The vast majority of recreational and medicinal cannabis users prefer inhaling a smooth, cold, rejuvenating cannabinoid-infused vapor instead of the traditional yet harsh cannabis smoke.
Virtually every health-conscious cannabis concentrate user wants to avoid inhaling or ingesting any solvents that remain after processing.
Are you ready for a pure, clean, delectable, and safer better quality cannabis concentrates?
So What’s The Hype?
The supercritical CO2 extraction process is what we recommend to obtain a high-quality extract. Now, this is not the only way to achieve a high-quality cannabis extraction, though experts all around agree that this is a valid and effective means for producing premium goods.
This is a very advanced, and quite frankly, an excellent method of extracting the plant materials that make marijuana tremendous and creating a concentrate. In doing this, you do not have to burn plant matters to enjoy the medicinal and mind-altering benefits of cannabis.
Importantly, for the health-conscious cannabis consumers, this particular extraction method leaves no toxins even in the slightest amounts in the final product. Given all the benefits you stand to gain, you have to take notice of this extraction method.
This read will break down supercritical fluid extraction, exploring the biochemical benefits you stand to gain by using CO2 extracted concentrates. Finally, we will give you a step-by-step guide on how to create your concentrated kief crystal in your home by using CO2 ice.
CO2 Has How Many Uses?
The Supercritical CO2 extraction method is being used as an affordable, recyclable, and environmentally friendly industrial solution that is safe in the production of:
- Fruits and nuts
- Tobacco extracts
As you can probably appreciate, the CO2 extraction method can and is used for a wide variety of products. The big question is, why is this method so popular? To get a proper understanding of its popularity, we have to explore what this method brings to the table.
How Safe is CO2?
First and foremost, our bodies being biological organisms naturally produce CO2 while breathing out. As such, CO2 is considered as a natural substance and, therefore, environmentally safe. When compared to the chlorofluorocarbons, better known as CFCs that wreaked havoc to the environment in the 1970s and 80s, CO2 is much more reliable.
Moreover, the FDA considers CO2 “generally recognized as safe”. It is for this reason that it has found utility in a wide variety of places including in fizzy drinks. By being a non-toxic substance, the CO2 extraction process does not exacerbate the carbon emissions to the environment.
Importantly for your health, CO2 extraction method uses none of the flammable petroleum-based solvents such as butane in the extraction process. As such, your medicine does not come into contact with substances you would not want to ingest or inhale. For processors, doing away with gaseous products minimizes the risk of accidents such as explosions from taking place while processing cannabis products.
Having explored the various benefits to using CO2 extraction method, we will delve into the process and science behind it.
Supercritical CO2 Extraction 101
A word of warning: The section below might seem as complicated, especially if you have no concept of industrial chemistry. Brace yourself!
The CO2 extraction machines work by freezing and compressing CO2 gas to a “supercritical” state, where the gas turns to a cold liquid state. To understand what a supercritical state is, you should first understand CO2’s various states of matter.
Carbon dioxide is usually a gas at standard pressure and temperature – the usual conditions are surrounding humans where no special equipment is needed to survive. You can also turn CO2 into solid with little effort, thereby forming dry ice. These are the two most common states of matter for CO2 outside the lab.
However, you can use special equipment to increase the pressure subjected to CO2 to 75 pounds per square inch and lower the temperature to -69 ℉. Under these conditions, CO2 attains a turns to liquid form. This liquid CO2 is then used in CO2 extraction.
However, these numbers are the starting point. By increasing temperature and pressure past a certain point, the CO2 becomes supercritical.
At the supercritical point, the fluid can adopt properties midway between a liquid and a gas concurrently. Under this state, the supercritical CO2 liquid can fill a can much the same as gas does but it can maintain its density as liquids do.
This supercritical property of CO2 is exceptionally high for the extraction of cannabis. Not only is it gentler than other compounds used for extraction (it does not damage the plant compounds), is also does not denature the materials extracted furthermore, since CO2 solubility varies with changing pressure, with some slight adjustments you can use supercritical CO2 to extract selected compounds rather than full spectrum plant compounds.
Making Cannabis Extracts Using Supercritical CO2
As shown by the diagram, the process begins with liquid CO2. After that, you raise the pressure of the liquid CO2 using the compressor in the middle and raise the temperature using a heater.
The supercritical CO2 is then passed through high-grade cannabis in the extractor — the supercritical CO2 extracts all the essential terpene oils and trichomes and or waxes from the plant material.
The CO2 solution containing the extract (the good stuff) is then passed through the separator allowing the different constituents to be separated.
The terpenes, the trichomes, and all the other goodies extracted from the plant are taken to the receptacle. The supercritical CO2 is after that passed through a condenser, turning the gas back to a liquid. The liquid is stored in a tank, where it is recycled.
You might be wondering about CO2 residual being found on the extract. Do not worry. When the pressure is decreased after completing the extraction process, the CO2 molecules turn to gaseous form and evaporate/escape into the atmosphere.
This is the most straightforward part of the extraction process; leaving the extract at room temperature to completely purify it.
It might seem crazy, but it works. Consider a bottle of soda. If you open it and allow it to warm up, it will go flat since the CO2 has evaporated. However, to make the process even more efficient, some industrial supercritical machines process the extract, recapturing the evaporating CO2 and recycling it.
What Makes Supercritical CO2 A Great Option?
The supercritical CO2 extraction method is a valuable tool that can enable researchers and scientists to isolate, extract and after that scientifically study THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids that have not been considered. Such cannabinoids include cannabichromene (CBC), cannabigerol (CBG), cannabicitran (CBT), and cannabinol (CBN), all of which have not been extensively studied.
In a nutshell, the CO2 extraction method is the bridge to understanding compressive benefits of other compounds found in cannabis, even though they are less prevalent. The process will also help understand the various combinations of cannabinoids work together in the process known as the entourage effect.