Demystifying the C02 Extraction Process

pure extraction systems cannabis

The past few years have seen a renewed interest in the C02 Extraction process and systems, specifically when it comes to the food, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries. While not new, the process is becoming highly coveted for its efficiency and environmental benefits as well as for its efficiency in isolating and extracting a wider selection of pure elements. 

C02 Extraction has been used safely in industries, such as coffee, tea, fruit extractions, vanilla, omega-3 oils, perfumes and hop-oil in beer production to name a few. This new venture into the cannabis industry is bringing about an increased focus on researching the benefits and really taking the cannabis industry in a more science-forward direction.

While there are various forms of extraction available – water, butane, alcohol, ethanol – the C02 Extraction process is typically deemed to be the safest and most environmentally conscious compared to petroleum based solvents (butane / propane). Plus, with no trace amounts of toxic solvent residues in the end product, it is deemed a safe and preferred choice.

That said, the question remains, what is the science behind the machines that extract the essential oils and why is it so effective in isolating and extracting specific compounds, especially when extracting oils from cannabis?

It is important to note that extracting oils from cannabis brings about its own set of challenges due to the complexity of the individual elements themselves.

Step One: When the food grade liquid Carbon Dioxide is contained under high pressure and heated they are able to move through the states of matter (solid, liquid, gas). When heated, the C02 becomes a supercritical fluid and possesses the solvating power of a liquid and the diffusivity of a gas… in short, it has properties of both a gas and a liquid.

Step Two: C02 passes through cannabis to extract the essential oils and terpenes, including cannabinoids. Both trim and high quality flower can be used in this process.

Step Three: The essential oils are collected in the separation vessels, and can be further refined in post-extraction processes for specific distillates.

Step Four: The supercritical C02 gas is moved into a condenser and returned to its liquid state and recycled back to a storage tank.

While this is an extremely simplistic view of the process, it gives you a good idea of what our Pure Extraction machinery can do for your business.


About Pure Extraction

We specialize in the design, development, manufacturing and service of Supercritical C02 Extraction Systems. Our Canadian made products are built with the main focus on quality, ease-of-use, and with the highest potential efficiency in mind. We invite you to connect with our team to discuss your specific needs and how C02 Extraction can increase your efficiency and support a more environmentally-friendly direction.