Cannabidiol Extractions We Use
Carbon Dioxide Extracts. 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 (carbon dioxide) this gas turns into liquid. This liquid CO2 can be used as a very inert, safe, “liquid solvent.”
The Supercritical CO2 extraction process creates phase changes in carbon dioxide utilizing temperature and pressure. CO2 is known as a “tunable solvent” making it extremely versatile for creating a multitude of end products by controlling temperature and pressure. These phase changes create an environment to drop out differing weights of components in the plant material.
This allows for separation and collection of these constituents during a single extraction. This enables collection of light essential oils separately from other desirable constituents and heavier lipids. Supercritical CO2 fluid extraction delivers a clean, unaltered, consistent-yet-flexible product.
Negative: Supercritical CO2, for its part, has been praised for its relative safety in terms of toxicity as well as environmental impact. That said, the lengthy purification process required to remove co-extracted constituents, such as waxes and plant fats, from the extracted product can take away from the final cannabinoid and terpenoid profile of extracts yielded during supercritical CO2 extraction.
Ethanol Extraction. It is the process of extracting essential oils and cannabinoids from the marijuana plant by using ethyl or isopropyl as the solvent. Once the plant material is removed, the alcohol is evaporated leaving behind a sticky and highly potent substance.
Why Ethanol Works So Well for Cannabis Extraction
Ethanol, has been gaining on butane and supercritical CO2 as a solvent of choice for producers manufacturing high-quality cannabis extracts. Here’s why some believe that ethanol is the overall best solvent for cannabis extraction.
Ethanol turned out to be just that: effective, efficient, and safe to handle. The FDA classifies ethanol as “Generally Regarded as Safe,” or GRAS, meaning that it is safe for human consumption. As a result, it is commonly used as a food preservative and additive, found in everything from the cream filling in your donut to the glass of wine you enjoy after work.
Negative: None if extracted correctly and under 500ppm