Extract the Facts!
How CO2 Extracts Hemp Oil
The technology surrounding the extraction of CBD oil has substantially evolved throughout the years. Hemp oil, which was primarily extracted by chemicals such as butane and propane, are slowly being replaced by a new substance--and it is right under our noses. No, really, it is! The very air we exhale, CO2, has progressed to become a safe, efficient, and sustainable compound to use for the hemp oil extraction process.
But how does this work, you ask? Buckle up! We’re about to venture down the rabbit hole and see down to the molecule how CO2 brings our coveted cannabinoid to fruition.
What is CO2 extraction?
It all starts with carbon dioxide, which is stored as a liquid under high pressure and frigid conditions (think -70℉, yikes!). C02 is used as the solvent to extract the cannabinoids from the hemp plant with the help of complex, cutting-edge machinery. The changes in pressure and temperature can cause the compound to become supercritical, thus making it more delicate with the hemp materials throughout the extraction process. During the supercritical phase, carbon dioxide behaves like that of a fluid but expands to fill containers like a gas.
As a result, C02 extraction allows the finished product to retain its purities and lowers the risk of residual solvents damaging the product. As an extra-added bonus, C02 extractions also allow for each cannabinoid to be extracted with ease, bringing us CBD for a sharp mind and sweet relief.
Why is CO2 extraction more sustainable?
Nowadays sustainable measures are standard to provide eco-friendly and safe products. C02 extraction has proven to be environmentally beneficial and cleaner than its combustible counterparts. Once the cannabinoids are extracted and ready for further processing, the remaining, gaseous C02 is recycled. The carbon dioxide is recycled through a condensation machine, where the gas becomes liquid, subsequently stored where the extraction cycle begins anew. The C02 residue that does not follow the path of condensation is simply evaporated into the air upon a decrease in pressure.
This process does not contribute to the harmful carbon emissions we see today and can help pave the way to more ecologically-conscious paths of extraction.
How it works (overview)
I know, there are a lot of moving parts to this process, which can be seen as complex at first glance. For clarity, the process shall be listed in steps, to breakdown C02 extraction as a whole.
- Gaseous C02, the solvent, is stored in a special container. The pressure is raised, and the temperature plummets to below -70℉ within the confines to change the compound to its liquid form.
- The liquid C02, resting within the vestibule, is sent to a compressor to increase the pressure.
- Once compressed, the C02 is sent to a heating unit, where it achieves supercritical status for hemp extraction.
- The supercritical C02 heads to the extractor, fated to meet its solute--hemp, to draw out the individual cannabinoids.
- The terpenes, trichomes, and other hemp material accompany the supercritical C02 towards the separator.
- At the separator, the magic begins! The newly-created solution is broken down and separated into their respective parts.
- Once the cannabinoids are collected, the remaining solution is either evaporated or recycled. Remaining liquid C02 molecules can be evaporated by simply decreasing the pressure of its container.
- Recycled, gaseous C02 is sent to a compressor, where it is once again liquified and ready for use. Rinse and repeat back to Step 1!
When you select a product, you deserve to know where your products come from, and the process that brought it to its final form, from start to finish. This especially is of utmost importance when it comes to selecting a CBD product that fits all of your needs physically, mentally, and emotionally, while at the same time carefully considering the needs of our planet. These technological advances utilizing our naturally-occurring friend C02 for hemp extraction have thrust us towards the future, where we can continue to safely harness all of the medicinal benefits that CBD has to offer.