Supercritical CO2 Extraction, also known more simply as CO2 Extraction, is already a standard extraction method for the food, dry cleaning, and herbal supplement industries. If you are searching for pure cannabis concentrates, there’s no better method than CO2 Extraction.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) can be heated and compressed into a supercritical fluid, meaning that it can effuse through solids like gasses but still dissolve material like liquids. This phase diagram shows where traditional indications of physical state become homogenous, though it can be imagined as a spectrum between liquid-like and gas-like that can be navigated for various purposes. Below is a figure from Dima Bolmatov showing how heat capacity can differentiate the spectrum.
In the extraction process, the super-critical CO2 acts as a solvent. Historically CO2 was thought to be a nonpolar solvent, primarily because of its low dielectric constant and zero molecular dipole moment. Owing to its significant quadrupole moment, CO2 has also been described as a quadrupolar solvent.Recent studies suggest that, the microscopic solvent behavior of CO(2) is exhibits the potential to act as either a weak Lewis base or acid. Additionally, strong theoretical and experimental evidence indicates that CO2 participates in conventional or nonconventional hydrogen-bonding interactions.
Regardless of the technical intricacies the physical constants of the supercritical CO2 can be tuned for a more selective extraction than either polar or non-polar traditional solvents. Which is to say, it’s pushed through the plant matter at such a high pressure that it separates the concentrate matter precisely, isolating only the purest essence.
CO2 is non-toxic so there’s no need to purge any of the solvent from the concentrate after the processing, but it should also evaporate/sublimate once warming above -78.5C making removal automatic. This saves time and leads to the purest concentrates since it requires no post-processing purging.
This is why CO2 is the best method of cannabis concentrate extraction. Supercritical CO2 is chemically stable, reliable, low-cost, non-toxic, non-flammable and readily available, making it a desirable candidate working fluid. It’s easier, more effective, and the safest method because CO2 is naturally occurring. You’re not risking the inhalation of any other chemicals or substances other than pure cannabis extract. And, its not just safer for consumers, but also for manufacturers; CO2 is both less explosive and less flammable than the vast majority of alternatives. High natural abundance keeps costs low; our generators are able to replace any gas lost from the atmosphere.