more unique methodology. From a similar material, CO2 can deliver superior outcomes over any Hydrocarbon extraction.

Butane will break down pesticides only like CO2, yet it will disintegrate a marginally smaller scope of pesticides at slightly less productivity than CO2 extraction.

Is Ethanol or CO2 Extraction Better?

When the ethanol and CO2 extraction procedures are considered, both are effective in their own way. The method of ethanol has come a long way since it started in the 1970s serving industrial and medical markets.

The supercritical CO2 extraction technique has a brief history and is still considered as a primary method to extract CBD oil. Large commercials have started the mass production of CBD utilizing the supercritical extraction and are dominating the market.

The present status of the business is a decent marker of where Cannabis is going. Startups are suggested to go with ethanol extraction for cost-cutting, but various factors determine how to choose CO2 oil.

At last, it truly comes down to cost. The expense of passage ethanol is significantly less than CO2, and ethanol is the most reduced value technique regarding the cost section.  However, CO2 is an exceptionally tunable solvent. With CO2, you can change factors, such as time, temperature, and strain, to make various items. Ethanol items need to go into more phases of refinement and distillation to be transformed into different products. For large quantities, most people turn to ethanol because it is fast.


Is CO2 Extraction Better?

An established strategy for extracting different items, CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide in its fluid state to extricate the particular constituents from Cannabis. The protracted procedure of the extraction requires heat and compression. It requests a few bits of hardware and a sizable extraction unit that is somewhat costlier than Butane and ethanol extraction.

Be that as it may, the quality and impact of extracted CO2 items make up for the use with their productivity. The extraction strategy makes sure about the Cannabis and hemp flavor, making it more suitable than other extraction measures.

What Is The Difference Between CO2 And Butane Extraction?

There are several ways known to extract oil from Cannabis. Most of these methods, especially Butane, involve an accidental level of co2 extraction methods. The CO2 extraction method is discovered to be an alternative to dangerous methods that used temperature and pressure. The unintentional impact that CO2 extraction is negligible compared to Butane and ethanol extraction.

The BHO (Butane Hash Oil) extraction method used Butane as a solvent. Initially, the procedure involves the passing of the solvent through a chamber containing the raw cannabis material.. The solution dissolves with CBD, waxes, lipids, and other chemicals present in the chamber. These are dissolved by the usage of extreme heat and vacuum. After that, the de-washing of the active compounds then precipitating out the BHO solution makes CBD..

Subsequently, the SCE (Supercritical CO2 Extraction) uses CO2 as the dissolver. Since CO2 is available anywhere in our surroundings, it is cheaper to exercise than Butane; however, the CBD producers are costly. The solvent is passed to the closed-loop extractor, where it is exposed to extreme heat and pressure. Now, the C02 is pumped to another chamber where CO2 and the final product are isolated.

Is CO2 Extraction Better Than Butane?

CO2 extraction can be performed at a mild temperature than BHO. Removing CO2 from the extract is safe and handy, whereas precautions are to be taken in BHO. Then again, butane extraction loses its flavor profile during the hour of descent. Removals are unadulterated and need harmfulness under the substantial conditions of weight and shifting temperatures.

When it comes to mass production of an item, it would be inaccurate to mention one and isolate others. An adequately handled BHO extraction technique is considered safe, compiling on who and where it is made. The safety measure in BHO extraction involves extracting all the residue solvent and testing for any bacteria, pesticides, mold, and yeast on the chamber.

The ultimate purpose behind choosing a CO2 extractor over Butane is for handling cachet. Supercritical CO2 has gained notoriety for being the cleanest, most secure, and most front line strategy for extricating regular items. At full-range extraction picks the prominence for CBD.

What Is The CO2 Extraction Process?

Although there are several processes to extract CBD, CO2 extraction is a gold standard followed by many manufacturers. As you may already know, it acts as a gas in standard pressure and temperature, whereas, the supercritical CO2 is exposed to extreme compression and heat. The Hi-Flo FX2 uses carbon dioxide to provide a clean and pure oil without taking forever to purge unwanted toxins. 

Alt: Supercritical CO2 region

Source: https://www.chemengonline.com/supercritical-CO2-a-green-solvent/?printmode=1

bioMDplus CO2 Extraction Method Infographic Explained CBD Hemp

Here is a quick stepwise overview of CBD extraction using supercritical CO2

  1.       Initially, the extractor takes CO2 gas and pours it down to the chamber. The chamber holds pressure and temperature of about -56 degrees Celsius (-70 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2.       At that temperature and pressure, the gas turns into the fluid.
  3.       Now, the fluid passes through the chamber, which dissolves into hemp or Cannabis product.
  4.       The fluid then passed through the chamber and dissolved with the trachoma membrane. Along the process, the carbon dioxide gets isolated from the solution leaving CBD oil.


Benefits Of CO2 Extraction.

  • CO2 extraction can be carried out on low temperatures preserving flavors of CBD.
  • It is easily accessible and nature friendly.
  • It is not toxic compared to other extraction methods.

Among the primary reasons that CO2 extraction is becoming more popular than its mainstream predecessor, the Butane Hash extraction technique, is the reality that it is much safer and is being used for so many different products. BHO-related accidents were a regular event in some U.S. jurisdictions less than a decade back. The world of co2 cannabis extraction has benefited greatly from the adoption of this. As a result, cannabis concentrate manufacturers are increasingly relying on more secure, more sustainable alternatives like extraction of carbon dioxide to develop complete full spectrum CBD, premium THC concentrates, co2 co2 extraction equipment and more to worry, people like you and I can still make high quality, non-toxic, cannabis concentrates. Other forms of Supercritical Extraction Supercritical extraction isn’t a new method. This extraction does require some post processing, but not a huge amount. 

When it comes to marijuana extraction, solvents liquify aromatic terpenes and biologically active cannabinoids from the plant material and carry them to a collection point and rely on some kind of solvent to eliminate plant matter and leave only pharmaceutically valuable. When broken down by the solvent’s chemical reaction, cannabinoids can be separated and utilized to create clinically important marijuana infusions . The practical advantage of this method is that the manufacturer can choose precisely which cannabinoid compounds and how much make their method extremely versatile for creating a multitude of end products by controlling temperature and pressure. An extractor chamber is filled with ground cannabis/hemp material (called trim). 

The problem with carbon dioxide co2 is that it does not naturally function as a solvent the way butane and lp do. Nevertheless, extraction of carbon dioxide machines essentially freeze and compress carbon dioxide gas and go through a process that creates phase changes in carbon dioxide utilizing temperature and pressure. As soon as carbon dioxide reaches the “supercritical” state where it displays structures that change in between small spaces like a gas but can also dissolve and act like a liquid and solid, it becomes as effective a solvent as any hydrocarbon. This supercritical fluid is used to remove essential oils from cannabis plants.

Prior to the cannabis industry existing, supercritical carbon dioxide extraction was a typical technique for coffee decaffeination and important extraction for perfume-making. It stays a safe, sustainable, and reasonably economical method to extract valuable natural substances from plant material products. Cannabis concentrates are well-known throughout the cannabis neighborhood for their strength and effectiveness.This is a good chance that product was made using co2 supercritical fluid extraction technology. 

This enables the capturing of their many active substances. Subcritical (low temperature level and low pressure) extractions aren’t as common as the supercritical extractions because they take more time and produce less item. The supercritical CO2 carries the cannabis oil particles remarkably enough, subcritical extractions retain the essential oil, terpene oils, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction is a commonly used method to separate various components.

Regardless of whether you completely understand the process of extraction, (we get it- it can be pretty complex for us folk who aren’t scientists) here’s the substantial part that you require to know! Supercritical CO2 extractions permit the extract makers to separate, catch and scientifically research study and comprehend cannabinoids. Carbon dioxide can cross the blood-brain barrier easily and rapidly and causes changes in the brain.

However, there are well over one hundred other cannabinoids that are fairly unstudied, for instance, cannabichromene (CBC) and cannabicitran (CBT). Consider this: it wasn’t long ago that we were still significantly uninformed of the amazing health advantages of CBD. Now, brand-new laws are being passed and old laws are being reviewed in terms of how we can gain from CBD in the medical field or how they work together (a process known as the entourage effect ) when the whole plant is used as medicine.  In our research, we define cannabis consumers as those who consume cannabis with THC that has the psycho-active effect or high.

Azriel Adelberg
About Azriel Adelberg

MSc Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley An Israeli born organic chemist and PROUD University of California, Berkeley graduate.

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