What Is CO2 Extraction for CBD and How Does It Work?

co2 extraction

Were you aware that in 2018, CBD was legalized across the entire United States as long as it is derived from hemp? If you are a fan of CBD, but are curious about how CBD gummies and tinctures are made, you are in the right place. We have put together this guide to share what is CO2 extraction for CBD and share all the ins and outs, so that you feel like an expert next time you are chewing on a CBD gummy. 

Keep reading to learn more.

What Is CO2 Extraction for CBD?

CO2 extraction is a method of extracting CBD and other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant using pressurized carbon dioxide. The process involves using a closed-loop system that includes a CO2 extraction machine, a pressurized chamber, and a collection vessel.

The cannabis plant material is placed in the pressurized chamber, and carbon dioxide is pumped into the chamber at a high pressure. The CO2 acts as a solvent, dissolving the cannabinoids and other plant compounds from the plant material.

Then the solution that is made, is pumped into a collection vessel. Where the CO2 evaporates, leaving behind a concentrated extract. 

How Does CBD Extraction Work?

The method uses both pressure and temperature to help create a supercritical state of CO2. In this state, the CO2 has properties of both a liquid and a gas. Making it an effective solvent for extracting cannabinoids and other plant compounds. 

The first step in the process is the extraction. This is when the cannabis plant material is placed in a pressurized chamber. And CO2 is pumped into the chamber at a high pressure. The CO2 dissolves the cannabinoids and other plant compounds from the plant material, creating a solution.

Next, is the separation phase which is when the solution is pump into a collection vessel, where the pressure and temperature are adjusted to separate the cannabinoids from the CO2. The cannabinoids are collected in a concentrated form. While the CO2 is recycled back into the extraction machine to be reused.

The last step is the purification phase where the concentrated extract is purified even more to help remove any residual plant material, solvents, or other impurities.


One of the benefits of CO2 extraction is that it’s consider as “green solvent” because it is a cleaner and healthier product. Unlike other solvents like hexane and butane, with CO2 extractions you don’t have to worry about chemicals or solvents. Also, CO2 extraction is better in the long run for the planet since it is recyclable. 

Another benefit is that with this extraction method, dozens of terpenes and cannabinoids can be extract. Having this many phytocompounds combined helps amplify the benefits in comparison to products that only have CBD isolate. Learning more about what is CBN Isolate can also come in handy. Because you can learn how CBN might be helpful as a sleeping aid, and other ways it can be useful. 

Feeling Like a CO2 Extraction Pro? 

Now that we have answered the question what is CO2 extraction and shared the ins and outs of how it works. Next time you are shopping for CBD tinctures, gummies or CBD oil, you can think about your newfound knowledge. 

We have even more articles to help you out, so make sure you keep browsing the rest of this section.

Read Also: Can CBD Oil Soothe Your Anxious Cat? A Complete Guide

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