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  • by Nicola Boulton August 09, 2022 5 min read


    Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is derived from hemp or marijuana plants, including carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethanol. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the standard method of extracting hemp oil. It generates a highly concentrated oil safe for human consumption because it leaves no toxic residue. More information about this extraction method is here.

    Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is derived from hemp or marijuana plants, including carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethanol. Cannabidiol (CBD) products are increasing significantly in the market, leaving most customers speculating where to begin. These products have many options around the market; extraction methods should be considered before consuming and purchasing hemp products. Notably, the quality of CBD end product is determined by the method used to extract hemp oil. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the standard method of extracting hemp oil. It generates highly concentrated oil safe for human consumption because it leaves no toxic residue. Consider this blog for a better understanding of this method.


    How to extract CBD oil from cannabis and hemp using CO2 extraction

    According to Allen& Ansel (2013), the CBD industry lacks Food and Drug Administration regulation on manufacturing and labeling standards. Research is a principal consideration users should undertake when searching for cannabidiol oils. Hemp source is paramount; however, the extraction technique determines the product's quality. Illegitimate companies reduce costs by using chemicals like hexane and butane. Besides lying to consumers and damaging volatile terpenes, solvent extraction (chemical) might leave harmful deposits to products if purged inappropriately. Consumers should not consume harmful chemicals in products expected to have health benefits. For this reason, customers are recommended to shop from trademarks that use the carbon dioxide extraction method. It ensures the end product constitutes more cannabinoids and terpenes since it does not have additional solvents or heat.

    What is CBD Carbon dioxide Extraction?

    Ubeed et al.  (2022)  reported that the Carbon dioxide extraction method involves pressurized CO2 to pull maximum desirable substances from cannabis plants, such as essential oils, terpenes, and cannabinoids. The extract acquired is viscous, gold, and healthy that manufacturers can suspend in medium-chain triglycerides or olive oil (carrier oils) using thinners to transform them into vape form. The carbon dioxide extraction method is versatile. When kept under certain pressure and temperature range, it functions as a solvent without hazards linked to harmful solvents like hexane or butane. Carbon dioxide generates pure and high-quality extracts when maintained in the supercritical state. Carbon dioxide is the standard technique in the food and herbal industries. For example, decaf coffee depends on this method to extract caffeine from coffee seeds.

    Additionally, essential oil processing majorly depends on the same method. According to Makoś et al.  (2021), modern brands discovered that traditional extraction techniques contain waste, solvent toxicity, and flammability risks. Before supercritical carbon dioxide was initiated, companies depended on solvents like ethyl acetate, trichloroethane, or methylene chloride, which are unsafe.

    What Does Supercritical Carbon dioxide Extraction Mean?

    Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction is the manufacturers’ golden standard method among various methods of extracting CBD oil. This technique depends on the supercritical fluid extraction process. It involves utilizing supercritical liquids to extract one compound from another. Most manufacturers use carbon dioxide as an ingredient in extraction, though they replace it with alcohol (a co-solvent). CO2 functions like gas at standard temperature and pressure. Regarding supercritical CO2, the gas transforms into a fluid. This only occurs when manufacturers apply temperature and pressure above critical levels. The section below shows CO2 extraction functioning.

    • The manufacturer utilizes the carbon dioxide and allows it to pass via a chamber. The pressure is increased gradually while the temperature is regulated at -700 F at this state.
    • The gas transforms into a liquid.
    • At this point, carbon dioxide constitutes both liquid and gas properties. Simply, it occupies space like gases while maintaining liquid density.
    • The supercritical carbon dioxide runs via a chamber filled with fresh cannabis compounds.
    • The fluid runs via the compound, dissolving the plant's trichome membranes. This enables carbon dioxide to capture huge quantities of those active substances.

    Benefits of Using CO2 extraction

    The Extract is Safe for Consumption

    Before carbon dioxide became popular, most brands employed alternative extraction methods such as hexane and butane. Trademarks of dubious reputation use these methods today. Unfortunately, these methods leave small amounts of potentially toxic deposits, and using the chemical solvents process is more hazardous than carbon dioxide extraction. Besides existing safety problems, the product’s purity and potency are underwhelming.

    It Attains Supercritical Points Easily

    Pushing compounds to their supercritical points seems hard to attain. However, carbon dioxide is among the substances that achieve this point under pressure at minimum temperature, approximately ninety degrees Fahrenheit. This denotes that manufacturers can easily equip extraction laboratories with the required equipment and its the long run is cheaper than other methods. Furthermore, Taribak et al.  (2013)   supercritical method generates extracts with high concentration, potency, and quality.

    Widely available

    Carbon dioxide exists naturally in air, thus relatively easy to acquire. Additionally, CO2 is among the important portions of almost all organisms on earth. Moreover, its solubility shifts with pressure, enabling engineers to separate different molecules based on intended results. This method is pure, easy to operate, and extra. Marijuana plants have beyond 100 various cannabinoids; carbon dioxide has the potential to extract maximum essential cannabinoids safely and cleanly. However, its finished products have a slightly higher price than other products extracted through alternative methods. Medical providers discourage consumers from purchasing cheap products because they might have low quality, making them unsafe for human consumption.


    CBD oil is derived from hemp or marijuana plants through various extraction methods such as carbon dioxide and ethanol. When buying any cannabidiol oil extract, invest your money in premium products. Additionally, consider reputable companies with safe, pure, and high potent CBD oil products healthy for human consumption. Many reputable brands utilize carbon dioxide extraction methods to produce their CBD extracts. Pressurized CO2 produces healthy and clean products because they lack harmful solvent residue. Also, it extracts the maximum desired substances from the hemp plant. For this reason, the CO2-derived cannabidiol oil provides more consistent and better results than others. Fundamentally, CO2 is the standard extraction method for CBD industries.


    Allen, L., & Ansel, H. C. (2013). Ansel's pharmaceutical dosage forms and drug delivery systems. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

    Makoś-Chełstowska, Kurowska-Susdorf, & Płotka-Wasylka, (2021). Environmental problems and health risks with disposable baby diapers: Monitoring of toxic compounds by application of analytical techniques and need of education. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 143, 116408.

    Taribak, Casas, Mantell, Elfadli, Metni, & Martínez de la Ossa, (2013). Quality of Cosmetic Argan Oil Extracted by Supercritical Fluid Extraction from Argania spinosa L. Journal of Chemistry, 2013

    Ubeed, Bhuyan, Alsherbiny, Basu, & Vuong, (2022). A Comprehensive Review on the Techniques for Extraction of Bioactive Compounds from Medicinal Cannabis. Molecules, 27(3).

    Nicola Boulton
    Nicola Boulton

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