Let’s dumb down these two extraction processes to better understand what C02 & BHO methods are… While C02 and BHO concentrate looks, taste, and burn similar, there are some key differences between them.
Supercritical Fluid Extraction (SFE) means that carbon dioxide (co2) is used to extract the cannabinoids from the cannabis flower. Extreme pressure accumulates over 8 to 10 hours in tubes that liquefy the carbon dioxide and strips the plant of its cannabinoids, thus producing a terpene-less resin. Any remaining CO2 leftover in the cannabis oil will naturally evaporate by itself. However, producers will often introduce ethanol to coagulate with plant waxes or lipids, and 100% purge the carbon dioxide out of the oil.
When using Butane to extract cannabinoids, the plant matter is loaded into a tube and soaked in butane to separate the oils for about 45-60 minutes. Once extracted, the weed oil is “purged” in an industrial vacuum for up to 3 days to ensure the plant matter is pure and solvent free.
In most cases, Terpenes will need to be introduced after the extraction process to add back the aroma and flavor of the original plant matter. Some producers will extract these terpenes and introduce them to the weed oil after purging, while many use artificial flavors. Whether C02 or BHO extracted, artificial flavors cost much less than the real thing because Terpenes are the flavor and aroma molecules, naturally found in plant resins.
Advantages of each
C02 typically tests somewhere between 70 and 85 percent. Advocates will argue that you’re less likely to inhale unwanted pollutants like butane. So in some circles, it is considered to be the cleanest method of extracting cannabinoids because its organic state is non-toxic and functions as a carbohydrate for certain plant life.
The THC content is typically higher when derived from the BHO process, in the 80 to 90 percent range, and the flavor profile remains intact much more than C02 because the flower is not completely stripped down to its cannabinoid matter. While the stigma behind BHO proposes the likelihood of butane remnants, either process will most likely require solvents at some point.
- C02 Oil does not require any petroleum and is therefore considered a clean, safe, non-toxic method of extraction.
- C02 Extraction strips away all terpenes and flavor profiles.
- BHO uses butane to extract the cannabinoids and break down the plant matter. As a result, this oil must be purged of any petroleum-based products for a considerable amount of time.
- BHO tends to have a stronger terpene expression that has more characteristics of the strain.
- Both have the same burn temp for dab pens and weed vape pens.