Many people now use CBD oil as part of their daily supplement routine. While it used to be the case that most people considered CBD oil to be this esoteric, slightly suspicious product, nowadays, most people are confident in their knowledge of CBD oil.
There is one aspect of CBD oil and CBD products in general, however, that not a lot of people truly understand – extraction methods.
How is CBD oil made? And what does it mean when brands advertise that their CBD oil is made using supercritical CO2 extraction?
What Is Supercritical CO2 Extraction?
Many brands, such as PureKana CBD oil, will commonly advertise and highlight the fact that their CBD oil is made using supercritical CO2 extraction.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is one of those confusingly scientific terms that sounds exceptionally complicated to understand.
However, it is actually a straightforward concept and isn’t just a useless marketing term.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is just the most common and arguably best way CBD is extracted from hemp plants.
The process involves superheating carbon dioxide until it reaches the state of matter known as being supercritical. This is a hybrid of both a gas and a liquid – it makes the CO2 able to act as both a flowing liquid and a gas that can penetrate other matter.
This superheated CO2 is then pumped through a large vat filled with CBD-rich hemp. The CO2 extracts the essential compounds due to temperature and pressure differences; it also leaves behind by-products that the manufacturers don’t want.
From there, the CO2 is pumped into cooling chambers, where it can condense into more of a liquid. CBD and other useful phytonutrients are then suspended within an oil. This oil is typically something like coconut or olive oil, but it can also be hemp seed oil.
There are many benefits for brands that use supercritical CO2 extraction; let’s find out more.
Benefit #1: It Helps Keep CBD Cheap
CBD oils have a bit of a reputation for being exceptionally expensive, but the price of CBD oils would be even higher if supercritical CO2 extraction weren’t used.
The equipment needed for CO2 extraction is expensive and a little complicated, but that’s only the initial cost. Because manufacturers can use the machinery time and time again, they don’t incur any additional costs. This allows them to make their product quickly and cheaply.
Additionally, CO2 extraction doesn’t leave behind harmful solvent residue. This means companies can save money on the filtering processes.
All in all, CO2 extraction helps keep down the price of CBD oil for everyone and makes CBD oil more accessible for new users.
Benefit #2: It Is Cleaner Than Other Methods
Supercritical CO2 extraction is a process that requires minimal chemicals; it needs only pressurized CO2 to extract CBD.
Other methods, such as butane extraction or any others using solvents, have a remarkably different effect on the CBD.
Butane extraction is infamous for not only its terrible taste but also its adverse effects on the product. Studies have shown that not only is butane more dangerous during production, thanks to its propensity towards literally catching fire, but also more dangerous to the eventual user.
Impurities such as unpurged butane and other chemical risks make the butane method less suitable and possibly harmful for the user.
Benefit #3: Supercritical CO2 Is Tasteless
This last benefit might not seem like the most significant, but it can significantly affect the end product.
While many other solvent and extraction methods might be favored for one reason, none of them can match the complete tastelessness of using CO2.
This complete lack of flavor makes it so that users enjoy only the pure flavor of their CBD oil and no other weird or disliked tastes.
It also helps to ensure a purer, more clean product – the chemical flavor of things like butane might not be easy to imagine, but the moment the user smells or tastes it, they can instantly recognize it.
While the lack of any kind of CO2 flavor might seem minor compared to reducing cost or making it easier to manufacture, it’s still significant for the consumer.