CO2 extraction is the process of removing the beneficial compounds from herbal materials using CO2 as the solvent. Carbon Dioxide (CO2), heat, and pressure are the ingredients that separate the hidden gold out of nature’s treasure. Many herbs have a variety of compounds that support health and well being if only they can be consumed in sufficient concentrations and purity. CO2 extraction is one key to nature’s treasure chest of gold.
At STD Extracts our CO2 extraction process is technically called Carbon Dioxide Super critical Fluid Extraction because it uses carbon dioxide in its liquid state (under high pressure) to dissolve and separate the beneficial cannabis compounds from the inert plant material. This is a proven technology that is used commercially on a large scale to decaffeinate green coffee beans, and extract essential oils like evening primrose, coriander and spearmint. Because of its cost and difficulty it is a relatively new process for cannabis extraction, but it is quickly becoming a favorite among medical marijuana enthusiasts because of its unsurpassed safety and purity.
CO2 is incredibly safe. It is the gas we breathe out through our lungs and is essential food for plants. Our STD Extracts CO2 is a completely natural, non-toxic and non-reactive compound. It won’t burn, it won’t react with the cannabis compounds it extracts, and it can’t leave behind any residue. That is what makes it an ideal solvent for the processing of food or medical extracts. In the case of cannabis, CO2 in a liquid state under high pressure, pulls out the purest essences of cannabis. The result is a transparent amber oil we call our STD Extracts Nectar from heaven.
“When the solvent (CO2) is pushed through the plant matter at such a high pressure, it can separate the matter precisely, which allows us to isolate only the purest essence.” – James Slatic
“The CO2 extraction process allows compounds to be extracted with little damage and low toxicity.” – Tommy Chong
What is BHO? Good question. BHO stands for Butane Hash Oil. Why is it important to stay away from BHO?
In contrast, BHO (Butane Honey Oil) extraction is the process of using Butane to extract honey oil from cannabis. BHO was the first, crude way to extract hash oil from cannabis because it is cheap and can be done with very little machinery. But Butane is not an ideal solvent. It is flammable and potentially explosive which is why it is illegal in California. But more importantly, butane extraction does not necessarily result in a pure cannabis extract. Butane is not a fully oxidized compound (it burns), so there is a chance it can react with the compounds it is supposed to be extracting. Butane can potentially leave behind heavy metals in the finished extract it produces. And traces of the Butane itself is left in the finished extract unless it is properly removed in subsequent processing steps. Ensuring that these Butane residues are properly removed is the reason that Cannabis testing companies provide Residual Solvent Testing (RST) of wax and other cannabis concentrates.