CBD Extraction Using CO2: Why it Matters?


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 CBD extraction 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 oil 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 oil. 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 CBD oil extraction. 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 oil 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 CO2 extracted CBD oil does not allow alteration of THC. CBD oil then offers excellent therapeutic benefits.

How is CBD extracted from hemp with CO2?

The CO2 extraction of CBD oil from hemp 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 CO2 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 CBD oil. 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 extraction method can be performed by any general person at home. Thus, it is by far the most productive strategy to extract CBD oil 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 extraction 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 oil utilizing the supercritical CO2 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 to choose CO2.

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.

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 CO2 extraction requires heat and compression. It requests a few bits of hardware and a sizable CO2 extraction unit that is somewhat costlier than Butane and ethanol extraction.

Be that as it may, the quality and impact of CO2 extracted items make up for the use with their productivity. The CO2 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 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 that contains plant materials. 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 compound then precipitating out the BHO solution makes CBD oil.

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. CO2 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 CO2 extraction picks the prominence for CBD oil.

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, CO2 acts as a gas in standard pressure and temperature, whereas, the supercritical CO2 is exposed to extreme compression and heat.

Alt: Supercritical CO2 region

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

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.
  4.       The fluid then passed through the chamber and dissolved with the trachoma membrane. Along the process, the CO2 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.
  • CO2 is easily accessible and nature friendly.
  • It is not toxic compared to other extraction methods.
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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