An extraction method that uses CO2 as a solvent to strip the cannabis plant of cannabinoids and terpenes into a concentrate, commonly known as CO2 oil. CO2 extraction relies on a closed-loop system and the chemical is purged from the final product.
“I like CO2 shatter more than crumble.”
Benefits of CO2 extraction
CO2 extraction helps keep the integrity of the cannabis plant through processing and produces a clean and safe final product for consumption.
Many types of cannabis concentrates can be made with CO2 as a solvent—shatter, crumble, honey, oil, etc. To create a CO2 concentrate, carbon dioxide is compressed beyond its critical point, turning into a supercritical liquid. This liquid washes over cannabis plant matter in an extraction system, stripping the plant of its resinous trichomes. The final step in the extraction process brings the supercritical liquid back to a level where the CO2 converts back to a gas.
CO2 can be brought to supercritical levels at temperatures and pressures that don’t damage cannabinoids and terpenes, therefore preserving the flavor profile. CO2 is also considered a safer solvent than other petroleum-based hydrocarbons such as butane and propane.
CO2 also leaves less residue on the final product, making the purging process easier and less labor-intensive to get the final product clean. Less processing also means less chance of the product degrading.