Subcritical CO2 extraction… is it worth it?

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The Hemp plant has goodies” that are good for your body. 

Specifically, Cannabinoids such as:

  • THC (Marijuana’s MVP) – The infamous member of this group. In its purest form, has 20 times the anti-inflammatory potency of that drug that we’re also not allowed to mention. And basically a nonaddictive pain reliever.
  • Cannabinol aka CBN – Helps you sleep and helps regulate the immune systems and also acts as an inflammatory (liver-friendly too).
  • Cannabigerol aka CBG – Helps relieve pain and… surprise… also safe on your liver.


Plus 109 more Cannabinoids… with each one of them having similar health benefits like the aforementioned 4 Cannabinoids above.


Then there are the Non-Cannabinoids such as:

  • Terpenes (The aroma) – There are a hundred different types of terpenes in the hemp plant. And some of them promote relaxation and stress-relief, while others potentially promote focus and give you a mental boost
  • Flavonoids (The taste) – Though not as popular as Cannabinol or Terpenes, this goodie from the hemp plant plays an integral role in the “Entourage Effect” of the full spectrum CBD. Studies also show that Flavonoids in itself alone has very potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Note: The “Spicer” or “Earthier” the taste is… the more potent the CBD product is.


Since the discovery of these Cannabinoids and Non-Cannabinoid goodies in the hemp plant (it’s really in the hemp flower), humans have been thinking of ways to put them in their bodies. And they tried everything.

They tried eating the hemp flower raw, only to find out that it doesn’t have the same desired effect as a concentrated extract. Not to mention the health risk from the “microbes” (it tastes nasty too!). 

For the longest time, they tried to smoke it. But this method only allowed a fraction of the goodies to be absorbed by the human body. Leaving hundreds of the other Cannabinoids useless and voiding the effects of the Terpenes and Flavonoids.


Until they discovered how to efficiently access these goodies. Done by separating them from the hemp plant by using these now very popular methods: 


Solvent-based extraction: (Most cost-effective process) – This process involves putting the hemp flower (and it’s trimmings) into Container-A. Then bombing that container where with pressurized  (50 – 150 PSI) solvents – either Butane, Propane or Ethanol – and letting the pressurized solvent run through the hemp. As the pressurized solvents run through the hemp, it will carry the Cannabinoid and Non-Cannabinoid goodies to Container-B. Container-B will then be heated up so that the solvents evaporate. And when all of the solvents have dissipated, what will be left in Container-B will be the goodies. 

Goodies that were heated and been blasted by pressurized Butane or Propane.

Did the heat affect the goodie’s potency in any way? Absolutely. 

Will there be Butane or Propane residue in the goodies? 


Well… the hemp plant was put in a container and was run over with those pressurized solvents – then was boiled in them. So our advice is, don’t wait for your customers to tell you that they had your products tested and they found out that it had trace amounts of Propane in it. Or worst… post it on social media for your competitors to see and broadcast over and over again on their social media accounts.


C02 Extraction: (Uses CO2 as a solvent) – This process is similar to solvent-based extraction. But instead of toxic and nasty solvents like Butane or Propane, this process uses CO2 (the gas in our air) instead. There are 2 types of Carbon Dioxide based Extractions. 

The first is what’s called Supercritical. 

Under certain temperature and pressure, CO2 can actually turn into a solvent (turns subcritical). A solvent is something you can dissolve a compound onto. For example, the solvent for seawater is water. 


This process is done by using what’s called a “closed-loop extractor.” This contraption has 3 containers. 

  • Container-A holds pressurized, CO2 (which now serves as a solvent). 
  • Container-B has dried hemp trimmings in it
  • Container-C this is where the goodies will be extracted from the hemp

From Container-A, the pressurized CO2 is pumped into Container-B, which takes on the form of supercritical CO2 (neither a gas nor a liquid). The supercritical CO2 then runs through the dried hemp trimmings to extracts the cannabinoids out of it. It’s then pumped into Container-C where the CO2 rises to the top. This leaves the goodies at the bottom and separated from the CO2.

The 2nd CO2 based extraction is what’s called Subcritical

This method typically follows the subcritical extraction process minus the element of Heat. With the addition of another very meticulous and time-consuming process called Winterization.

Winterizing will help purify the product as this is a process where the waxes are removed. Done by dissolving the extract in ethanol then freezing this mixture. The waxes – as well as any unwanted material – will sit on top of the extracts and can be easily removed through a filter. This will result in the cleanest and safest extracts.

This method does not include any heating elements, thus preserving the maximum quantity and quality of our goodies – Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids. 

In a nutshell, it’s like this…

Subcritical CO2 is one of the most expensive and most time consuming out of all the extraction methods. Reason, why more 81% of the CBD products on the market were extracted using either solvents based extraction (the cheapest method), or a Supercritical C02 method. All of which involve heat in the extraction process.

The potency of goodies in the hemp plant will be compromised once heat is applied to it. Something the other extraction process cannot avoid doing. Subcritical C02 does not use heat in the extraction process. This not only preserves but also maximizes the abilities of the Cannabinoids and Non-Cannabinoids from the hemp flower that were extracted. 

Carolina Sweet Crude™ means CBD products that derived from Subcritical CO2 extracted hemp oil. Just one drop on your tongue and you’ll know the difference immediately between Subcritical and regular CBD products. That strong,earthy”  aroma and “spiciness” your customer will be tasting will be your brand’s signature. For anyone that’s knowledgeable on CBD knows that the blander the taste, the weaker the Cannabinoids Terpenes, and Flavonoids are.

And if you choose us to be your partner, you’ll be among the very few CBD brands that will sell Subcritical C02 extracts

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