Organa Labs currently employs a supercritical, carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction process to unlock desirable cannabinoids, terpenes and other key components of cannabis. This extraction process helps separate these components to enhance overall user experience.
A supercritical fluid, no matter how much pressure is applied, will not compress into a liquid. It exhibits properties of both a gas and a liquid, often with densities approaching that of a liquid through diffusivity (the ability to move into and through small spaces) and that of a gas. This makes supercritical fluids ideal for extractions.
Liquid CO2 is pumped into a highly pressurized, stainless steel cylinder that contains specific, particle-sized ground cannabis. In this state, the supercritical CO2 has a high solvating power for cannabinoids and terpenes. When the supercritical fluid passes through the ground cannabis, some of the cannabinoids and terpenes move into the fluid and both are carried out of the pressurized cylinder and into the extraction vessel. Think about this process as if it were salt in water. If you stir salt into a glass of water; the salt particles dissolve, actually moving into the water particles. If the water is poured into another glass, the salt goes with it. This is similar to the transference of the supercritical fluid and the “dissolved” terpenes and cannabinoids into separate extraction chambers.
As the supercritical fluid is pumped through the system, it enters a second vessel where the pressure is much lower, meaning the solvating power of the fluid is greatly reduced; it can no longer carry or hold on to the cannabinoids and terpenes, separating one from the other. The CO2 continues to pump through the closed-loop system and back into the extraction vessel, where the process starts again. The CO2 takes more cannabinoids and terpenes out of the plant material and carries it to the collection vessel where they are deposited and the cycle continues until there is a satisfactory amount of terpenes and cannabinoids left (the extract).
The last step in our Organa Labs process is to purify the extract, which contains some of the plant’s cuticle waxes, lipids, pigments and lignins. This process, similar to “winterization,” uses only ethanol and cold temperatures to remove most of the plant’s cuticles, resulting in a purified extract, free of everything but the essential cannabinoids and terpenes cannabis consumers look for in quality cannabis.