CO2 Extraction for CBD Oil: What It Is and How it Works
One of the most important considerations one must make when searching for a quality CBD brand is the method of extraction the brand uses to make its products. For CBD users that don’t want to run the risk of ingesting solvent residue and other chemicals, purchasing from brands that use CO2 extraction is ideal. This process is entirely solventless and results in pure, high-quality CBD products that work.
What Is CO2 Extraction?
CO2 extraction uses pressurized carbon dioxide to “pull” naturally occurring phytocompounds (including cannabinoids and terpenes) from raw hemp plant material. In the end, CBD oils made using CO2 extraction have a healthy-looking amber color to them – verifying a full spectrum of beneficial hemp compounds.
Manufacturers use carbon dioxide because it is a versatile, tunable substance. It acts as a solvent at a specific temperature and pressure range, but it doesn’t have the dangers associated with other chemical solvents like butane and hexane. As a result, consumers benefit from premium-quality, clean oils with no toxic by-products.
Few people know that CO2 is a common supplementary ingredient in foods and beverages. For example, if you drink soda or sparkling water, it is the presence of carbon dioxide (CO2) that gives the drink its fizz.
Explaining CO2 Supercritical Extraction
Although there are other methods, supercritical CO2 extraction is widely regarded as the industry’s gold standard for making top-quality CBD products. The term supercritical refers to the way in which carbon dioxide acts as a gas at standard temperatures and pressures, but acts as a liquid at high temperatures and pressures.
CO2’s Supercritical Region
Here is a quick step-by-step guide to supercritical CO2 extraction:
- The extractor takes CO2 in its gaseous form and runs it through a sealed chamber. At this stage, the CO2 is subject to heightened pressure and temperatures as low as -70 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The gas changes into a liquid.
- Once reheated and pressurized, CO2 showcases its unique properties. A supercritical fluid has properties between a gas and a liquid. For example, it maintains the density of a liquid while filling space like a gas.
- The special fluid moves through a chamber that contains raw hemp material.
- The fluid then passes through the raw material and dissolves the trichomes’ membranes. As a result, the process captures a significant proportion of the active compounds.
A supercritical system produces a thick substance with a consistency akin to that of peanut butter. This is because the higher temperatures and pressures extract larger molecules, including waxes, chlorophyll, and omega-3 and 6 lipids. However, the process of winterization removes these substances, leaving behind the cannabinoid oil only.
Some companies also use subcritical CO2 extraction. This isn’t as common a method as supercritical, mainly because it takes more time, is more expensive, and produces less material. Subcritical is a similar process to supercritical, except it relies on lower pressures and lower temperatures. Subcritical extraction produces a material with a consistency similar to molasses.
Benefits of CO2 Extraction
One of the primary benefits of making hemp extract using CO2 extraction is its status as a ‘green solvent.’ For CBD products, the use of carbon dioxide provides a cleaner, healthier product. Unlike solvents such as butane and hexane, CO2 extraction contains no solvents or chemical residues. It is also recyclable and better in the long run for the planet.
The Entourage Effect
That being said, perhaps the biggest benefit of CO2 extraction is its capacity to extract dozens of cannabinoids and terpenes. The hemp plant has over 100 identified cannabinoids, as well as hundreds of terpenes, flavonoids, and beneficial omega acids. When all of these different phytocompounds are combined in a single product together, experts believe the range of benefits is amplified compared to products that contain CBD isolate only.
This phenomenon is known as the entourage effect. While high-quality CBD isolate certainly has its uses, full-spectrum products are generally believed to be more effective for a range of uses.
For example, cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN) and cannabigerol (CBG) are not as abundant as CBD, but they potentially have health benefits of their own. Then there is the small matter of terpenes. For example, alpha-pinene and myrcene are thought to promote relaxation. When compounds like these are filtered off and excluded from CBD oil, users are missing out on a range of potential benefits.
Where to Find CO2 Extracted CBD Products
Luckily for consumers, CO2 extracted CBD oils and other products are easy to find. At Premium Jane, our entire CBD range is crafted using this method. While it may be expensive, it’s essential for us to maintain industry-leading standards so that our customers can source safe, effective, versatile hemp extract.
The complete Premium Jane range incorporates a variety of CBD tinctures, gummies, topicals, and even hygiene products such as CBD bath bombs. In this way, customers are not restricted to traditional products.
Additionally, consumers can view our Certificates of Analysis (COAs) to see that our entire product line is free from toxins and harmful solvent-based ingredients. In addition to verifying cannabinoid content, COAs are crucial for ensuring the absence of microbes, pesticides, and heavy metals. All lab reports are published in full on our official site.
Final Thoughts on CO2 Extraction
CBD products made using quality CO2 extraction techniques typically contain a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes; meaning amplified health benefits for the user. Also, CO2 extraction methods typically result in an end product that is cleaner, safer, and more environmentally conscious than solvent-based counterparts.
To browse some of the best-rated, highest quality CO2-extracted products online, be sure to shop the official Premium Jane online store and place your order today.
CO2 Extraction of Cannabidiol (CBD) – Process and Why it’s Important
CBD products are becoming increasingly popular, leaving many consumers wondering where to start. While it’s true there are almost more options than you can count in the world of CBD today, there’s one important factor everyone should consider before buying and consuming a hemp product: How it’s made.
In terms of CBD products, how the hemp oil is extracted drastically impacts the final result. Although all methods are attempting to do the same thing – create a highly concentrated version of cannabinoid for human use, there are definitely right ways and wrong ways to extract the oil. And, of course, even when you’ve narrowed it down to the right ways to perform the extraction (keeping in mind the purity and potency, among other things), there are still several different “right” ways being put into practice. All of this makes it extremely difficult for consumers to know which method really is best – and where they should be spending their money.
What’s most important to remember is that, even when dealing with the exact same hemp strain, the extraction method utilized to create the oil can produce very distinct results. Even at a chemical level, you can tell which method has been used to create a specific CBD product – and that can make the difference between you getting the results you want and feeling like you’ve wasted your money.
Understanding How the CO2 Cannabis Extraction Method Works
One of the most trusted ways to extract CBD from cannabis or hemp, the CO2 extraction method is categorized into three different types: supercritical, subcritical and mid-critical. Most professional and reputable companies use the CO2 extraction method simply because it’s the safest way to create the purest product.
Far from inexpensive, the equipment needed to extract CBD with CO2 is highly technical machinery that often is separated into three distinct chambers. As expected, each chamber has its own specialized task:
- First Chamber: Pressurizes and cools the CO2 to a supercritical cold liquid state
- Second Chamber: Holds the organic plant material
- Third Chamber: That captures the final product, including the used CO2 so that it can be used again
Clean and efficient, CO2 extraction is only used by professionals, as the technical knowledge needed to operate the equipment (not to mention the expense of getting your hands on it) keeps amateurs and hobbyists away.
CO2 cannabis extraction works so well because of its ability to use pressurized carbon dioxide (that’s the CO2 part in case you missed chemistry class) to extract CBD from plants. Although other extraction methods can get the job done, CO2 works better because it becomes a solvent when frozen below -69 degrees Fahrenheit, turning it from gas form to its liquid state, and without presenting any of the risks that other solvents carry.
When using the supercritical CO2 extraction method, the liquid CO2 is pushed to the point of becoming a property that is halfway between a gas and a liquid. Known as a “supercritical” state, the CO2 now functions as both a gas and a liquid, making it ideal for chemical extraction because it doesn’t denature or damage the substance. For CBD products, which are either consumed by ingestion or absorption, making sure that the hemp oil is as safe and pure as possible, without losing any of the critical components that make it effective, is key. When done properly, CO2 extraction pulls out all of the essential trichomes and terpene oils, ensuring that the products you buy really deliver the benefits you’re looking for.
The Pros and Cons of the CO2 Extraction Method
Like anything, CO2 extraction isn’t perfect. While a popular and safe choice, there are some downsides to the process that should be considered, whether you’re a consumer or a CBD business owner. First, however, let’s focus on why CO2 really is one of the best extraction methods being used today, especially for CBD products.
Pros of CO2 Extraction
- Incredibly safe, CO2 itself is used in a variety of popular foods and beverages as an additive. Carbonated soft drinks, for example, are made possible because of CO2.
- The CO2 extraction method has also been used by many trusted food companies for years because it is so effective. In addition to creating essential oils, coffee companies use CO2 as a solvent to remove caffeine from coffee.
- The process of CO2 extraction ensures purity, which is why it’s so important for CBD products. Specifically, the cannabinoids produced by this method retain their potency without being contaminated by chlorophyll and other toxic substances. For people wanting to buy the most pure CBD products as possible, CO2 extraction is the way to go. (It’s only a few steps away from being a complete isolate, which means all other compounds are completely eliminated.)
There are, of course, a few reasons why CO2 extraction isn’t the right method for everyone. Below are a few of the cons to consider…
Cons of CO2 Extraction
- The equipment needed to perform CO2 extraction is costly, with even starter kits running close to $40,000 each. Because of the cost, CO2 extraction is impossible for many companies and individuals looking to extract their own hemp oil.
- Even if you get your hands on the equipment necessary for CO2 extraction, it takes a lot of specific knowledge to make sure it’s operated properly and safely. Even an amateur chemist shouldn’t attempt to use CO2 equipment without professional training.
- Because CO2 extraction equipment is expensive and because the knowledge needed to operate it creates a barrier to entry, CBD products created with the method tend to be more expensive than those created using a different technique. (Of course, as the saying goes, you typically get what you pay for.)
Deciding if CBD Products Created by CO2 Extraction are Right for You
Like anything you choose to consume, you have a choice in what you buy. While some consumers will decide that they’re fine using CBD products created using a different method, especially if it means they save money, a lot of people choose to exclusively use CO2 extracted CBD simply because it’s the safest most effective way to ensure they’re getting the benefits they want. At the end of the day, remember that how your CBD products are made will ultimately affect the end product, as well as your overall health.