What Is Supercritical Fluid Extraction?

Where Does CBD Come From?


At All Natural Way, we want to ensure that our customers get the most out of their CBD regimen. This article will show you how to identify quality CBD products as well as explain how they are made.


As a result of the booming hemp markets, CBD oils are generating a great deal of attention. CBD products are any supplemental items that contain the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol. Cannabidiol, CBD, is native to the hemp plant. The official title for the CBD providing plant is industrial hemp. A 2014 National Farm Bill was a piece of national legislation that allowed for the cultivation of industrial hemp across the nation and greatly encouraged the hemp market to expand. This new crop contains under 0.3% THC, a phytocannabinoid compound that is native to plants of the Cannabis sativa L. plant species.


Industrial hemp products are freely accessible to the public because trace amounts of THC mean that this plant cannot have a psychotropic effect. High THC varieties of this plant species, known as marijuana, are available to the public in some parts of the country. If your local legislation provides access to the compound, differing ratios of THC:CBD can be used in varied situations.


The CBD compound is found in all varieties of cannabis. As the concentration of THC decreases other phytocannabinoids such as CBD, CBN, and CBG become more prominent. If you are living in a state where industrial hemp flower is available, understand that each strain contains various ratios of these useful compounds. Always check these ratios, talk to the seller about what this indicates about the product, and be sure to do your own research before investing.

CBD oils will often tell you just how much CBD is in the product. Bottles and packages should always indicate the total amount of CBD in the container, and also how much is in each serving. CBD is extracted from industrial hemp plant material that contains low amounts of the THC compound. This CBD extraction process typically yields a product that contains a broad spectrum of cannabinoids.

What is Supercritical Fluid Extraction?

Once we understand that industrial hemp is the source of CBD, the next step is to examine how the organic compound CBD makes it from the industrial hemp grown on the farm to the CBD oils and edibles that can be found in stores and online. To provide the highest quality CBD companies should always use a supercritical fluid extraction.

The supercritical range of a fluid encompasses temperatures at which the fluid would normally be evaporated into a gas, but at pressures which compress the fluid until it takes on certain properties of a liquid.

In solids, the atoms or molecules which make up the substance are packed so closely together that they form a solid immovable shape, not moving freely among one another. Liquids are a little more loosely packed, allowing them to move freely among one another while never really losing contact with at least one other molecule at a given time (think of how something wet feels; you have to dry it to remove the substance). Gases are so loosely packed that their atoms or molecules bounce off of one another and are rarely in contact with another substance for long.

Supercritical fluids are gases, with particles loosely packed and free flowing, but under such pressure that the molecules are packed so closely that they begin to behave as though they were molecules of a liquid.


The manipulation of these conditions pushes the substance to what is known as the critical point. This breaks the equilibrium of the substance’s current state. For example, as the temperature of water increases, it approaches its critical point of 705°F (374°C), and it begins to change from a liquid state to a gaseous state. It is important to note that the proper pressure is also needed to create this effect. During this transition, the water begins to take on the qualities of both liquids and gases. As the temperature and pressure increase beyond this point, the fluid becomes a supercritical fluid taking on new properties such as an ability to move through a solid like a gas and to dissolve materials selectively.

In order to obtain quality CBD products, we utilize a supercritical CO2 extractor. CO2 exists as a gas at room temperature meaning that instead of heating the substance CO2 typically needs to be cooled in order to achieve a supercritical fluid state. CO2’s critical point is easily accessible both in terms of temperature and pressure. It is also an affordable and non-toxic alternative to other substances. As CO2 is pressurized and approaches the critical temperature, it begins to transition from a gaseous state to a liquid state. Just like water, or any other substance, when it goes beyond the conditions that determine the critical state, CO2 transforms into a supercritical fluid. In this form, CO2 begins to take on the qualities of both a gas and liquid. This allows it to transition easily through the hemp plant material. The supercritical CO2 fluid becomes our natural solvent as it efficiently and safely extracts useful plant compounds such as phytocannabinoids and terpenes. This process also makes it easy to obtain an end result without any THC or unwanted plant matter.

While CO2 might be affordable in comparison to other fluids with supercritical potential, it does not mean that the supercritical extraction process is cheap. In fact, it is pricier than the other CBD extraction options, but it is easily worth the expenditure. CO2 extraction is safe, gentle, and effective.

There are other viable extraction methods for CBD. These techniques use either petroleum/naphtha or ethanol as solvents. Petroleum and naptha techniques are cheap but that is the only benefit. These extractions provide lower amounts of the terpenes/phytocannabinoids we are looking for and can often leave behind small amounts of the solvent. CBD is a gentle compound, and we do not want to infuse it with petroleum. Ethanol is a cleaner choice; however, it does pick up on more plant matter, such as chlorophyll, than supercritical CO2. This can change the taste of the resulting CBD oil. The ethanol extraction also prevents CBD from gathering in high concentrations in the finished product. This means that you would need a greater amount of the resulting liquid solution to hold the same amount of CBD.

Even if the product is clearly marked as having gone through a supercritical CO2 extraction, it is vital to find out about the testing that has been done on the CBD. Using third-party lab tests is common practice among CBD manufacturers. Be sure to find evidence of testing before moving forward. During the extraction process, we use lab testing at multiple points. This is done to make sure that we are creating the highest quality product every step of the way.


Many things are needed to create top quality CBD. The first ingredient is U.S. grown industrial hemp that contains no contaminants or THC. Freshness is key as we move towards the proper extraction process. An extract that is safe and free of any unnecessary compounds can be created through careful preparation and testing. At All Natural Way, all of our CBD has then been added to our finished products by a licensed compounding pharmacist. Our products deliver a natural, tasty, and efficient means to access a state of balance and peace!