CO2 vs Ethanol: how do we extract our hemp, why + Results.

A recurring debate within the hemp industry is centered around hemp extraction methods. In short: CO2 extraction vs. Ethanol Extraction. Technical discussion incoming :-) let's dig in!

What CO2 extraction does to hemp

While CO2 extraction offers undeniable strengths in the extraction of other botanicals, we firmly believe that it is not optimal for extracting hemp
The reason for this is that CO2 extraction involves applying a range of pressures and temperatures in order to remove the full range of active compounds from the biomass.
This results in the separation of active compounds: for example the majority of terpene content is usually separated from the cannabinoid content. This is detrimental to the entourage effect, which is itself essential for efficacy.
Another weakness of CO2 extraction is that it invariably pulls a high level of wax content from the biomass. The resulting hemp extract then requires winterization with ethanol or other alcohol to remove waxes. Bottom line: typically even CO2 extractors end up using ethanol. :-)
Fun fact, CO2 extraction equipment is very pricey and as such somewhat of a traumatic expenditure for well funded companies opting to go down that route! :-) Not saying this explains the plethora of pro CO2 extraction articles available online, but hey... might have something to do with it!!
At Nuume Organics, our mission is to deliver the most therapeutic hemp products on the market. As such, we do everything we can, from seed to bottle, to obtain the fullest spectrum of actives possible in our products. CO2 extraction can be a good choice for companies that are not after the fullest, purest spectrum (e.g. companies intending to manufacture/sell CBD isolate for instance). In our case, given the breakdown and distortion of the spectrum of actives CO2 leads to, it has always been our decision to stay away from it.

Ethanol Extraction: why but more importantly... how! 

Ethanol is the safest of alcohols and is an everpresent substance in our environment and even in our own bodies. Ethanol is the natural byproduct of fermentation of plant sugars, which occurs everywhere we see decomposition in the natural world, as well as within our own digestive tract. Not to mention it is the same alcohol consumed prolifically by humans in the form of beer, wine, and distilled spirits.  
Ethanol is an extremely efficient solvent for hemp, this is its strength and can also be its weakness. Ethanol is capable of extracting cannabinoids, terpenes, and other active compounds all in one swoop, delivering one homogeneous Full Spectrum Extract.  The trick is executing the extraction properly. If it is done at too warm of a temperature, or for too long then the material will be over-extracted and the resulting extract will be lower purity and have less desirable traits. 
It is also important that the process uses as little heat as possible through the ethanol recovery, purging, and decarboxylation processes in order to preserve life and effectiveness.
At NuuMe Organics, we have designed our entire extraction process around these key principles. Our proprietary ethanol cold extraction method allows us to obtain some of the most complete spectrums available, which translate into the most effective products. 
Ultimately, the CO2 vs. ethanol debate really depends on the objective pursued. As a company seeking to make the most therapeutic products possible, we opted for ethanol and developed our own method to make the most out of it. The result speaks for itself and it is truly an honor to be able to see our vision come to reality in a quantifiable, tangible way for our beloved customers.

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