Supercritical CO2 extraction (SCFE) is a safe method of efficient botanical extraction using a clean, non-toxic solvent ideal for cannabis, hops and more. CO2 extracts are popular in cosmetics. Despite their popularity, CO2 extracts remain a mystery to many. In this article we explained exactly what they are. Learn how CO2 cannabis extracts are produced and familiarize yourself with the science behind this versatile extraction method.
CO2 or carbon dioxide extracts are derived from a unique extraction process known as supercritical carbon dioxide extraction.
Generally, carbon dioxide is found only as a gas or as a solid in the form of dry ice. There is no liquid form of carbon dioxide under normal conditions. However, if we squeeze or condense carbon dioxide under very high pressure, we will first create liquid carbon dioxide, which can be used for extraction purposes. In this supercritical state, carbon dioxide is a very effective solvent for extracting any oily or lipophilic compounds from plant material and in certain cases, water-soluble compounds as well carbon dioxide is used for removing caffeine from coffee beans when a small amount of water is added to the mix.
After the pressure is released at the end of the extraction process, the carbon dioxide simply evaporates, leaving an extremely pure plant extract behind. There are two types of CO2 extracts. First, there are select extracts, using Frankincense CO2 extract as an example. Additionally, not all producers genuinely take the temperature during carrier oil production and still claim the carrier is "cold pressed.
CO2 Extracts are becoming increasingly available through retailers and wholesalers that supply essential oils. Like with essential oils, CO2 Extracts are typically sold in glass bottles. However, some CO2 Extracts are very thick and are sometimes instead sold in small jars. Two types of CO2 Supercritical Extracts are generally available:. CO2 Selects generally contain the volatile aromatic components of the botanical that are soluble in liquefied CO2.
Aromatic molecules each have their own molecular weight. Some aromatic molecules are too heavy to be present in a steam distilled essential oil. However, some of the heavier aromatic molecules are present in CO2 Selects. Therefore, CO2 Selects often smell closer to the aroma of the natural herb than do some steam distilled essential oils. Once a compound has been fractioned using sc-CO2, it can then be further modified and refined depending on the desired outcome.
In order to create shelf stable and desirable products for the market, often refinement procedures such as winterization and distillation are incorporated as a secondary process. Terpene reintegration may also occur where fractioned compounds are reintroduced to a refined THC solution to create a more robust and flavorful experience for those who prefer to vaporize. This process is unnecessary if the final product is intended for culinary uses as terpenes may compromise the integrity of an otherwise odorless and flavorless product that is perfect for a food additive.
What makes sc-CO2 so beneficial for the cannabis concentrate market is the customizability factor. By modifying pressure temperature and solvent ratios, various products can be created ranging from vaporizer-friendly oils to dabbing concentrates such as waxes, crumbles, and even shatters and saps. The range of CO2-based products can be much wider than other extraction methods when used to its fullest potential. While not always cost-effective, SFE using CO2 has proved to be one of the most versatile and safest methods of producing cannabis concentrates.
Today, CO2-based products have saturated almost every major market from consumables to pre-filled vaporizers to dabbing products and isolates. The world of cannabis extraction has benefited greatly from the adoption of this technology, and no doubt, the future of CO2 extraction technology will be positively impacted by its contributions to the cannabis community.
What Are CO2 Cannabis Extracts and How Are They Made?
Hypercritical carbon dioxide extraction is a relatively new process used to extract the essence of the plant. When a certain amount of pressure is applied to CO2. CO2 Extracts are superior to essential oils in specific ways. Learn about them, how they compare to essential oils, how CO2 supercritical extraction is performed . What is CO2 Extraction. CO2 extraction is a process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to pull the desired phytochemicals from a plant. In the.