The Definitive Guide to CO2 Extraction of Cannabis Products

If you are looking for a guide to CO2 extraction of cannabis products, then this article will help explain what it is and how it works. Many people who use medical and/or recreational cannabis do not want to inhale smoke and prefer to use cannabinoid-infused vapor or CBD oil. However, even this way of consuming is not always perfect. Not everyone is comfortable using hash oil that has been made with butane. There is concern about inhaling residual particles from the petroleum into the body. These issues mean people are looking for a healthier, safer way to use cannabis.

This cleaner, safer way can be found in a cleaner version of cannabis concentrate which is obtained through a supercritical fluid extraction method. The biochemical benefits of CO2 cannabis extract are enjoyed by many who are moving away from joints, bongs, and butane-based oil.

Supercritical CO2 is used more in the cannabis industry but also in other important markets as well. It is inexpensive, recyclable, and environmentally friendly. This method is a good choice for the various industries that are trying to maintain market share in a world where people are looking for healthier, safer, and more environmentally acceptable options. It is good for high-end CBD oil coffee, vanilla, tea, extracts that come from fruits and nuts, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, tobacco, and hop-oil. Industries that are looking at alternative energy based on algae research and other alternative fuel options also use this method.

Working with CO2

Humans naturally give off carbon dioxide (CO2) when they are breathing. CO2 is considered a safe product by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is why it can be used in products such as carbonated beverages. It is nontoxic which means that when it is used in food products or extraction processes, it will not add to the carbon emission problem in the atmosphere.

The benefit of working with CO2 and extractions is that it means there will not be any flammable or toxic petroleum-based solvents coming into contact with the cannabis. This is important whether you are using cannabis medically or recreationally. There are no butane particles anywhere in the product. The other benefit of not using petroleum-based products is that there is no risk of fire or explosion. Producing cannabis products is far safer using a CO2 extraction method over other methods.

Extracting Product: Supercritical CO2 Extraction

The process of extracting cannabis products through CO2 is not as straightforward as some chemical processes. It is certainly worth the extra effort, so you do not have to be a chemist to understand it. It may take a little bit of thought to go through the steps.

When CO2 cannabis extraction is done properly, a CO2 extraction machine is used. This machine is used to freeze and compress the CO2 gas into what is called a “supercritical” cold liquid state. This cold carbon liquid gas is passed by the supercritical system through a good quality cannabis plant. When this is done, it pulls all of the important trichomes as well as the terpene oils and waxes from the plant material and deposits them into receptacles for collection.

Once this process is complete and the cannabis products are fully extracted, then the pressure will be decreased on the CO2 in the system and the liquified CO2 will return to its gaseous state. If the CO2 is left at room temperature, it can evaporate similarly to how a can of soda will go flat if it is just left open and sitting out. It loses pressure, warms up, and evaporates. Some supercritical machines can recapture, recycle, and then reuse the CO2 gases which are even more cost-effective and efficient.

Using supercritical CO2 extraction is extremely beneficial when looking at the future of the cannabis processing market, both for production as well as those who use it. This process allows for not only quality concentrate production but allows the concentrate makers to have the ability to isolate and capture cannabinoids that are more elusive than THC and CBD.

Once these cannabinoids are found, then they can be examined scientifically to allow for a better understanding of what they do and how they work. CO2 extraction is a possible key to finding unknown medical benefits of lesser-known cannabinoids. It can help people examine the Entourage Effect. This is a theory that suggests by using the plant rather than just one part, you can boost the health aspects of it.

Supercritical CO2 extraction will help isolate cannabinoids and as well as push growers to come up with new strains of cannabis that can pinpoint particular terpenes and cannabinoids needed for better health outcomes.

Further Benefits of CO2 Extraction

The more people work with cannabis, the more benefits they discover. CO2 oil is extremely customizable. The larger industrial concentrate companies can make pure cannabis products with specific consistency using the CO2 machines over other processes. The ability to make shatter, budder, or wax can be accomplished by simply altering the temperature, pressure, and solvent-feed ratio along with the flow rate that happens during the process of extraction.

Another benefit of using supercritical liquid CO2 is that it can kill microbial bacteria, mold, mildew, and mites that users do not want in their cannabis products. The end products are going to be cleaner and healthier for use.

There is also the fact that CO2 extracts have better taste than those processed with other methods which are great for cannabis concentrates. By not using ethanol alcohol to winterize or butane to de-wax, there is no residue and the terpene aromas will be better preserved for great smell and taste.

Final Thoughts

The CO2 extraction process is not just about how it is done. It is also about what it can do and the implications of those abilities. Having a good guide to CO2 extraction is important if you are a product maker or consumer. Understanding how this extraction works and the benefits it can have are important as the industry moves and grows with everchanging needs and possibilities.

 


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