Many medical and recreational cannabis consumers prefer to inhale cool, instantly, rejuvenating, cannabinoid-infused vapor as opposed to comparably harsh combusted cannabis smoke. However, many health-conscious cannabis concentrate consumers also prefer to avoid inhaling residual petroleum particles into their lungs from butane hash oil. Are you ready for a cleaner, purer, tastier, safer and overall truly higher quality cannabis concentrate? This post will break down a bit of the basics behind supercritical fluid extraction and the biochemical benefits of CO2 extracted cannabis concentrates. (For simple steps to extract concentrated kief crystals with dry CO2 ice at home, see the following link.)
Supercritical CO2 is increasingly being used as a cheap, recyclable and environmentally safe industrial solvent for creating high quality coffee, vanilla, tea, fruit and nut extracts and aromas, omega-3 oils, fragrances, perfumes, tobacco extractions for e-cigarettes, hop-oil extraction for beer, oil extractions for alternative energies from algae and of course for superior high grade cannabis oil.
Our bodies naturally produce carbon dioxide, CO2 when we breathe. The FDA considers it safe which is why CO2 is used to keep our soda pop fresh. CO2 is nontoxic and CO2 extraction processes do not contribute toward carbon emission increases in our atmosphere. CO2 extraction doesn’t bring any flammable petroleum based solvents into contact with your medicine removing the danger of explosions from the CO2 extraction process as well as potentially harmful petroleum based butane particles from the final, very fine, concentrated cannabis product!
Supercritical CO2 Extraction 101:
Warning: this may seem a little complicated if you’re not an industrial chemist or if you’re not high enough while you read this. CO2 extraction machines essentially freeze and compress CO2 gas into a “supercritical” cold liquid state. The supercritical system then passes this cold carbon liquified gas through some high-grade pot, pulling all of the essential trichome and terpene oils and/or waxes out of the plant material into collection receptacles. Decreasing the pressure on the CO2 after the extraction process is complete allows the liquid CO2 to turn back into a gas and evaporate into the atmosphere if left out in room temperature the same way a soda pop goes flat after it’s opened, loses its pressure and warms up. Some industrial supercritical machines can recapture, recycle and reuse the CO2 gases.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is supercool for the future of the global ganja community because the process gives concentrate makers the ability isolate, capture and scientifically understand the more elusive cannabinoids besides THC and CBD. CO2 extraction in other words, is the key to understanding the hidden medical benefits of the other, less prevalent cannabinoids and how they work together when the whole plant is used as medicine in a process known as the entourage effect. Supercritical CO2 extraction will probably help growers breed wildly new strains of cannabis with undreamt of, yet-to-be discovered, miraculous medicinal health benefits.
Additional Extracted Value
CO2 oils are highly customizable. Industrial concentrate makers can make pure cannabis extracts with the consistency of oil, shatter, budder or wax just as easily with the same CO2 machine simply by varying and fine tuning the temperature, pressure, solvent-to-feed ratio and the flow rate during the extraction process. Running supercritical liquid CO2 through reefer may also kill any microbial bacteria, mold, mildew or insect mites that shouldn’t be in your weed in the first place, guaranteeing that your concentrates will be cleaner and healthier for you to consume. There’s also no need to use ethanol alcohol to winterize or butane to de-wax or extract the cannabis oils making supercritical CO2 concentrates tastier without residual ethanol, or butane and with more terpene aromas preserved. The superior taste of CO2 extracts also make them ideal for using in cannabis concentrates.
This article originally appeared on Honest Marijuana, a resource for organic practices related to the growing, processing, and where to buy organically-grown and pesticide-free marijuana. For more information, visit their website at Honest Marijuana via this link.