Supercritical CO2 Extraction
Supercritical CO2 is the most common method used for extracting CBD, mostly because of it’s high yields, fast process and possibility for selectivity.
First of all: what does ‘critical’ stand for?
If carbon dioxide is pressurised above a certain pressure at a certain temperature (the ‘critical’ point), it starts to behave in a special way. It can move though solids like a gas, but it can also dissolve materials like a liquid.
The benefit of this is the speed of the extraction, and the ease of recovering the material that has been extracted. The CBD extract can be separated from the CO2 by simply reducing the pressure.
Another benefit is that by changing the parameters of pressure and temperature, the extractor can be more selective with regards to the exact content of the extract.
A skilled extractor can adjust this process to get the exact output they want, and will have more control over the waxes and fats that end up in the final product. These are often seen as impurities, and it can be expensive to remove them.