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Why Don’t We Winterize our CO2 Oil?

When we tell prospective customers that we don’t “winterize” our CO2 oil, we get a lot of suspicious looks. Winterization is considered a given in CO2 extraction. This is because the industry standard is supercritical CO2, a fast and effective method that yields an extract with a viscosity similar to peanut butter. It then requires a post-processing step called winterization to clean up the oil. During this process, raw extract is mixed with ethanol and frozen; the fats and waxes can then be filtered out and the ethanol distilled off the oil.

We take a different approach, one that takes more time and patience, but yields a beautiful oil. After extraction, our oil is closer to the consistency and color of maple syrup. It is preserved in its raw state and never mixed with ethanol.

We firmly believe in the value of minimal processing. Each post-processing step yields loss as well as distance from the original plant chemistry. We seek to recreate the full spectrum profile of our organic hemp, and we’ve made important investments in state of the art equipment to help us uphold these ideals. 

During CO2 extraction, carbon dioxide is manipulated with temperature and pressure so that it can perform as a solvent. In a supercritical state, CO2 is simultaneously a liquid and a gas; this makes it an extremely effective solvent, but less discerning about which compounds are being extracted off the plant. We employ subcritical CO2, a pressure and temperature combination where CO2 is still a liquid. At this lower pressure and temperature, the CO2 effectively “washes” the cannabinoids off the outside of the plant, and we can end the extraction before the CO2 breaks into the cell walls where undesirable plant components are stored. 

Though subcritical CO2 can be a slower form of extraction, it yields a much cleaner final product. And given our minimal processing steps, our oil’s chemical composition remains more faithful to that of the original plant. 

We’re really proud of our oil and the integrity of our extraction process. But don’t take our word for it! We provide samples of both unformulated and formulated oils so you can compare our oil to others on the market, and judge for yourself. 

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