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Extraction of Cannabinoids

Need Extraction Equiptment or Processing Equiptment?

There are 3 main methods to extract cannabinoids from cannabis i.e, Supercritical CO2 extraction, ethanol extraction and hydrocarbon (propane and butane) extraction.

At Exzol, we use Supercritical CO2 extraction for extraction of cannabinoids.

CO2 reaches a supercritical state at 1071 psi and 31.1°C. When a molecule is in a supercritical state, it has properties of both liquid and gas. This is beneficial because CO2 can reach into tiny areas like a gas but can also dissolve and behave like a liquid solvent.

Before extraction, the Cannabis biomass must be milled (to improve extraction efficiency) and inserted into the extraction vessel. The CO2   is then brought to a supercritical state with the increase of temperature and pressure. The supercritical CO2 is then pumped into an extraction vessel which contains the Cannabis biomass. This causes the trichomes in the Cannabis biomass to rupture, thus allowing cannabinoids to be released into a liquid extract.

The liquid extract is then fed into a separation vessel with the use of a pressure-release valve. The pressure is reduced in order for the CO2 to be released from the liquid extract. The CO2 returns to a gas state and then is recycled back into the tank, to be used for the next batch. The cannabis extract is then left behind in the separation vessel, which is finally drained out of the separation vessel.

The cannabis extract is then subjected to a Winterization process where ethanol is used to remove chlorophyll, lipids and other unwanted molecules. This results in a cannabinoid extract which is has a higher purity.

Benefits of Supercritical CO2 extraction over other extraction methods:

CO2 is recycled after extraction, making this process more environmentally friendly.

Since CO2 is a gas at room temperature, there will be no residual solvent left behind in the extract, thus resulting in a product which is safer for human consumption.

Microorganisms such as bacteria and mould are killed by the CO2 during extraction.

The yield is greater than other extraction methods.