CBD CO2 Extraction Process
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best CBD product for you. One of them is which extraction process is used. Here's what you need to know about CBD extraction, and the method we prefer above all the other choices.
What is CBD Extraction?
You probably know by now that CBD is a cannabinoid that is found in the hemp plant. Much like the process of extracting vanilla from the vanilla bean, the cannabinoid must be drawn out from the hemp flower before it can be used. The challenge is to find an extraction method that is effective enough to draw out the beneficial compounds without destroying them or leaving behind unwanted residue.
There are several different methods of extraction, using substances such as alcohol, steam, or even toxic solvents. The method we prefer is supercritical CO2 extraction.
What is CO2 Extraction?
CO2 is carbon dioxide, which is a gas that everyone exhales every day. As you would expect, CO2 is plentiful and easy to come by. When this gas is kept within a specific temperature range and put under pressure, it works like a solvent. Other solvents generally run into one of two problems: they either don't work very well, as with natural solvents, or they are toxic, as with hydrocarbon solvents.
However, CO2 is both effective and non-toxic. In fact, CO2 is even considered a sanitizing agent, producing a pure product. Because CO2 is not toxic, it is a more eco-friendly extraction process than those that use harsh chemicals.
Regular CO2 extraction, also known as subcritical CO2 extraction, is performed at lower temperatures with cooled, liquid CO2. It takes more time and is a less flexible process than supercritical CO2 extraction, which we will cover next.
What is Supercritical CO2 Extraction?
CO2 is called a "tunable solvent." This means that it works differently under different temperature and pressure environments. This makes it remarkably versatile, so it can easily extract substances of different weights. It's so adaptable that it's a part of processing many products that you probably already use, such as essential oils or decaffeinated coffee.
Supercritical CO2 is created when CO2 gas is placed under pressure and cooled. Then it is heated and pressurized, which causes the CO2 to take a form between liquid and gas. This makes it exceptionally nimble at penetrating cannabis material and extracting CBD, as well as other cannabinoids, terpenes, and resins. Supercritical CO2 can extract substances that other solvents simply can't, because of their molecular weight. By adjusting the temperature and pressure, we are able to target the specific components we want to remove. The resulting oil is not only very concentrated but also very clean.
Supercritical CO2 instantly destroys bacteria and other contaminants, so the oil needs very little processing after it's extracted. This product is pure, concentrated, contains more of the beneficial compounds of the hemp plant, and often tastes better than extracts made with other methods.
During the supercritical CO2 extraction process, supercritical CO2 is pumped from a tank into an extraction chamber that is filled with hemp flowers. As it draws the different substances out, including CBD, the CO2 is moved out of the extraction chamber into a series of extract separators. Different weights of extract fall out of the CO2 at different temperatures. Once the extracts have all been removed, the CO2 is recycled to the original tank, to begin the process again.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is not the cheapest method of extraction. At CBD to Wellness, we feel that it produces the highest quality product, and so that's the method we choose. Take a look at our products, knowing they are made with the most effective, clean method of extraction available.