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cbd oil co2 extraction

An olive oil extraction is most commonly done by home brew enthusiasts looking to create their own CBD oils. Though near any oil can be used in this process, olive oil is preferred due to its masking flavour and versatility.

At Vitality CBD we often discuss the importance of choosing a quality CBD oils, and how premium extraction techniques contribute to a better product. To truly understand why high-end extraction methods matter, let’s first explore how CBD is synthesised.

The most expensive and most popular CBD extraction method (particularly amongst manufacturers offering a premium product) involves using CO2. This is because it provides a clean, precise extraction that massively reduces the contamination potential of other methods.

Olive oil CBD extraction

The shared methodology between the two essentially entails running pressurised carbon dioxide across the hemp plant to strip away the desired phytochemicals (literally: plant chemicals). When treated to certain conditions, CO2 actually acts like a solvent, without any of the potential side-effects.

CO2 extractions can be split into supercritical and subcritical categories (there’s also ‘mid-critical’, a halfway point between the two), but supercritical is the most common, and the one we use at Vitality CBD for all of our CBD products. We’ll breakdown the differences between each below.

In this supercritical state, CO2 acts as a solvent when applied to the hemp plant without denaturing any of the compounds. The need to maintain the right pressure and temperature explains why CO2 extractions use expensive equipment, resulting in the best CBD.

When prioritising the best CBD products, it’s important that each step of the process is carried out with care and precision. You can grow high-quality hemp, with a large percentage of cannabidiol (CBD), but all of that goes to waste without the proper extraction techniques. So, that raises the question: which method is best?

With the proper products and training, processors can extract specific compounds like THC. Understanding boiling points of each compound is critical. Extraction processes takes time, money, and dedication but is well worth it! And with an Apeks Supercritical system utilizing cold separation to preserve the terpenes and other compounds, you can join other customers producing award-winning cannabis oils!

A raw marijuana plant contains several important compounds, and carefully controlled extraction methods can unlock others like THC. Many of these compounds change as they are heated. For example, cannabis contains THC in its acid form, THCa (non-psychoactive). When the plant material is exposed to heat, the THCa converts to THC.

The ground-up material is loaded into the machine and the processor/machine operator starts the extraction run. Unlike a subcritical extraction (low pressure, low temperature), a supercritical extraction method (high pressure, high temperature) extracts everything from the plant, including some undesirable elements like fats, waxes, and lipids. These need to be removed via a process called winterization so that only pure oil remains.


STEP THREE (optional): Once the oil is free of alcohol and plant wax, it can be further refined to separate individual compounds like THC using short path or fractional distillation processes.

STEP TWO: Remove the alcohol. This is done by gently warming the oil extract using a rotary evaporating machine. Alcohol’s boiling point is different from the oil’s, so it simply evaporates out of the oil. The alcohol is recovered and can be reused in the future.

All Apeks customers are eligible for one free winterization class! Watch a video of the class above.

A very specific heat and time ratio is critical, not only to convert THCa to THC, but also to prevent the THC from changing to a different compound. That’s why Apeks Supercritical has engineered thermally sensitive CO2 cannabis extraction systems using lower, plant-friendly temperatures for cold separation processing. Cold separation protects plant oils by never exposing them to temperature higher than the extraction temperatures, thereby protecting the volatile oils and terpenes, as well as retaining more THCa. Depending on the end products, processors may use the oils containing THCa (which offers its own therapeutic benefits) or convert it to THC.