There are many options to extract components from hemp. The three most common are Butane, Ethanol, and Supercritical CO2 Extraction. We easily ruled out Butane due to the number of explosions and the toxic residue in the the final product. We can not endorse a process and product that pose significant health risks.
We also ruled out Ethanol extraction, even though it is the easiest and the cheapest. It simply is not the best. According the Earth Science Tech:
“Ethanol extraction requires the Hemp/Alcohol mixture to be boiled for long periods of time. The heat can not only damage sensitive nutrients but it can cause many volatile oils to be evaporated out of the mixture. Therefore you end up with an oil that may have been damaged and might be lacking some important components required for the correct synergy.”
On the other hand, supercritical CO2 extracted hemp oil contains a spectrum of naturally occurring phytochemicals including terpenes, flavonoids, carotenoids and other beneficial phytonutrients. Supercritical CO2 combined with subcritical CO2, preserves these compounds by efficiently extracting from the hemp plant in a low temperature environment. Full spectrum extracts act on more biological pathways than isolated extracts of THC or CBD.
A major benefit of CO2 extraction is that the process kills any microbial bacteria, mold, or mildew on the plant which guarantees the extract will be healthier for consumption.
Supercritical CO2 extraction is a gold standard when it comes to concentrating cannabinoids and terpenes.