As the Cannabis market continues to grow, the desire for high-quality oils used in vaporizers, tinctures, capsules and edibles is also growing. One increasingly popular way to ensure a pure CBD or THC extract is by using supercritical CO2 extraction, and having the tools and expertise to operate the machine properly.
What is Supercritical CO2 Extraction?
Supercritical CO2 extraction, also known as carbon dioxide extraction, has been around for many years and is highly recognized and utilized in the both the food and pharmaceutical industries. The CO2 method is a commonly used method to separate components of various plants, due to its ability to produce a pure and safe product. With the boom of the cannabis oil industry this year, it is becoming one of the most preferred ways to extract large quantities of high-quality cannabis desirables such as cannabinoids like CBD and THC.
CO2 extraction machines can operate in two states: supercritical and subcritical. When CO2 is in a “supercritical” state, the parameters are set at high temperatures and high pressures, resulting in properties of both a liquid and a gas. Carbon dioxide is an excellent solvent as a supercritical fluid because it can have a near liquid density, low viscosity and diffuses quickly like a gas. This proves to be extremely useful for extracting the desirable cannabinoids from the plant because it can reach into small spaces to pull more out of the plant, while ultimately leaving no solvent residue behind.
Typical extraction methods include the use of commercial solvents such as propane or butane, however CO2 has allowed for a safer, cleaner, and more selective method for cannabis extraction.
So, why is Supercritical CO2 becoming one of the most sought after extraction methods to create high-quality oils?
1. CO2 is Tuneable
The unique thing about CO2 extraction is that it is a tuneable solvent. This makes it extremely useful for creating a variety of versatile end products for the consumer. Depending on the machine parameters that are set- the temperature, pressure and the flow rate- the crude cannabis oil can be used in a variety of different products.
Since the physical properties of the supercritical CO2 fluid results in both a liquid and a gas, the molecule can be easily manipulated. This allows for it to bond to any molecule of the cannabis plant and reach into those small spaces to pull out even more oil from the plant. The molecules can move through a porous solid, while also dissolving a material within the solid. This enables targeting maximum outputs of cannabidiol, with the ability to keep the undesirable compounds such as chlorophyll out.
2. CO2 is Safe
Unlike many organic solvents such as propane and ethanol, supercritical CO2 fluid is non-flammable, posing much less of a risk for the operators using it. Most importantly, CO2 is a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) solvent. GRAS means that the substance is exempt from the usual FFDCA food additive requirements. As opposed to the other hydrocarbon solvents such as propane and butane, supercritical CO2 will not pose a risk to the safety of the operation.
3. CO2 is Clean
CO2 is preferred by many cannabis producers for its purity and cleanliness. Conventional solvents used in cannabis and hemp extraction such as propane, butane, and ethanol, can leave a minor amount of residue in the product. However, with CO2 if there is any residue left on the product, it will evaporate as CO2 becomes a gas at room temperature. This is appealing to many because of the guarantee of a pure product, with no residuals present.
An added feature of CO2 is that it also acts as a cleaning agent during the process, killing out microbial bacterias, molds and mildews while extracting the plant. Many industries kill off bacteria with pesticides and chemicals, but CO2 extraction avoids the needs for using these dangerous substances, resulting in a CBD oil that is healthier to consume.
At the end of the day, CO2 extraction gives consumers an excellent opportunity to experience a satisfying, broad-spectrum oil that can be added into a variety of cannabis 2.0 and 3.0 products.
Supercritical CO2 Extraction is one of our many methods of extraction at CannaPiece Corp. Find out more about how you can get the most out of your plant with our innovative technologies and superior operating techniques.
Get in touch with us today to chat about your specific extraction needs.