Medical use of marijuana has been legal for years in certain states across America. Research facilities were established in order to study further the benefits of marijuana for public health. Although the whole marijuana plant has plenty of uses, the most popular component of marijuana is its cannabidiol. Manufacturers of marijuana-based products have developed different ways of extracting cannabidiol from the hemp plant, and one such technique is carbon dioxide extraction. But is CO2 extracted CBD safe?
For those who are new to the world of marijuana, cannabidiol or CBD is the second most prevalent and most active ingredient in marijuana (the other being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC). CBD is the most utilized product from marijuana, especially for medical uses. Throughout the years, researchers have discovered the different medical benefits of CBD, including sleep promotion, pain relief, and anxiety reduction, to name a few.
What Is Carbon Dioxide Extraction?
If you are familiar with herbs, you know that to get their volatile oils, you need to extract them. The same thing happens with marijuana. To be able to separate the cannabidiol from tetrahydrocannabinol, an extraction process is necessary. Cannabidiol has become a popular ingredient for a variety of products, including food and cosmetics.
One of the methods used in harvesting CBD is carbon dioxide extraction or CO2 extraction. To simplify, CO2 extracted CBD is obtained when the cannabis plant undergoes the extraction process through the use of pressurized carbon dioxide. This method proved to be safe and toxic-free.
Carbon dioxide acts as a solvent when reaching certain temperatures. The whole process involves turning carbon dioxide from its gas state into a solid state. This usually involves changes in pressure and temperature. Once carbon dioxide becomes liquid, the temperature and pressure inside the contraption need to be increased.
The temperature and pressure increase should make carbon dioxide reach its superficial state or the state where it simultaneously manifests both gaseous and liquid properties. When carbon dioxide reaches its superficial state, it becomes ready to create CO2 extracted CBD.
Carbon Dioxide Extraction For CBD
Carbon dioxide extraction for CBD falls into three categories: supercritical, sub-critical, and mid-critical. The supercritical method is widely used compared to the other two and proves to yield a pure end product.
When using carbon dioxide to extract CBD, it actually makes use of pressurized carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide functions like a solvent, which proves to be safe, even at certain temperatures. You need to have the right equipment in order to do the extraction, freeze the carbon dioxide gas, and compress it into its supercritical state.
1. Supercritical Extraction
The initial step to having CO2 extracted CBD is to obtain liquid carbon dioxide. Using the compressor and a heater, increase the pressure and temperature. This step is followed by adding the cannabis for extraction. Carbon dioxide will then pull elements like terpenes and the CBD out of the cannabis plant and then goes back to its container for future use.
2. Subcritical Extraction
Another form of carbon dioxide extraction is called subcritical extraction. In this process, low temperatures and a low amount of pressure are involved. Understandably, this type of extraction takes longer than the common CBD CO2 extraction process. When extracting using the subcritical extraction method, you will be able to get the terpene oils and the CBD without getting other substances like chlorophyll. With this method, the terpenes are not harmed.
3. Mid-critical Extraction
Mid-critical extraction falls between the subcritical and supercritical extraction types. Some companies put together the extracted CBD taken from the supercritical and subcritical extraction methods to create a combined kind of oil.
Carbon Dioxide Extraction vs. Ethanol Extraction
Carbon dioxide extraction and ethanol extraction are two of the most common extraction practices in the cannabis industry. While CO2 extracted CBD undergoes either superficial or subcritical types of extraction, ethanol extraction is a whole different process. So what is the difference between ethanol extracted and CO2 extracted CBD?
The purpose of having these elements in extraction is to serve as solvents. These particles will absorb the terpenes and trichomes from the cannabis plants once it separates. In doing ethanol extraction, you have to soak the whole plant in the substance to draw out CBD and separate it from the plant material.
Ethanol is widely used because it is relatively cheap compared to CO2 extraction and can process a huge amount of cannabis while using a relatively small amount of it. The main difference between ethanol extracted CBD from CBD CO2 extraction lies in the process and the time spent in it.
Advantages of Carbon Dioxide Extraction
When shopping for hemp-based products, you might notice that more and more are labeled that they contain CO2 extracted CBD oil. This is not surprising since a lot of manufacturers are making a shift towards the carbon dioxide extraction process.
There are a handful of advantages in applying carbon dioxide extraction over other forms of extraction. So, the next time you see a CO2 extracted CBD oil for sale, know that the product has these advantages:
1. A More Potent Medication
For people who are taking marijuana medication, potency can be a big deal. A superficial CO2 extracted CBD can provide a more potent substance compared to other CBD oil sold in the market. Since superficial and subcritical methods of CO2 CBD extraction take a long time of processing under extreme temperature and pressure conditions, it is sure to get all the good stuff separated from the plant. So make sure that you buy the best CO2 extracted CBD oil for sale to yield this benefit.
2. Creates Different Consistencies
When doing your own extraction of cannabidiol, the world is suddenly open for a little creative output. CO2 extracted CBD oil can be easy to work with, and this means you can customize the process further and create products like wax, shatter, or even a budder.
3. Kills Bacteria and Other Unwanted Substances
CO2 extracted CBD oil from the superficial and subcritical processes has bacteria-killing capacities. Because of these meticulous processes, no bacteria, fungi, or other microscopic elements can accidentally land in your cannabidiol oil. Carbon dioxide extraction is also 100% pesticide-free.
4. Gives Better Flavor
Sometimes when you purchase CBD oil from manufacturers, the flavors are off. This is usually because of the solvents used. For instance, when ethanol is not properly cleaned off, or if the process is not properly done, you will still taste the substance. CO2 CBD extraction is sure to have retained the natural flavors of cannabis and no other elements.
5. Promotes Sustainability
Beginner manufacturers tend to avoid using carbon dioxide extraction, and understandably so. The contraption can be costly. However, the equipment for carbon dioxide extraction can last longer than other materials used for different solvents. This will prevent yearly maintenance and repairs.
Carbon dioxide is also non-toxic and non-flammable, making it a safer alternative. This is also the best bet if you want to maximize the yield with fewer remnants.
In conclusion, carbon dioxide extracted CBD is generally safe for use. Just make sure that your CBD products in Dillon, CO, come from a trustworthy and reliable source.