What is a CO2 Extractor?
A CO2 extractor is an extraction system by using carbon dioxide (CO2). In this system, CO2 is used as a kind of solvent for extracting cannabinoids, terpenes, essential oils and other components from hemp or cannabis plants. Not only can it protect cannabinoids from decarboxylation, but it can maintain the integrity and amounts of terpenes during the extraction process.
Generally, the CO2 extraction can be classified into three types, including the supercritical, subcritical and mid-critical extraction. And, the supercritical is the most commonly used one among them. During the extraction process, the pressurized CO2 is used to extract CBD from the cannabis or hemp plant.
How to Use a CO2 Extractor?
A CO2 extractor can start with liquid CO2, in which the pressure can be raised by a compressor and the temperature can be raised by a heater. The CO2 can pull all of cannabis concentrates, such as terpenes and waxes, out of hemp or cannabis plants when the supercritical CO2 passes through the high-grade tank contained in an extractor. Then supercritical CO2 containing all cannabis concentrates will be broken down into each component after passing through a separator. The cannabis concentrates are recycled by a receiving tank, while the supercritical CO2 are condensed into a liquid. The liquid will be collected by a storage tank where it can be used to restart the process.
Is CO2 Extraction Safe?
As we mentioned above, CO2 can be used to extract the oil from the plant. By using CO2, the oil can be dissolved out of the plant as CO2 passes through the cannabis under specific temperature and pressure. Compared to other organic solvents, such as butane and propane, CO2 is non-toxic, non-inflammable as well as inert. And CO2 extraction can maintain a lower level of chemical residues. So the final product produced by CO2 extraction is much safer, cleaner, less toxic than butane hash oil products. There is no doubt that the extraction process is much safer because of its non inflammable and inert properties. CO2 extraction is even considered as an ideal solvent for temperature-sensitive materials. It can be said that the CO2 extraction is considered as the safest and cleanest method for extracting CBD or other cannabis compounds.
What is the Best Way to Extract CBD from Hemp?
There are mainly three methods for cannabis extraction, including ethanol extraction, CO2 extraction and butane or propane extraction. The ethanol extraction is efficient but not very safe because of its inflammable property. The butane extraction is also efficient but potentially dangerous. Both of them have their own pros and cons. As a result, it’s well recognized that CO2 extraction has considerable advantages over other extraction methods due to it is safe, clean, recyclable and cost-effective.