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What is CO2 Oil?

As we learn more about terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and other compounds found in cannabis, consumers are realizing the importance of preserving these molecules when making concentrates. This has led to a new brand of concentrates on the market, including CO2 oil. 

In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about it, including:

  • What is CO2 oil?
  • What are CO2 extracts?
  • How is CO2 oil used?
  • Frequently Asked Questions  

What is CO2 Oil?

CO2 oil, or CO2 hash oil, is a type of cannabis concentrate that uses CO2 during extraction. This process, commonly referred to as Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE), involves heating and pressurizing the CO2 before forcing it through ground cannabis. This breaks down the trichomes in the cannabis plant, releasing cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. These compounds bond with CO2 and are collected in a separate container. 

There are several benefits to utilizing CO2 over other extraction methods, like butane:

  • CO2 occurs naturally
  • CO2 can be used to extract a variety of cannabinoids, including THCA, THCV, and CBD
  • It does not have to be heated to extreme temperatures, risking the destruction of cannabinoids and terpenes  

What are CO2 Extracts?

CO2 extracts are any cannabis concentrates created through a CO2 extraction method, including shatter, crumble, oil, and so many more products. CO2 extractions can also be done on hemp, creating CBD extracts.

When visiting a dispensary, you may notice that many concentrates indicate the type of extraction method used during creation. This is because some cannabis connoisseurs feel CO2 better preserves the terpenes and cannabinoids in the marijuana, so they can be enjoyed when consuming it.

How is CO2 Oil Used?

CO2 oil describes a certain type of concentrate extracted with CO2, so you’ll want to purchase the right tool for the concentrate you’re consuming. Oils come in vape cartridges or pens, while concentrates like wax or shatter will need a dab rig or nectar collector.

Answering FAQs About CO2 Oil

CO2 oil is a popular product for cannabis connoisseurs around the country. As such, we often get questions about this method of extraction and the products that use it. To clarify, we’re answering them here:

Distillate vs CO2 oil, what’s the difference?
Distillate refers to a single cannabinoid—typically THC distillate or CBD distillate—that is suspended in oil or liquid and has no flavor or aroma. CO2 oil is any cannabis concentrate created using a CO2 extraction process which preserves the terpenes and cannabinoids.

What is a CO2 oil cartridge?
A CO2 oil cartridge is a vape product that contains a cannabis oil produced through CO2 extraction. CO2 oil cartridges are typically added to a battery and vaped.

Is CO2 extraction safe?
CO2 extraction is safe, but we don’t recommend attempting this at home. While the process is less volatile than butane extraction, it’s still a technical process that requires the right equipment, pressure, and time. It’s easier, safer, and more budget friendly to simply purchase from a licensed dispensary.

Shopping for CO2 Oil

If you’re looking for CO2 oil, head down to your local dispensary. Most dispensaries keep a ready stock of CO2-extracted concentrates for cannabis enthusiasts to enjoy. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you can always ask one of the cannabis experts on staff for help. Their extensive product knowledge will help you find a few new favorite cannabis concentrates to try. 

Recreational cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and certified patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.