Supercritical fluid extraction using CO2 for cannabis is becoming more commonplace in the creation of medicinal cannabis products. CO2 is considered a safe, environmentally friendly, and recyclable solvent. It leaves behind no harmful residue in the cannabis production, unlike the use of butane and other chemical solvents that are commonly used for extraction.
The process of supercritical fluid extraction involves the use of a specialized extraction machine that freezes and compresses CO2 gas until it reaches a supercritical cold liquid. The liquefied carbon gas passes through the cannabis plant material to pull out the cannabinoids, trichomes, and terpenes to create a pure cannabis concentrate.
After the successful extraction process, the pressure is decreased to allow the CO2 to turn from a liquid into gas. The CO2 can then be cleanly released or collected and recycled for later use.
Supercritical fluid extraction also successfully kills any mold, insects, or bacteria that might be harbored in the cannabis plant material to create a superior, clean, and highly concentrated cannabis oil. This extraction method also helps preserve the cannabis plant’s terpenes, which render a tastier product.