ethanol vs co2 extraction cbd

CBD Oil Extraction Technique – Ethanol vs. Supercritical CO2

CBD Oil Extraction Technique – Ethanol vs. Supercritical CO2

There are several different methods for extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant, each with their own pros and cons.

There are several techniques available for extracting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. The two most common are ethanol extraction and supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction.

In CBD oil circles, both methods have their advocates and detractors.

When buying natural extracts like CBD oil, it’s important to understand what you’re buying. To this end, we’ve compiled all of the available information on these CBD oil extraction techniques, so you can figure out which option is best for you and your needs.

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What Is Ethanol Extraction?

There are a few different ways to extract CBD oil using ethanol extraction but the typical process involves heating the cannabis plant material to achieve decarboxylation (or the removal of carbon atoms from a carbon chain) and then soaking that plant material in ethanol for a period of time.

After time has elapsed, the solution is filtered to separate the liquid from the plant matter. This liquid is then left in an open dish to allow the ethanol to evaporate.

Because ethanol is a solvent created by plants, many proponents of the ethanol extraction method believe it’s the best way to maintain the chemical ratios that naturally exist in cannabis. Ethanol extracts both water and oil-soluble compounds, which can be seen as both good and bad.

One of the compounds ethanol efficiently extracts is chlorophyll ; while chlorophyll closely resembles hemoglobin and has many health benefits, it can be bitter and grassy tasting. It’s important to note that this extra filtration of the chlorophyll can reduce the potency of the CBD oil.

It’s worth noting that it can be next to impossible to remove all the ethanol from the finished CBD oil without using an additional filter, further reducing the purity and potency of the final CBD oil product.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of using ethanol extraction for CBD oil is the formation of esters . Esters are water-soluble, meaning they’re highly bioavailable—in other words, they’re easily absorbed by our bodies. So, by mixing the CBDa or THCa that occurs in raw cannabis with ethanol, you will end up with CBD or THC that is easily absorbed by the body.

Bioavailability is massively important when it comes to CBD oil. Oil-soluble compounds are difficult to digest and must be broken down by our body’s acids and enzymes, reducing their potency and purity in the process.

Finally, for the purists out there, CBD oil extracted with ethanol can be certified organic!

What Is Supercritical CO2 Extraction?

Supercritical CO2 is another popular way to extract CBD oil from the cannabis plant.

“Supercritical” refers to the point at which CO2 has the properties of both a gas and a liquid.

Utilizing specialized equipment, the CO2 is cooled to below -69°F and put under 75psi of pressure, creating a supercritical state.

At this point, a chamber containing the cannabis plant material is filled with this CO2 where trichomes and terpenes dissolve into the carbon dioxide. The CO2 then passes through a separator, and CBD oil is left behind.

One of the primary advantages of supercritical CO2 extraction is that it can be fine-tuned to extract specific compounds by adjusting the heat and pressure. This allows for more control over the purity of cannabinoids and flavor compounds present in the CBD oil extracted using this method.

There are a few caveats to supercritical CO2 extraction as well. Problems like carcinogen and rancid fat formation can arise if the cannabis plant isn’t properly dried beforehand. Also, this method can require relatively high amounts of energy, especially compared to ethanol extraction.

While supercritical CO2 extraction does not extract chlorophyll as ethanol does, it still extracts contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals. As a general rule, it’s always best to check a vendor’s certificates of analysis before purchasing any CBD oil to verify it’s void of contaminants.

Which CBD Oil Extraction Method is Better? Ethanol or CO2?

One particular extraction method isn’t necessarily better than the other; each has its advantages and disadvantages. The answer will ultimately depend on the quantity and quality of CBD oil you’re looking to extract, if you’re extracting.

If you’re just shopping around for CBD oil products, consider testing brands that use ethanol extraction and supercritical CO2 extraction to determine which method produces the best product for your needs. If it’s important for you to have certified organic CBD oil, then ethanol-extracted CBD oil is likely the option for you. If you’re looking for a specific flavor or compound profile in your CBD products, supercritical CO2-extracted CBD oil might be the way to go.

The final decision is up to you!

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Ethanol extraction and supercritical CO2 extraction are popular methods for getting CBD oil from the cannabis plant. Which method is better?

Ethanol vs. CO2 for Cannabis and Hemp Extraction

Cannabis and Hemp are undoubtedly leading the top trends of the health and wellness industry right now. Holding the ownership of a surplus amount of health benefitting properties have made these two ingredients to reign the remedial market. The usage of cannabis and hemp is not limited to recreational use. Cannabis benefits from a large reserve of cannabinoids that one can reap benefits from, by not sticking to the primary method of smoking. Masses are gradually learning the ABCs of cannabis and its efficient usage, which is making the cannabis and hemp industries experience a rise in its demand for supply.

Some of the most popular cannabis products comprise oil, tinctures, salves, creams, gummies and vape juices that are currently heavy in demand. These cannabis products furnish similar remedial properties though the effects may vary with the concentration. However, a large difference transpires through the method being in use for the extraction of cannabis or hemp.

The extraction process plays a pivotal role in defining the quality of the extracted product. Cannabis is more than just CBD and THC, comprising other astonishing cannabinoids such as CBN, THCA, CBD Terpenes and CBDA that one can reap benefits from if included in the lifestyle. Choices in the extraction process allow you to pick the benefits you wish to avail for yourself. Among the traditional and modern methods, two names are leading the cannabis extraction domain. These are Ethanol and CO2 extraction methods.

Choosing which method to consider depends on what the extraction specialists want to get out of it. Nevertheless, the users must also get a little insight into this process, which is why we have accumulated this informative piece to educate you regarding the rudiments of cannabis extraction. Here is how ethanol and CO2 extraction for cannabis and hemp extraction works out!

Ethanol Extraction

One of the most popular and old methods for cannabis and hemp extraction is Ethanol extraction. As its name suggests, the ethanol method introduces hemp buds to the ethyl alcohol solution while letting it sit for an hour or so to extract. Later, the solution is boiled to remove certain compounds that are not useful and evaporate at low boiling levels, consequently, leaving you with a pure batch of cannabis or hemp extraction. You can use the products refined from this production method to use in cannabis edibles and topicals, as they would not emit the unusual taste or smell of the hemp.

The method of ethanol extraction steps ahead of the CO2 process in terms of precision and cost. Products obtained from ethanol extraction ensure 99% purity emerging as a better option in comparison to various other methods. Ethanol extraction is also cost-effective if compared to the other prevailing methods of cannabis and hemp extraction that use expensive machinery. This process might use higher levels of energy to carry out its process, though it is best for extensive operations. Experts recommend it mostly for high-scale harvest extraction.

An already leading method of extraction of various food ingredients, CO2 extraction use carbon dioxide in its liquid state (known as Supercritical CO2) to extract the specific constituents from the hemp or cannabis. The lengthy process of CO2 extraction uses temperature and pressure to aim towards the extraction of the relevant component of the plant. It demands several pieces of equipment and high-quality CO2 extraction unit that is a little pricier than other methods. However, the quality and effect of CO2 extracted products compensate for the expenditure with their efficiency.

The CO2 extraction method secures the “weedy” flavor of cannabis and hemp, which also helps in maintaining the fragrance of the product intact. On the other hand, ethanol extraction loses its flavor profile during the time of extraction. CO2 extractions are pure and lack toxicity under the heavy circumstances of pressure and varying temperatures. If you prefer vaping over any other method, then products obtained from the CO2 extraction will allow you the comparison of CBD vape juices to choose from a wide range of varying flavors and effects.


After knowing how the two methods of CO2 and Ethanol extraction differ from each other, the question arises regarding preference. Both are proficient in their performances and the choice depends upon the desired end product that expert wishes to achieve through the process. As the demand will rise in the market for specific traits of the cannabis or hemp, the process will also change with it.

Home growers can buy Indica seeds online to get their healthy harvest extracted accordingly after knowing the rudiments of various extraction methods of cannabis and hemp. The information regarding extraction methods will only lead you to choose the finest product for yourself, so get ready to claim the best out of your cannabis and hemp product!

Ethanol vs. CO2 for Cannabis and Hemp Extraction Cannabis and Hemp are undoubtedly leading the top trends of the health and wellness industry right now. Holding the ownership of a surplus amount ]]>