For centuries or millenia, mankind has been developing different methods to interact with plant materials in our environment. Discovering how to tap into the beneficial CBD oils trapped in cannabis plants is part of this interaction. CO2 extraction is a method used to capture these oils without any toxic solvents. Supercritical CO2 extraction works with a combination of Carbon Dioxide, pressure and temperature to isolate specific compounds of the cannabis plant material for extraction.
When very high pressure and temperature are applied to CO2, this almost inert, non-flammable gas transforms into a liquid state or supercritical extractor fluid. Due to supercritical CO2 having high density and low viscosity, it can penetrate small pores in the cannabis plant matter that are otherwise inaccessible while also capturing a large volume of active CBD compounds. After the supercritical CO2 is pushed through high-pressure and low-pressure sections in our system, through change in temperature, the extractor fluid is transferred back to its gas state. At this point the CO2 completely separates from the CBD extract, leaving only shelf-ready, high quality oil and terpenes.
Unlike other chemical solvents such as benzene or alcohol, once CO2 becomes a gas, it leaves no oil residue, and does not change the direct chemical composition of the oil, making this process highly efficient and cost effective for terpene extraction equipment. The process is also relatively faster than other methods, with some machines processing up to 500LBS a day, without degradation of the plant matter, making this method of CBD extraction essential for maximizing ROI. Supercritical CO2 extraction machines also provide a safer method of extraction with a non-flammable solvent that is non-toxic. IES offers commercial and industrial sized CBD extraction equipment that provides clients with pin-point accuracy to extract targeted end products.
CO2 Extraction, also referred to as Supercritical extraction equipment, is one such method which takes advantage of the differing solubility of waxes and cannabinoids at temperatures below the freezing point. Essentially, the frozen wax from the hemp plant containing CBD oil is stripped from the plant using carbon dioxide. The wax is then separated from the first compound solvent using a filter press. This separation step is often referred to as “dewaxing”.
Solvent Extraction, also known as Hemp Bio Mass, is another common method which utilizes a maceration process where ground-up hemp is mixed with a solvent such as ethanol, heptane or hexane. (Oftentimes, the extraction process is ultrasound-assisted, via an ultrasonic bath). The chemical solvent extracts the CBD oil out of the plant fibers, and then the hemp oil/solvent combination is run through a filter press as a slurry. The solvent is then distilled or cleaned off, resulting in pure hemp oil. The CBD oil can then be further distilled and purified, if desired.